Day 25: The world’s highest Starbucks

Buena Vista, CO to Silverthorne, CO

A sunny and cold morning. 42°!

At Twin Lakes, CO

Drove to Leadville, the highest city in Colorado at 10,151 ft. Took a walk down the main drag, Harrison Ave. Families with little kids, runners from a race, tourists like me, and maybe a few locals. Sat on a bench and watched the world go by.

Leadville, CO
Leadville, CO

Without being aware of it, I crossed the Continental Divide here from “East” to “West.” Here, the Divide itself goes east/west, so the crossing is south to north. I went over Fremont Pass, 11,318 feet. There was a sign identifying Fremont Pass, but it didn’t say it was on the Continental Divide. 

After Fremont Pass, I stopped at a field of snow. It once was a valley that contained three mining towns. When the mining industry went bust after the Second World War, the towns were abandoned and the valley was filled with mine tailings (the waste portion of ore produced by mining). Then they created a meadow on top. They call it the Valley of Ghosts.

Snow at the “Valley of Ghosts,” near Leadville

One of my bucket list items on this trip was visiting the world’s highest Starbucks (9,600 ft.) in Breckenridge. When I got to Breck I immediately went there. It’s in a little yellow house and it is really cute.

I asked a manager-looking guy if this is the world’s highest Starbucks. He immediately said there is some dispute about that, because there is one in Taiwan on the 35th floor of a building, and there is one on a mountain in Utah, but it’s not a freestanding Starbucks, it’s a restaurant that serves Starbucks coffee. So if you only count “real” Starbucks this is the one. I’m so happy someone who works there knows about it. I ordered a tall caramel macchiato.

At the world’s highest Starbucks, Breckenridge, CO
At the world’s highest Starbucks, Breckenridge, CO

Took a walk around Breckenridge.

Main St., Breckenridge
The Blue River, Breckenridge

Drove to Silverthorne, to my hotel. For dinner I went to Cheba Hut Toasted Subs, a sandwich chain only in the West. I had a fantastic sandwich, and they have a fun attitude. Also a full bar. Wish they’d come to New York.

Clouds, Silverthorne

9 thoughts on “Day 25: The world’s highest Starbucks”

    1. Unfortunately, a google search for “world’s highest starbucks” had a lot of results for Taiwan, and none for Colorado.

      1. I think Starbucks did a lot of promotion for the Taiwan store, which accounts for its search prominence. Also, I was seeking the highest Starbucks in terms of earth’s natural altitude, without counting location in a building. Depends what the meaning of “high” is 🙂 Have you been to the one in Breckenridge?

        1. No, I haven’t. But Jim had a good point when I told him about this. How could the 35th floor of a building be higher than a Starbucks at 9,600 feet? Unless the Taiwan building is on top of a mountain.

  1. There are two possibilities. Either by “highest” they mean “on the highest floor,” or Starbucks’ flack is lying. The altitude of Taipei is 1135 feet.

  2. I love the photo of clouds at Silverthorne—and your account of your time in Buena Vista (I’ve been through there many times on the way to see friends on the Western Slope). It’s the only place I’ve ever heard them announce the local rivers’ fps (feet per second—a measure of water speed for whitewater rafters) as a regular part of the local news.

    1. Thanks, Dani! I was happy I caught the moment when the sun’s rays shoot out of the clouds. And very interesting about the FPS. Thank you for reading my trip diary. Edited: What did you think of South Main when you visited?

      1. You know, I’m embarrassed to say that I never stopped long enough to explore BV. I was always driving between Denver and Pitkin (which is near Gunnison) and would pull over to get a snack or stretch my legs but didn’t spend much time. It’s a fascinating part of CO, though. Home to lots of fourteeners (mountains more than 14,000 feet high), some of which are named for Ivy League schools. I’m enjoying the blog!

  3. I’ve skied Breckenridge and loved it. I suspect I’ve been to the Starbucks there but I’m really not certain. Loved the town, regardless.

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