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Aspen, Colorado

Aspen lives up to its high-end reputation with plenty of shopping, restaurants, hotels and spas to enjoy. Add in incredible summer and winter activities, and it’s no wonder that it’s known as one of Colorado’s favorite year-round vacation spots. Whether you’re hiking the Maroon Bells, skiing one of Aspen’s four ski resorts, or checking out the cosmopolitan nightlife, this active mountain town not only caters to the rich and famous, but anyone who’s ready for a wild adventure or just a plain old good time. As the locals say, “If you can’t find it in Aspen, you don’t need it!”

The town itself is located about 160 miles southwest of Denver, at the upper end of the Roaring Fork Valley, with the beautiful Roaring Fork River running right through the middle. The mountain climate at 7,908 feet of elevation is pleasant throughout the summer, with temperatures hovering in the 70s on most days.

Thankfully, Aspen is one of the most marijuana-friendly towns in the mountains, with seven different dispensaries to choose from. Just remember not to consume in public spaces because even in laid-back Aspen, flaunting it isn’t considered kosher.

Mountains, majesty, and marijuana -- that’s Aspen for you.

What to Do

There are four mountains within 12 miles of Aspen. Much of the surrounding area belongs to the White River National Forest, providing plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities and beautiful natural scenery. Aspen also has a thriving cultural scene, with plenty of in-town options for arts and entertainment.

  • Hiking/Biking

    There are so many trails for hiking and biking in and around Aspen that you might have a hard time choosing the best. From the easy, 2.5-mile paved ABC (Airport Business Center) trail in town to the incredibly scenic, and very challenging, 28-mile Four Pass Loop in Maroon Bells, everyone will find a path that suits them.

  • Hot Springs

    If you’re an avid hiker with lots of experience, you might want to try hiking the 8-mile Conundrum Creek Trail up to the Hot Springs. Its 420 friendly, so take a moment to chill in this awesome location. Since the trail can be tricky, it’s probably best to save the heavy puffs for the top and plan on camping in the area overnight.

  • Watersports

    Whether you like a quiet canoe trip or an adrenaline filled whitewater-rafting adventure, Aspen has mellow streams to Class IV rapids. You’ll find whatever you want all summer long, including stand up paddling, tubing, kayaking, fishing, swimming (plus Class II, III and IV rafting options).

  • Spa/Fitness

    Aspen has plenty of ways to treat your body as well as your mind. Take a yoga class, hit up a holistic approach at the O2 boutique fitness center, or pamper yourself at the world-renowned Aspen Club spa.

  • Gondola Ride

    Taking the Silver Queen gondola up to the top of Aspen Mountain is a must for every visitor. At the top, you’ll find plenty of activities like disc golf, hiking, concerts, and dining at the Sundeck.

Mountain Biking at SnowmassMountain Biking at Snowmass
Silver Queen GondolaSilver Queen Gondola

Where to Buy Marijuana

Interestingly enough, Aspen boasts many awesome dispensaries. Each has a different style and feel, but you’ll be able to pick up a variety of products including flower, concentrates, edibles, topicals and more. Tourists are now allowed to purchase up to 1oz of marijuana or its equivalent in concentrates and edibles, so you better bring some extra cash! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Silverpeak Apothecary

    Silverpeak Apothecary offers “locally farmed, expertly crafted and socially responsible cannabis.” Located in downtown Aspen (with a 25,000 square foot green house nearby in Basalt), this shop is one of the highest quality and elevated marijuana experiences around.

  • Roots Rx – Aspen

    With five locations across the state, this particular shop location is very popular. They’re a recreational dispensary only, but deliver the best products at affordable prices. The shop is very welcoming and the staff is helpful and informative.

Where to Shop/Arts

Although Aspen is known for its posh clientele, you can find every kind of shopping here, from thrift shops to Gucci. At Aspen’s pedestrian malls, you can functional digs for your outdoor adventures and high fashion for hot nightclub nights.

