Slow Down The Pace For A Day Of Relaxation
Leave some time to experience the quiet side of Aspen, especially if youre planning a romantic couples getaway or honeymoon. Begin with morning meditation at the John Denver Sanctuary, where the idyllic setting is sure to provide quiet contemplation. Book pampering spa treatments, whether its a signature oxygen facial at Remède in the St. Regis hotel or aromatherapy and unique massages at numerous other spas and health clubs. If youre staying at one of the many Aspen hotels equipped with an outdoor pool, including the Aspen Square Condominium Hotel, then youll have a built-in place to peacefully unwind in the afternoon. For a true opportunity to commune with nature, consider a camping trip into the White River National Forest.
Indulge In Delicious Culinary Experiences
Save room in your itinerary to linger al fresco over an expertly prepared meal at one of Aspens many amazing restaurants. For fine dining, you cant go wrong with the Forbes five-star Element 47 in The Little Nell hotel. The seasonally inspired dishes are complemented by an extensive wine list and by extensive we mean there are more than 20,000 bottles in the cellar! A farm-to-table approach is emphasized in kitchens across Aspen, and where better to get a sneak peek of local ingredients than at the Aspen Saturday Market? Here vendors supply their best Colorado-grown produce and crafts from mid-June to mid-October. And of course, the mother of epicurean fests happens each June when the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen comes to town, offering the chance to rub elbows with celebrity chefs, drop in on cooking demos and sample plenty of great bites.
Find Family Fun Around Every Corner
Adventurous families can discover the Aspen backcountry on a horseback ride. The Aspen Recreation Center has countless family-friendly amenities think indoor swimming pool with two-story waterslide, lazy river, 32-foot climbing tower, tennis and a huge indoor ice rink. Kids can also attend drop-in, daily, weekly or overnight educational camps and programs at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. In town, splash around in the Dancing Fountain on a hot day, or delight in face-painters, clowns and other street performers who roam the downtown walking malls.
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Hitch A Ride On The Silver Queen Gondola Up Aspen Mountain
Sweeping views greet those who make the ascent, as well as several free activities with the purchase of a gondola ticket. Breathe in the fresh air and find your zen during a mountaintop yoga class on select days from June through August. Summer weekends bring live music classical on Saturdays and bluegrass for Sundays and picnicking. An 18-hole disc golf course is one of the highest official courses in the world. Choose from either the first nine holes if youre up for a carefree game, the more-challenging back nine, or both for a complete round. Then soak up the sun while grabbing lunch on the patio at the Sundeck, a casual restaurant dishing up American, Asian and Mediterranean cuisine.
Hassle Free Camping Yes Please
Why drive when you can get an RV delivered?
RV Rentals in Aspen in summer are great for families traveling on a budget.
You dont need to drive an RV to enjoy an RV. Get an RV delivered to your destination. Then all you need to do is pack your bags. Driveable and stationary options available.
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Insider Families shares more excellent places to eat and stay in Snowmass.
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Lupine Spa At Viewline Resort Snowmass
The Lupine Spa at Viewline Resort Snowmass is a newcomer, as this slopeside hotel just opened its doors in January 2022 after a $40 million renovation. Locker rooms here feature steam rooms, which you can use before or after your treatment. Spa services include a customized CBD massage for added healing effects from the hemp plant.
Aspen Summer Vacation: Top Things To Do
If you talk to enough Aspen locals and regulars, you might just hear a common theme: They came for the winter skiing but stayed for the Colorado summer. Summer in Aspen offers up a bountiful array of activities and things to do, from heart-racing adventures such as rafting and mountain biking to relaxing community concerts, intellectually stimulating art exhibits, and world-class dining.
Here are our top 12 things to do in Aspen during summer to make the most out of your mountain getaway.
1. Take a Gondola Ride
Our lifts spin even in the summertime with the Elk Camp and Silver Queen gondolas churning visitors both uphill and down. Jump on the Silver Queen Gondola right in Aspen to take in quintessential Colorado vistas and breathtaking views of town. From the Silver Queen, you can access the Sundeck restaurant, lawn games, free kids activities, yoga and meditation, Bluegrass Sundays, hiking, and more.
2. Picture Yourself at the Bells
These arent your average bells. The Maroon Bells are the most photographed peaks in all of Colorado, and for good reason. These striated, red rock formations reach upward from Maroon Lake and pierce the sky at over 14,000 feet. During summer days, catch the shuttle up from Aspen Highlands to Maroon Lake.
3. Ride a Bike
4. Get Out on the Water
5. Experience the Aspen Art Scene
6. Go Off-Roading
7. Try out the Local Watering Holes
8. Lace Up Your Hiking Boots
9. Eat and Enjoy Aspen’s Incredible Dining Options
11. Take a Stroll
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Defy Gravity With Thrill
Aspen already sits at about 8,000 feet in elevation, but daredevils who want to achieve even higher altitudes can do so with gutsy ventures. Aspen Paraglidings certified pilots will take you on a tandem flight up to 18,000 feet for the ultimate birds eye view. Or, book an hour-long sunrise hot air balloon ride above the Elk Mountains via Above It All Balloon Co. Rock climbers can take to the routes around Independence Pass just east of Aspen and scale massive walls of granite, or stick closer to town at Gold Butte Climbing Area, accessible from the Sunnyside Trail parking area.
