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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

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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

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