I’ve been to Colorado in the spring, summer, and now winter. What can I say about it? Well, that it is beautiful every time of year. It’s a state that offers countless adventures for any type of adventurer, any time of year. Whether you want to relax while shopping or enjoying a spa, or you want to explore while skiing, hiking or climbing, they have it all. During my most recent trip, I got to cross a very big thing off my bucket list. I got to ski out west, for the first time, and in none other than Aspen! What an experience it was.
For a girl who only started skiing about a decade ago, I wasn’t sure I was quite ready for the real mountains Colorado offers (compared to our “mountains” in the Midwest), but I couldn’t pass up the chance to give it a try. After all, it was winter and it would just have been un-Coloradoan not to. So, I booked a room at the base of Aspen Mountain figuring I would walk right out and hit the slopes. Thankfully, I made asked around for some ski advice first. I probably would have been flattened like a pancake on a mountain with mainly all black runs. I was advised to head to Buttermilk, which has the most options for easy terrain. It was a great suggestion, and I skied successfully, with only one fall…luckily not off the mountain!
On top of Colorado being beautiful, it’s also just a happy place. Everyone you meet says hi and they all seem to be smiling. I walked into the ski rental and was met by a lovely girl named Margaret who could not have been more helpful. She got me all set up with some great ski equipment and some equally great advice of what trails to follow. As I headed out onto the snow, and onto the ski lift, I met a nice man who worked for the ski patrol, who happened to be from Michigan (like me) and grew up in the town I went to college in. Small world, right?! Those two people definitely added to making my first western ski experience a great one. Of course, so did the sunny skies, fresh snow and wide open trails – I basically had the mountain to myself, or so it felt. This was such a difference from dodging people on the smaller trails in the Midwest. I will say, just like the time I hiked Vail Mountain, I left feeling proud of myself and quite accomplished.
I have to admit, I was equally as excited about seeing the town of Aspen, as I was about skiing. I mean, how long have I read about it in my People magazine as a winter hub for the rich and famous. Answer: a long time, and you know I love my pop culture! I could instantly see why these people flock there. It’s is exactly how you picture a ski town. Quaint and charming to say the least! Tons of bars and restaurants and lots of shops too. [If you plan to shop in Aspen, bring all your credit cards.The stores are all beautiful, but also very high end.] I tried a couple yummy smoothie bowls from JUS, but my favorite meal was at Pyramid Bistro. It’s in an old bookshop, which is just adorable on it’s own, but to top it off, they offered a menu that was almost entirely gluten free (when you can’t eat gluten this is always a thrilling find). And the food was incredible! I had gnocchi that just melted in my mouth.
Aspen is a very walk-able town, so if you can, stay in the middle of it all. I recommend the Independence Square Hotel, which offers little Airbnb type rentals, but operates more like a hotel. Very clean, cute studio rooms and close to everything. Plus, they have a rooftop deck with a hot-tub. Perfect after a day on the slopes! I sat up there for what felt like hours, just watching them comb the snow after the mountain shut down for the night. I am not sure you could pay me to get in a plow and drive down a mountain as steep as Aspen Mountain, but it was sure fun to watch!
This first winter visit to Colorado left me itching to go back! I now know I can handle the mountains there (well, the easy ones at least!), and I love the gorgeous ski towns, so it’ll be the perfect getaway to look forward to in the winter. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a little snowy adventure – even if you don’t ski/snowboard, you will have plenty of things to keep you as occupied as you like. If nothing else, you can stare in awe at the gorgeous Colorado Rockies backdrop the whole time. I promise, it doesn’t get old!
Signed with Style,