Where To Stay In Snowmass Village
If your teen would like a room of their own, I recommend booking a condo at The Crestwood. Here you can enjoy spreading out, with a kitchen, living room, balcony, and multiple bedrooms. The conveniently located Crestwood hosts weekend pool parties with a DJ and offers a complimentary shuttle, which will take you just about any place youd like to go in town, including the Aspen/Snowmass Airport.
If youd rather be a little closer to the action, the new Limelight hotel is a fun and family friendly ski resort in Colorado. Here youll get a delicious free breakfast, access to a kids play area, and two giant outdoor hot tubs. In front of the hotel, there is a large, open lawn full of balls and games, plus a splash pad.
Coming in December 2019, a large gaming complex called The Collective is slated to open next door to the Limelight. Teens can forward to a ball pit in the shape of the Ziegler Reservoir, a neon foosball table, wild murals, a musical wall , and a circular Ping Pong table. The 99 rooms at the Limelight book quickly, so make your reservation early. Book a room for the summer, or the beginning or end of ski season, for the best rates.
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Biking Rio Grande Trail
We brought our bikes along, but there are places to rent bicycles and more in Aspen too. Try Aspen Bike Tours & Rentals located on South Spring Street.
The guys there directed our group of 10 towards a section of the Rio Grande Trail that follows the Roaring Fork River.
A spectacular way to see Aspen in summer, this easy-going bike ride shows off this beautiful Colorado mountain town with plenty of spots for picnics and cooling off.
Riding bikes on the Rio Grand Trail is one of the best things to do in Aspen with kids.
If youre into more technical, thrilling mountain biking adventures, check out Snowmass Bike Park.
North Star Nature Preserve For Aspen Sup Paddling
Paddling through the Northstar Nature Preserve is one of the best ways to enjoy Aspen SUP.
Drop into a sweet pure natural lazy river with your family on a paddle board or kayak, just 5 minutes from downtown Aspen.
We brought our own inflatable paddleboards and then rented a kayak with Elk Mountain Expeditions. They offer half, full and multi day stand-up paddle board rentals, plus shuttles to and from the the put-in an take-out sections of the river.
PRO TIP: It pays in the long run to invest in an Isle inflatable paddle board you can travel with anywhere and use again and again.
We love our Megalodon, a multi person stand up paddle board made for to fit you, your friends, family, dogs and gear potentially all at the same time.
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Things To Do In Aspen This Summer
Aspen is a gorgeous destination no matter the season, but summer is the perfect time to visit. Of course, the cold and snowy winter season offers plenty of cozy charm and tons of opportunities to hit the slopes. However, the mild weather, breezy nights, soaring mountains and glistening lakes of summer are nothing short of spectacular. With incredible restaurants boasting international cuisines and dozens of outdoor activities, Aspen is the ideal location for your first post-COVID trip. Hiking enthusiasts can explore . Families with young children can ride to the top of Aspen Mountain on the Silver Queen Gondola. Couples can sip cocktails while admiring the historic, world-famous Hotel Jerome. This year, Aspen holds an even more special place in our hearts. It serves as the location of our second show house and Lauras new family home! As Laura has adjusted to life in Colorado at our new studio, she has compiled an exhaustive list of all the best things to do. Experience Aspen in the summer with us! Let the Laura U Design Collective team offer you an insider perspective into our Summer 2021 itinerary. Follow below for our favorite things to do in Aspen this summer and check out some of Lauras favorite activities and bites.
Spa At Viceroy Snowmass
The Spa at Viceroy Snowmass has a calming, dimly lit relaxation room with comfortable lounges set in a circle under an impressive antler chandelier. There are small hot tubs in each of the mens and womens locker rooms. Treatments include soothing and spiritual rituals inspired by the Ute tribe the people who first settled in the mountains of Snowmass.
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Take A Hike At Maroon Bells
The striated peaks of Maroon Bells as photographed from Maroon Lake might be one of the most recognizable spots in Colorado. The trails in and around these scenic peaks make for a great day hike where you will have the opportunity to see lakes, aspens, wildlife, and wildflowers in the summer.
With a variety of trails to choose from, you can keep your hike short or spend all day on the trails. Note that due to the popularity of the trailhead, reservations are required to visit Maroon Bells by personal vehicle or shuttle in 2022.
If catching the shuttle to this touristy hotspot isnt your jam, you can easily pick one of the manyother trails in the Aspen area for an equally stellar summer hike. During the early summer, the wildflowers will be in their prime, so dont forget to bring a camera to snap some pics of the showy slopes.
