I have fallen in love with a little place called Aspen.
What started as a perfect winter getaway has transformed into the perfect getaway for any season. My husband and I went for the first time last January, we went back this summer on our Barbee Beer Roadtrip, and I was counting down the days for our return last week. Oh, and we already have another trip planned for September, I am obsessed.
The town is so quaint. In the winter you only have to walk a few blocks to get to where you are going and it is almost always snowing, which is magical.
There is so much to do, if you love skiing (like my husband!), you can do that. If you don’t (like me!) there is still plenty to do. No matter what you like to do you will just fall in love with Aspen.
Where to Stay:
The Limelight Hotel
We have stayed here for both our our winter trips. It is such a cozy hotel.
The lobby has a huge fire place with live music every night. It is packed with families, couples of all ages, apres ski cocktails, woodfire baked pizzas, card games, laughter and conversations.
In the morning you will find a complimentary breakfast buffet with fresh smoothies, fruit & yogurt bar, various cereals, pastries, eggs + a protein, bagels, and unlimited coffee and juices. It is the perfect start to your morning, there are floor to ceiling windows perfect for watching the dog park across the street and the snow falling carelessly to the bustling streets.
The service is A+. All of the staff members are so nice, helpful, and remember you. They pick you and your bags up from the airport and deliver you to your rooms seamlessly. We also arranged for a ride to dinner most nights, so we could wear heels and not have to worry about slipping on the ice outside. The staff always made the rides enjoyable and were always prompt.
I cannot recommend this hotel enough, I can’t offer any advice on any other hotels, because we have only stayed at this one, and I don’t think I will be changing that anytime soon.
What to Do:
Skiing: There are a variety of mountains to choose from based on your ski level. My husband loved skiing at Snowmass Mountain. He said there were lots of options of trails, short & long to choose from. If you are looking for more of a challenge, Aspen Mountain(Ajax) and Aspen Highlands offer a higher degree of difficulty. The fourth mountain, Buttermilk, is a fun destination as well. Buttermilk host the ESPN X-Games each year. All four locations are extremely well taken care of and groomed to perfection. One of the best things about Aspen skiing is that if you rent your skis through the mountain, they will transfer your skis from location to location free of charge.
Snowmobiling: We have done this on both of our trips. We have used the company T Lazy 7. We each get our own snowmobile and have a blast. The tour guides make you feel extremely safe and give you enough freedom to have fun. We have done the Independence Pass tour and this year we were scheduled for the Maroon Bells tour. This year we got 40+ inches of snow while we were visiting and the trails to Maroon Bells weren’t safe, so we got to go on private trails to Pyramid Peak and stop for hot chocolate. You see unbelievable views and there is no way you won’t fall in love with the snow covered Aspen Trees.
Spa: The St. Regis spa Remede is amazing, bar none. The amenities are perfect. I schedule 2 treatments, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I take full advantage of the amenities that are open from 9 AM-9PM. I order lunch into the lounge area and relax in the grotto, sauna, and oxygen bar, the entire day. It really is the definition of relaxing. We usually schedule this for the end of the trip and Ethan is ready for a massage after a week of skiing.
Shopping: Aspen is a small town, but the shopping is impeccable. There are luxury stores like Burberry, Valentino, and Louis Vuitton, but also great boutiques like Pitkin County Dry Goods, and Colorado staples, such as Gorsuch. You can easily fill your days with wondering from store to store admiring all of the beautiful things.
Hot Springs: While this is technically in Glenwood Springs, CO, it is just a 45-60 minute drive. We went to Iron Mountain Springs and it was amazing. There are different pods at different temperatures, it was fun jumping from pod to pod and relaxing while it snowed. This is more adult friendly and they serve alcohol. The entry fee is only $20 and you have access all day. This was a check off of my bucket list and I can’t wait to go back!
Where to Eat:
Meat & Cheese: Meat and cheese boards galore. They have appetizer boards, meat & cheese (obviously!), biscuit boards, entree boards like a roasted chicken board, steak board, porchetta board, and dessert boards, milk & cookie board (get 2!) This is my favorite stop in Aspen and you can get your favorites to go from the market to bring back to your hotel room. This is a casual restaurant and is perfect for lunch or dinner, or both!
White House Tavern: I love going here for lunch. I have never had anything from their menu that I didn’t like. My favorites are the crispy chicken sandwich, kale salad with chicken, and french dip. This is small and gets packed, so be prepared!
Matsuhisa: This is the famous Nobu’s restaurant. Even if you don’t like sushi, you will find something you love here. They have great cocktails, sake, wagyu beef, tempura, and of course, an impressive sushi list. Don’t skip the yellowtail jalapeño!
The Grey Lady: This was the surprise of the trip. The mussels were amazing, AMAZING. We shared them for an appetizer, but I could have had them for a meal, too. I had lobster pot pie for my meal and it was hearty with big chunks of lobster and so comforting. We had lobster deviled eggs to start, which were also perfect. I am still dreaming about those mussels, until next time, because there will be a next time. They are the best I have ever had.
Pinions: This was such a cozy restaurant, it was upstairs on one of the main streets with huge windows where you could watch the snow coming down, from your table with wine and warm food. It was divine. Freddy’s salad was excellent and so was my husbands bison filet with huckleberry reduction, yum!
Creperie du Village: This was our last spot for lunch. We shared the fondue and a croque madame. It had a charming rustic French vibe and was super adorable. It was quite small, so I can imagine it gets very busy. The wine list was amazing and a perfect spot to duck into and warm up. We didn’t get any of the steak, but it smelled amazing and I know we will have to next time.
Where to Drink:
Element 47 @ The Little Nell: We have had lunch and dinner here, which is good, but the real show stopper is the spiked hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. You must have this before you leave Aspen.
Hops Culture: They have a great rotating draft list here. It is the perfect spot to watch a game or just relax. It is in the center of downtown, easily walkable, and have great snacks. The pretzels with beer cheese are delicious and pair perfectly with a beer.
Hooch: This little spot is tucked underneath Meat & Cheese and owned by the same people. It is dimly lit with what seems like a hundred chandeliers. They specialize in craft cocktails and have a great beer list, as well. We had a meat and cheese plate, caesar salad, and a amazing Vietnamese Coffee Creme Brûlée paired with one of our favorite beers, Bourbon County Regal Rye.
Casey Brewing & Blending: If you remember reading about our Barbee Beer Roadtrip from this summer, you know my husband and I love visiting breweries and trying out new ones, well this is my favorite. Hands down. They are using Colorado fruit in their saison base which is put into oak barrels. You need to buy a ticket to the tour to go here, it comes with 3 full pours of beer, a tour, and a chance to buy some bottles to go. This is technically in Glenwood Springs, CO, but it is about 45-60 minutes from Aspen and I highly recommend the day trip.
Chef’s Club @ The St. Regis: This is a restaurant, but we love to go for the cocktails. They are craft cocktails and are beautiful and the details are so impressive, not to mention tasty.
Happy Traveling, The Barbee Housewife