Aspen has long held the spotlight as the chosen mountain destination for celebrities to don their best snow bunny gear in Colorado. But we’re gonna let you in on a little secret: There’s an even more charming town just 20 minutes away.
The village, located just nine miles from downtown Aspen, is home to about 2,900 people. And it’s got enough wide open spaces that you could go an entire day without running into a single resident. The town, which looks like something between a Norman Rockwell painting and a set from Disneyland, offers visitors some of the most incredible mountain vistas anywhere in the world. It also offers more than 30 delicious restaurants, world-class shopping, and some of the best events travelers can experience just about anywhere during any season.
Here’s how to live your best life in Hollywood’s favorite hidden place to spend a week in the wilderness all year long.
Where to Stay
If you want to spend the weekend in celebrity-worthy luxury look no further than The Viceroy Snowmass. Located just off the mountain, the hotel offers everything from sledding, skiing, and ice skating in the winter, and horseback riding, mountain biking, and fly-fishing in the summer. With an on-site restaurant, full-service spa, and all-season pool, you won’t have to even leave the property to have a ton of fun. (Starting at $236/night.)
Snowmass Mountain Chalet
For something with a bit more of a home vibe, check into the Snowmass Mountain Chalet. Like the Viceroy, the chalet is located slopeside and comes with a few plush amenities like a heated outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, and a wood burning fireplace in the lounge. The hotel’s decor — including its exposed brick bedrooms — will instantly warm you from the inside out no matter how low the temperatures drop on the mountain. (Starting at $109/night.)
Where to Eat
There’s no shortage of delicious spots to grab a bite, but Fuel has both what you need and is super speedy to get you out and adventuring faster. Grab a coffee with a specialty bagel, breakfast burrito, or a smoothie in the warmer months and get on the road.
Lunch: Woody Creek Tavern
The no-nonsense Woody Creek Tavern doesn’t come with frills or a staff who will ask you for your order twice, and that’s just the way Hunter S. Thompson liked it when he visited. Instead, it focuses on having good food (get the veggie burger with fries) and even better beer. Cash only.
Located inside The Viceroy, Toro will delight every single one of your tastebuds. The restaurant serves up plenty of shared Pan Latin-inspired dishes and hand-crafted cocktails that perfectly pair with every spicy plate.
What to Do
Visit the mountain
Snowmass is perhaps best known for its epic mountain, which offers 94 trails and 150 miles of skiing. It’s an ideal destination for skiers and snowboarders when it opens this season on Nov. 23, but it’s also great for mountain bikers in the summer, hikers in the spring through fall. For an added adventure on the slopes, try its new ropes course, the Lost Forest, located on the summit.
Go horseback riding
Perhaps the best way to see Snowmass in all its glory is by hoping in the saddle. With more than 23 miles of riding trails, visitors will be able to go as long as their horsepower will take them. Book a ride with Snowmass Creek Outfitters, which will take you on a 90-minute ride or an overnight trip with you and a four-legged friend.
Take in a festival
Snowmass is already home to some well-known events like the annual X-Games, but it also is the place to be for festivals all year long, like it’s annual balloon festival, summer concert series, cider tastings and more.
When to Go
Snowmass is a great destination year round, depending on what you are looking for. In the spring, you can catch the flowers blooming, and in the fall the foliage could make New England jealous. In the summer, there's plenty of warm weather activities, and of course winter activities are well known.