The world-famous winter playground is well known for its glitzy après ski lifestyle, powder fresh slopes, and cool Colorado charm. Aspen is always a welcome retreat for those ready to carve their name into the sheer drop runs around Highland Bowl or to linger over Michelin inspired dishes at Matsuhisa. For those flocking to the winter wonderland, here are the hidden gems worth seeking out in Aspen:
Because it can be a challenge to get to Aspen, every year sees wise winter travelers send their skis in fuss free style with Luggage Forward. When you ship skis, snowboards and luggage ahead, you arrive relaxed and ready to take advantage of all that Aspen has to offer!
Downtown for Unique Shopping
Aspen is a splurge-worthy treat and downtown boasts the best stores for picking up your Christmas presents. It’s not all ski jackets and sunglasses, at Kemo Sabe you can pick up buttery soft cowboy boots – a throwback to Aspen’s earlier roots. Carl’s Pharmacy is always a fun place; with an eye wateringly well stocked wine cellar, toys and luxury beauty supplies. Distractions delivers high-end independent ladies fashion, and Meridien Jewelers sparkles seductively with its stunning array of Cartier and Temple St. Clair pieces.
Après Ski Options Aplenty
Après ski is the name of the game in Aspen – an institution, like afternoon tea in London. The lively joy that follows tearing up the slopes is a lot of fun, especially when paired with a few glasses of prosecco. The Artisan at Snowmass boasts a beautiful après ski menu including citrus olives and smoked salmon with seasonal drinks. Cloud 9 Aspen Bistro is wonderful for those already on the mountain dreaming of warm gooey fondue and well-orchestrated wines. Those who fancy avoiding the boisterous après ski scene can sip a velvet ruby port at The Living Room Bar. Ajax Tavern is another fabulous spot for a couple frothy beers beneath the shadow of cowboy hats.
No doubt, a day on the slopes certainly fires up an appetite. Grey Lady is a firm favorite with the well-heeled crowds seeking to compare slope notes over a plate of glistening oysters and glass of pink rose. Meat and Cheese is an impeccable place for lunch with its casual sharing boards boasting the finest pungent cheeses, cured sausage, and melt in the mouth tender rotisserie chicken, all served with ruddy brown ales or craft beers. For sushi fresh enough for kings, world famous Chef Nobu Matsuhisa has a restaurant in Aspen and booking is a must – Japanese dishes come with a touch of Peruvian flair and the result is truly mesmerizing.
Unwind at the St. Regis Spa
Ride the ski-lift one of the four majestic mountains for a chance to do morning yoga on the sun deck. Stretching out before you swish back down the slopes is the only way to start the day. Once you have your taste for R&R, head to the Remede Spa at the St. Regis Hotel. Let the steamy bliss of the sauna melt cold bones, plunge into the jacuzzi tub, and sign up for a signature massage to iron all those kinks out of your ski muscles.
Broadway and Art
If you feel like swapping hot tubs and ski slopes for a splash of culture, then Aspen will serve you well. Behind the après ski scene you will find the woven cube Aspen Art Museum showcasing bold contemporary art from around the globe. Afterwards, head for a historic pub crawl through the mountain town, or finish up with a traveling Broadway show in the stunning Baroque inspired building of the Wheeler Opera House.
Snowmass for More to Do
Those looking to ski, ski and ski some more should be sure to check into Snowmass. Take a champagne breakfast high above the Rocky Mountains with a hot air balloon ride from the Viceroy. If you prefer more horizontal fun, then the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies runs guided snowshoe tours of the silent winter forests around the slopes. Taking a 4X4 jeep and an armload of blankets and canapes, you can cuddle up with binoculars, as the resident astronomy advisor explains the stars.