Aspen is known to be the “Luxe of the West”. Luckily, my not-so-luxe self was able to hop on the Aspen trail (or more like United Express flight..) having taken the trip there with work. No matter how you travel to Aspen – home rental, hotel, Airbnb, camping, glamping, etc. it truly is one special place. I already can’t wait to go back. Before my Aspen trip, I traveled to Denver and Boulder for a few days – they were fun, but nothing out-of-this-world amazing like Aspen. If you’ve never been (and you must!) Aspen is surrounded by huge, glorious mountain views, and a food and shopping scene that will blow your mind. You’ll be lucky if you’re able to make it to your hiking destination without popping in one the many designer stores like Gucci, Prada, and LV…the list goes on. In my case, it was definitely just window shopping although I did pop in and give into my eyes at the J.Crew, which is known as one of the best, most diverse J.Crew’s in the country! Having the mix of shopping in this small mountain town made it fun and slightly metropolitan in a way, if thats even possible in a 30,000 person town! Now, the food scene was even better. Of course, crawling with wealth and celebrities (we saw Judy Blume in town one day!), everything is expensive – including the food, but so worth it. Some of the highlights, as simple as they were, were the cheese, ice cream and the highly-addictive, truffle fries that are on the top of literally every menu in Aspen. I even saw a basket of them for $17 dollars. Yup, only in Aspen. Although I was here with work, I was able to do many fun activities and eat at a few cool spots, but I definitely wasn’t able to do everything I would have liked, thats why there is always next time. That next time will most definitely be in the winter for some epic Aspen skiing. If you ever find yourself in Aspen, here are my top activities and eatery’s you must make a priority:
Paradise Bakery: You’ll see the line out the door from a mile away! My rule of thumb is if an ice cream spot has a line, it has to be good, and it always is. The small’s here are outrageous. Sadly, we came here more that once… 😉 They also top all cones with a freshly baked cookie, as if you didn’t add on enough calories walking in the door of this place.
Ajax’s: Definitely stop here for a drink. The spot sits at the base of the Aspen Mountain Gondola. You’ll have views galore while sitting outside sipping a freshly brewed Colorado beer. Usually there is a live music which makes the experience extra special.
Meat and Cheese: Impressive beer selection, unreal meat and cheese place, if you didn’t already get that hint from the name..
Spring Cafe: I was able to come here on Saturday morning and enjoyed fresh green juice and some mexican scrambled eggs with house baked whole grain bread and roasted sweet potatoes. They have a great smoothie, salad, juice, and sandwich menu and definitely cater to the vegan crowd. They also have fast wifi which made for a bright, airy space to get some work done.
Farmers Market: Every Saturday during the summer. The peaches and kettle corn were a favorite!
Gondola up Aspen Mountain: It might seem a bit pricey – but is totally worth it. The views are out of this word and the cafeteria styled restaurant up top is surprisingly yummy.
Rio Grande Trail, morning runs and the Aspen Mountain for hiking up the work trail. Beware of bears 🙂
Thrift shopping: Aspen has thrift shops galore!
SKIIG: Must. go. back. for. skiing.