Answers from Our Experts (2)
At the end of the day, Aspen is still just a small mountain town, so the best museums are the only museums because there are only a few. The Aspen Art Museum has a distinct contemporary slant and hosts openings and parties year-round, though it’s about to move out of the very funky and cool old train depot building and into a new downtown location sometime in 2012. The Wheeler/Stallard Museum is run by the Aspen Historical Society and has a great selection of interesting programs for people of all ages to learn more about Aspen’s rich past (literally rich, since we’re talking Gold Rush and Silver Boom, here). The Marolt Mining Museum, located a mile or so outside of town at the base of the Castle Creek Valley, is a rustic old barn on an unspoiled site. It’s a journey into what Aspen might have felt like at the turn of the 19th century and its beginnings as a small mountain town.
The Aspen Historical Society is a great resource for anyone visiting town. Its Wheeler-Stallard Museum, located in the West End, is a fun stop for any visitor. The Historical Society also offers a variety of unique programming, including a “history coach” as well as a historic bike tour around town.
The Aspen Art Museum is a must for any contemporary art buff. The museum is currently located down Mill Street, but it is moving forward with plans for a new building in downtown Aspen. The new building, which is being designed by acclaimed architect Shigeru Ban, is expected to open in 2013.