Driving from Denver to Aspen through the mountains is a world of beauty within itself. Once you arrive in Aspen it feels as if you have been transported into a holiday snow globe.
- This is what you came for! Skiing and Snowboarding in the rocky mountains:
- Aspen Mountain aka Ajax -right in downtown Aspen
- Buttermilk-family friendly with wide, open runs.
- Aspen Highlands- check out the highland bowl. A bit of a hike (literally), but well worth it.
- Snowmass-MASSIVE, you will need a few days to explore all of the runs on this mountain.
These are all under the Aspen/Snowmass pass . We started our ski season off on Snowmass to the tippity top of the mountain on a 'hike to' peak with untouched powder all the way down the long shot trail. The hike was "short and strenuous", but the expansive views along with the brightest blue skies make you feel that much closer to heaven.
After the slopes there are lots of great après ski options. I like to start by drinking as much hot chocolate as I can (which is barely 1 cup because it's so rich). It feels like snow sports burns about 57483974893 kcals (not exact), which balances indulging a bit once you get off of the mountain.
You're going to want to LIVE at the Hotel Jerome. Their lounge area is actually called the living room and we could not get enough of it.
I like to just grab a juice and get moving in the morning so the Spring Cafe is perfect for that.
Lunch: From the slopes in Ajax you can walk from the gondola to the town of Aspen and recharge for the afternoon.
- Meat and Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop -Exactly what the name implies, plus craft beers, "eclectic wine selections" and juices.
- White House Tavern-Great for lunch or dinner with great food and free of pretentious vibes.
- La Crêperie du Village-We made a stop here in between ski runs for some rich and cheesy pasta and chocolate-y AF crêpes. A romantic underground vibe. Bring friends and gather round the fondue pot with some crisp, aromatic glasses of white. DO NOT miss the SCHOKOLADEPALATSCHINKE translation-chocolate lover's HEAVEN. (Chocolate crêpe+chocolate ganache+dulce de leche+strawberries+bananas+whipped cream)
- The Living Room at Hotel Jerome is perfect for some bites and drinks before dinner.
- Matsuhisa-Your typical pricey, culinary epic and exclusive Nobu. If you didn't make reservations get there early and you might have luck sitting at their upstairs lounge. Mention you were interested in the Omakase (basically in the chef's hands for the night) and they will somehow find you the best seat in the house, downstairs at the sushi bar.
- The Wild Fig-A romantic European Brasserie steps off of the slopes. The handmade pasta is not to be missed.
- Zocalito Latin Bistro- Latin and Rum!
- Locals on the Gondola recommended: Cache Cache and Pinons at the bar.
Drinks: If you're looking for something besides hot chocolate Aspen has no shortage of cozy fireside venues to get the party started.
- The hotels all have indoor and some outdoor fire places and lounges where you can grab a drink.
- Justice Snow's-a craft cocktail lounge and restaurant
- White House Tavern-cozy and intimate
- Escobar Lounge-club vibes
- The Belly Up- Music venue, definitely check their calendar for when you are coming to town!
I would love to see all there is to do around the area in the summer. What are your recommendations for Aspen?