More than just a ski town? Find out why Summer in Aspen is heating up.

More than just a ski town? Find out why Summer in Aspen is heating up.

Of course, Aspen is known worldwide as one of the top winter destinations for skiing and snowboarding, but far fewer people are aware of the spectacular activities and experiences available during the summer months.

Aspen's beautiful natural surroundings and cultural attractions make it a world-class summer destination. Here are just a few of the reasons why you have to visit Aspen in the summer. 

1. Outdoor Adventure

The warm summer months in Aspen offer a plethora of outdoor adventures: hiking, cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, paddleboarding, scenic drives, and so much more. With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Aspen's beautiful weather creates a perfect environment for outdoor exploration.

You can challenge yourself with a hike up the Ute or by cycling to Maroon Bells. Alternatively, you can enjoy pleasantly paddling stillwater or leisurely biking down the Rio Grande Trail en route to a Woody Creek Tavern margarita. With so much to do outdoors, anyone can find an adventure that's right for them. 

2. Stunning Natural Beauty

Aspen's surroundings are nothing short of breathtaking. Situated in the heart of the Elk Mountains, stunning views of towering peaks, verdant forests, and crystal-clear streams command every scene.

The Maroon Bells, located just outside of Aspen, is often regarded as one of the most picturesque places in the entire state of Colorado, and is definitely worth a visit. Independence Pass likewise offers breathtaking scenery which can be enjoyed either on foot or by car. 

Even when standing in the middle of town, the beauty of the Elk Mountains is ubiquitous in the backdrop of every scene. 

3. Rich Arts and Culture Scene

Aspen may be known for its natural beauty, but it is also a hub for arts and culture. Music, visual arts, and live theatre are all available for visitors' enjoyment.

The Aspen Music Festival and School draws music lovers from across the globe. Young apprentices work with master musicians throughout the summer and perform concerts to the delight of classical music afficianados who may either be sitting rapt in the indoor gallery or outdoors lazing with a glass of champagne on the shaded lawn.

Contemporary music is likewise represented at venues like Belly Up and The Wheeler Opera House as well as at the myriad of music festivals throughout the summer in both Aspen and Snowmass.

The most popular event is undoubtably the JAS Labor Day festival which is held annually over Labor Day weekend and features popular artists like Leon Bridges, Stevie Nicks, and Jimmy Buffett. This year's lineup is headlined by Foo Fighters and The Lumineers. 

The Aspen Art Museum is open daily free of charge and shows curated exhibits featuring heralded contemporary artists. However, if you're an art lover who prefers to party and purchase, Art Crush is one of Aspen's most exclusive galas and offers exquisite pieces for auction to benefit local charities. 

Live theatre is hosted every summer at Aspen's Theatre in the Park in the John Denver Sanctuary. Recent productions include "Annie" and "Hairspray." This year's lineup features "Rent."

With an arts and culture scene that rivals much larger cities, summer in Aspen sets itself apart from any other mountain town. 

4. Delicious Food and Drinks

Trendy farm-to-table cuisine, classic steakhouse fare, trendy fine dining, and even a few dive bars contribute to Aspen's eclectic culinary scene.

Parc Aspen is the newest farm-to-table concept in town. They're opening for brunch a few times throughout Spring then will officially open for daily service this summer. Bear Den and Spring Cafe are other solid options for the health-conscious among us. 

Steakhouse 316 and its sister location Monarch Steakhouse are the go-to red-meat destinations of town. However, Catch Steak is quickly catching on (eh... see what I did there?) with Aspen visitors just as it has with those of Vegas and New York City.

If you're looking for inspiration in your cuisine, fine-dining options like Betula, Cache Cache, Matsuhisa, Bosq, and The Wild Fig are all stellar. Just make sure to make reservations. Tables at these top-tier establishments are highly regarded and hard to come by. Reservations can be made 30 days in advance at most.  

Sometimes a burger and a beer are all we ever needed, and in those times, Aspen still has you covered with an excellent "dive" scene. Zane's Tavern is the go-to sports bar in town with multiple screens viewable from every seat in house and they're serving up greasy bar-food staples like philly cheese steaks and onion rings all day every day. Aspen Tap sits on a sunny corner downtown that when mixed with their tasty pies and pints, makes for an excellent patio scene. The granddaddy of them all, the infamous Woody Creek Tavern, is best visited via bicycle. Beginning at Heron Park in Aspen, take a trip 8 miles down the Rio Grande Trail to the community of Woody Creek where the Tavern sits and has hosted everyone from Hunter S. Thompson to Emma Thompson. This dive which has become an institution casts no judgments regardless of who walks through the hallowed doors, so come as you are and fill up on Margaritas, freshly shucked oysters, fried chicken, and ceviche. 

5. Festivals and Events

Aspen hosts an array of festivals and events throughout the summer.

The Food & Wine Classic in mid June is the unofficial kickoff to summer, attracting culinary stars and aficionados alike who travel from around the world to converge on the Grand Tastings in Wagner Park as well as the myriad of offshoot parties and competitions around town. The Grand Cachon hosted by Hotel Jerome has become a fan favorite competition. Chef-entrants are challenged to roast the absolute best suckling pig and the spectators become the judges.

Aspen Ideas Festival is another wildly-popular Aspen festival but with much less of a party scene and more of a mind-melding that brings together thought leaders in politics, science, and culture for Ted-talk type presentations. Attendees join to hear about pressing current issues and look for inspiration from some of the most influential people in the world. 

Home to outdoor adventure, stunning views, cultural events, delectable cuisine, and much more, Aspen is a world-class summer getaway.

Contact us at Aspen Luxury Brokers for accommodations in and around Aspen this summer. 

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