  • Cooper/Hyman Mall

    The Cooper/Hyman mall is the center of Aspen’s downtown. You can find everything here, from clothing, jewelry, fine arts, housewares, bars, dining, entertainment, and so much more. Motorized vehicles are not allowed, making this a perfect pedestrian destination, but as always, smoking it is not allowed in or around the mall.

  • Art Museums and Centers

    The Aspen Art Museum exhibits contemporary art that provides plenty of fodder for visuals and thought-provoking contemplation. The Red Brick Center for the Arts showcases local art, and you can get creative at an art workshop or buy art supplies at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

  • Music

    Aspen’s legendary music scene draws artists from all over the world. Fans and artists alike love coming to Aspen for the community support and venues designed for each genre of music, from classical to rock and everything between. Be sure to stop by the ever popular bar and music venue, Belly Up, which has played host to everyone from local bands to world famous bands and DJs.

Where to Eat

All those awesome activities (and munchies) can really make you hungry! Luckily, Aspen has well over 100 eateries to satisfy every craving.

  • Monarch

    If high-end is what you’re after, Monarch is a must. Everything is designed to satisfy even the most discerning international traveler, from the three choices of caviar, to the $110 Tomahawk Rib Eye steak for two (top it with a lobster tail for extra flair) eaten in style on custom furniture.

  • Red Onion

    Located at 420 E. Cooper Avenue, this brick-walled saloon was once one of only three places in Aspen to get a meal. Recently remodeled, the Red Onion is now a popular restaurant and bar that serves classic fare with a gourmet twist that still seems casual-and delicious. Listen to daily live music during happy hour and nightly from 10 pm.

  • New York Pizza

    Who doesn’t love a good ‘za? New York Pizza is a favorite with locals for a good reason. The entrance to the upstairs eatery at 409 Hyman Ave. is a little hidden, marked by a small blue sign above the door in the middle of the Hyman Mall. Great for late night munchies and cottonmouth, this place serves pies and beer ‘til 2 a.m. every day.

  • Zane's Tavern

    Sports fans on a budget should head to Zane’s for a session lager (and a Jägermeister shot) for $7.50, plus 50 cent wings during happy hour.

  • Paradise Bakery

    Got a sweet tooth? Stop by the Paradise Bakery at 320 Galena St. and pick up some delectable treats that will totally satisfy your craving with cookies, brownies, muffins and more! Or, get your carb fix with bagels, croissants and mouth-watering quiche.


If you think Aspen’s just a sleepy little rocky mountain town, think again! Aspen’s nightclubs can keep up with the best metropolitan clubs.

  • Caribou Club

    The semi-exclusive Caribou Club is open to members and their guests only. Visitors can buy a temporary membership that costs $500 and covers two people for a week. The richest and most famous Aspen residents and visitors party it up under antler chandeliers in “Aspen casual” dress- everything from jeans and a nice shirt to cocktail gowns. The DJ starts spinning at 10 pm and goes as late as 2 a.m.

  • Belly Up

    Belly Up is Aspen’s best venue for rockin’ live music of all kinds-from Reggae to Psychedelic Rock- almost every night of the week all year long. Satisfy your munchies with bar food and wet your whistle at two bars. Catch a free Tipsy Taxi after the show if you’ve had too much to drink.

  • Bootsy Bellows

    Bootsy Bellows is a modern-ish/art deco space at 308 E. Hopkins Ave. It’s a “lounge version” of its sister club in L.A., but it still has a bumpin’ dance floor going on most nights of the week until 2 a.m. This place is popular with tourists and locals alike.

  • The Cigar Bar

    If you’re a tobacco smoker, head up to the Cigar Bar, a Cherry Wood-paneled den upstairs at 315 E. Hyman that still allows smoking. Downstairs, Eric's Bar has a large selection of microbrews on tap to go with 5 pool tables and 2 shuffleboard tables.

    *Hot Tip: Whatever bar you visit, ask for the shot-ski, a beer/shot combo -- it’s an Aspen tradition!

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