8 Best Things to Do on Vacation in Aspen

8 Best Things to Do on Vacation in Aspen

  • The Sky Residence at W Aspen
  • 09/6/22

Aspen is every vacationer's dream destination, and you can find all sorts of activities throughout the year. Whether it's spending time taking pictures, hiking, or going on a shopping spree, there's something memorable for everyone. Here are the 8 best things to do while on vacation in Aspen.

Ski at the Aspen Mountain

Aspen Mountain, also known as Ajax, is one of the most renowned skiing destinations in the World. The fact that it has hosted a couple of World Cup races sums up why it's the perfect place to go during your vacation. For the best skiing experience, ride up on the Silver Queen Gondola to access more than 75 rungs. The peak is relatively high, with 11,212 feet to conquer. Therefore, ensure you're hydrated and well-fed while at the base of the mountain.

Compared with other ski areas, Aspen Mountain is best suited for veterans. Therefore, this is not the best mountain for you if you're a novice skier. It's best for intermediate and expert skiers due to its challenging terrain. If you plan to try your expert skiing skills, don't miss trying out their double black diamonds that are reserved for experienced skiers.

Aspen Mountain is open for skiing between Late November to late April. If you don't plan to take a long walk up the mountain, you can get a ski lift. However, purchase your lift ticket early enough to bypass the long lift lines during the skiing season. You can get your advance tickets from the Aspen-Snowmass website.

Gaze at the picturesque view of Maroon Bells

The two peaks of Elk Mountain at the Maroon Bells stand as the most photographed mountains in the World. Spend your time taking majestic filled images that reflect the still water of Maroon Lake. Don't miss pictures of the unbelievable golden reflection on the lake created by the rising sun.

For the best view of the lake, take a public bus from the Aspen Highlands operated by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA). It's best to visit the lake mid-week when there are fewer crowds. Besides taking pictures of Maroon Bell's views, you can take a hike at the Lake scenic trail or camp at the Maroon Bells camping. You still have the opportunity to take pictures of the gorgeous panoramas of the Maroon bells while on the track.

Hike around the Roaring Fork Valley

There are plenty of hiking trails around Roaring Fork Valley. If you're a beginner, start with the Rio Grande Trail. It begins behind the Puppy Smith Road post office and follows the paved path along the Roaring Fork River. There's an intermediate 1.5-mile trek, the Smuggler Mountain Trail, leading to a lookout point with exceptional views of Aspen.

If you're up for a rigorous hiking expedition, an 8.5-mile excursion awaits you at the Red Mountain Trail. This trail is known for its intensity which played a significant role in Jeanne Golay's victory in the National Road Cycling Championship of 1992, 94, and 95, hence its coinage as the Jeanne Golay Trail. Although it's a peaceful trail, you will encounter various challenges that make your expedition as enjoyable as possible.

Attend a live music show at various festivals and venues

There is no shortage of live music shows at Aspen. There's no better concert for your Labor Day celebration than the three-day Jazz concert by Aspen Snowmass. Furthermore, there are also a couple of other free summer series nearby to complete your vacation. Other live music shows you should try out include:

Bud Light HiFi concert series

This three-series free concert is held between the Aspen Mountain Gondola Plaza, Downtown Aspen, and the Snowmass Base Village. It hosts different artists and performances that will make your stay in Aspen memorable.

Jas Cafe at Little Nell Hotel

If you're a jazz enthusiast, you should head to the Little Nell Hotel. From its underground space beneath it, you can get the most remarkable jazz performance, hosting local and national jazz bands.

Live music filled with cocktails and wine at the Limelight Lounge

If you're seeking live music with a mellower scene, there's no better place than the Limelight Hotel. You can choose to wind up your evening with live music from the Limelight Hotel Aspen across Wagner Park or the New Limelight Hotel Snowmass at the Base Village.

