ASPEN: Dinner

 Aspen, Aspen PICKs, COLORADO, Restaurants  Comments Off on ASPEN: Dinner
Dec 152012
 

Top Pick

Pacifica

This is the place to go in town if you want the best seafood.  Order the Lobster Bisque and the Sea Scallops!  Great martinis too.  And people watching.  A romantic spot as well.

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Elevation

Elevation just celebrated their 12th anniversary on 12/12, and they’re still as much a favorite as when they opened.  One of the originals located on Restaurant Row, Elevation combines great service and ambiance with really delicious food and wine (over 400 choices).  And they have a late night menu too.  Definitely worth a visit. (Order the lamb … oh, and the beet salad! yum!)

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Ute City

If you want to see and be seen, and have some really good food and wine, this is your place.  Walt manages this almost new hot spot above Syzygy on restaurant row.  Everything on the menu is delicious — definitely a top pick with a great atmosphere.

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L’Hostaria

Don’t walk by this underground goodie!  L’Hostaria is the choice for Italian lovers offering all the  classics (love the Pappardelle alla Bolegnese).  For a more casual experience, order off the bar menu, kick back and listen to the music (live some nights).

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Finnbarr’s

Don’t you just love a great Irish pub? Finbarr’s Irish Pub and Kitchen is owned by long-time Aspen local, Denis Finbarr O’Donovan. Finbarr’s brings Aspen a traditional Irish restaurant and gathering place. Serving gastro pub cuisine to fit every palette, Finbarr’s is a favorite for locals and visitors alike.

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Ryno’s

There’s a new “pies and pints” place in town (located on Cooper Street).   Open til 2 am, Ryno’s is another option for those with the late night munchies!

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Creperie du Village

If you’re looking for a hot new spot with character and to-die-for crepes, this is it.  It’s offers a full bar, patio, al fresco dining, takeout and to-go and every kind of  sweet and savory crepe imaginable (and fondue!).  As they say, “we melt for you!”  Open til 1:30 am.

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Justice Snow’s

Located in the iconic Wheeler House, Justice Snow’s opened up in January 2012 to much fanfare by the locals.  Colorado inspired and ridiculously affordable, Justice Snow’s open 365 days a year for lunch and dinner.  Named after the Justice of the Peace, Mr. Snow in the 1880’s, it’s is a place where day laborers, business people and the elite meet and mingle and enjoy some grub.

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Steakhouse No. 316

Formerly known as LuLu Wilson, this new eatery reopened the summer of 2011 as a bordello-y steakhouse with an ambiance of 1920s-style decor, complete with old photos of Aspen’s early days (oh, and they have all new staff).  So what sets this one apart? Steakhouse No. 316 is serving wine on tap. It’s a new concept — wine in a keg that holds up to 30 bottles and is air tight.  The owners (the Cordts-Pearces) also own CP Burger, the Wild Fig and Brexi Brasserie in town.

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Cache Cache

Cache Cache always delights.  Another recently transformed restaurant, this establishment serves delicious food and wine.  Great for people watching too in the “tres chic” bar area.

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Meatball Shack

Who doesn’t love a good meatball?  Get three balls in a bowl (you can choose the sauce). They even offer delicious mini-balls (and salads) if you’re on a diet.  Gotta check it out!

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Kenichi Aspen

A step or two up from Takah, Kenichi just underwent a gorgeous makeover to reflect their contemporary Asian cuisine.  Sit at the sushi bar and watch the funny and talented sushi chefs work their magic.  Or for a more intimate dining experience — grab a booth. Order the Blake roll, named after a former employee who passed away.

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Plato’s

Located at the Aspen Meadows Resort, Plato’s boasts one of the most picturesque views in town with their floor-to-ceiling windows!  Chef Todd Slossberg, known for his locally sourced cuisine and innovative technique, serves up a Harris Ranch Manhattan-cut strip steak which is sizzled to perfection at this unique, dining gem.

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Wild Fig

A more intimate restaurant in the heart of Aspen that delivers some really great mouth-watering mediterranean cuisine.  Nice outside dining in the summer.  Very charming!  Order the “Flavors of the Sun” appetizer, a sample platter of hummus, tapenade, pita…

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Takah Sushi

This has been a long-time local favorite since the 80’s (different location).  If you want good sushi (caterpillar roll ~ yum!), great sake, lots of locals and fun entertainment (Guitarist Cameron Williams even plays there on occasion), go here.

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Zheng Asian Bistro (Basalt / Glenwood)

Zheng is most definitely one of our all time favorites.   It never disappoints.  Some of the best food and the nicest staff in the Valley.  And every day is fun day from 4-6 pm ($7.00 drink and appetizer).  Rock the wok for lunch and dinner.

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Cuvee Bistro (Basalt)

One of my all time favorite restaurants in the Roaring Fork Valley.  You’ve got to try the BBQ salmon salad…it’s out of this world!  Everything tastes great at this Basalt restaurant.

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Phat Thai (Carbondale)

The atmosphere alone makes a visit to Carbondale worthwhile, but the food is even better.  Some of the best thai food around.  Love the coconut pumpkin soup and the Nonya shrimp and pineapple curry.  Don’t forget to try the specialty cocktails.

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Do You Have A Local Favorite?

This list is a work in progress and will be continuously updated.
If your favorite is missing, please submit a recommendation below for review.  Thanks!

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ASPEN: Fine Dining

 Aspen PICKs, PICKS, Restaurants  Comments Off on ASPEN: Fine Dining
Dec 052012
 

Top PickPinons

A recently renovated local establishment, Pinons was as much a favorite 22 years ago as it is today.  Everyone’s a VIP here; you won’t leave disappointed.   An extensive wine list to go with the incredible menu.  And their expanded bar offers great specials.

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Element 47

Named for silver on the periodic table, the newly opened (November 2012) Element 47 toasts the glory of Aspen’s flavorful mining history.  Super sleek design, distinctive and artistic cuisine from Chef Robert McCormick, a wine wall to die for with a team of sommeliers to pour it, Element 47 is located in the distinguished Little Nell Hotel.

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Pacifica

This is the place to go in town if you want the best seafood.  Order the Lobster Bisque and the Sea Scallops!  Great martinis too.  And people watching.  A romantic spot as well.

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Syzygy

This long time favorite recently changed locations to Restaurant Row, and their already incredible menu got even better.  Chic ambience.  Incredible wine list.  This restaurant is most definitely a special treat all the way around.

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Matsuhisa

The best sushi in Aspen, Matsuhisha is definitely worth a visit.  The freshest sushi, a great ambiance, and wonderful sake (and martinis!).  Order the black cod with miso which is to die for (same goes for the yellowtail jalapeno)!   It’s always a great time here, upstairs and down.

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Cache Cache

Cache Cache always delights.  Another recently transformed restaurant, this establishment serves delicious food and wine.  Great for people watching too.

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If your favorite is missing, please submit a recommendation below for review.  Thanks!

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ASPEN: Hard-Working Locals

 Aspen PICKs, People  Comments Off on ASPEN: Hard-Working Locals
Dec 222011
 

Top PickScott Henke

Scott has been in the construction business for over 25 years working for a variety of contractors in the Roaring Fork Valley.  Bottom line?  He can save you money if you are now calling a plumber, electrician, appliance repairman or contractor for your repairs. I can service most all of your needs for $50.00 an hour (2-hour minimum). He guarantees his work, is insured, takes pride in his work, and is very efficient in trouble shooting most anything.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Ali Flores

Ali came to the valley in 1997 and attended CMC to learn English.  She previously worked at The Gant Condomminiums where they had an excellent management team and a great training program.  A year later, she started her own cleaning, organizing and errands company. She lives in Glenwood Springs and does work in Aspen, Snowmass, and Mid Valley.  Bonus? She has her own transportation.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Robert Savino

Robert grew up in a the surburbs of Chicago and currently lives in Aspen.  He graduated from the University on Denver in 2008 with a construction management degree through the business school.  Check out his resume on his profile today and give him a call!

