Located at the foot of Aspen Mountain just steps from the Silver Queen Gondola, The Little Nell is Aspen’s only five-star ski-in/ski-out hotel. All rooms feature fireplaces and jacuzzis, and guests can choose between views of the town or mountain, or opt for the grand 2,500 square-foot Walter Paepcke suite.
The spacious lodgings at the colorful Limelight Hotel include a full kitchen and dining room. The dog-friendly hotel also hosts specialty dinners with craft beer, spirits, and wine pairings twice a month plus live music Thursday through Monday in the on-site lounge.
Start your morning with breakfast at Spring Café, where the focus is on inventive, plant-based cuisine. Order the banana oatmeal with almond milk and pecans, or the Go Green egg scramble (kale, broccoli, green onion, and hemp seeds) with a sprouted grain tortilla and roasted sweet potatoes. Take a turmeric latte to go.
From downtown, walk to the Smuggler Mountain trailhead and take the 1.4-mile-long trail to the overlook for a view of the Roaring Fork Valley. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Smuggler Mine helped put Aspen on the map during the silver mining boom of the 1800s.
Book dinner at Bosq. Share smoked salmon crackers and steak tartare followed by venison with root vegetables and red mole. Be sure to order in advance if you want Bosq’s signature Peking duck. Finish with a nightcap at J-Bar at the Jerome Hotel, which Hunter S. Thompson used as a de facto office during his 1970 campaign for sheriff. Order a mug of hot glogg (a blend of wine, spirits, and spices).
Fuel up at Local Coffee House with a macchiato and the black rice porridge with coconut-almond milk, berries, and cinnamon.
Head to Explore Booksellers on Main Street, which has an eclectic library of titles tucked away on the shelves of a historic Victorian home. Once you’ve picked out some new reading material, go upstairs to Pyramid Bistro for lunch. Try the galangal curry bowl or butternut squash farro risotto with cremini mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and roasted peppers.
For your final meal, head to Clark’s, a beloved neighborhood oyster bar. Share the seafood platter, then sample Clark’s famous lobster roll or the Scottish ocean trout with grilled kale.