Indulge in Colorado fine dining expedition

The restaurant scene in Aspen is exceptional. Thanks to the voracious appetites of people traveling to this place, you cannot miss finding local and international dining scenes to excite your taste buds. Besides having the opportunity to taste exciting foods, you will have the chance to enjoy the beautiful Aspen scenery from these restaurants. Some of the restaurants you should try out are:


The renovated Sam's at the top of the Village Express Lift and the Snowmass offers a classic restaurant experience like no other. If you're an avid skier, this provides the perfect place to take a break from your ski boots for an unforgettable lunch. With innovative and updated Italian cuisine, a live-action kitchen, and an impressive wine list, you've got everything to make your dining as memorable as possible.

Element 47

Wind up your evening with exceptional win4 tasting at Element 47. Here, you can get a tasting of contemporary gourmet cuisine coupled with a nationally recognized wine program.


There's no better way to start your incredible expedition at the Aspen Mountain slopes than having breakfast at Bonnie's. Ensure that you taste their fantastic oatmeal pancakes and a side of bacon and extra maple syrup, which is one of the signature meals.


Duemani is a modern restaurant that highlights exceptional Italian flavors composed of seafood dishes, rotisserie selections, prime grilled meats, and a robust wine selection. To make your dining experience more exciting, don't miss their Branzino Carpaccio, which combines fennel, lemon, olive oil, and radish.


At Bosq, you'll meet Chef Barclay Dodge. He focuses on unique and fresh approaches to the modern alpine cuisines centered around Mediterranean and local Chinese menus. Don't miss their specialty dish, Mayan pesto chicken combined with fire-roasted zucchini, green herb mole, and Hakurei turnips.

Get a retail therapy fix with Aspen Colorado shopping

You cannot miss discovering the unique shopping options as you stroll across Aspen. Even though it's a relatively compact town, there are over 200 shops capable of giving you a retail therapy fix that you've never had before. If you want to mix Aspen's sophisticated look with a casual lifestyle, head out to the Pitkin County Dry Goods at 520 E Cooper Avenue.

Explore Booksellers is the best place to visit if you're a book lover. It is easy to identify Explore Booksellers as it is located in a Victorian home, right at the center of the town. Here, you'll find all kinds of books crammed in various corners, whether business, travel, or history. There is also a room dedicated to children's literature for your kids.

For your real western wear, head out to Kemo Store. Here, you can find all kinds of leather western attires you've ever dreamed of. Whether it's a cowboy hat or boots you're looking for, this is the perfect place to get your favorite option. And if you're unfamiliar with these attires, don't worry; their staff is friendly enough to tell you all you need to know before buying your outfit. Other places that you can visit to satisfy your shopping craving are:

  • Amen Wandy Aspen, for your home decors
  • Maison Ullens for your luxury women's clothing
  • Daniel Antiques for the most incredible antiques
  • Covet Bright and Shiny Things for local and international jewelry
  • Ute Mountaineer Aspen for your outdoor expedition tools

Try out flavorful beers at Aspen Brewing Company

The Aspen Brewing Company came into the scene after the Closing Dog Brewing Company. It's home to one of the best craft breweries you can find in Colorado. If you've got a tasting Silver Queen, Barrel-Aged Teremity, and Silver Queen, then you're familiar with what to expect with a visit to the Aspen Brewing Company.

Besides tasting their flavored beers in their Tap Room, you can unwind with their live music, especially on Friday and Saturdays, with after-ski crowds dancing to the music. If you want to learn more about their unique brewing technique, you can schedule a visit at their brewing facility close to the airport.

Enjoy a show at Wheeler Opera House

The Wheeler Opera House has been operational since 1889. It's known for minstrel shows, lectures, vaudevilles, and occasional boxing matches, which have not changed much. The theater serves the community with festivals, movies, concerts, and lectures and also has previously hosted popular shows like the Oprah Winfrey. Ensure that you check out their calendar to know about their events and buy your ticket in advance.

Aspen is undoubtedly a prosperous destination for various outdoor activities. There's no better way to get a closer feel of these activities than living in this coveted place. If you're looking for the perfect luxury home in Aspen, look no further. The Sky Residences at W Aspen offers a limited collection of new, fully furnished three and two-bedroom houses for you. All our residences are prime locations with an expansive view of Aspen Mountain, Downtown Aspen, Red Mountain, and the Independence Pass. Contact us today to inquire more about our residences or  view our Experience Ownership guide.

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