The Aspen Winter Guide

Aspen is a storybook destination, especially in the winter. We’ve scouted out where to play, stay, eat, drink, and enjoy – and skiing is not required. There is something for everyone in Aspen. Here are some favorite ways to experience the town and explore the Roaring Fork Valley.


First stop: up. Upon arrival in Aspen, Erin and Amy love to send their friends on a gondola ride to the top of Aspen Mountain, no matter the season. As the locals say, “Life is better at the top!”

A visit to the dreamy Maroon Bells is in order during the summer. But in the winter, consider Ashcroft your destination. In particular, the legendary Pine Creek Cookhouse (12500 Castle Creek road) for lunch or dinner, nestled at the base of the Elk Mountains. You can get to the lodge by horsedrawn sleigh, or earn your meal by cross-country skiing through the woods or snowshoeing just over a mile. By night, the stars are bright and by day the mountain vistas are breathtaking.

Planning to ski, snowboard, or even skin up the hill? Our Aspen Mountain Guide gives a complete profile of each of the four mountains in the Aspen Snowmass area. From family favorites to expert-only terrain, discover your ideal day on the mountain. Be sure to check out the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster at Snowmass, especially during Ullr nights.

Snowcat dinners offer a unique way to experience high-altitude alpine dining. Both the Lynn Britt Cabin in Snowmass and Aspen Highland’s Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro offer a memorable mountain dining atmosphere.

More of a river person? Fly fishing on the Gold Medal Roaring Fork is possible from Aspen to Glenwood, with some of the best waters to wade into below the Frying Pan River in Basalt. Stop into Downtown Basalt for lunch to warm up and get a taste of the town’s old railroad past.


Whether you’re looking for something healthy to sip or the perfect cocktail to unwind with after a day of adventure, Aspen has you covered.

JÜS (501 East Hyman Avenue) is Erin and Amy’s go-to for fresh-pressed juices (Amy’s favorite bottled drink there is the Charcoal Lemonade, while Erin loves the Ginger Greens), to-go lunch items, or small snacks to take out on the winter trails.

When you’re ready for an adult beverage, Betula (525 East Cooper Avenue, #201) is the place to go. According to Erin, whose order of choice is the “Drink Me From the Bottom,” and Amy, who prefers the “Yellow Paloma,” you have to see their cocktails in person to believe them.


Before starting any Aspen adventure, hit uup Local Coffee House & Eatery (614 East Cooper Avenue), Amy and Erin love the fresh doughnuts, avocado toast, and oat milk lattes, but the beautiful space in itself is reason enough to go. 

If you’re seeking some clean and satisfying fare, Amy and Erin suggest Spring Cafe (119 South Spring Street), a relaxing place for an organic and vegan-friendly lunch.

Locals will always recommend a trip to The White House Tavern (302 East Hopkins Avenue). According to Amy and Erin, the menu is unpretentious but amazing, and the cocktails are legendary. “Hands down, this place is worth whatever the wait,” says Amy.

If you’re in need of something more substantial after a day on the mountain, grab a burger and the truffle fries at Ajax Tavern (685 East Durant Avenue) at The Little Nell. The restaurant, which has fantastic people-watching, is situated right at the base of Aspen Mountain, so the view is spectacular.

When friends come to town, Erin and Amy take them to dinner at Cache Cache (205 South Mill Street), which has been in business for three decades and boasts an impressive wine list. When going out with the whole family, they love to hit Home Team BBQ (38750 CO-82) for delicious food and a family-friendly atmosphere. “The kids can play outside at the base of Buttermilk while we eat some of the best barbecue this side of the Mississippi,” says Erin. A perfect spot to end the day when skiing with the Family at Buttermilk.


A day walking around town gives you the opportunity to explore everything from high-end luxury brands to local favorites, like women’s clothing boutique P.E. 101 (500 East Cooper Avenue) and contemporary clothing store Pitkin County Dry Goods (520 East Cooper Avenue). Amy and Erin also love the stylish LIV (605 East Cooper Avenue) and Souchi (205 South Mill Street) for everyday wear. Don’t miss Perch (535 E Hyman Ave), a must-shop women’s boutique that Amy and Erin both love.

Need a hat to hang? Saddle on up for a Stetson and swig (of whiskey) at KemoSabe (217 S. Galena St.) upon your arrival to Aspen. If you’re looking for a custom piece or you’re open to experimenting with your style or look or know what you desire out of a hat, try the Aspen Hatter (465 N. Mill Street). New to Aspen in 2020, Nick Fouquet (520 E. Hyman Avenue) offers ready-to-wear or appointments for custom creations.

Jewelry lovers should stop into Meridian Jewelers (525 East Cooper Avenue) to peruse the luxury gems and accessories, and Elliott Yeary Gallery (419 E Hyman Avenue) for exquisite, one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as artwork displayed inside their distinctly Aspen space (think old wood floors and brick walls). 


The Little Nell (675 E Durant Avenue) is the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Aspen. That means during the summer months, you can walk right out of your room on this five-star property and onto the mountainside trails. The resort is known for the list of adventures it can organize for visitors, from romantic stargazing evenings to group fly fishing adventures.

Another great option, the Limelight Aspen (355 South Monarch Street) has a fantastic pool, a festive happy hour, and must-try pizzas—plus, it is located right next to the FOOD & WINE Classic, which means you just might spot celebrity chefs if you’re in town during the festival. Meanwhile, the Limelight Snowmass (65 Wood Road, Snowmass Village), the newest addition to lodging in the Roaring Fork Valley, has one of the tallest indoor climbing walls in Colorado and is perfect for families. Plus, visitors can head right up Snowmass Mountain just outside the front door of the hotel.

Looking for lodging you can buy out for the whole crew? Aspen Street Lodge (200 S Aspen Street) opened in 2021 and offers intimate, residential-style accommodations. Ideal for intimate weddings, corporate retreats, or small family reunions.

For additional recommendations for what to do, see, and experience in Aspen, Colorado, browse or buy a copy of The Scout Guide Aspen and follow TSG Aspen on Instagram. And be sure to check out all of the local resources the Aspen Chamber Resort Association offers – from planning your trip to things to do, and more.

Please note: The TSG Aspen team works hard to keep the information as up-to-date as possible. Given the evolving nature of local health restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, please double-check the information posted on this website with any business you plan on visiting before you venture out. Please note that we have not vetted or certified any businesses listed within this website for their compliance with applicable local, regional, state, and federal safety regulations.

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