48 hours in Aspen

Where to stay:

Located at the foot of Aspen Mountain just steps from the Silver Queen Gondola, The Little Nell is Aspen’s only five-star ski-in/ski-out hotel. All rooms feature fireplaces and jacuzzis, and guests can choose between views of the town or mountain, or opt for the grand 2,500 square-foot Walter Paepcke suite.

The spacious lodgings at the colorful Limelight Hotel include a full kitchen and dining room. The dog-friendly hotel also hosts specialty dinners with craft beer, spirits, and wine pairings twice a month plus live music Thursday through Monday in the on-site lounge.

Day 1

Start your morning with breakfast at Spring Café, where the focus is on inventive, plant-based cuisine. Order the banana oatmeal with almond milk and pecans, or the Go Green egg scramble (kale, broccoli, green onion, and hemp seeds) with a sprouted grain tortilla and roasted sweet potatoes. Take a turmeric latte to go.

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Fitness

    Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass offer world-famous ski runs with a range of difficulties. But, those who prefer to work out on flatter terrain can cross-country ski the 60 miles of trails along the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System. Rent skis and snowshoes at Ute Mountaineer.  

    Stop for lunch at Meat & Cheese in the heart of Aspen’s Restaurant Row. Share the mezze board with brown rice dolmas, hummus, and naan.

  • Option 2: Culture

    Explore Aspen’s growing art scene with Aspen Art Tours. Guides lead customized walking tours of contemporary art galleries including Marianne Boesky Gallery and Casterline Goodman. Don't miss Baldwin Gallery, which specializes in American visual artists, and check out Elliott Yeary Gallery for 19th- and 20th-century masters. Make your last stop the Aspen Art Museum which is housed in a 30,000 square-foot building designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban and focuses on international contemporary art. 

    Lunch at the SO Café on the Aspen Art Museum’s rooftop. The SO’s weekly rotating menu is based on seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients. Offerings might include farro-vegetable soup or a tuna tartine.

From downtown, walk to the Smuggler Mountain trailhead and take the 1.4-mile-long trail to the overlook for a view of the Roaring Fork Valley. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Smuggler Mine helped put Aspen on the map during the silver mining boom of the 1800s. 

Book dinner at Bosq. Share smoked salmon crackers and steak tartare followed by venison with root vegetables and red mole. Be sure to order in advance if you want Bosq’s signature Peking duck. Finish with a nightcap at J-Bar at the Jerome Hotel, which Hunter S. Thompson used as a de facto office during his 1970 campaign for sheriff. Order a mug of hot glogg (a blend of wine, spirits, and spices).

Day 2

Fuel up at Local Coffee House with a macchiato and the black rice porridge with coconut-almond milk, berries, and cinnamon.

Choose your adventure:

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  • Option 1: Fitness

    Scale a frozen waterfall with Aspen Expeditions. Beginners will learn techniques like tool placement and body positioning on the Rio Grande Trail, while guides can accompany experienced climbers to the nearby town of Redstone for an ice climb through sandstone cliffs.

  • Option 2: Culture

    Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Get the full experience at Silverpeak Apothecary, a chic dispensary that showcases a mid-century modern aesthetic and an exhaustive menu of strains and hybrids.

Head to Explore Booksellers on Main Street, which has an eclectic library of titles tucked away on the shelves of a historic Victorian home. Once you’ve picked out some new reading material, go upstairs to Pyramid Bistro for lunch. Try the galangal curry bowl or butternut squash farro risotto with cremini mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and roasted peppers. 

Top off the day with a ride on the Silver Queen Gondola up to the peak of Aspen Mountain. Take in the views from 11,212 feet, then relax with a drink on the Sundeck restaurant patio. 

For your final meal, head to Clark’s, a beloved neighborhood oyster bar. Share the seafood platter, then sample Clark’s famous lobster roll or the Scottish ocean trout with grilled kale.

48 hours in Milan

There are over 100 miles of cycling paths inside the city.