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A Snapshot: 30 Hours in Aspen

Have you ever wanted to experience Aspen but don’t have the time or money to spend the full week it takes to soak all of Aspen’s summer goodness in? Those lucky enough to hop through Colorado's ski town, only able to spend a couple of days in any one place, should follow my itinerary. Why? Because it’s got a little bit everything and something for everyone.

I had never been to Aspen before last week. The adventures I had and places I went were the perfect plan to get the best experience and enjoy the most important parts of Aspen. Without further ado, here is my (very enjoyable) 30 hours in Aspen.

Picture of Maroon Bells in Aspen, CO on our hike to Crater Lake.Crater Lake Hike at Maroon Bells

Our first adventure was hiking the Crater Lake Trail at the iconic Maroon Bells – if you’ve ever see a picture of Aspen, it’s probably of these magnificent mountains that define the Colorado Rockies. We started with a beautiful drive up Maroon Creek Road and arrived at the entrance to Maroon Bells around noon. We paid the $10 to drive our car in. (*Note: you can only access the trailhead at Maroon Lake by shuttle bus mid-June through mid-September. In the busy summer season, you have to get there before 9 am or after 5 if you want to park at the top.)

It was a picture perfect day late spring day, with comfortable temperatures and partly cloudy skies. Crater Lake Trail is moderately difficult and took our party of three ladies ranging in age from 21 to 45 years approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, often stopping for pictures because of the breathtaking scenery. The one way distance of the trail is approximately 1.8 miles, with a gradual incline on the way towards to Crater Lake with an elevation gain of 700 feet.

Hotel Aspen's Rooms and Suites

After finishing our hike, we checked into the Hotel Aspen. I stayed in the Fireplace Suite, with a small yet charming living room with a fireplace, and two queen size beds in an attached room. The presentation was very well done, with an overall clean and modern look. There were crisp white 400 count sheets on luxurious Heavenly beds, and contrasting red walls. The large picture window looked over the pool and filled the room with natural light during the day, and gave me a delightful view of the outdoors.

Apres in Aspen

The historic Hotel Jerome's J Bar is a favorite apres ski bar in Aspen, CO.After a little bit of settling in, our band of girls decided to it was time to find some food and drinks, a well-deserved reward after our healthy hike. Our first stop was the historic Hotel Jerome’s infamous J Bar. Upon arrival at about 6:00 p.m., it was not too busy and we grabbed comfy seats at the bar. The staff was very friendly and we took advantage of the professional mixologists’ Pineberry Martini. Two orders of delicious Spicy Edamame later, the wait staff asked if we would enjoy a trivia game. All three of us unfamiliar, he handed us some blank sheets, assuring us we would enjoy the game. The place, very suddenly, was packed with enthusiastic, very knowledgable locals, people all enthusiastic and excited for “the games”. Clearly outnumbered and out-pop-cultured, it was a true test of our celebrity and historical knowledge, each test centered around clever themes. We did not win the game, but it made our time at Hotel Jerome very enjoyable.

Dinner in Aspen

Dining in Aspen is always a treat at Steakhouse No. 316 near Hotel Aspen.Next stop was dinner. We had 8:30 pm reservations at Steak House No. 316. (*Note: if looking to have dinner in Aspen any earlier than 8:30pm, it is highly recommended to call and make reservations more than just a few days prior to your arrival.) The Steak House was high-end and sophisticated yet comfortable, reflecting the historic roots of Aspen and reminiscent of its mining hey-day. Our server was very friendly and catered to our every need. They had an extensive wine list, and I opted for a glass of Rosé which paired perfectly with the meal and was just my speed. Even better, the food was incredible. I delighted in devouring my 8oz. Prime Filet. All of the entrees are offered a la carte, with several options for sides that can be split between two to three people. We shared the Thyme Whipped Potatoes and Sauteed Asparagus. Being a steak and potatoes kind of girl, this meal definitely did not let me down. The steak was cooked just as I wanted, and the potatoes tasted heavenly.

After dinner, we decided to go back to the hotel to get some sleep before our final day in Aspen. I can confirm that the beds at Hotel Aspen are remarkably comfortable. Being a young professional, I can assure you it was like sleeping on a cloud, especially compared to most hotels I can afford!

Free Amenities That Offer True Value: Breakfast

The next morning we took advantage of the free breakfast that Hotel Aspen offers. It is the best free breakfast I have ever seen, with so many options that included eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, bagels and more. I ate toast with jam, some fruit, a hard-boiled egg and enjoyed a glass of green tea. It was delicious and prepared me for starting a great day in Aspen!

The next couple of hours I went an explored Aspen, taking some pictures and observing the culture. It was early in the day, so the streets weren’t too crowded, but I could imagine how joyful it would be if they were. With lots of shopping and dining, Aspen is a place for enjoying oneself and one’s company, and I really liked the atmosphere.

HOPS Culture: Aspen’s Best New Restaurant

HOPS Culture is Aspen's best new restaurant located within walking distance of Hotel Aspen.Our lunch stop was at Aspen’s newest restaurant, HOPS Culture, located on Hyman Avenue. If there is anything I urge you to do in Aspen, it is eat here. It is a restaurant and bar with a focus on craft beer. The general feeling of the place is great, and it is only reinforced once trying their food.

We started out ordering three appetizers, the Spinach in a Bread Box, Mini Chicken Tacos and Little Piggies (blanketed hot dogs). All three appetizers were excellent and our meal was off to a great start. For my entree, I order the Buffalo Chicken Mac n’ Cheese. It has red hot crumbs on the top, with blue cheese and chicken inside. Usually not a huge fan of blue cheese, I decided to try it anyways because I could not stop my mouth from watering just thinking about it, and our server Dan told me he had a similar aversion but stilled loved this entree. I agreed with Dan. It was incredible and I would recommend it to anyone! Too full and satisfied for dessert, I ended my trip to Aspen on a very high note, and will definitely be going back when I get the chance.

Hotel Aspen – taking comfort to a whole new level. Book your summer vacation stay in our hotel rooms and suites that offer the best value in Aspen.

Guest Blog By Eimile Pesch for Hotel Aspen