PeaceJoyAustin

Cheap, free, and local-endorsed things to do in beautiful places

Aspen

14495463_10153896415391546_789298346583911068_n

  • One of Colorado’s most famous ski towns
  • Beautiful fall foliage
  • Fine dining and boutiques
  • Home to the most photographed spot in Colorado – Maroon Bells

Population: 6,600

When To Visit: Year-round

Climate: Dry & mostly sunny year round. Cold in winter with snow from October-May.

A world-famous mountain town, Aspen is a popular year-round destination for outdoors activities – hiking and climbing in spring and summer, fall foliage viewing in autumn, and skiing and snowboarding in winter.

Photo: Downtown Aspen

Where To Go in Aspen

Maroon Bells: One of the most majestic views in Colorado is just 10 miles south of Aspen. To get there, park at the Aspen Highlands Resort ($5/day) and take an $8 round trip shuttle to the Maroon Snowmass Trailhead. Maroon Lake, located a short walk from the trailhead, offers a nice view of the Maroon Bells, but the 4-mile round trip hike to Crater Lake gets you a closer and more dramatic vantage point.

IMG_7126
Maroon Bells from Crater Lake Trail

Ski Resorts: The Aspen area has four large ski resorts – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Each offers supreme skiing and snowboarding, dining, lodging, and shopping. Visiting during summer? You can still take some of their gondolas up to access mountaintop views and hikes.

Downtown Aspen: Aspen’s bustling downtown features historic buildings, fine art galleries, food, shopping, and more. Don’t miss the stunning Wheeler Opera House, built in 1889.

What To Eat in Aspen

Aspen restaurants and fast casual eateries popular with locals where you can get a full meal for under $15. I always highlight some vegan or vegetarian options – cutting down on the amount of meat you eat is by far the #1 way you can reduce your environmental impact and contribute less to animal cruelty.

Big Wrap: A cash-only eatery renowned for their wide variety of wraps and sandwiches. 520 E. Durant Avenue, Suite 101. (970) 544-1700

New York Pizza: The best pizza in Aspen – this second-floor pizzeria located above a marijuana dispensary offers whole pies or large slices. 409 E. Hyman Avenue (970) 920-3088

Grateful Deli: This tiny Grateful Dead-themed deli serves large, affordable sandwiches which you can take outside and enjoy. 233 E. Main Street (970) 925-6647

Nearby Side Trips from Aspen

IMG_7144
Rifle Falls

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park: A stunningly narrow canyon and river gorge that was one of the last places in the country to be mapped due to its precarious terrain. 2.5 hours from Aspen. Read more.

Glenwood Springs: This resort town renowned for its luxurious spas and hot springs is just an hour north of Aspen.

Hanging Lake: Just outside of Glenwood Springs, this magical spot features a baby blue lake and waterfall perched on top of a mountain – you have to see it to believe it. A steep 3 mile loop trail takes you to the top.

Rifle Falls State Park: A 1.5 hour drive north from Aspen takes you to this incredible 3-part waterfall, one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets. Take the Coyote Loop to explore some deep caves.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: