Aspen/Snowmass: Skiing, Snowboarding and Glamour
By Lynna Yee
Aspen/Snowmass in beautiful Colorado is the most iconic ski destination in North America, and downtown Aspen is where all things ultra-luxe converge. If you’re looking for a premium ski experience, world-class dining and nightlife and fantastic high-end shopping, Aspen/Snowmass is where you want to be.
Premium Ski Experience
Aspen/Snowmass actually encompasses four ski destinations that accommodate skiers of various levels: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk; all are accessible with one pass. Aspen Mountain is perhaps the best-known area. A gondola from downtown Aspen takes you to the top of the mountain, and you can enjoy fantastic views along the way.
Because of the drier climate, the snow here is soft and fluffy, making your experience even more pleasant. This also makes it the premier place to learn to ski and snowboard. You will feel right at home at the ski and snowboard school at Aspen/Snowmass. With all the skiers in colorful outfits and armed with all the hottest gear, the atmosphere is much like that of a rock concert.
Diverse Landscapes at Aspen Center for Environmental Studies
Though known as a ski resort, Aspen Mountain is also a great year-round vacation destination with unique beauty and outdoor fun for each season. More beautiful nature awaited me at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, a nature preserve that’s open year round. The picturesque scenes of flowing streams against a snowy background provided me with many calendar-worthy photos. I also got to pet a snake and meet a rescued golden eagle.
Chic Downtown Aspen
Aspen is truly very chic, and the “rock star” vibes I enjoyed on the mountain continued into the walkable downtown area, where many of the shopping, dining and nightlife options are concentrated. There are more than 100 restaurants and bars, and you can easily spend more than a day shopping at upscale boutiques that carry international name brands and local high-end lines. You’ll also find all the skiing and snowboarding gear and clothing you need.
During my last evening in Aspen, I probably had the best meal of my life at the award-winning Element 47, located in The Little Nell, a five-star, five-diamond hotel. My evening started with a tantalizing cocktail concocted by a top mixologist. Dinner was prepared with the freshest, high-quality local ingredients with techniques focused on accentuating the best attributes of each. I let the master sommelier decide on the wine, and the pairing was impeccable. Dessert was a handcrafted sorbet and the restaurant’s signature cake pops, ending my last night on a perfect note.