Toni’s Top Ten Guide: Aspen

According to recent reports, Aspen’s ski seasons are becoming increasingly shorter, but have no fear: Aspen’s invigorating summers are for the real outdoor enthusiasts.  With so much to see and do, narrowing this list to ten seems like an injustice to this year-round wonderland.

Boogie's Buddy Race

Boogie’s Buddy Race

10.  If you’re in the area for the 4th of July, you won’t want to miss the Boogie’s Buddy Race.  This event consists of two races: the 5-mile race for those with enough endurance to tackle five miles at an elevation of 8,000 feet, and the 1-miler for families and four-legged friends. Call 970-274-0805 for more information.

Boogie's Retail

Boogie’s Retail

9.  And after the race don’t forget to go shopping at Boogie’s Retail for the latest in designer jeans and boots.  With a selection of the best and most diverse styles of jeans, you won’t go home empty-handed.

Ute Trail


8.  For the avid hiker, there are five trailheads in and around Aspen that range from easy to difficult: Rio Grande Trail (easy), Hunter Creek (easy-moderate), Smuggler Trail (easy-moderate), Sunnyside Trail (moderate-difficult), and Ute Trail (difficult).  If you’re never one to shy away from a challenge, you’ll definitely want to have a go at the Ute, but don’t be fooled by the mile-long hike; you’ll be traveling over 1,000 vertical feet in about a half an hour.  Good luck!


Aspen Gondola

7.  Not to worry though, there’s another, more leisurely way to get up Aspen Mountain without having to break a sweat.  At the end of Hunter Street, the road dead-ends into your ticket to paradise.  You can either purchase a one-way or round-trip ticket up Aspen Mountain.  From the gondola, enjoy 360-degree views of nature at its best.

Aspen Saturday Market

Aspen Saturday Market

6.  Get to know the real Aspen and its community at the Aspen Saturday Market where everything is Colorado-made, grown, and produced.  This diverse market has been in existence for sixteen years; it’s a favorite Saturday activity for locals.

pine creek cookhouse

Pine Creek Cookhouse

5. In Aspen, it’s not uncommon to earn your meal.  If up to the task, you can bike the 26 miles (on a road surface) through Castle Creek Valley to Pine Creek Cookhouse.  Once there, you’ll be greeted with mouthwatering mountain gourmet cuisine while taking in majestic panoramic views, which include the legendary Maroon Bells.  Make sure to try the Buffalo Sherpa Stew.

Conundrum Hot Springs

Conundrum Hot Springs

4.  There’s nothing better than looking to nature for rejuvenation.  Some visitors head to world-class spas like The Little Nell’s Spa and Fitness Center and the St. Regis Hotel’s Remede Spa, but the healing waters of Conundrum Hot Springs are free and worth the beautiful hike to get there. Get an up-close view of the Maroon Bells, and enjoy waters ranging from 80-85 degrees.

Casa Tua

Casa Tua

3. Now, Aspen isn’t just a bunch of fun and outdoor games, it’s a decadent destination for the serious foodie. With renowned restaurants like Cache Cache, Matsuhisa, Pinons, and many, many more, it’s hard to have a bad meal, but my favorite place in the entire world for Northern Italian cuisine, besides Northern Italy, is Casa Tua.  Try the deliziosa fettuccine with wild mushroom, and ask for Kelly to make her famous Last Dollar elixir.

Belly Up

Belly Up

2.  For some entertainment, catch a show right across the street at Belly Up.  This premier venue has seen some of the world’s biggest names in music: Chris Isaak, ZZ Top, The Magnetic Zeros, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Ben Harper just to name a few.  Don’t miss the sounds of Texas Blues artist Gary Clark Jr. on July 26th.

Paradise Bakery

Paradise Bakery

1.  Now, it wouldn’t be a trip to Aspen without getting some late night coffee and ice cream at Paradise Bakery.  On the weekends, hang out in the courtyard and listen to the next generation of music from the Aspen Music Festival and School.  This little corner establishment is the heart within the core of Aspen, which is enjoyed by visitors and locals alike.

Now, go and explore…. 

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