Sensational slopes, spectacular shopping and delectable dining — sound like your kind of vacation? Then pack your skis and hit the slopes of Aspen.
The poshest of Colorado’s resort towns, Aspen has some of the world’s most expensive real estate, including the main shopping drag of Galena Street, which is lined with top-end boutiques from the likes of Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.
Of course, the real draw of Aspen is the outdoor activities. Between the Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain, you’ll find six quads, two triple chairlifts, four double chairlifts, a gondola, patrols, schools, six restaurants and two bars. In short, it’s a skier’s paradise.
What to pack for a trip to Aspen
When packing for trip to Aspen, you have to load up on cold-weather essentials. When it comes to fashion, anything goes. When it comes to function, the mountain climate demands you be prepared.
The weather in Colorado is about as easy to predict as the future, so bringing layers — preferably waterproof/breathable ones — is key. A Gore-Tex shell and a fleece jacket are necessary year-round.
You’ll also need a pair of sturdy, comfortable shoes to walk around town, especially in winter, when the sidewalks are buried in ice and snow.
Because of Aspen’s high altitude and proximity to the sun, sunscreen is a must and so are sunglasses. If you ski without eye protection, you run the risk of suffering from cornea burn, which will certainly put a damper on your vacation.
For nighttime fun, follow the locals’ dress code: Ladies love their designer jeans paired with dressy shoes and a blouse. Gentlemen go for the designer duds, too, and a nice shirt is appropriate. But there’s also a surplus of baseball-hat-wearing men in T-shirts with three-day stubble — as we said, anything goes.
The best time to visit Aspen
Winter is the time for skiers and snowboarders to visit Aspen — that much is obvious.
But what isn’t as commonly known is that Aspen probably has more to offer in the summer months, in terms of activities and happenings, than it does in the winter. You can hike, bike, go white-water rafting and even zipline through Independence Pass, and the mild climate and sunny weather make it one of the best places to be when it’s hotter at lower elevations.
Autumn is also a wonderful time of year to plan your trip, when fall foliage and beautiful weather take the scenery to another level. It’s also important to note that fall is considered off season, when some of the best deals for lodging can be found around town.