Aspen is a magical slice of mountain-town heaven that can be enjoyed year-round for its dynamic offerings. The summer is a particularly special time to visit; the clean air, sunshine, cloud-studded blue skies and scenic backdrop make for an active nature-lover’s paradise. Enjoy morning yoga on the mountain, epic hikes, beautiful bike rides, swimming, rafting, and finish the day strong with sunset happy hour and a delicious meal from some of the best restaurants around.
We had the absolute pleasure of staying at Hotel Jerome, the most classic, quintessential Aspen hotel in town, and we can’t recommend it highly enough. Quality is in the details and Hotel Jerome gets it. We were given ice cold chlorophyl water upon check in and our rooms were equipped with a humidifier to keep us glowy despite the dry climate. The service was outstanding; the hotel provides free transportation anywhere in town as well as free airport transfers, which we really appreciated. Our trusted travel agent, Two Nights In, booked us in the best possible room, located in the front historic section of the hotel with outstanding views of the Aspen mountains. The room and view was so lovely that we would have been satisfied staying in bed the whole time :) We did our fare share of lounging, but spent most of our time out and about discovering all the glowiness that Aspen has to offer. The spa treatments from The Jerome were heavenly, and exactly what we needed after action packed days of adventure.
Meat and Cheese– Totally obsessed with this Aspen gem. Go inside and put your name down and then order a glass of wine to enjoy while sampling some of the tasty cheese and charcuterie while you wait for your table. The inside is a perfectly curated market place, and the outside patio is lovely for enjoying lunch and dinner (preferably both!). Make sure to try the most scrumptious rotisserie chicken board as well as their Vietnamese salad! The coffee is on point and they even make their own almond milk. This place is killing it.
Main Street Bakery— Classic, old-school, quaint cafe. Best for breakfast! Enjoy fresh donuts, granola+yogurt crepe with fresh berries, and the corned beef hash.
Justice Snow’s— Best happy hour in town! The bartenders make a $5 margarita like you’ve never had before. Order it with muddled jalapeño and a spicy salt rim if you like a kick. The burger and crispy waffle sweet potato fries might be the best in Aspen. Drooling just thinking about it!
White Horse Tavern— This cozy spot is an amazing place to indulge, but we kept it light with the most delicious chopped salad (ever, ever, ever) and an insane fried chicken sandwich (we requested iceberg lettuce instead of a bun). Such a perfect meal.
Jimmy’s— Jimmy’s upstairs has an awesome local vibe and happening bar scene. You can’t go wrong with the lobster mac n cheese and margaritas!
Cache Cache— One of the best restaurants in Aspen with outstanding food and great service. Don’t miss the escargot!
Victoria’s— European vibe, free wifi, great coffee and solid breakfast. Grab a seat on the patio and people-watch with a mountain view.
Paradise Bakery— This place is always packed with people of all ages satisfying their sweet tooth. It’s all about the chocolate chip cookies here; warm, gooey, and best topped with some of their yummy ice cream (we recommend peanut butter chocolate chip).
Spring Cafe— Healthy cafe with a bright, airy vibe. Get their green smoothie and gluten-free pancakes to fuel up before a hike.
The Big Wrap— Can we all agree that wraps are a perfect food? Portable, healthy, delicious… just the best. We frequented this place several times throughout our stay in Aspen. Locals and out-of-towners alike line up for their unique, flavorful wraps. The “Rock Your World” turkey wrap wins as our favorite.
Matsuhisa— If you like Japanese food, this place is a must. Everything is delicious, so you really can’t go wrong. Classic dishes include rock shrimp tempura, yellowtail jalapeño, miso black cod and spicy tuna tacos. Be sure to order the “off the menu” sushi rolls: the Adam Roll, Crunch Roll, and Dragon Roll are all bomb and not to be missed. PS: The upstairs bar and patio is less expensive and more casual than the downstairs restaurant.
Butcher’s Block— Old school deli with really good sandwiches for take away. They have a great selection of meat and poultry as well as specialty pantry items if you plan on doing any cooking.
Ajax Tavern— Situated right at the base of the mountain, the view really can’t be beat. Wonderful spot to eat a leisurely lunch or to enjoy sunset happy hour. Get the truffle fries, they are out of this world!
Rio Grande Trail Bikeride to Woody Creek Tavern–– Such a fun way to spend the day. Rent bikes and take the gorgeous, breezy ride all the way to Woody Creek Tavern. This dive bar/ Mexican restaurant has delicious food and stiff margaritas! The nachos are pretty epic, as are the fish tacos and fresh salads. You can arrange for your bike rental company to pick you up after your meal, or if you’re up for it, brave the challenging uphill bike ride back to town.
Maroon Bells Hike to Crater Lake— This hike is an absolute must! Get ready for some seriously breathtaking views! We strongly suggest going as early as possible (before 8 am) to avoid crowds.
Sundeck Yoga atop Aspen Mountain — Meditate as you ride the gondola way way up to the top of Aspen Mountain for morning yoga hosted by The Little Nell. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from June 20-August 26th at 10:20 AM, $5.
Devil’s Punchbowl Swimming Hole— Cool off in this awesome natural swimming hole located 15 minutes from the center of town. Be careful jumping in, as it is very rocky, but really beautiful!
Aspen Art Museum— Impressive art museum in the center of town featuring some world renowned artists and cutting edge exhibitions. Make sure to head upstairs to the lovely rooftop cafe for lunch or coffee with a sick view.
Pitkin County Goods— Our favorite store in Aspen for clothes, shoes, and accessories.
Aether— Amazing active wear in a beautiful, cozy shop with friendly staff that make you feel welcome. The store is well-designed with a great couch to lounge on and a well-curated selection of books to browse through.
Cos Bar— We love this cosmetic store for our every need- stop in to stock up on sunscreen, make up, perfume and any product you might have forgotten for your travels.
Mountain Flowers– Beautiful local flower shop with talented florists.
Explore Bookstore— Quaint bookshop with a great selection.
Kemo Sabe— Get outfitted like a glowy cowgirl or cowboy in this classic Aspen staple. Cowboy hats, buckles, boots, and a vintage fridge stocked with beers to enjoy while you shop.
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