Aspen is a ski resort in the state of Colorado in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States of America. Its little sister is Snowmass Village, which is about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Aspen.
By planeAspen-Pitkin County Airport (also known as Sardy Field; ASE). Major carriers to Aspen include United Express, Frontier Airlines, and American Eagle Airlines. Private jet charters are a popular method of travel to the Rocky Mountains of Aspen. Air charter service is available to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport through companies such as Incredijet Private Jet Charter.
Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is a small airport for small planes only, and traffic tends to stop in any inclement weather.
Flying into Denver Airport and driving up to Aspen is more reliable and often cheaper.
By carThe drive to Aspen is about 4 hours from Denver. There are two major routes from Denver - through Glenwood Springs or through Independence Pass. Independence Pass is only open in the summer months, but provides spectacular views and can be a bit faster than the longer route through Glenwood. To take this route, travel south from Copper Mountain exit off I70 through Leadville.
There are numerous large rental car services available at the Aspen-Pitkin county Airport.
- Go Rentals
Scheduled and chartered services are available from Denver International Airport and Eagle County Regional Airport. Free buses operate within the cities of Aspen and Snowmass Village and many hotels have free shuttle service to and from the airport.
It's all about getting around on skis in the winter and mountain bikes or your own two feet in the summer!
John Denver ParkThis Aspen park is a pleasant place to take your dog or your kids for a splash in the creek in summertime. The park is named after the famous Country and Folk singer who resided in Aspen. Lyrics from his most popular songs are inscribed in the creekside boulders. John Denver Park is on the creek trail on the north side of Aspen, near the Rio Grande Ball Field and park at N. Mill St. and Rio Grande Pl.
Maroon BellsA short drive outside of Aspen, the Maroon Bells are one of the most photographed mountain scenes in Colorado. The lake and views of the 14,000 foot peaks are spectacular. In the summer months between 8AM and 5PM, visitors must take a shuttle bus to the Maroon Bells to control traffic. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children. There are some short, non-strenuous hikes around the Maroon Bells that vary from 1 mile to 10. People also like to climb the Maroon Bells; however, it is very dangerous and a guide is highly recommended.
Independence PassIn the summer months, this pass is open to vehicular traffic. The drive takes you up to the Continental Divide, and along the way passes some of the most beautiful scenery in the area and a ghost town that is open to visitors.
- Ski - There are four downhill ski mountains in the area: Aspen Mountain, which has the best location, Snowmass, which is the largest, Aspen Highlands, famed for its epic Highlands bowl, and Buttermilk, which provides the best experience for beginners and freestyle. They are all quite large and sprawling, and will give you one of the best skiing experiences in the country.
- Sleigh rides
- Mountain bike
- Gondola rides to the top of Aspen Mountain
- White water rafting
- Fly fishing
- Mine exploration
- Hot air ballooning
- Paint ball
- Outdoor concerts
Belly UpSmall venue hosting some impressive artists, downtown Aspen.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day FestivalSnowmass Town Park, the first weekend in September
phone: +1 970 925-2145address: Truscott PlIt opened with 9 holes in the early 1960s and expanded to 18 holes in the 1980s. The Aspen Golf Club facility features 7,114 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71. The course has a rating of 73.8 and it has a slope rating of 139 from the tips. The course is primarily Blue grass and Poana.
phone: +1 970 920-4080The 18-hole course at the Maroon Creek Club features 7,100 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 70. The course rating is 73.6 and it has a slope rating of 140 on Blue grass. The course opened in 1995.
phone: +1 970 923-5600Ten minutes downvalley in Snowmass Village. The Snowmass Club's new 18-hole, par-72 Snowmass Club Golf Course. The 6,986-yard semi-private course designed by award-winning golf course architect Jim Engh includes a learning center, practice area and new golf clubhouse with Black Saddle Bar & Grille, a full-service restaurant and bar. With five sets of tee boxes at each hole and a truly unique design, golfers of all abilities will enjoy play that is as fun as it is challenging
phone: +1 970 963-3625Eighteen holes, slope 73.2, rating 125, 7,348 yards. 30 minutes downvalley in Carbondale,River Valley Ranch Golf Club. Good bang for buck.
