town lives up to its namesake, and that makes for incredible scenery any way you turn, especially in fall. Aspen
's fortunes began as a silver-mining town in the late 19th century; just a few years later, the market crashed, and though a ski area was developed in the 1930s, it wasn't until after World War II that the town began to recover economically and started minting money in tourism, not silver. Today, Aspen is known for high-end shops, fancy restaurants, and celebrity residents (in the 1970s it was famously John Denver and notoriously Hunter S. Thompson). There are four ski areas surrounding the town at the top of the Roaring Fork Valley, including Buttermilk, Highlands, Snowmass, and Aspen itself. But the town is also on the map for such international events as the Aspen Music Festival and the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival.