Fall Weekend Getaway: Aspen, Colorado
In October, my husband and I went on a weekend getaway to Aspen, Colorado for our anniversary. It was our first time visiting Aspen, and we were blown away by the beauty there. Aspen/Snowmass Village is a must in the fall - it was truly the most breathtaking place we've seen in Colorado! Now we know how Aspen got its name...the aspen trees covered the mountains in a way that it looked like a painting. I recommend going the first week of October as the aspens were at their fall foliage peak. Here's a list of some of the best things to do in Aspen, Colorado that are fun during any time of year.
Where To Stay:
My husband and I stayed in Snowmass Village at Timberline Condominiums. I recommend staying here if you're wanting to be surrounded by nature. We discovered that Snowmass Village has most of the hiking trails around, as well as skiing. If you're into the more urban vibe, I recommend staying downtown Aspen. Aspen and Snowmass Village are just 15 minutes apart, so we drove back and forth all weekend depending on what we wanted to do. Timberline Condos sits on a ski slope, so it is super convenient for skiers. This condo also has a restaurant and a pool/hot tub area.
A quaint, local breakfast and lunch restaurant located in Downtown Aspen. This cafe's menu is all organic and made from scratch. We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed some soup and sandwiches. I had the tomato soup and grilled cheese, everything was so delicious! They also have a unique list of cocktails you can enjoy for brunch.
If you're a sushi lover, Jing is a must. This restaurant is also located in downtown Aspen. For an appetizer, I recommend the soup pork dumplings, and for sushi I recommend the Colorado Roll. We also had the chicken ramen noodles and chocolate lava cake, which were also amazing. Jing is now in my top 3 favorite sushi restaurants, it was incredible. Make sure to reserve a table in advance.
Night two we decided we were craving pasta, and Acquolina Trattoria hit the spot. They have a great wine list, and an even better selection of pasta dishes. I recommend ordering the Trofie pasta and a pizza to share. Make sure to reserve a table in advance.
If you are in the mood for a casual atmosphere to get some drinks, Aspen Brewing Company is a must! They have yummy small bites and amazing locally brewed beer. We watched the Auburn game and sipped on some brews, it was so much fun.
Before heading home, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Big Hoss Grill in Snowmass Village. They have a wide variety of classic sweet and savory dishes. The restaurant sits on the second floor, so I recommend sitting outside if you can - the views of the mountains in the fall were stunning.
When visiting Aspen or anywhere in Colorado for that matter, exploring the outdoors is a must. Aspen and Snowmass Village are both full of amazing things to do in nature. The hiking was out of this world gorgeous, and I'm sure skiing is just the same. Here are some of my recommendations:
Maroon Bells is a popular tourist destination, but it doesn't take away from the beauty here. There are several hiking trails around, so make sure to be prepared for at least a half day spent here. Crater Lake Trail is 3-mile out and back trail that I recommend hiking when visiting Maroon Bells. The start of the trail is through a forest of aspen trees, one of the prettiest places to see the aspens. At the top is Crater Lake, where we sat and took in the views before heading back down. We packed our lunch and ate and took photos by the lake. Definitely visit Maroon Bells in the fall, it was so worth it! Make sure to book your tickets ahead of time as spots fill up fast.
Snowmass is a hidden gem and has the most incredible hiking trails. As we arrived in Snowmass, we decided to explore around a bit and stumbled across Ditch Trail. This hike was an absolute DREAM and had the best views of the fall aspen trees. We only had time to walk about a mile, but aim to hike this entire trail next time we visit.
Only open during the warmer months, Independence Pass is the the highest paved road in North America. We stopped to take in the views, but there are a bunch of trails for hiking and biking along this road. Definitely worth a drive in the summer or fall when the road is open!
If you need any other suggestions, here is a list of activities we didn't get to do during our visit but that are highly recommended.
- Go skiing
- Ride the ski lift. During the warmer months, you can purchase tickets to ride the ski lift from downtown Aspen up to the top of the mountain. The views are supposed to be amazing, and there are tons of hiking trails too.
- Shop around downtown Aspen
- Go fishing, camping, paddle boarding, horseback riding, etc. This website is also super helpful when planning your trip to Aspen.