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week

Micah Smith

Micah has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for most of his life, and has many years of experience in the home repair and service industries.  He was trained in the Painters Union at the Collbran Job Corps; after graduating in 1998, he immediately joined the Local #9 in Manhattan where he finished his apprenticeship in two years.  View work examples in the photo gallery of his HireMeAspen profile.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week

Tracy Lizee

She moved to the Valley from Minnesota. She considers herself to be very responsible and has great references from multiple past employers to prove it. She’s a great problem-solver, personable and enjoys working with all types of people. And she’s really looking forward to spending a fun winter in Aspen/Snowmass.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Alexandra Mirante

She moved to the Valley after attending Rutgers and is now a ski-instructor for the Aspen Ski Company.  She brings great multi-tasking skills to the table and is used to working in fast-paced environments.  She also has great customer relations and problem-solving skills.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Summers Moore

She moved here after attending the University of Denver and fell in love with the Valley!  She has always loved the imagery in the Roaring Fork Valley, so she made a career of photography and owns Photo Moore Photography in Carbondale.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Aimee Yllanes

Aimee is a graphic designer who helps non-profit agencies, educational institutions and small businesses create inspiring print and web materials, so they can expand the reach of their organization to more members of the community. She also can assist with social media marketing…everything from setting up a facebook page for your business to an entire on-line marketing plan.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Hillary Maley

Trained worldwide, Hillary integrates Shiatsu, Reflexology, Acupressure, Thai, Sports, Deep Tissue, Lomi-Lomi & Swedish massage to provide the MOST therapeutic & rejuvenating massage possible.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Austin Nelson

Austin graduated from the University of Denver in 2008 with a BSBA in International Business. He started a student operated moving company while attending DU and completed many different internships, including a brief stint with Lamilux Inc. in Rehau, Germany. He’s currently training to compete in the Alpine skiing events at this winter’s Deaflympics in Slovakia.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Shannon Gray

Shannon just moved to the valley in late summer (2010) from Florida with her husband and twin, 17-month-old daughters. She’s excited to be here and is looking forward to all the valley has to offer…from meeting new friends to enjoying skiing.  A lover of photography and graphic design, she owns the Sweet Life Photography and Eco Gray Design businesses.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

Erik Skarvan

Erik loves the mountain lifestyle and adventure sports and really enjoys sharing that with others through a variety of creative and thrilling avenues. He owns Sun Dog Athletics and is the producer/host of The Local’s Show on Grassroots TV.

(HireMeAspen Profile, Spotlight of the Week)

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ASPEN: Shopping – Home Furnishings

 Aspen PICKs, Shopping  Comments Off on ASPEN: Shopping – Home Furnishings
Dec 102010
 

Top PickCathers Home (Basalt)

Cathers Home is the Roaring Fork Valley’s premier full service interior design firm, home furnishings retailer and rug gallery.  With a warehouse full of off-price and irregular furniture, shopping here is definitely a “must-do.”  We do!

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Amen Wardy

Amen Wardy has relocated (fall 2010) right across the street from the Silver Queen gondola to a newer and  brighter space.  With an emphasis on tabletop, each piece is hand-picked by Amen for its beauty and uniqueness.  Definitely a local favorite, especially when it comes to gift giving. 

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James Perse

Self-dubbed as “low maintenance high end fashion,” James Perse sells fashions and furniture.  Fairly new to the valley (summer 2010), James Perse is now the chic and trendy store in town.

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Little Bear Antiques (Carbondale)

Colorado’s most closely guarded secret, Little Bear Antiques is really a down-valley treasure.  They’ve achieved their goal of maintaining the highest quality antique line on the Western Slope.  Hat’s off!

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Roaring Fork Furniture (Glenwood Springs)

Located down valley, Roaring Fork Furniture has one of the widest selections of furniture in the area.  From sofas to accents to mattresses to rugs to outdoor furniture, this place has it all.

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This list is a work in progress and will be continuously updated.  If your favorite is missing, please submit a recommendation below for review.  Thanks!

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ASPEN: Shopping – Men’s

 Aspen PICKs, Shopping  Comments Off on ASPEN: Shopping – Men’s
Dec 102010
 

Top PickPitkin County Dry Goods

A staple in town, Pitkin County Dry Goods opened on 4th of July 1969.  Be sure to check out their shearling and leather jackets for those cold, snowy nights in Aspen. For men, they offer tailored clothing, sportswear, denim, shoes and accessories.  Be sure to check out their men’s shearling and leather jackets for those cold, snowy nights in Aspen.

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Manrico Cashmere

Who doesn’t love cashmere?  Visit this new store if you crave the ultimate in luxury apparel: a timeless piece of cashmere.   Made in Italy — ooh la la.

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Gorsuch Limited

Starting in 1960, Olympians Renie and David Gorsuch fell in love, got married, had a family and started selling clothes out of their station wagon.  Flash forward: they now have five successful stores filled with finest in apparel.  The creme de la creme in town, Gorsuch is your place if you want impeccable style and uncompromising quality.  Pricey, though.

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Kemo Sabe

Get your western on at Kemo Sabe.  Cowboy hats, cowboy boots, belt buckles and much much more.  Perfect for your life in the city or your time in the Rockies, Kemo Sabe’s got you covered.  Stop on by and shop a bit.

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Stefan Kaelin

Two-time founded this retail store back in the 70’s ~ a long time staple in the Aspen community.  Regarded as the leading ski specialty store in the area, they offer skiwear, golfwear, and sportswear — lots of fun bold colors and patterns (as well as ski equipment and rentals).

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ASPEN: Shopping – Sports

 Aspen PICKs, Shopping  Comments Off on ASPEN: Shopping – Sports
Dec 102010
 

Top PickHamilton Sports

Voted “Aspen’s Favorite Ski Shop” by The Aspen Times Readers in 2010, Hamilton Sports has some of the finest skiwear and equipment in the world (both rentals and retail).  In business for over 14 years now, Hamilton Sports is a skier’s ski shop…run by “real skiers, for real skiers.”  Located across from the Gondola Plaza (next to Surefoot and Ink! Coffee), Hamilton Sports is a great place to get your skis tuned up too, so check ’em out.

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Ute Mountaineer

Ute Mountaineer just moved locations (late 2010) to the Elks building on Galena Street.  This is the place to go if you’re a hard-core sports enthusiast who needs some product expertise.  They’ll hook you up with the right gear for your back country, hiking, camping, rock climbing, mountaineering, telemarking….expeditions.  If they’re not in the store selling, the sales people are most definitely outside using what they sell.

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Stefan Kaelin

Two-time founded this retail store back in the 70’s ~ a long time staple in the Aspen community.  Regarded as the leading ski specialty store in the area, they offer skiwear, golfwear, and sportswear — lots of fun bold colors and patterns (as well as ski equipment and rentals).

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Aspen Sports

With 11 stores in the area, Aspen Sports not only offers convenience, but it also has the widest selection of gear and clothes.  From rentals and guidance for a first snow-sports experience, to gear and advice for experts, they’ve got you covered.

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Four Mountain Sports

This is your typical mountain ski shop — you know, the place you go when you lose a glove on the lift while skiing or need some goggles because it’s snowing.  It’s the only rental shop that offers FREE ski and snowboard overnight storage (a huge advantage) and transfer to any of the four mountains.  That alone makes Four Mountain Sports tops in our mind.

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Gorsuch Limited

Starting in 1960, Olympians Renie and David Gorsuch fell in love, got married, had a family and started selling clothes out of their station wagon.  Flash forward: they now have five successful stores filled with finest in apparel.  The creme de la creme in town, Gorsuch is your place if you want impeccable style and uncompromising quality.  Pricey, though.

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ASPEN: Biking Trails

 Aspen PICKs, Places  Comments Off on ASPEN: Biking Trails
Dec 092010
 

Top PickSmuggler

Smuggler is one of the most popular roads in the summer months, with easy access to several backcountry trails. Beautiful views of Ajax Mountain.  Tread is doubletrack.

Little Annie Road

A great ride to the Aspen Mountain sun deck, and the most convenient and least strenuous way to reach the Richmond Ridge or the top of Aspen Mountain. Enjoy spectacular views up Castle Valley and the surrounding high peaks. Tread is doubletrack.

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Rio Grande Trail

It’s the most accessible trail in the area….and it’s paved.  Bicyclists can finally pedal the Rio Grande Trail all the way from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, and it’s just as much a favorite for those looking to take a brisk walk.  Beware…it’s a lot harder riding towards Aspen, but the ride back down valley will seem like a breeze!

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Sunnyside

Do this ride! One of the best rides in the Aspen area, with lots of variety, several technical sections, loads of uphill climbing, and amazing singletrack through a spectacular aspen forest.  Tread: 6.8 miles on singletrack; 7 miles on doubletrack; 2 miles on paved roads.

