ASPEN – Yes, it has a reputation as a skiing and snowboarding hot spot, but when the snow melts and the grass turns vibrant green, a different Aspen emerges.
In summer the hikers, bikers, food enthusiasts, musicians and writers come to town. Out There Colorado friend Teresa J. Farney, food editor of The Gazette newspaper (gazette.com) in Colorado Springs, headed to town to check out the Food & Wine Classic, the granddaddy of all food festivals, and found there’s plenty of good eating, hiking and fun to be had in the town of glitz and glamour.
Here’s Teresa’s look at a few summer activities, ideas for places to stay and a few dining options.
HIKING AND BIKING
- Hunter Creek Trail is a day hike for beginner to intermediate trekkers.
- Sunnyside Trail is a great spot from which to see Aspen valley views.
- Ute Trail is a more strenuous hike, but is worthwhile for the views from the summit. Maps of local trails are available at Ute Mountaineer (information below).
- Bike the Rio Grande Trail from town to Woody Creek Tavern, a former hangout of the late Hunter S. Thompson, for lunch. It is famous for its margaritas and massive plates of nachos. Take cash, credit cards are not accepted.
- Susie’s Limited, 623 E. Hopkins Ave. A shop housed in a Victorian in the downtown core. You’ll find gently used purses, designer jeans or the perfect summer dress.
- The Ute Mountaineer, 308 S. Mill St. Anything you need for hiking (maps, shoes, camping stuff and cool clothes). Visit www.utemountaineer.com.
- The Limelight Lodge, 355 S. Monarch St. Great value, fantastic location, service, rooms, views. Visit limelighthotel.com. Call 1-970-925-3025.
- Aspen Meadows, 845 Meadows Road. Another good choice. Visit aspenmeadows.com. Call 1-866-460-1533.
- Mountain Chalet, 333 E. Durant Ave. Comfortable and affordable. Call 1-970-925-7797 or visit mountainchaletaspen.com.
- St. Regis, 315 E. Dean St. Expect to pay more than $600 a night if you don’t hit a special, but if you’re looking to impress, you won’t find a grander hotel in the area. Visit stregisaspen.com. Call 1-866-716-8135.
- 520 Grill, 520 E. Cooper Ave., a burger joint in the style of a roadside diner, serving excellent burgers, sandwiches and salads. Expect to stand in line, but it’s worth the wait.; 520grill.com.
- Jimmy’s American Restaurant & Bar, 205 S. Mill St. A consistent crowd-pleaser with a sophisticated, “everybody knows your name” atmosphere and a traditional American surf-and-turf menu, features more than 70 varieties of tequila and mezcal and a lively bar scene; named one of the best places for a margarita by USA Today. Call 1-970-925-6020 or visit www.jimmysaspen.com.
- Kenichi, 533 E. Hopkins Ave. This popular sushi den is constantly abuzz; talented chefs bring global tastes to the extensive sushi menu. Call 1-970-920-2212 or visit www.kenichiaspen.com.
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