As playground to the rich and famous and home to nearly 7,000 year-round residents, Aspen is brimming with options. Some resorts can offer an exceptional family experience, some can offer fine dining options, others can offer an expert skier’s paradise or an intermediate cruisers dream, but few can offer all of this rolled into one of the best ski towns and nightlife scenes in North America. An Aspen ski vacation is perfect for anyone looking for anything, thanks to the resort's four conveniently located mountains: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass.
And as varied as the terrain is, the Aspen dining scene also offers visitors a host of selections from the unique and high-end, like Iron Chef Matsuhisa’s Japanese fusion restaurant, to Food & Wine Magazine’s Chef’s Club at the St. Regis, to pizza, Mexican and even affordable pub food. In Aspen, if you want it all you have to do is ask.
Beginner skiers will thrive at Buttermilk and Snowmass, each of which have beginner and kid-friendly facilities, and designated “learn to ski” zones catering to both adults and children. All-in-all Aspen/Snowmass is an intermediate skier’s heaven, since the overwhelming majority of all four mountains, aka the “Power of Four” terrain is designated as intermediate terrain. Beginner skiers, especially first-timers, are discouraged from skiing at Aspen Mountain, because there are no green trails.
On the flip side, expert skiing is what Aspen Mountain, and Aspen Highlands for that matter, are known for. Cult-classic ‘80s ski movie, Aspen Extreme was filmed on the slopes of Aspen Mountain, or “Ajax.” Young locals happily carry the torch of extreme, aggressive Aspen skiing, and live by a top-to-bottom, or “T-to-B” mantra. And there’s no better place for top-to-bottom runs thanks to Ajax’ Silver Queen Gondola’s 3,267 foot vertical ascent. Those with a penchant for pain, or a spirit of adventure, can also get their kicks by hiking the 700 vertical feet to the top of famed Aspen Highland Bowl. You’ll be rewarded at the Bowl’s summit with one Aspen/Snowmass’ best views and incredible backcountry-esque skiing.