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Aspen Mountain

That Aspen Mountain ranks so high in dining and après (no. 2 in both) will come as no surprise to any skier who’s visited this picturesque mining town deep in the Elk Mountains. The 65-year-old ski area looms over a town that prides itself on offering urban-quality restaurants and bars (with prices to match) steps from Gondola Plaza. But here’s the story the rankings don’t tell: This mountain offers a huge variety of terrain in a compact package. Its 673 skiable acres are misleading. What counts here is vertical, and when it tops 3,500 feet accessed via a high-speed gondola that rarely draws a line, it’s more than most visitors’ quads can handle. Intermediates entertain themselves on fall-line groomers, but it’s the experts who fully capitalize on Aspen Mountain’s offerings. —T.W.

Don’t Miss » Aspen Mountain is sprinkled with shrines to everyone from late locals to legendary musicians. Create a tour on skis at aspensnowmassshrines.com.

Après Spot » The Sky Hotel has après locked down, but if the pool scene is too rowdy, head to BB’s Kitchen, a newish joint with a second-floor patio prime for catching late-day sun.

On-Hill Lunch » The white-bean chili and homemade apple strudel (with real whipped cream) lure locals and tourists alike to the cozy cabin interior and two-tiered deck at Bonnie’s.

Big Aspen Barbecue Block Party

Big Aspen Barbecue Block Party
Aspen Barbecue
New York City's Big Apple Barbecue Fest comes to Aspen.

There are plenty of parallels between Aspen and New York—celebrity spotting, exorbitant real estate prices—but this weekend, there’s a connection between the two cities that’s a little less obvious: barbecue.

The first annual Big Aspen Barbecue Block Party kicks off tomorrow at noon at the base of Aspen Mountain. An offshoot of New York City’s long-running Big Apple Barbecue it’s coming West for the first time.

Autumn in Aspen

Autumn in Aspen
Autumn in Aspen
A holisitic approach to spa treatments.

Local esthetician Autumn Miller and her staff focus on a holistic approach to massages and skin treatment. They also offer reflexology, aromatherapy and waxing.
http://www.autumninaspen.com; (970) 544-0696

02

02
Massage
Spa treatments, yoga, and shopping.

O2, a spa and fitness center on Main St. in Aspen, offers more than just massages and facials. They call themselves a mind and body studio, and offer, in addition to spa treatments, yoga, pilates, and shopping. What more could you want?
http://www.o2aspen.com; 970-925-4002

Aspen Club Spa

Aspen Club Spa
Aspen Club Spa
The nicest in-gym spa in Aspen.

The Aspen Club is a gym—albeit a really, really nice one—so by nature the spa feels less luxurious than those located in five-star hotels. Still, it’s worth a mention. The club offers scrubs, wraps, mineral treatments, oxygen treatments and extensive massage choices, including shiatsu, Thai, and balancing Ayurvedic. A full-service salon is also located within the club.
www.aspenclub.com; 970-925-8900

Rock Bottom Ranch

Rock Bottom Ranch
Rock Bottom Ranch
Environmental education, hands-on science lessons and farm tours.

Rock Bottom Ranch, run by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, offers environmental education, hands-on science lessons and farm tours. They run seasonal specific programs, so if you stop by in the later winter, or early spring, you might get to see baby animals being born. It’s open Monday through Friday in the winter.
www.aspennature.org; 970.927.6760

Aspen Art Museum

Aspen Art Museum
Aspen Art Museum
A family friendly gallery space complete with coloring supplies.

A constantly rotating gallery of local and national work, the Aspen Art Museum makes a special effort to keep their space family friendly. To facilitate learning, the museum has free art supplies so kids can paint, draw, or write if inspiration hits them. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday and admission is free.
www.aspenartmuseum.org; 970.925.8050

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Spend a day exploring caves, riding rollercoasters, and panning for gold at this Glenwood Springs resort.

Only 45 minutes from Aspen, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has the largest show cave, a cave that has trails and is open to the public, in Colorado. The 70-minute tour takes you through the historic caves, and run all day. After exploring the caverns, check out the climbing wall, Iron Man Tramway, and alpine rollercoaster. For the tame-at-heart they offer panning for gold and fossil hunting. Everyone will find something to do at this family-friendly resort.
Glenwood Springs, Colorado | 800.530.1635 | glenwoodcaverns.com

Woody Creek Tavern

Woody Creek Tavern
Woody Creek Tavern
Hunter S. Thompson's old hangout.

“Fresh” and “dogs” (lime margaritas and Flying Dog microbrews, respectively) sail over the carved wood bar to everyone from old-timers in overalls to Aspen’s couture crowd. (this was Hunter S. Thompson’s hangout.) But a no-credit card no-reservations policy evens the field. Try a famous Limousin beef burger and nachos “works,” dripping with cheese, vegetarian chorizo and fresh jalapenos. Located 10 minutes from Aspen.
Woody Creek, Colorado | 970.923.4585 | woodycreektavern.com

Hickory House

Hickory House
hickory house ribs
Because it's never too early for ribs. Or too late for Bloody Marys.

A half-rack of hickory smoked baby-back ribs with two eggs, hash browns and a homemade biscuit topped with gravy. And because it’s never too early for ribs, order a bloody mary with a shot of BBQ sauce. Sit at the counter and dish with the locals.
Aspen, Colorado | 970.925.2313 | hickoryhouseribs.com

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