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Colorado Skiing: The Big Mountains

<center>Colorado Skiing: The Big Mountains</center>
Tom Zuccareno/CTO

ASPEN

Why Ski There: It's the ultimate western ski town, with Victorian architecture rooted in its mining days, a dining scene to rival the coasts', and an international clientele that mixes Milan shopping with mogul-hopping.

Don't Miss: When Aspen Mountain, known affectionately as Ajax, is a little too busy, head a couple of miles down the road to Aspen Highlands, which is where the hard-core locals go. And take lunch at the tiny Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro, an Austrian-style mid-mountain hut.

Where to Stay: The Little Nell offers sublime slopeside luxury for visiting celebrities and those who need to be coddled. Far less pricey is the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Hearthstone House, a 17-room inn two blocks from the center of town (970/925-7632; www.hearthstonehouse.com).

Where to Eat: D19 is where chef Dena Marino offers up inventive takes on Italian cooking, from zeppole made with prosciutto to charred octopus atop bruschetta. Hipsters head for Lulu Wilson, where chef Shane Coffey serves yellowtail crudo and Colorado lamb with house-made lamb sausages (970/920-1893).

Colorado Skiing: The Big Mountains

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