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Hunter Creek

A great ride with a lot of variety and access to miles of biking trails. There is a great singletrack section and a fun, fast downhill back to town. Tread: 2.6 miles on singletrack; 3.0 miles on doubletrack; 2 miles on paved roads.

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Rim Trail

One of the best singletrack rides in the Aspen area; fairly smooth tread with tight, twisting singletrack along a high ridgeline. Spectacular views up and down the Roaring Fork Valley. Tread: 3.7 miles on singletrack, 1.5 miles on paved road, and 1.2 miles on gravel roads.

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Taylor Pass (to Crested Butte)

A great alpine bike tour that takes you up, over, and through some of Colorado’s most spectacular alpine scenery. Spectacular views out to the Collegiate Peaks Range, alpine flowers in the summer months, and spectacular colors from the changing aspen in early fall. Tread: Rough four-wheel road, singletrack, and double-track with a short section of paved road.

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Basalt Mountain Lower Loop

A great intro to riding on and around Basalt Mountain. The singletrack riding is superb and ranks as some of the best in the Roaring Fork Valley. The hill climb up to the start of the singletrack is moderate with no technical difficulties. A favorite midvalley ride with superb singletrack and moderate hill climbs. Tread: 4.4 miles on dirt roads and 4.4 miles on singletrack.

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Light Hill Road

A steep, lung-busting hill climb with incredible views to Snowmass Ski Area, Capitol Peak, and Mount Sopris, with a fun singletrack section near the end of the ride. Tread: 3.9 miles on paved roads, 2.6 miles on doubletrack, and 1.1 miles on singletrack.

Midnight Mine

Great uphill workout. Another way to reach Richmond Hill and the sun deck. Tread is rough doubletrack.

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Pearl Pass

The original, big-daddy, high-alpine ride in the Aspen area, with spectacular views of the Sawatch Range to the north and the San Juan Mountains a hundred miles to the south. Tread: An extremely rough four-wheel-drive road.

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ASPEN: Walking Trails

 Aspen PICKs, Places  Comments Off on ASPEN: Walking Trails
Dec 092010
 

Top PickRio Grande Trail

It’s the most accessible trail in the area.  Although bicyclists can finally pedal the Rio Grande Trail all the way between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, it’s just as much a favorite for those looking to take a brisk walk.  It’s one of the few trails that is paved and flat, so it’s definitely appropriate for every age and shape!  Rollerblading’s great too.

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Maroon Bells

A well-known treasure, Maroon Bells is really breathtaking and worth a visit.  Walk around as much or as little as you like. It’s a drive to get there, but then just park and take a walk up to/around the small lake.  You won’t regret hanging out up here.

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John Denver Sanctuary

If you want a quiet, contemplative place to stroll around, this is it.  Some of John Denver’s more famous verses are carved into the large granite stones, and the backdrop of Ajax mountain is breathtaking.  Located in the heart of town, it’s quick, easy and nearby.  Take a walk and get a “Rocky Mountain High!”

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ASPEN: Parks

 Aspen PICKs, Places  Comments Off on ASPEN: Parks
Dec 092010
 

Top PickWagner Park

This is the more recognizable park since it’s smack dab in the middle of town.  Famous for the rugby matches in summer, it’s also a favorite to throw a frisbee, play fetch with your dog, read a book, or enjoy some of the art fairs or the food and wine classic when they’re in town.

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John Denver Sanctuary

If you want a quiet, contemplative spot, this is your place.  Some of his more famous verses are carved into the large granite stones, and the backdrop of Ajax mountain can be breathtaking.  A true favorite worth a visit on a leisurely afternoon.

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Koch Park

This park is best known for the volleyball tournament over Labor Day.  Other than that, it’s a low-key park near A1 lift on the west side of town.  Nice and chill.

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Rio Grande Park

This is where locals go to hang out with friends and just chillax.  Or, for the younger gang, play basketball and skateboard (its got a skateboard park).

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ASPEN: People Watching

 Aspen PICKs, People  Comments Off on ASPEN: People Watching
Dec 082010
 

Top PickHyman Avenue Mall

Especially in summer but even in winter, this is the best place in Aspen to sit on one of the many benches and just watch the people stroll by.  Do yourself a favor.  Plop down with The Aspen Daily News in one hand, coffee in the other, and enjoy the view.  If you’re lucky, you’ll be there when the music students are performing.

