Aspen might be a popular ski destination and known for its art scene and celebrity sightings, but there’s a lot more to this mountain getaway than meets the eye. This beautiful mountain oasis is right in the center of the White River National Forest, surrounded by the peaks of the Elk Mountains. It’s a perfect year-round locale for anyone wanting to enjoy the Colorado mountains. Here are seven reasons you should consider visiting Aspen.
You’ll love Aspen’s world-class skiing opportunities and après ski culture. Aspen has four mountains that are a paradise for skiers and snowboarders alike. It’s a perfect place for skiers of any experience level, offering a wide array of slopes, as well as plenty of runs through expert-only terrain. When you’re not on the slopes, you’ll enjoy all the amenities of Aspen’s luxury ski resorts, such as the stunning Aspen Snowmass.
Skiing isn’t the only kind of outdoor recreation that the city of Aspen and its surrounding area has to offer. For those looking to find other winter activities, enjoy ice skating, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. In the summer, Aspen is a mecca for hikers and cyclists, and there are plenty of opportunities for fishing, golf, horseback riding, and rock climbing. Get up in the air in a hot air balloon or paraglider.
Each winter, Aspen hosts the X Games. Not only do visitors have the chance to see some of the biggest names in winter action sports do their thing, but the X Games are a true festival experience, with live music, food and drink, and more. Spend a wild weekend at the base of Buttermilk Mountain for a truly unforgettable experience.
It’s true that Aspen’s scenery is unlike any other. There are plenty of places to go and take the perfect Instagram shot, but few are as stunning as Maroon Bells, a must-see for any visitor. In fact, Maroon Bells is one of the most popular spots for photos in North America. And with incredible views of towering peaks, a lush valley, and a serene lake, it’s not hard to see why. Enjoy six different hiking trails, as well as places for biking and camping.
Aspen has plenty to offer those foodies out there looking for world-renowned dining opportunities. The downtown area of Aspen boasts over 80 restaurants alone, ranging from classic establishments that have been around for years to farm-to-table dining. There’s also plenty of al fresco dining options on patios to soak in the summer sun. For the ultimate foodie experience, visit the Aspen Food and Wine Festival, which happens each June.
While Aspen certainly has everything you’d want in an outdoor paradise, the city is also bursting with arts and culture. Several theaters and music and film venues call the city home, bringing in world-class acts, as well as playing host to local favorites such as the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Art lovers will enjoy the Aspen Art Museum, as well as a wide array of art galleries throughout the downtown area. The city is also home to several impressive cultural institutions, including The Aspen Institute and Aspen Words for literature lovers.
The Aspen Music Festival is considered one of the best classical music festivals in America. The eight-week summer season sees over 400 music events, with some of the biggest names in classical music gracing the stage. Visitors can see performances by five orchestras, as well solo and chamber musicians and fully staged opera productions. With an emphasis on music education, there are also master classes, lectures, and children’s programming available.