I have not been shy about my crush on Aspen over the years. It’s a very special place to me – you can check out my Aspen Summer Guide HERE. That post will also have a huge list of my fave restaurants too! Charming whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter but for those who tend to appreciate a perfect day on the mountains followed by phenomenal cocktails and food heading to Aspen for ski season is the best.
Since moving back to Texas I’ve been manifesting splitting my time between Austin and Aspen. This town is what you make of it. You can either be as relaxed and laid back as you want or you can be at every happening restaurant, spraying bottles of Veuve at Cloud9 and rallying the troops until the late night hours. No matter what, this town will pull you in and never want to let you go.
So here are some of my new (and old!) favorites and must‑do recommendations. Now the real question is, just how badly do you want to book a last minute escape for some spring skiing in Aspen?! The slopes of Aspen are getting more snow every day, making it the perfect reason to head there for a weekend or a week on the mountains while you still can!
Where to stay:
Check out THIS post for details on the lodging options! I personally am smitten with Hotel Jerome and The Little Nell, you can’t go wrong staying at either and both are simply lovely.
How to pick a Mountain:
Let me preface this by saying there is NO right or wrong answer here. Both are phenomenal and I HIGHLY recommend hitting both up if your schedule allows. Aspen technically has Aspen, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk that are all located together and close to downtown Aspen. Snowmass is slightly further down the valley near Snowmass Village. The best part is there is a free shuttle system that connects the four OR you can drive. If you don’t have time to go to both Aspen and Snowmass, pick the route that you are going to enjoy the most – all with the help of course of the below tips. 😉
Aspen – Great for more experienced skiers as the runs definitely offer more challenging and diverse terrain – hello MOGULS!!! But it also offers the convenience of being close to a lot of lively activity and runs smack into the middle of town so you’re about two seconds away from that post ski day apres ski cocktail.
Snowmass – Is a significantly larger mountain AND you will see a lot more families here than over in Aspen. The wide runs are lovely, especially for those not looking to race down and want to enjoy/go a little slower down. This is a great mountain for all levels but especially for those who are beginners and intermediates. Definitely a more low-key vibe over here but again, just a few minutes away from Aspen!
Best Apres Ski:
Bad Harriett at Hotel Jerome is a must visit. The speakeasy is taking reservations and they are a tiny bit difficult to come by so try to score them asap once you’ve booked your trip.
Ajax Tavern is an absolute must, it’s located conveniently at the base of Aspen Mountain and connected to The Little Nell. This is a must visit, post skiing, apres skiing or simply, anytime! If you’re skiing you can pop in with your boots on! Splurge on the truffle fries, they’re worth every penny and grab a cocktail or a glass of wine.
Cloud9 – Yes the infamous Cloud9 is a must and by a must I mean you must get reservations early. You arrive by skiing there to enjoy the views, the Swiss-inspired fare and of course the copious amounts of Veuve often being sprayed all day. It’s located at the top of the Cloud Nine ski lift at HIGHLANDS ski area. Do note, they won’t snowcat you down if you’re have too much to drink so watch those bubbles 😉
Bonnie’s is a perfect spot to stop for a mid-morning snack – their pancakes are to die for or hit the deck in the afternoon for a little apres ski. A local favorite because of it’s location – mid-mountain and right off the groomers of North American or Tourtelotte Park so super easy to get to wherever you are on the mountain.
The Living Room at Hotel Jerome is pretty hard to beat. With insanely divine cocktails, a stellar wine list and the snacks of course are delicious. A perfect spot to cozy up next to the fireplace with a group of friends after a day on the mountain or pre/post dinner.
Don’t ski? No problem!
Take the chair lift at the base of Aspen Mountain – right next to Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the Ticket center at the bottom. If you’re not skiing this is a fun way to catch the spectacular views
Stop by and do a little shopping why don’t you in town?
Wylde Blue should *probably* be the first and the last stop. This beautifully decorated spot could not have been more perfect if it tried. Their Vintage Chanel selection is to die for. From the bags to this jewelry to the vintage Chanel clothes – OMG I almost died over this bomber jacket. They also stock KBH Jewels which you likely saw on my stories!
The Art of Cozy is absolutely adorable and perfectly outfitted with cute, cozy pieces from around the world. Most of the brands are exclusively sold in the US only at The Art of Cozy, you can shop some pieces online though! I snagged this super chic coat from Fleisher Couture, a Norwegian based brand and let me tell you it is RIDICULOUSLY warm and cozy. Update from 2021 Spring travel guide – they are exclusively partnering with luxury loungewear and PJ brand PrintFresh!
MACKAGE pop up is lovely – Update from 2021 Spring travel guide – this pop up is in Aspen until end of the season! So hurry in shop, get to know the team – they’ll let you know when things are available or new arrivals are coming in! Plus, they’re putting on some fun exclusive events all season long.
Miron Crosby – Update from 2021 Spring travel guide – is an asbsolute must stop and shop spot of mine. The Texas gals brining their fabulous cowboy boots to the mountains was bound to happen and the chic spot that they have in town is charming, serves up some delightful cocktails
Take a killer pilates class at O2 Aspen. With as much activity you’re doing on the slopes you’re also likely twisting and turning your body more than it has in months in all the places that haven’t been challenged so I love to start off a half day or even a non mountain day with a pilates session at 02. The team here are incredible, all NYC or LA trained and their approach is always what I need.
Kemo Sabe needs no introduction, the Aspen staple, has become a household name now to those in the know. The whole experience from when you walk in to the second you drop a few grand and walk out is fun. I’m not saying I dropped a few g’s but let’s be honest most people going in for a custom hat from Kemo Sabe know what they’re getting themselves into and it’s worth it. A custom hat experience is everything these days, add to it the rich heritage of the brand plus the experience – you’re welcome drink of choice … hello whisky neat, a custom fitting, selecting your hat’s accessories down to the wrapping and all.0