Aspen Art Museum

Located in a historic building surrounded by aspen trees, by the Roaring Fork River, the museum hosts rotating installations by top artists from around the world. Be sure to save some time to walk around the grounds and see the outdoor sculptures. The free gallery tours, Art After Hours, with refreshments, conducted every Thursday from 5 to 7 P.M., draw the Who’s Who of the Aspen art world.

Aspen Bike & Scooter Rental

All sizes of bikes, scooters and gear for sale and for rent. They also arrange bike tours for those who would rather ride accompanied.

Peoples at  Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES), Aspen, American West

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES)

This education center in the Hallam Lake Nature Preserve is only blocks from downtown Aspen. It has summer-long environmental classes and outreach programs for children and adults, featuring slide shows, demonstrations with the local eagles, hawks and owls and guided nature walks on top of Aspen Mountain and at the Maroon Bells.

Aspen Club & Spa

Soothing tired muscles is no problem in this spa-heavy resort town. Besides Remède, at the St. Regis, there’s the Aspen Club & Spa, an elaborate 77,000-square-foot fitness and spa facility with everything from yoga to salon and body treatments.

Aspen Ideas Festival

Besides a full summer of public speakers, the Aspen Institute hosts this annual Ideas Festival. Former U.S. presidents, leading physicists, university presidents, poets, top journalists, even royalty are part of the mix that makes the festival so popular tickets are sold out almost immediately after going on sale.

Editors' Picks
Courtesy Alex Irvin Aspen Music Festival and School, Aspen, American West

Aspen Music Festival and School

Each summer since 1949, accomplished musicians and students from around the world have traveled to Aspen to perform, teach and learn. There are as many as ten concerts daily during the festival, held in the Benedict Music Tent, Harris Concert Hall, and the Wheeler Opera House and on the AMFS campus. Sunday afternoons at 4:00, it seems the entire town shows up at the music tent. During the concert, many sit outside on the lawn with a picnic lunch.

Paragliding at  Aspen Paragliding, Aspen, American West

Aspen Paragliding

For those who want to know what it feels like to jump off a cliff or soar like a bird, the guys at Aspen Paragliding can help you out.

Aspen Recreation Center (the ARC)

This rec center has an indoor swimming pool with a slide and a vortex, a thirty-two-foot climbing tower, batting cages and an NHL-sized ice arena.

Dancers at Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Aspen, American West- Courtesy Rosalie O'Connor

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

This company of classically trained dancers performs in both Aspen and Santa Fe. Check the website for upcoming Aspen performances.

Singers at Belly Up Aspen, Aspen, American West- Courtesy Michael Goldberg

Belly Up Aspen

An absolutely fabulous addition to the Aspen night-owl scene, Belly Up has something for just about everyone. Owner Michael Goldberg brings an incredible range of live-music acts, from Jimmy Buffet to Ben Harper to Seal, to his upscale venue. During events like the Aspen Ideas Festival, Goldberg is just as likely to host a panel of dignitaries discussing world affairs.

Biking Trails

Almost all of the easier trails are bikeable as well. To get your mountain-biking legs in shape, try the gentle Rio Grande Trail. A favorite of both bikers and hikers, the path meanders from Aspen along the Roaring Fork River all the way to Woody Creek. Here you can stop for lunch at the funky but always crowded Woody Creek Tavern, the former watering hole of literary great Hunter S. Thompson and his cronies. If you prefer road to mountain biking, there are two very good options. The route up Castle Creek passes through thirteen miles of the most scenic territory in the valley. It’s a moderate climb but a very good work out, and it leads to the ghost town of Ashcroft, where the Pine Creek Cookhouse (314 South 2nd St.; 970-925-1044) is located. Stop for a rustic but gourmet lunch before heading downhill. The road to Maroon Bells is about the same length and difficulty. The payoff at the top is the spectacular views of Maroon Lake and the Bells.

