What to Do in Aspen
Collected by AFAR Editors , AFAR Staff
Aspen offers easy access to the Rockies, trails, ski slopes, alpine lakes, the Roaring Fork River, and the Maroon Bells. And this walkable town has lots of distractions: world-class art, jaw-dropping beauty, and an opera house. Welcome to the wild and sophisticated west.
Maroon-Snowmass Trail, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
Aspen is a playground for the active traveler. No matter how many times I visit, I always set aside time to bike to Maroon Bells. Rent a bike from the Hub, a cycling store in town, and be sure to bring a water bottle and even some snacks for...
Rio Grande Trail, Colorado, USA
My morning routine in Aspen always starts with a run along the Rio Grande Trail. The trail is easily accessed from downtown and stretches 41 miles between Aspen and Glenwood Springs with an elevation change of 2,120 feet. It used to be an old...
Aspen Mountain, Colorado 81611, USA
In both the summer and winter, if you only have a day you must take a ride up the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain. The gondola cabs are all windows allowing for fantastic views as you travel 3,627 feet to the top. Once you get up...
43151 CO-82, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
You know summer is here when people are renting Stand Up Paddleboards to float down Stillwater. About 3 miles up Independence Pass there is an area were the river meanders through the North Star Preserve in fairly tame waters. There are many...
Willow Lake, Colorado 81611, USA
Most people that backpack in the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area usually either go over West Maroon Pass to Crested Butte or go over Buckskin Pass and camp at Snowmass Lake. A lesser known lake is Willow Lake. With fewer visitors, this is a secluded...
Crater Lake, Colorado 81611, USA
It's easy to go off on a solo hike along one of the many trails around Aspen. But I tend to be a nature geek and like to know what I'm looking at. If you call ahead to the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) can connect you with a...
1000 N 3rd St, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
The Aspen Institute, a world-renowned nonprofit organization based in Aspen, delivers intellectually stimulating seminars, workshops, lectures, and speakers series. Aspen Institute is most notable for the Aspen Ideas Festival, which happens during...
225 Music School Rd, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
On a sunny Sunday afternoon pack a blanket and a picnic basket with an assortment of food and your favorite wine and beverages and follow the locals to the Benedict Music Tent to listen to classical music. Layout your blanket on the lawn and enjoy...
110 E Hallam St #118, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
Down the hallway of an old elementary school is an unexpected art exhibit featuring local talent. Every couple months it changes themes and one month it highlights the youth of the Roaring Fork Valley from kindergarten to high school. There have...
110 E Hallam St #126, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
This local non-profit delivers memorable evenings at the theater. With their productions always presenting the best of the plays with phenomenal actors they strive for excellence and hit the mark. They normally have three different plays running...
620 W Bleeker St, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
The Aspen Historical Society has one main mission and that is to preserve the integrity of Aspen and its historical sites. They do it the traditional way through policies and building regulations but they also communicate it to the community and...
Smuggler Mine, Colorado 81611, USA
Aspen’s history runs deep with silver mining. People came to Aspen in the 1800’s in the hopes of getting rich by finding the mother load of silver nuggets. Scattered across the mountain sides are mining shafts so be careful where you step. For a...
W Hyman Ave, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
On the walking mall, on the corner of Hyman Avenue and Mill Street, there is a dancing water fountain where the children endlessly play in the symphonic pattern of the water spraying into the air. The fountain was created in 1979 by a local...
0861 Maroon Creek Rd, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
There is something about sledding down a mountain that doesn’t get old no matter how old you are and Aspen has some great spots. For children the Mecca is this hill behind the Aspen Recreation Center that has the most perfect pitch and a run out...
315 E Dean St, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
Remede spa is hands down the best spa in town. Make sure you get there with ample time before your appointment (and don't forget a bathing suit) so you can enjoy all the amenities—the pool and massaging waterfalls in particular. Let the...
Independence Pass, Colorado 81210, USA
Driving up Independence Pass is a beautiful way to spend the afternoon and along the way to the top of this 12,096’ pass you can stop at highlights. For the thrill seekers, near the Grottos there is a series of waterfalls that flow into a crystal...
38700 CO-82, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
There's no better feeling than earning your turns skiing or snowboarding. Skin up Buttermilk Mountain at dawn to catch the sunrise from the top. Watching the light slowly illuminate the Maroon Bell Mountains is an inspiring sight. Then ski down...
115 Daly Ln, Snowmass Village, CO 81615, USA
Snowmass Mountain is the most diverse and largest of all the four Aspen Skiing Company mountains in the area and offers something for everyone. It has a great Ski School program that starts as young as two years old and goes up through adults. On...
Snowmass Village, CO, USA
When I think of Aspen, I tend to think of winter, fancy people, and the movie Dumb & Dumber. And when I hear the words jazz festival, I immediately hear tunes from Herbie Hancock and Esperanza Spalding play through my head. So imagine my surprise...
5263 Owl Creek Rd, Snowmass Village, CO 81615, USA
Anderson Art Ranch is an astounding non-profit organization that is the premier destination for the exploration of one’s creative self. They offer educational opportunities to children, adults, and amateur and professional artists. Set in a rustic...
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