Jimmy, the Outsider –
Aspen is a delightfully walkable small town, with a handy grid pattern and several pedestrian-only areas. Friendly residents are happy to get you pointed in the right direction and make recommendations.
Hit the trails! Hiking is as simple as walking toward toward the mountains all around. Trails abound, some easy going and others more challenging. Short drives (or better yet, take free public bus rides!) to nearby Snowmass offer even more hiking options.
For cycling, We-cycle bike-share program is a quick, easy and cheap option. For an overall easy going ride, take paths and bike lanes in a wide loop around the outskirts of Aspen from the Roaring Fork path on one side to Aspen Mountain on the other.The lovely Rio Grande Bike Trail path along Roaring Fork River is a treat. See in-town sites like the John Denver Sanctuary, an oasis of ponds and flowers, and a string of parks. If you’re looking for a more challenging ride, rent a road bike and take the trail all the way down valley to Glenwood Springs – over 20 miles each way.
Get a history lesson and some exercise in the process. Aspen has a long and rich history, based in mining. The Aspen Historical Society has great tour programs that include ghost towns, historic and detailed buildings (including a pub tour) and hiking trails. We had a very informative and friendly guide who took us around the town, telling us the inside scoop on old families, scandals, heroic events and romance. The Historical Society also gets you out in the wilderness for some history lessons, to ghost towns and the Holden/Marolt Mining and Ranching Museum (wander the grounds for free, with a fee to enter the exhibits).
See Aspen from above with a ride on a Gondola! They run in the winter of course, to get you from base to mountaintop slopes for skiing. But they also run in the summer, affording amazing views.
After a day exploring Aspen under clear blue sunny Colorado skies, nothing is better than cooling off with a craft brew from Aspen Brewing Company. This modest brewery, centrally located, has a cozy rooftop patio with views of Aspen Mountain. Spectacular spot for sippin’ – cheers! Read all about our discoveries in Aspen, here.