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Motherlode Volleyball

Whatever your sex, you’ll enjoy the hot bodies playing at this tournament over Labor Day!  Some of the best people watching around!

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Aspen Rugby

If you like rugby, rugby tournaments are a good place to people-watch.  If you like checking out all the hot rugby players who play for the Gentlemen of Aspen (and the visiting team), it’s a great place!

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X Games (Buttermilk)

If you like sports and you like watching people who watch sports, then this is right up your alley.  The Winter X Games is a competition compiled of the greatest winter action sport athletes from around the world competing on an annual basis. Some of the events include skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling…and there’s always some great people watching taking place.  Most interesting mohawk spotted here last year!

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ASPEN: Famous Locals

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Dec 072010
 

Top PickKlaus Obermeyer

He just celebrated his 91st birthday, and he’s as lively and feisty as ever.  He’s the founder of Sport Obermeyer, but that’s not his main claim to fame. What is it then?  His “pitch perfect” yodeling!  We love you Klaus.

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Gretchen Bleiler

Gretchen’s an American professional halfpipe snowboarder. Married to Chris Hotell, she turned professional in 1996 and was the first to land a Crippler 540 in competition.  She won a silver medal in the women’s halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

We’re excited to count Gretchen as one of our beloved locals!

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ASPEN: Festivals

 Aspen PICKs, Events  Comments Off on ASPEN: Festivals
Dec 072010
 

Top PickAspen Ideas Festival

The Aspen Ideas Festival is what separates Aspen from other resort towns.  This summer event brings in the best and the brightest from around the world.  It’s a local treasure!

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Jazz Aspen Snowmass (spring / fall)

Talking about a party…these festivals rock!  The Labor Day Festival is the more rowdy option held at Snowmass, outdoors of course.  The June festival in Aspen is under the tent. Venues may change, but the events have become staples for tourists and locals.  Great music and great fun!

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Carbondale Mountain Fair

It’s always a blast when you attend this event.  Where else can you see a lumberjack wood-splitting contest, have some beers, indulgent fair food, and lots of local arts and crafts in a beautiful mountain setting?

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ASPEN: Hiking Trails

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Dec 072010
 

Top PickHunter Creek

This is one of the prettiest hiking trails in Aspen — located behind the Hunter Creek Condos.  You pass over streams and rapids, all the while enjoying a breath-taking view of Ajax.  Not a hard trek for tourists; easy for locals.

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Smuggler Mountain

If you want a quick, vigorous workout, hike up Smuggler!  It gets fairly busy during peak summer season in Aspen — but it’s still worth it.  Definitely a tourist and local favorite.

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Cathedral Lake

Short and strenuous, this 2.8 mile hike up to Cathedral Lake will get your blood pumping.  It’s located outside of Ashcroft.

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Hanging Lake (Glenwood Canyon)

Not in Aspen and actually, it’s quite a drive down valley, but Hanging Lake needs a mention here because it’s a hidden slice of Heaven.  When you reach the lake and see the waterfalls, you realize what the Rockies are all about.

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ASPEN: Celebrities

 Aspen PICKs, People  Comments Off on ASPEN: Celebrities
Dec 072010
 

Top PickJack Nicholson

Although you don’t see him that much around town anymore, he’s still tops the list because, well, he’s Jack Nicholson.

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Lance Armstrong

Of course Lance would live in Aspen…he’s the greatest bicyclist ever, right?  You’ll overhear all the locals tell their stories of biking with Lance which is really cool, if truthful.  He’s living strong in Aspen!

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Goldie Hawn / Kurt Russell

Goldie and Kurt have been living here for decades, and we’re glad to count them as one of our favorite local couples.  They seem to always be smiling whenever you see them out in public — which is nice!

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Hunter S. Thompson

Although deceased, the legendary King of Gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson, deserves a spot on our list.  Famous for “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” he was a frequent gatherer at Woody Creek Tavern along with other anti-establishment locals.  He even ran for sheriff in 1970 as part of the “Freak Power” ticket.  He’s missed.

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Jimmy Buffett

You gotta love Jimmy Buffett! He fits in, no doubt, because of his “laid-back and loving-life” demeanor.