Ride The Silver Queen Gondola
Just because the winter is over doesnt mean its time to shut down the Gondola! The Silver Queen Gondola is one of the more popular Aspen summertime activities, providing breathtaking views of the town and beyond as it takes you to endless activities located at the top of the mountain.
Open from 10 AM 3:30 PM, with the last Gondola down at 4 PM, get carried away into the sky at 12,000 feet for a day full of beautiful vistas and endless things to see and do. The Gondola runs daily during the summer from June 17th until September 5th
At the top, you can take a load off and enjoy lunch at the Sundeck, with lawn games, plenty of free activities for children, disc golf, Bluegrass Sundays, and even yoga and meditation.
Sightseeing Packages , Summer One Ride Sightseeing tickets, and Summer Sightseeing Packages are available for purchase over the phone at: 1-877-AT-ASPEN or in person at Ticket Office.
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Get Inspired At The Aspen Art Museum
Aspen has a world-class art museum and its always free. The three-story museum, located right downtown, has a striking appearance, with a facade on two sides that looks like a woven basket. Inside, the museum is modern and full of natural light, with galleries on the first and second floors. The museums third level is a hybrid indoor-outdoor space, complete with a rooftop garden that also features art and a popular lunch cafe.
In addition to rotating exhibitions , the Aspen Art Museum hosts an array of lectures, musical performances, film screenings, workshops and programming for kids and adults.
Coaster Climbing Wall And More
Hop on the Elk Camp Gondola and make your way up to the outdoor playground dubbed The Lost Forest. Here, various ticket packages include access to an alpine coaster, ropes course, climbing wall, and zipline canopy tour. Bring your own equipment to toss a line in the Trout Hook Fishing Pond or play a round at the Aerial Approach Disc Golf course.
If you simply want to take a scenic gondola ride to enjoy the high-altitude views, then hop off for a bite to eat at the Elk Camp Restaurant or a walk along some mountain trails.
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Aspen Center For Environmental Studies
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is a 25-acre nature preserve located just near Aspen downtown. Its hard to believe that this quiet nature retreat is right in the heart of Aspen.
Easy self-guided walking trails take you through the wooded area and to a little lake . You can also see a variety of native animals, including a few resident birds of prey. You can simply walk around here, watch the birds, or do their Junior Naturalist program. Its a good place to learn about the local environment.
The scenery here is simple and not as grand as in the surrounding mountains. But if you are visiting Aspen with kids and are looking to fill an hour or two, this is a nice place to visit. Hallam Lake is also a popular spot for weddings.
Good to know: ACES has several locations in the Aspen area. The most popular place to visit is the above-mentioned nature reserve in town itself. In addition to this, they also offer guided hikes in summer and snowshoeing tours in winter, and many other environment-focused events.
Practical information: ACES is open on weekdays only, from 9 AM to 5 PM. For more information, please check their website.
Get Creative At Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Head over to Snowmass, Aspens neighboring city, to wander the grounds of Anderson Ranch Arts Center. In 1966, ceramicist Paul Soldner purchased the 5-acre property and its 14 ranch buildings, with the goal of creating an artistic hub in the Rockies. Today, Anderson Ranch continues that legacy with artists-in-residence programs, 55,000-square-feet of studio space for artists, lectures, workshops, salons and other events.
The tree-lined campus itself is gorgeous, and its all free and open to the public. Wander through the Patton-Malott Gallery, which hosts rotating exhibitions throughout the year, then check out the 19 outdoor sculptures in the Sculpturally Distanced exhibit, a nod to the Covid-19 pandemic. The ranch also has a cafe and a store that sells art supplies and original art. Aspen is also home to many downtown art galleries and window-shopping is always free.
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Staying In Snowmass Vs Aspen In Summer
Is it better to stay in Aspen than Snowmass in the summer? We are looking for a condo for our family of 4 and it looks to be a bit more reasonable in Snowmass, but I dont want to be too far from restaurants, activities, etc. We will have a rental car so dont mind driving a few miles to get to the town. Any advice would be appreciated.
Ive never stayed in Snowmass nor have I commuted there from Aspen, so I have no info there. But Ive been to Aspen in the summer on several occasions and the actual town of Aspen is wonderful and authentic. Its really nice staying in Aspen and being able to walk everywhere around town. Be sure to ride to the top of the gondola for unbelieveable views and also try to make it to the . The nights are cool and breeezy, youll love it!
Summer in Snowmass is generally quieter than Aspen and more reasonable in pricing. Snowmass is only about 5 miles from Aspen and the bus runs on a regular basis between the two. Snowmass has a few shops and places to dine, so you will have things to do in Snowmass, but Aspen will have many, many more options.
Snowmass also has several summer activities including Thursday evening free music. While it might be a little inconvenient to take a bus or drive 5 miles, if the savings is significant, I would definitely give it a try.
You are wise avoiding the lower priced condos in Aspen as they can be pretty shabby, like from the 70s or something.