David Stillman Meyer | August 24, 2017 | Lifestyle
Summer is winding down and for many that means one last chance to sit bumper to bumper on Highways 27, 6 or 1. (Those would be the congested thoroughfares that service the Hamptons, the Cape, and the ‘Bu, respectively.) Now, if you’re one of those Aspen “winter people,” who have been told a hundred times, “Oh, well, you should see it the summer,” here are eight reasons why your next summer escape ought to be here, even if you’ve never touched a “hiking” shoe in your life.
The Maroon Bells, one of the most photographed sites in the U.S.
There are just so many different things to do in Aspen, for the outdoorsy, adventure minded, the sky is literally the limit. Activities include fly-fishing, white water rafting, hot air ballooning, riding, four-wheeling, dirt biking, paragliding, mountain biking, road cycling, swimming, rock climbing, hiking, and camping.
Mountain biking high above town
Once you’re in Aspen proper, everything is at your doorstep. Just wander off into the mountains or into a spa, there’s no traffic calculation needed, except maybe an extra few minutes to park the car.
Kids run the place
No Maidstone membership required if you enjoy time on the court and/or course. Aspen Tennis and Golf is open to the public and is kept in pristine condition. Court times are a breeze, and if you want a truly fabulous view, head over to Aspen Meadows where the tennis courts overlook Aspen Mountain and Independence Pass. If private golf clubs are your thing, The Roaring Fork Club as well as the Maroon Creek Club are both ranked in Colorado's Top Ten by Golf Digest.
The hills are alive with the sound of it courtesy the Aspen Music Festival and School. Concerts and master classes are held daily across multiple venues including the Aspen Chapel, the top of Aspen Mountain, not to mention impromptu student jam sessions on street corners. The headliners perform over at the Benedict Music Tent, which was ingeniously designed so non-ticket holders can casually picnic on the surrounding lawn. The town also stages a musical, three operas, the JAS Labor Day Experience and the Belly Up brings in an impressive lineup of DJs and popular performers.
Two words for you: no humidity. On the same parallel as Washington D.C., but kept cool by altitude, Aspen is located in a no-AC-necessary sweet spot. Rain storms rarely last more than an hour, the sun is pleasantly warm and shining 300 days a year. The nights are cool and quiet – no crashing of waves to deal with.
They practically run this town during the summer. The camp options are plentiful and range from the educational to the adventurous. For example, they could learn to skateboard, bungee jump, rock climb, interpretive dance, raise chickens, or just take in the weekly rodeo over at Snowmass.
The Aspen Valley Polo Club has tournaments every summer weekend (Sundays 11am and 1pm) open to the public and free of charge. If you or your kids are interested in learning the game of kings, they offer lessons ($300/hour) with 6 and 7 goal instructors. Hey, Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be looking for suitors before you know it–it could be an excellent investment.
Aspen Valley Polo Club
Purveyors of freshly picked peppers, artisanal breads, fabulously shaped heirloom tomatoes, and eggs with yolks oranger than a Veuve Cliquot champagne label, take to the streets every Saturday morning for the Farmers’ Market. The Chamber of Commerce curates the vendors. Absolutely everything for sale from the silver jewelry to the jarred preserves, has to be made and grown in Colorado. While the market is bustling, not impenetrable, unlike some of the more popular roadside markets “out East.” Through October 3rd
Top to bottom: MarySue Bonetti, Seth Beckton, Shawn O'Connor, Jason Dewey, Courtesy of Snowmass Rodeo, Etta Meyer, Courtesy of Cache Cache