How to Have a Perfect Valentine’s Day in Aspen
From outdoor adventures to intimate dinners, opportunities for amour abound in this resort town.
With its quaint streets and serene mountain scenes, Aspen invites romance at any time of year—but never more than when cold, snowy days on the slopes segue into warm, cozy nights by the fire. Ranked among America’s most romantic towns by Travel + Leisure fans and followers, this posh Rocky Mountain getaway yields plenty of options for you and your valentine.
Frolic on the Mountain
The holiday coincides with prime ski season—and with this year’s El Niño winter dumping above-average snowfall on Colorado’s slopes, your odds of a powder day are pretty high. Hit the lifts with your honey at one of Aspen’s four mountains to cruise mellow blues or get your heart pumping on a double-black bowl. Bonus points: Make turns together on starry-eyed ski runs like Sheer Bliss at Snowmass or Memory Lane in the Aspen Highlands.
Behold the Ballet
Craving some culture? The 20th anniversary season of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet opens on February 13 with two brand-new commissions, both true to the company’s envelope-pushing contemporary style. Brazilian choreographer Fernando Melo unveils his moody, cinematic “Re:play,” while Barcelona native Cayetano Soto debuts the vibrant “Huma Rojo,” his third work for the company. The show starts at 7:30 p.m.; tickets cost $25 to $74.
Snowshoe with Your Sweetie
Venture into the tranquil meadows, evergreen forests, and ethereal aspen groves of Castle Creek Valley, just 11 miles outside of town, on a half-day snowshoe hike. You’ll explore the 19th-century ghost town of Ashcroft with a naturalist from the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies en route to lunch at Pine Creek Cookhouse, a remote log cabin serving gourmet alpine-inspired cuisine. The four-hour, 3.5-mile tour starts daily at 10:30 a.m. and includes equipment rentals, basic instruction, a trail pass, and a prix fixe lunch ($130 per person); or, pay $85 each for just the tour and order lunch a la carte. Reservations required.
Mingle with Singles
Still waiting for Cupid to strike? Head to the Wheeler Opera House at 5:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day for the Mingle with the Singles Party, an on-again, off-again tradition in Aspen for the past 15 years. The 127-year-old opera house debuted a $4 million renovation last month, including an upgraded second-floor bar overlooking downtown and Aspen Mountain. Couples can also enjoy what might be the best bargain in town: The $10 advance ticket ($15 at the door) buys one cocktail and a seat for the 6:30 p.m. showing of the romcom “Valentine’s Day.”
Eat to Entice
The best two words to conclude a romantic dinner date: Check, please. Get help sealing the deal at Element 47, the five-star restaurant in Aspen’s chichi 92-room Little Nell hotel. In honor of the holiday, the restaurant is offering a five-course aphrodisiac tasting menu ($125 per person) featuring oysters, lobster, caviar, and other libido-boosting ingredients. Just don’t skip dessert: You’d miss a Valrhona chocolate mousse with passion fruit glaze, courtesy executive pastry chef Curtis Cameron.