Mountain at  Cross-Country Skiing, Aspen, American West - Courtesy Aspen Skiing Company

Cross-Country Skiing

Nordic skiing in Aspen is nearly as big and probably as popular as alpine skiing. The Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Trail System includes sixty kilometers of beautifully groomed trails and links Aspen and Snowmass Village via Owl Creek, the North Star Nature Preserve, the Snowmass Club and Aspen High School. If you’ve never tried this sport, the best place to start is at the Aspen Cross-Country Ski and Showshoe Center, at the Aspen Public Golf Course. Here you can rent equipment, take a private or group lesson and test your chops on relatively flat, nicely carved trails.

FOOD & WINE Classic

Growing from a small mom-and-pop operation into one of the country’s most prestigious food-and-wine festivals, the FOOD & WINE Classic hosts celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and wine seminars. Because the town is so small, attendees get up-close-and-personal access to their favorites. Indagare tip: Year-round, visitors can get a taste, thanks to the Chef’s Club by Food & Wine, a restaurant in the St. Regis hotel.

Mountain at Hiking Trails, Aspen, American West

Hiking Trails

There are hundreds of options. If I’m short on time, I’ll trek the gentle and very beautiful trail that follows Hunter Creek through a picturesque valley just off the center of downtown. Start from the Hunter Creek Trail parking lot on Red Mountain, and walk as far as you want. There are handfuls of trails shooting off in every direction. With enough time, you could walk all the way to Vail. With four or five hours to spare, I’ll head to American or Cathedral Lake. These two scenic hikes both start from the base of Castle Creek Road, not far from the town of Ashcroft. They are each about seven miles long and of moderate difficulty. Both end at beautiful lakes perfect for a picnic lunch alpine style.

For a real workout, follow the locals up the front of Aspen Mountain. Not for the faint of heart, this super steep hike takes anywhere from two to three hours, depending on your level of fitness. The only problem is that once you start, there’s no turning around: It’s too steep to walk down, so you have to get to the top and catch the gondola back to town. Some of the most scenic hikes are up Independence Pass or at the Maroon Bells. Both these dramatic wilderness areas offer everything from gentle walks to multi-day camping excursions.

Peoples at  Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Aspen, American West - Courtesy Aspen Skiing Company

Jazz Aspen Snowmass

Founded in 1991, Jazz Aspen Snowmass presents a variety of popular music genres in the summer and over Labor Day weekend in the fall. The June festival takes place beneath a large canopy tent in the Rio Grande Park. Despite its name, it’s not all jazz; it also attracts famous R&B, rock, funk and blues performers, from Bonnie Raitt to Clint Black, Bob Dylan, B.B. King and John Fogerty.

O2 Aspen

The upstairs at this small yoga center and retail boutique houses two treatment rooms for massages, facials or body treatments.

Gondola at Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen, American West - Courtesy Aspen Skiing Company

Silver Queen Gondola

This gondola operates all summer, running from the town of Aspen to the 11,212-foot summit of Aspen Mountain. At the top, besides incredible views, are hiking trails, a children’s playground and the Sundeck restaurant. Purchase tickets at the Gondola Office at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Rodeo at  Snowmass Rodeo, Aspen, American West - Courtesy Aspen Skiing Company

Snowmass Rodeo

Every Wednesday night throughout the summer, there’s a full-on competitive rodeo. Kids can learn to rope, take pony rides and feast on a barbecue dinner.

Taylor Creek Fly Shop

This local fly fishing shop also offers guided tours.

Interior View -  The Spa at the Viceroy Snowmass, Aspen, American West

The Spa at the Viceroy Snowmass

The spa at the Viceroy Snowmass is different from many. In small ways, it sets itself apart because you are offered a glass of Champagne while you lounge in the relaxation room in your bathrobe and wait for your treatment. But it also offers more unique treatments than the average spa, such as Nordic Inspired Rituals like the Sami Zen Energy Ritual, as well as Ute Rituals and a range of foot therapies that make your toes tingle just reading about them. Try the Amala Blooming Flower Foot Ritual during which feet are wrapped in a warm mask of Thai White Clay and then steamed with ginger compresses.

Kids at Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, Aspen, American West - Courtesy Aspen Skiing Company

Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center

This one-stop shop for ski and snowboard school in Snowmass is much more than just a retail and rental center: it’s a fun house for everyone from babies to teenagers. Entertainment for kids ranges from a climbing gym to themed rooms for children as young as eight weeks.

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