Answers from Our Experts (2)
The best way to see Aspen, no matter what the season, is to spend one day in town doing all the standard resort activities, such as shopping, dining, riding the gondola and just exploring all it has to offer. After you’ve had your fill of downtown, spend a second day going deep into the surrounding mountains (preferably far enough to where you no longer have a cell phone signal), whether it’s by foot, bike, Jeep, river raft, or cross-country skis. It will give you a sense of the surrounding wilderness — how big it is and how small we really are. Since it’s so easy to fly in to Aspen and to remain connected to the modern world, we suggest taking a moment to unplug and fully appreciate the mountains, and how they define Aspen and the people who choose to live here. You might even be surprised by how it affects you.
If you have two days to enjoy Aspen in the winter, be sure to ski at two of the four ski areas near town. For your first day, enjoy the gentler slopes of Buttermilk, and progress to the steeper challenges of Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands for your second day. Since you have two days to explore, spend your first day in a private or group lesson. You won’t regret it! After day one on the slopes, enjoy dinner at Montagna Restaurant at the Little Nell and then catch a concert or show in town. If you still have energy, round out the evening in the hot tub to soak your aching muscles. After day two on the slopes, give yourself some time to explore downtown Aspen’s many shops and galleries. Indulge in an in-room massage after another day of hard skiing.
If you have two days to enjoy summer in Aspen, you don’t have enough time! Here are our best suggestions for spending a limited time in town during the summer months. After breakfast on day one, head out on a hiking trail like the Ute or Hunter Creek trails, which are close to town but still offer spectacular views. Spend the afternoon enjoying downtown Aspen, which is usually bursting with activity in the warmer months. If you happen to be there on a Saturday, catch the Aspen Saturday Market for interesting Colorado-made wares and produce. Don’t miss a performance by the Aspen Music Festival and School in the afternoon (many are free), and be sure to dine al fresco to take in the lovely summer air. On day two, start the day with yoga atop Aspen Mountain, followed by a nature hike along the ridge of the mountain. You can catch a quick lunch at the Sundeck before taking the gondola back to town. Spend the afternoon fly fishing in the Roaring Fork River (arranged through our adventure shop). That evening, be sure to sample the colorful cuisine at Montagna Restaurant at the Little Nell for local dishes with global influences.