Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado

By Estela Cockrell

Travel Guide: Aspen, Colorado
Oh, that little town they call Aspen.....what can I say. It’s truly magical. Although it is packed with people in the summer, especially the 4th of July, the holidays and President’s Day weekend it still can be a quiet, calm and relaxing place to retreat. There is plenty to do in the Roaring Fork Valley for families, teens, and bestie purists. 

Fave places to stay:

1) A friends house (honestly aspen is the best to bunk together)  
2) The Little Nell - so lux. 
3)  The St. Regis - perfectly appointed. 
4) Viceroy - lux off the beaten path.  (great value in summer and Kelly Wherstler interiors do not disappoint) 

Places to Eat that accommodate gluten-free and dairy-free: 

Lunch Aspen - White House Tavern, Spring Cafe, Elevations at The Little Nell, Prospector at The Jerome. Pyramid Bistro has great and healthy meals. Brunelleschi's to make your own pizza. 
Dinner Aspen - 7908, sit late and enjoy the music post dinner. 
Casa Tua - they even have gluten-free pasta from time to time. 
Steak 316 
Matsuhisa - very accommodating for allergies. Must have a reservation or try to dine extra early with the kids upstairs.
Aqualina - excellent Italian but only so/so on the food allergies. So be careful!!

Drinks or after dinner: 

Gray Lady
Cache Cache 
Casa Tua 

Fave things to do:

Hike, of course....love the Government trail from Snowmass down to Buttermilk, American Lake, or Lost Man. And hiking to Crested Butte or up to the top of Sopris Mountain!
For “workout hikes” Smugg (aka smuggler or ute trail are the best. Scenic or family hike - Maroon Bells hiking is fun and easy! Don’t miss going up to the top of Ajax (Aspen Mountain). About a 3000-foot elevation change a brisk walk. 
Bike, a lot. I take my Townie everywhere. You can downhill. But, I personally cruise with the kids from town to Snowmass or Woody Creek or Basalt. Biking the Rio Grande trail. Bike to Woody Creek for margaritas at the tavern (maybe drink more than eat - those with celiac). The bike back to Aspen is uphill! 
Floating the river or stand up paddle boarding the Roaring Fork is the best! We spend many family days on the river. We even take our lab! Nothing more fun! 

Other activities: 

Sundays at Music Tent in the summer are delightful. Bring a picnic blanket, snacks from Saturday's farmer market and your family will be set for a perfect cool aspen night. Parking can be bad, so I suggest biking to the music tent!
Thursday music on Snowmass Mountain at Fanny Hill or the authentic Carbondale Rodeo. 
A drive to the Powers Art Center in Carbondale it's sooooo worth it!! Stop at Catherine’s store and tell Rhonda, Estela said Hi. Find some of the coolest, curated, most interesting wines from around the globe!  
The Aspen Art Museum is not to be missed. A gem of architecture and contemporary art! 
Shop the Hyman mall, and explore the traditional stores and the cool pop-ups. 
Don't forget the Saturday Aspen Farmer’s Market filled with much unique organic produce perfect for dinner. 
If you are there for a while. Take an art class at Anderson Ranch or catch a musical or play at Theatre Aspen

Some of the best summer events: 

Food and Wine
Small Town 4th of July 
Labor Day Music Festival 
Stand up paddle. Sometimes we do the preserve which is so fun and easy. You drop in at Wyldwood School but every year they talk about shutting that down - hopefully, they don't ever!. We also drop in Carbondale and pop out in Westbank in Glenwood. 

My Aspen musts:

Can't leave anywhere without Cbliss lip balm, Back to the Basics, Hello Beauty! Collagen, Super ooo-omegas, our vegan protein, Brain Buzz + Yoga in Cup adaptogens, and Hangover Patches!