How To Make The Most of 72 hours In Aspen
Don’t have much vacation time this summer? Find ideas in this three-day itinerary for Aspen to help you fit all of the town’s best attractions and must do activities into one quick trip!
Morning: Start your morning off on a high note (11,212 feet to be exact) with yoga on top of Aspen Mountain. During the summer season, Aspen Snowmass hosts yoga sessions on top of Ajax every Monday-Friday at 10:30 a.m. Head to the gondola plaza to purchase a ticket. Mats are provided for all hour-long open-air Hath yoga classes.
Afternoon: The most photographed mountains in North America are right here in Aspen and a highlight that cannot be missed no matter how much time you have during your stay. Guests are welcome to drive their own car before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. with a $10 per vehicle fee. If you don’t have your own car you can also take the Castle/Maroon RFTA bus from Rubey Park Transportation Center in downtown Aspen. For hiking recommendations around the Maroon Bells click here.
Evening: Summer brings the cultural soul of Aspen to life, with an artistic calendar rivaling those of a thriving metropolis. Enjoy a show from Theatre Aspen at the Hurst Theatre, located next to the stunning John Denver Sanctuary, check out one of the many performances from Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, a jewel of a dance company in the American West, or see which world-class jazz musicians are in town for a JAS Café show. This is just a sample of Aspen’s artistic heritage, discover more about all of the arts and cultural organizations and events here.
Morning: From mid June to mid October visitors and locals can spend Saturday mornings at the Aspen Saturday Market. Open from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m., the market offers Colorado grown produce, crafts, live music and a food court for lunch or a snack.
Afternoon: Aspen Art Museum’s 30,000 square-foot Shigeru Ban-designed building has been the talk of the town since its opening in August 2014. Head to the museum (always free of admission) and browse the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art. While at the museum, make your way to the rooftop to soak in the incredible views of Aspen Mountain with a delicious lunch at So Café.
Looking for additional art to peruse? Aspen's art galleries punctuate the downtown streets, inviting passersby to browse their diverse collections. Baldwin Gallery, a sleek, open space, showcases works by some of the most acclaimed contemporary artists in the business such as Louise Nevelson, David LaChapelle, Ewan Gibbs, Todd Hido, and Jennifer Bartlett. Galerie Maximillian and Forré Fine Art are Aspen's homes for the great modern masters including Picasso and Chagall.
Evening: Belly Up rocks year-round with an eclectic mix of top headlines from Snoop Dogg to Widespread Panic, ZZ Top, The Flaming Lips, and everything in between. The flawless sound system and intimate setting (accommodating only 450 guests) helped the club snatch a spot on Rolling Stone’s “Best Clubs in America” list.
Morning: Take a stroll through Aspen’s Victorian West End with Aspen Historical Society learning little-known facts about the homes themselves and the people who lived there. West End Walking Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Aspen Historical Society also offers tours at the Wheeler/Stallard Museum, Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum and more. Looking for something a little more interactive? Aspen Historical Society’s Historic Pub Tours take place on Thursdays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The guided tour leads guests through Aspen’s historic haunts and informs them of the establishment’s history and local lore along with cocktails at each stop.
Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon bike ride down to Woody Creek Tavern from Aspen along the Rio Grande trail. The 12 mile easy downhill ride takes bikers along a beautiful scenic trail following the course of the Roaring Fork River. Once you arrive at the tavern, enjoy lunch in a comfortable atmosphere at the place for the anti-establishmentarianism and the legendary Hunter S. Thompson. Great tip for visitors- rent you bikes from Bike Butlers, and they’ll pick you up after lunch (or from any location) and drive you back to town.
When you’re back in town, cool off at the Grottos, an easily accessible area through a series of short trails. Within a few minutes from the trailhead, you can access ice caves, view the waterfalls, or lounge in the sun on the rocks with a picnic. This is a great area for families and those seeking a beautiful view without the long trek to get there.
Evening: With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, dining al fresco is a great option for those looking to soak up rays through the night. Head to HOPS Culture and sit outside at their beer garden with a selection of 200 unique craft beers. Additional al fresco options include Ajax Tavern, Mr. Grey, Betula and more. For a full listing of Aspen’s restaurants (well over 100 choices), click here.
After dinner enjoy strolling Aspen’s pedestrian malls with a stop at Paradise Bakery, not only for dessert, but also to enjoy music from esteemed Aspen Music Festival & School students.