WHERE THE LOCALS GO IN ASPEN
Because no one is more 'in the snow' than they are
When hitting up a ski town for the first or fourteenth time it is always good to know where the locals go for the best coffee, best prices and best powder. Because no one is more ‘in the snow’ than they are.
Jour de Fete
French man, Olivier Mottier, and his French American family have been serving up coffee to Aspen’s inner circle since 1988. Olivier understands Australians love of coffee so he will know what you mean when you order a flat white. The unassuming corner café on East Durant Avenue is the first choice of ski instructors and the Aspen police who congregate here each morning for local chitchat and a long black. Don’t worry, they’re friendly, have you seen their Facebook page, it’s hilarious.
Quick and easy fuel
You know the fuel is good when the town’s extreme skiers are wolfing down the produce after a thigh burning day of cliff hucking highs. Tacos, burgers, sambos and salads made to order at 520 Grill on East Cooper and served up old school style in a red basket and paper.
La Creperie du Village
This intimate European basement creperie is known for its fun atmosphere and friendly service. This den of French alpine design specializes in raclette, fondue, charcuterie boards and crepes and is ideal for groups and families wanting to break bread together.
Few know the secret that is ACES. The Aspen Centre for Environmental Studies is open year round perched on the downtown Hallam Lake. Take a nature walk around the pristine waters amongst the 25 acres nature preserve, meet the golden eagle and take some time out to witness freely roaming coyote, fox, deer, elk, beaver and bears.
Aspen Art Museum
The stunning architectural design of the Aspen Art Museum sits proudly on the corner of East Hyman and Spring and regularly holds visiting exhibitions of both known and emerging artists. Entrance is free. You’ll find the locals on the rooftop terrace taking in the mountain view with a mulled wine in hand.
Remede Spa, St Regis
There’s a reason that Aspen locals have such well manicured hands. Book a spa treatment at The Remede Spa at St Regis and you’ll have all day access to their relaxation and oxygen lounge, hydrotherapy, steam and sauna, plunge pools, fitness centre and complimentary glass of champagne. A manicure will set you back US$60.
The Little Nell
It may not be the cheapest hot chocolate in the world but it is surely one of the best. Locals in search of some affordable luxury hit up The Little Nell for a decadent chocolate fix of house made marshmallows and Valrhona melted chocolate ganache served up fireside in lounge chairs you could lose yourself in.
Ski in ski out mayhem
Cloud 9 at Highlands is an Aspen institution. This retro ski in ski out mid mountain chalet restaurant has been serving up ‘dance on table in your ski boots lunches’ for decades. You will not get out sober, you will not get out without a smile on your face and you’ll be lucky to get out not drenched in champagne from revelers. You will however have to ski back down so do it slowly.
J Bar at Hotel Jerome
On game day you’ll find a bar filled with Bloody Marys and screens filled with football at the J Bar at Hotel Jerome, the bar of choice for Hunter S Thompson during his living days.
Justice Snow’s [justicesnows.com]
It is hard to find a bad cocktail in Aspen. The town is filled with watering holes dedicated to serious après. You can even design your own cocktail at Justice Snows on the corner of East Hyman and North Mill. The bar man will talk you through the bespoke cocktail menu to create a signature drink just for you.
Happy hour pizza
The Limelight Hotel
The lounge at The Limelight has a daily happy hour from 3pm to 7pm with $10 wood fired pizzas, $3 Bud Lights, $4 draft beers, $6.50 house wines and $8 specialty cocktails. Enough said.