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Gretchen Bleiler

The Olympic silver medalist in snowboaring, Gretchen is one of our favorites!  When she was 10 years old, she moved to Aspen with her family and that’s when “her whole life changed.”  Working with Aspen/Snowmass, she created the first-ever all girls halfpipe competition and “Snow Angels Invitational” photo shoot.  You go girl!

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Kevin Costner

Another celebrity who fits in perfectly, Kevin Costner lives the wild, wild west up at his 160 acre ranch with his wife Christine and their 3 children.  His band, Modern West, may have been touring the world, but we like to think Belly Up’s been his favorite stop thus far!

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Robert Wagner / Jill St. John

These cordial “movie stars” have been living in Aspen for a long, long time (Robert Wagner first visited the area in 1949).  Pick up “RJ’s” new book “Pieces of My Heart” at local bookstores.

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Aspen’s Original Rich & Famous Tour

Take a look into how the movers and shakers of the world live and play in Aspen. You’ll hear fascinating stories and see the beautiful homes of Movie Stars, Princes, Celebrities, Sports Stars and Fortune 500 CEO’s.

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ASPEN: Hangout – Younger Crowd (21 – 30)

 Aspen PICKs, Bars / Nightclubs  Comments Off on ASPEN: Hangout – Younger Crowd (21 – 30)
Dec 072010
 

Top PickEric’s Bar

This is really four places in one: mexican food (SuCasa), billiards, dancing, and cigars.  The younger crowd rock this place into the wee hours.  Always an interesting crowd and a good vibe.

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The Regal

PBR Tall Boys meet Pomegranate and Espresso Martinis in the underground layer of Escobar Aspen.Paul and Tim welcome you to their underground bar where dancers grind and cocktails flow.  Voted the best place to find a one-night stand.  That about sums it up.  ;)

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Escobar Aspen

Only open for 2011 season and located underground on the mall, this place has a great vibe and draws a late night crowd (open tili 2 am).  It’s where PBR Tall Boys meet Pomegranate and Espresso Martinis. Escobar features an amalgamation of electronic, swing, and lounge music, with private functions and an ambience unmatched by any other venue in Aspen.

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Hunter Bar

Where the old Flying Dog Brewpub used to be, the Hunter Bar is one of the few places these days that rocks til 2 am.   Listen to the DJ, get on the dance floor or just kick back in the relaxed, yet sensual, atmosphere enjoying one of their creative cocktails.  Good for apres ski too.

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Aspen Brewing Company

If you like microbrews, go here.  If you like friendly locals, do the same.  This is a new spot in town that’s gaining some serious traction. Opening a tap room soon.  (And it’s not just for the youngin’s).

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ASPEN: Ambiance

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Dec 072010
 

Top Pick

Pacifica

This top spot is extra special when the snow is falling.  The outdoor white lights set the mood for the best seafood dinner you’ll encounter in town.  Order the Lobster Bisque and the Sea Scallops!  Great martinis too to go with the people watching.  A truly romantic spot as well.

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8K at The Viceroy (Snowmass)

This spot is a newcomer, we’re glad it’s here.  8k tops our picks for best ambiance.  Very chic crowd to complement the decor.  The food is fantastic, albeit pricey.  Super nice bartenders (look for Justin).  It’s especially fun during apres ski.

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Ute City

If you want to see and be seen, and have some really good food and wine, this is your place.  Walt manages this almot new hot spot above Syzygy on restaurant row.  Everything on the menu is delicious — definitely a top pick with a great atmosphere.

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Cache Cache

Cache Cache always delights.  Another recently transformed restaurant, this establishment serves delicious food and wine.  Great for people watching in the “tres chic” bar area.

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If your favorite is missing, please submit a recommendation below for review.  Thanks!

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ASPEN: Happy Hour / Apres Ski

 Aspen PICKs, Bars / Nightclubs  Comments Off on ASPEN: Happy Hour / Apres Ski
Dec 072010
 

Top Pick39 Degrees (Sky Hotel)

If you want swank, this is your place.  Whether it’s winter or summer, you’ll find locals and tourists hanging by the pool, having a cocktail (or five), and getting their groove on to DJ Dillon.  A great spot for apres ski, especially if you’re young and hip.

