Aspen has long reined synonymous as a luxury playground for the rich and famous. It attracts a vivacious older crowd, but not your typical seniors – these Aspenites are shredding on the mountain, socializing at the many bars and restaurants, and dancing into the night at clubs. The streets are full of fashionistas, fur ( hopefully sustainably sourced) and the shopping is incredible.
First things first, find accommodations with a hot tub. After a long day on the slopes, it is the best thing to jump into with a glass of bubbly.
Put on that perfect ski gear and get on the mountain. If you don’t want to spend money on the lift tickets as they can run on the more pricey side in Aspen you can easily find discounted ones on craigslist.
Aspen’s largest and most popular ski area is the ultimate destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Comprising 3,332 acres of skiable terrain, this massive complex features 150 miles of trails, multiple lifts and a charming village with a variety of shops and restaurants. Roughly half of the trails here are designed for intermediate-level skiers, but more advanced powder hounds will find plenty of challenging stretches of snow to try. Snowboarders should also note that Snowmass has one of the best snowboarding schools in the United States.
Aspen Highlands is located about 3 miles southwest of Aspen and welcomes skiers and snowboarders from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day between mid-December and mid-April. Lift passes vary in price and are valid at all four Aspen ski areas. If you’re visiting during the winter holidays, consider purchasing lift passes in advance and getting an early start to beat the crowds. You can also save money by purchasing passes online at the Aspen-Snowmass website.
Rising more than 14,000 feet, these twin peaks are a favorite spot for hikers and wildlife-watchers, boasting beautiful vistas and breathtaking scenery. In fact, Maroon Bells’ jagged peaks and multicolored slopes make it one of the most photographed sites in North America. The surrounding area features numerous trails and campsites, granting you a variety of viewing points from which you can capture the perfect shot.
It’s this mountain – first opened to skiers in 1947– that put Aspen on the map. “Ajax,” as it’s fondly called, features approximately 675 skiable acres with 64 miles of runs (complete with a variety of bumps and steeps); you can also make your own tracks along the Aspen Mountain Powder Tour’s backcountry terrain. And when you’re ready to call it a day, you can satisfy your appetite at one of the nearby restaurants or bars.
Cloud Nine is the definition of après-ski. Nestled at the top of Highlands Mountain this small unassuming restaurant turns into a wild daytime party. They only have a noon seating and a 2 pm reservation. I ordered soup and an assortment of fondue with proper swiss cheese like roulette.
The 2 pm is the reservation you strive for, which makes reservations even more difficult. You must make them 90 days in advance. But if you succeed at the 2 pm lunch seating you will witness the music starting to blast, ski boot-wearing diners begin to dance on their chairs, and everyone starts spraying hundreds of bottles of champagne at each other.
Everywhere you turn there is another great place to eat. Start off with coffee at Victoria’s, grab lunch at the white house tavern, hit up J-Bar or Jimmy’s Bodega at happy hour. Grey Lady has wonderful oysters. Campos has lovely Italian.
Aspen has many spicy private events and house parties such as the Leather and Lace party. Private member only clubs such as Caribou club always makes for a fun evening.
The bar Hooch brings about a younger crowd
Little Nell is fun for dinner and drinks at the bar.
The best music venue in Aspen is Belly Up, a 450-person venue that’s small enough to feel special but big enough to draw A-list acts.
Downtown Aspen has a mixture of high-end fashion and rustic mountain looks. Carl’s Pharmacy is an only-in-Aspen phenomenon, a multi-level emporium with a wine cellar in its basement, beauty supplies on the main level, and upstairs, aisles overstuffed with household goods, toys, fishing gear.
Looking for old-fashioned cowboy boots and hats check out Kemo Sabe. Best consignment shopping is at The Little Bird.
With a focus on women’s contemporary clothing, Distraction is a great spot to grab a new dress, shoes, and bag all in one spot. High-end designer lines like Thomas Wylde, Lanvin, and Free City dominate the racks.Need a kickass pair of heels for an event this evening? Look no further than Bloomingbird’s, a high-end shoe store in Aspen. With everything from sneakers to 5-inch Manolo Blahnik stilettos, this place is the spot. A furniture and gift store open since 1992, Chequers sells an eclectic mix of home goods. Perfect for a last minute hostess gift or a unique item for someone back home, whether you want to spend $25 or $25,000.