Live like a local: Natasha Lucero’s guide to Carbondale |

Live like a local: Natasha Lucero’s guide to Carbondale

Carla Jean Whitley
Zach Jammaron gets knocked off of the massive bull Blind Side at the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

 First Friday Carbondale

There are lots of reasons to explore Lucero’s town during July’s First Friday event. Like First Fridays Carbondale on Facebook for regular updates. Mt. Sopris Music Fest 5-10 p.m. Every year, the music fest celebrates our vibrant, local, live music scene by featuring talented musicians who are your friends, family and neighbors. 5 p.m. Lookout Mountain Showdown, 6 p.m. The Davenports , 7 p.m. Sleepy Justice and 8 p.m. Whiskey Stomp. Carbondale Town Plaza | Free | 963-3304 | First Friday Farmers’ Market 5:15-7:30 p.m. Vendors include Roots and Roost Farm, Nieslanik Beef, Roaring Gardens, Two Roots Farm, Sunny Gardens and Rancho Durazno. Between Third and Second streets | Free | Rudis (Origin, Interpretation, Place) Friday, 6-8 p.m. "Rudis" showcases works by Jay Phillips (curator), Elizabeth Ferrill, Sam Harvey and Andrew Roberts-Gray. Disciplines include painting, sculpture, sound and mixed-media installation. The exhibit remains on display through Aug. 4. The Launchpad, 76 S. Fourth St., Carbondale | Free | 963-1680 | Drum Circle and Performing ArtShare 5:45 p.m. Bring your own drum. ArtShare will follow at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by SoL Theater Company. True Nature Healing Arts, 100 N. Third St., Carbondale| Free | 963-9900 | KDNK Open House 3-7 p.m. The open house includes an artist reception featuring Colorfulcrow Photography. Also check out the new mural, created by Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program summer camp students and Eliza Rogan of Mural Farm. KDNK, 76 S Second St., Carbondale | Free | 963-0139 | Kid Mountain Cool off with a free snow cone thanks to Kid Mountain, an entity of The Orchard. Fourth and Main streets | Free | First Friday on the 100 Block 5 p.m. Enjoy local eats from Slow Groovin’ and Elevated Elixirs, Marble Distilling cocktails and music from Sneaky Pete and the Secret Weapons. Marble Distilling, 150 Main St., Carbondale | Free | 963-7008 | Points of Cadence 6-8 p.m. Collette Spears presents the solo exhibition “Points of Cadence.” Carbondale Clay Center, 135 Main St., Carbondale | Free | 963-2529 | Bicycle Annie 9 p.m.-midnight Enjoy live music from this Grand Junction act. The brewpub will offer a special picnic menu. Carbondale Beer Works, 647 Main St., Carbondale | Free | 704-1216 |

Carbondale may be significantly smaller than its neighbor to the west, but it packs in more culture than anyone would expect from a town of 6,000. Whether you’re looking for dining or art, yoga or mountain biking, Carbondale’s got it.

Where to begin? We turned to long-time local Natasha Lucero, who moved from California to the Roaring Fork Valley 20 years ago. She’s a senior public relations account manager at Backbone Media and part-owner of Sopris Crossfit. Her community activities include the Tourism Council and Carbondale Homeless Assistance program. Learn more about the community at

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“If I have/make time to sit down and enjoy breakfast (or even brunch), I like going to the Smithy on Main Street (26 S. Third St., or Silo (1909 Dolores Way, on the other side of town (in the NAPA valley — affectionately named because of its proximity to the NAPA Auto Parts store). If I’m grabbing something for the road, my go-tos tend to be Bonfire on Main Street (433 Main St., or Dos Gringos off of Highway 133 (58 Colorado 133, — I love the burrito-in-a-bowl option.”


“It depends on the day and how hungry I am and what day of the week it is. If I’m at work, chances are good that I have my lunch with me. But if I need a little something, I typically find myself at Tonic Juicery (320 Main St. #102, for a hearty smoothie or a cobb salad from Bonfire. On the weekends, I’ll most often hit up Dos Gringos for something quick and easy.”


“My husband and I recently started ordering Hello Fresh, so we make it a point to eat at home several nights a week. But when we go out, it’s fun to mix it up, which makes for a long list of favorites. Try town., Phat Thai, Allegria, Mi Casita, El Pollo Rico, The Goat or The Pig. I really think we’re fortunate to have so many great options at our fingertips!”

I have nothing to wear!

“I honestly don’t do a lot of clothes shopping in Carbondale, but if you’re looking for a good deal and can appreciate the concept of wearing gently used pieces, check out Miser’s Mercantile (303 Main St., And lulubelle Clothing (320 Main St., offers really cute clothes for women.


“It depends on who I’m shopping for, of course, but I typically find myself at Dancing Colors, Luxe Nest, True Nature Healing Arts, Harmony Scott or Colby June to pick up unique gifts for friends or family.”

Let’s groove

“My favorite place to hear local music is at Belly Up (450 S. Galena St., in Aspen. It’s easily accessible by a short bus ride from Carbondale. Belly Up brings in some of the most talented artists anywhere, and it’s such a treat to experience the shows in this small, intimate setting!”


“There are several galleries in town with beautiful art on display, but I personally enjoy checking out the art that’s showcased at local establishments such as Bonfire or Town. Photography speaks to me more than any other kind of art and I get to see a lot of that at those places — and it’s especially cool to see work that local artists have created.”

Drink up

“We’re lucky to have two breweries right here in town: Roaring Fork Beer Company (1941 Dolores Way, and Carbondale Beer Works (647 Main St., Each offers a different vibe — worth checking ’em both out if you have time. For a tasty cocktail, I like Marble Distilling Company (150 Main St.,, and it’s an inn, too — meaning you can get a sweet room there and you don’t have to drive or walk anywhere after you’ve enjoyed beverages! Rooms book up fast, so book early.”

Free time

Most of my free time is spent at the gym — Sopris CrossFit (956 Colorado 133,, to be specific. My husband and I are part owners in the business, and we enjoy spending time there for great workouts and to get to hang out with our amazing community (extended family, really). We’re located on the corner of Highway 133 and Colorado Avenue — and we love visitors, so feel free to drop in if you’re looking for a good sweat in good company!”

Opt Outside

“I love to go on early morning trail runs with our almost 2-year-old dog and best bud, Murphy — Red Hill/Mushroom Rock ( is one of our favorites! The views of Sopris are stunning all along the way, with the absolute best being at the very top. Fair warning, foot traffic can be heavy and the temps can be very warm in the summer — so early or late in the day tends to be best. In addition to running trails, I plan on getting on my mountain bike and in my kayak more this summer, and I’m looking forward to that. Seriously, the outdoor activities here are the best — the only problem is there’s never enough time to squeeze it all in!”

Get cultured

“I think the Carbondale Branch Library (320 Sopris Ave., is a beautiful and amazing place, and especially nice for families with young children.”

Don’t miss this

“Pan & Fork at River Valley Ranch (303 River Valley Ranch Road, has great food and offers and incredible view of Mount Sopris overlooking the golf course — a fun place to have a post-golf beer or meet up for dinner. “

“Be sure to check out the art along the Rio Grande Trail ( and all throughout Carbondale. Curated by the Carbondale Creative District, the art is perfectly positioned for excellent viewing and frequently changed to keep it fresh and interesting. Visit for more about art and other things around town!”

“The Carbondale Rodeo (County Road 100, runs every Thursday June 1 through Aug. 17.”

“From super mellow to a serious workout, Kula Yoga (443 Main St., and True Nature Healing Arts (100 N. Third St., both offer a wide variety of classes for all levels and all interests.”

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