Aspen, Colorado is so much more than just a ski destination, making it the ideal winter getaway for those of us who are less than agile on the slopes (or those traveling with beginners). Take advantage of winter activities in the surrounding mountains, browse the excellently curated shops then enjoy some of the best restaurants in the country. Did we mention the people watching is unparalleled? Read on for the best places to stay, sleep and shop.
Hotel Jerome is one of the town’s oldest buildings and boasts the kind of authentic western décor that makes it impossible to leave. The spacious rooms, charming fireside lounge, excellent drinks and friendly staff (rarely caught without their cowboy hats) don’t hurt either. Make sure to reserve your skis ahead of time and they’ll have them waiting for you upon arrival.
Aspen Mountain is walkable from the hotel, but a short shuttle can take you to nearby Snowmass which offers a variety of options including plenty of wide, green trails and world-class instructors to coax beginners off the magic carpet. For those who enjoy being airborne, Buttermilk (where the X Games are hosted) should keep you entertained, while Aspen Highlands offer plenty of uncrowded runs adored by locals and a breathtaking hike to Highland Bowl which is sure to win over the more experienced skiers.
Rise early and head out to T-Lazy-7 Ranch for one of their snowmobile tours. The knowledgeable guides lead you through groves and into the breathtaking White River National Forest. Pause in their mountain cabin for lunch before heading back to home base.
Aspen’s shops rival those on Rodeo Drive, but that doesn’t mean you should spend the day browsing international brands. Take in some of the local flavor instead. Kemo Sabe offers an array of cowboy attire, vintage turquoise jewelry, belts, pelts and of course, hats (you can even have yours branded on site). Peruse consignment boutique The Little Bird to score local cast-offs from designers like Chanel, Dior, Hermes and Dries van Noten. Update your snow attire at AETHERmtn—the insider-approved brand's ribbed, cashmere hoodies and figure-flattering ski pants always elicit a flurry of inquiries on the ski lift.
For your last night in Aspen head out to Pine Creek Cookhouse on a cross-country ski tour by miner’s light. Warm up with a hot toddy and sample their wild game momos and smoked trout (all made on site by the live-in staff), while waiting for your table. Round out the meal with an apple crisp before heading back into the night on your skis. For those who’ve over-served themselves, a horse-drawn carriage will whisk you home safely.