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Ajax Tavern

After a long day of skiing (especially when the sun is shining bright), there’s no better place to hang out, listen to a band outside, and mingle with the locals while watching the final skiers ski down.  Standing room only at times, especially when the band’s playing.

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Basecamp (Snowmass)

This locally-owned and operated restaurant and bar is THE place to be for apres ski when in Snowmass.  Jam out to the band (Jes Grew plays here at times) with your ski boots on and a beer in hand while you watch the last die-hard stragglers come down the slopes.  Fun, fun, fun.

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Willow Creek Bistro (Highlands)

Located in the Ritz, Willow Creek delivers when it comes to taste, of course.  You’ll see local ski instructors with their students taking their lunch breaks in winter.  Or enjoy the mountain view dining al fresco in the summer.  And you gotta love the ice sculpture / bar outside during ski season (great apres, too)!

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Zane’s Tavern (Snowmass)

A sports bar, restaurant and most definitely locals’ favorite, Zane’s fun every night.  Play pool, foosball, and of course, Golden Tee or jam out to their Internet Jukebox.  You’ll always find lots of locals hamming it up here, especially during happy hour with their 25-cent wings and $1.25 Bud drafts specials!

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Mezzaluna

Their wood fired pizzas are delicious. If you’re solo, grab a paper, sit at the bar and meet a stranger or watch TV and chat up the friendly bartenders.  From 3:00 – 5:30 pm (6:30 at bar), it’s one of the hottest spots in town (menu).

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This list is a work in progress and will be continuously updated.
If your favorite is missing, please submit a recommendation below for review.  Thanks!

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ASPEN: Theatres

 Aspen PICKs, Theatres  Comments Off on ASPEN: Theatres
Dec 072010
 

Top PickWheeler Opera House

First of all — this historical place (built in 1888) is a beautifully restored, architectural masterpiece.  That aside, they have some of the best performances, films, comedy acts, etc. in town.  You gotta catch a show here (afterwards, head on down to Bentley’s).

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Aspen Community Theatre (A.C.T.)

If you’re into performing arts, put the Aspen Community Theatre on your list.  They produce an annual fall musical and sometimes a spring  production.  Another bonus?  The cast and crew are all volunteers

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Theatre Aspen

One of the best regional theatres around, you’ll love the venue at Rio Grande Park just as much as the great Broadway-calibre performances.  Consider taking an acting class.

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Isis Theatre (movies)

Next to the fire station, this movie theatre is really the only place to go in town, but that’s not why it’s a top pick.  It’s newly remodeled, has incredible surround sound, and they’ll even sell you a glass of wine or a beer!

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Bow Tie Movieland (El Jebel)

Located mid-valley near City Market, this movie theatre offers a wider selection of new releases in town.

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ASPEN: Live Music

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Dec 062010
 

Top PickJazz Aspen Snowmass (spring / fall)

Talking about a party…these festivals rock!  The Labor Day Festival is the more rowdy option held at Snowmass, outdoors of course.  The June festival in Aspen is under the tent. Venues may change, but the events have become staples for tourists and locals.  Great music and great fun!

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Benedict Music Tent on Sundays (summer)

Grab a blanket and the New York Times Sunday edition and head on over to the Music Tent around 4 pm.  There’s not a better way to chillax on a Sunday afternoon in summer than with friends, listening to classical music under the Aspen trees.

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Belly Up Aspen

You won’t find a better venue to listen to big acts in the Valley.  They’ve got world famous acts in a very intimate setting (around 500 people max).  Check out the line-up when you’re in town….this place never disappoints.

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Wheeler Opera House

If you’re up for some acoustic music, this Victorian-era music venue located on Hyman Avenue is your place.

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ASPEN: Local Bands

 Aspen PICKs, Music  Comments Off on ASPEN: Local Bands
Dec 062010
 

Top PickJes Grew

An all time favorite local band, headed up by Cameron Williams (of Tishamingo fame), Jes Grew plays classic rock with a funky twist.  Good times guaranteed!

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Bobby Mason

Bobby Mason has soul.  His voice is amazing, and he most definitely can play the guitar like few others!  If you’re lucky, you can catch him playing some gigs around town.  View the rare 1990 footage of him on stage in Aspen with John Denver, Bill Danoff, Jimmy Ibbotson, etc. singing “Country Road” (details link below).  Or, listen now to Louisiana.

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