Welcome to Aspen
The sophisticated cultural hub of The Rocky Mountains, where locals encounter the extraordinary right in their backyards
The snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains’ Sawatch Range and the Elk Mountains overlook the glimmering lights of Aspen, a warm and inviting retreat brimming with small-town charm. Whether the Roaring Fork River is dusted with snow, or the slopes are blanketed with sun-drenched wildflowers, the city offers a lifetime of adventure year-round.
Aspen was founded at the height of the Colorado Silver Boom, its name derived from the abundance of aspen trees enshrouding the early settlement — pillars standing throughout the town’s development. As the area surged with tourism once Aspen Mountain became a ski resort, the city developed a worldwide reputation for luxury, winter sports, and its stunning outdoor beauty.
Residential real estate in Aspen is diverse and can vary greatly depending on which stretch of land buyers decide to call home. Multi-million-dollar, palatial estates containing the best of resort-style amenities and jaw-dropping views are boundless here, as are chic condos ensconced with trees and gorgeously-appointed single-family homes.
What to Love
- A dynamic downtown with upscale shopping and dining
- Minutes from the slopes and ski trails
- Outdoor activities and excursions for every season
Meandering the arbored streets of Downtown Aspen is a sensory treat, and here, the sustainable, eco-conscious cafes and boutiques are backdropped by monolithic mountain ranges. Summer often highlights the town’s vibrant culture, replete with concerts and show-stopping events, while winter amps up the adrenaline with thrilling sports.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
There’s no shortage of incredible dining in Aspen, and travelers from around the globe can testify to the area’s impressive culinary variety and its great number of masterful chefs. Many of these remarkable restaurants are tucked away inside luxury hotels, such as The Little Nell, which houses standout eateries like Element 47 and Ajax Tavern.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort is another trove of excellent fare, and where diners can choose from sophisticated cocktail lounges and sit-down restaurants with modern mountain cuisine. Outside of the resort and hotel scene, Aspen’s independent restaurants more than hold their own. The 7908 restaurant, for example, is the city’s finest supper club and most invigorating nightclub for dancing. After indulging in sumptuous meals and titillating happy hours, locals can head to the landmark Wheeler Opera House for astounding performances of theater and the arts.
Things to Do
Locals have their pick of entertainment, whether it’s dining out on pristine patios in the flush of spring, horseback riding in an autumnal kaleidoscope of colors, or skiing the famous slopes. In the summer, festivals and events keep residents in a constant thrall of activity. The Food and Wine Classic, for instance, is one of the premier culinary events in the country and includes three full days of classes, demonstrations, wine tastings, and revelry.
Jazz Aspen appeals to the soulful nature of the city’s residents, and its curated, top-notch lineups of renowned musicians throughout the year draw in spectators from all over. An equally engaging but more community-oriented series, the Aspen Saturday Market is saturated with local produce, goods, and enjoyable moments.
Site-seers and hikers will already have a long list of insanely beautiful places to check out, and among that array of must-see sites are the famed Maroon Bells. Stretching up high above a placid lake, these majestic mountains are two of the most photographed in the country.
Aspen is home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Aspen High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school ranked #22 in the state, graduates of this school regularly attend Ivy Leagues and other top-ranked universities
- Aspen Middle School, 5-8, highly rated public middle school among the top 50 in the state
- Aspen Elementary School, PK-4, well-rated public elementary school
- Aspen Country Day School, PK & K-8, highly rated private school
- Aspen Community School, K-8, highly rated private elementary school among the top 50 in the state
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