Of course, Aspen is a great place to buy ski equipment and clothing with an abundance of ski shops and stores. The city also has an open air market in the summer months.
Snowmass Village also has its own shopping precinct, fitted with numerous candy shops, souvenir shops and ski shops.
Carl's Pharmacyaddress: 306 E Main StSells typical drugstore goods, and their second floor has souvenirs and toys.
City Marketaddress: 711 E CooperA good place to pick up groceries to stock up your cabin.
There are many places in Aspen Snowmass where you can rent all types of equipment including skis and snowboards in the winter and bikes in the summer.
Some of the stores that specialize in equipment rentals:
Aspen Ski RentalsYou can also book your ski or snowboard rentals online which may save money and time.
The Artisan RestaurantIn Snowmass in the Stone Bridge Inn has a fresh menu and many off-menu options.
Woody Creek TavernIn "downtown" Woody Creek. Good for lunch, this is the former haunt of the late Hunter S. Thompson. It's about 15 miles from Aspen.
Crystal Palace Theatre RestaurantWell worth a visit. They serve a gourmet dinner.
The Pine Creek Cookhouse20 minutes south of Aspen on Castle Creek Road. It is worth the trip down a beautiful valley to the elegant log cabinesque building. Their food is very fresh, on the gourmet side, and not overly expensive. Reservations recommended. Highly recommended to stop in for lunch after a morning hike to one of the many great trails in the area such as Cathedral Lake.
The Hickory HouseLocated on the bend towards the entrance to Aspen on Main Street. Tourists are often crowded out by the locals, drawn by fabulous barbecue and huge, hearty breakfasts. If you're lucky enough to be in Aspen for Thanksgiving (late November), turn out for annual Hickory House freebie: turkey, with all the trimmings, and all gratis.
Ajax Tavernphone: +1 970 920-6334address: Base of Aspen MountainGreat apres-ski complete with the who's who of Aspen. Fantastic deck perfect for watching skiiers come down the mountain while you enjoy people watching of the rich and famous. Order the Ajax Double Double, the best burger in town.
phone: +1 970 920-1000address: 330 E Main StThe J-Bar is one of Aspen's favorite watering holes. Located at the luxurious Hotel Jerome
phone: +1 855-331-7213address: Hotel Jerome, 330 East Main StProspect serves diverse Colorado cuisine with alpine influence prepared from wholesome natural ingredients. Breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch.
Syzygyphone: +1 970 925-3700address: 520 E Hyman AveA trendy, favorite for many visitors.
MatsuhisiaAmazing and award winning Japanese food along with some of the best sushi in the country.
Cache CacheExcellent French restaurant is the trendy place to see and be seen. Their bar menu is excellent and offers a less expensive alternative (~$20 per entree) than the restaurant section. The bar starts to fill up around 6PM.
PinionsExpensive, exquisite cuisine popular with celebrities and socialites.
Campo De FioriGreat Italian food that makes you feel like you're in Italy. Also has a great bar scene.
MezzalunaGreat Italian-American style food in a trendy establishment. Best place for lunch and late at night.
Boogies DinerCentrally located diner located in a jeans store.
Paradise BakeryBest ice cream in town, along with amazing baked goods and coffees. Located in central Aspen.
Cloud-9 BistroExcellent European food on Aspen Highlands. Very well priced. Perfect for a ski day lunch break. Frequently visited by celebrities.
Caribou ClubInsanely expensive and fancy private dining club for snobby locals.
phone: +1 970 429-8284address: 525 E Cooper AveClassy but casual restaurant known for brunch, but also serves excellent dinner. Also has balcony seating.
phone: +1 970 925-9022address: 620 E HymanWell known Italian restaurant serving handmade pasta. Their bar features a bar menu with less expensive alternatives to the restaurant menu (in the bar menu, pasta entrees start around $12, and meat entrees start around $15).
