Destination Idea: Aspen, Colorado

by GO GlobeHopper

Aspen, Colorado is nestled in the heart of the White River National Forest and surrounded by the peaks of the Elk Mountains. Originally inhabited by the Ute Indians, Aspen became a silver-mining town during the mining boom of the late 1800s. However, following the devaluation of silver, the area underwent a cultural renaissance in the 1940s.

So, despite that it is known as a destination for year-round outdoor recreation, it is now also known for high-end restaurants and boutiques, as well as art, landmarks and museums.  These include the Wheeler Opera House which was constructed in 1889, the local history museum of Wheeler-Stallard House and the Aspen Art Museum which houses contemporary artworks

Whatever preconceived ideas you have about Aspen, you need to visit and experience it to truly understand the depth of everything it offers.

Aspen lives up to its winter reputation for snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, skating, snowmobiling and, of course, cross-country and downhill skiing.

Four ski mountains make up the terrain for the world-renowned Aspen Snowmass resort. Aspen Mountain, locally referred to as Ajax, rises up directly from downtown, bringing a whole new meaning to ski-in/ski-out. Buttermilk Mountain, home of the Aspen X Games, is a kids’ and beginners’ paradise. Aspen Highlands boasts the legendary Highland Bowl, and Snowmass offers the largest acreage and diversity with something for everyone.

After a hard day of play enjoy Aspen’s legendary après ski scene, or head out for dinner at one of the town’s world-class restaurants. Top off the night with a show at Belly Up, Aspen’s 450-person live music venue featuring renowned artists. Aspen’s big-city cultural institutions, well known for their summer programming, have plenty of events throughout the winter months as well.

Summer offers even more opportunities for outdoor recreation, including rafting, hiking, biking, rock-climbing, fishing, golf, horseback riding, hot-air ballooning and paragliding, all in the beautiful mountain surroundings and within steps of downtown. Summertime also boasts an events calendar that can rival any major city. The quality of programming from Aspen’s diverse arts and cultural institutions is a big draw for visitors throughout the summer. The Aspen Music Festival & School puts on an impressive 400-plus event program from June through August, The Aspen Institute hosts signature programming such as the Ideas Festival & Security Forum on the idyllic Herbert Bayer-inspired campus, and Theatre Aspen’s summer repertory features Broadway stars in an intimate theater in the park.

And don’t forget about the thrill of bird watching and wildlife viewing. Few other places in North America offer such a bounty of wildlife including bald eagles, owls, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, elk, and pronghorns.

Aspen’s lodging covers a wide range of options, from moderate hotels to five-star properties, and from home rentals and bed & breakfasts to campsites with views of Maroon Bells, the most-photographed peaks in North America. (Maroon Bells are pictured in the summer photo)

Travelers are sure to be thrilled with Aspen’s breathtaking scenery and activities for everyone.


Source:  Aspen Chamber of Commerce
Photo Credits:
Lead – Cute Wallpaper
Downtown – Wikimedia © 2005 Matthew Trump License: GNU Free Documentation License
Aspen Winter – by Chase Baker on Unsplash
Aspen Summer – Maroon Bells – by Caleb Kastein on Unsplash
Wildlife – elk – by Meredith Fontana on Unsplash

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