Grateful Deliphone: +1 970 925-6647address: 233 E Main StGood sandwiches, good-size portions for about $8 per sandwich
Annette's Mountain Bake Shopaddress: 420 E HymanBaked goods and good sandwiches
phone: +1 970 544-9866address: 121 S Galena StA busy place for breakfast, brunch, and lunch, featuring fresh and local food.
phone: +1 970 920-9255address: 730 E CooperSandwich shop that also delivers.
Butcher's Block Deliphone: +1 970 925-7554address: 424 S Spring StGood deli also known for its soup.
Zane's TavernLocations in Aspen and Snowmass Village
Aspen Brewing CompanyThe tasting room does not serve food please bring your own in or order delivery.
address: 617 East Cooper AveA full service condominium hotel with sixty-four steps to the Silver Queen Gondola.
address: 845 Meadows Rd
phone: +1 970 923-3520Downtown Snowmass Village hotel and conference center. Self-contained and central in Snowmass.
phone: +1 970 920-3300Outstanding luxury hotel in the heart of Aspen from which you can directly debark Ajax lifts.
phone: +1 970 925-6760address: 709 East Durant Ave
phone: +1 970 920-1000address: 330 East Main StElegant accommodations and relaxed ambiance. Located in the heart of Aspen, the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel has 93 rooms and suites and several restaurants and bars.
phone: +1 970 925-5000A condo resort offering vacation rentals, condos and other lodging accommodations near ski slopes.
The Little NellShowy hotel footsteps away from the Aspen Mountain gondola. Very popular with celebrities. Also hosts its own lavish restaurant, Montagna.
phone: +1 970-925-7797address: 333 E. Durant AveSince 1954 this lodge has been run by the Melville family, and the owners and staff of the Mountain Chalet focus on a casual, friendly environment which allows guests to interact with each other in their lobby.
phone: +1 970 925-4595address: 200 W Main StQuaint but clean and affordable lodge (rooms feature kitchenettes), a five to ten minute walk to downtown Aspen. The queen beds are on the smaller side
phone: +1 970 925-8717address: Building 421 Suite GVacation rentals located throughout the Aspen area.
phone: +1 970 923-8400address: 40 Elbert Lane, Snowmass Village, CO 81615Wildwood Snowmass Lodge offers a mountain lifestyle with retro designed rooms. Accommodations feature 145 rooms and 6 suites. WildWood Snowmass hotel is located in the Westin/Wildwood Snowmass Resort complex, adjacent to the slopes of Snowmass Mountain and the Snowmass Village Mall. Westin Snowmass Resort offers guests four dining options, slope-side ski valet, spa treatments and kids club access.
Colorado is home to over 70 wineries and its own vineyards. Wine lovers can enjoy several scenic day trips from Aspen to many of the small towns that are a part of Colorado's Wine Country. These lovely little communities include Montrose, Palisade, Paonia and Hotchkiss, as well as the city of Grand Junction.
- Glenwood Springs - Home to a quaint, historic downtown and the largest hot spring pool in the USA.
- Carbondale - About 40 minutes down the valley from Aspen, Carbondale is a nice, eclectic mix of artsy, outdoorsy and earthy/hippie. It has art galleries with offerings much more affordable than you will find in Aspen, plus an astonishing range of restaurants from Chinese, Salvadoran, Mexican, Italian, Thai and Asian/Fusion. Restaurant 689, located at 689 Main Street, rivals Aspen's best offerings. During mid-summer, Carbondale's Mountain Fair is a 3-day (free!) music extravaganza and art fair. Artisans come from all over the US to exhibit and sell hand-made clothing, jewelry, toys, paintings, sculpture and home decor. The home town police - who are very low-key and friendly - wear tie-dye for this event.
- Denver - A 4-hour drive away, Denver is Colorado's capital and largest city. Denver boasts historic buildings and modernistic skyscrapers, abundant shopping and incredible dining. Located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, Denver has some of the best views a city can have. It is also home to one of the last downtown amusement parks, Elitch Gardens.