Travel Journal: Aspen Adventures


Aspen is the ultimate US skiing destination. Why did I wait so long? Four incredible mountains to conquer and a fantastic town full of shops and restaurants that rival Manhattan's. The vibe is laid back and simultaneously fancy; it has incredible people watching and there are always a multitude of cultural events to explore. It tickled all my NYC fancies but with a mountain slant…truly heaven for us all. 


My husband grew up in NYC and now of course dreams of living in the mountains. He is an incredible skiier and has recently gotten into touring. (We include his gear list below) This year we chose Aspen for our family Spring Break trip because he entered a race called The Grand Traverse. He toured overnight and covered 40 miles, including 7,000 feet of climbing and 25 transitions from skins to skis up and down. The route went from Crested Butte to Aspen Mountain via Star and Taylor Pass, and in total it took him 15 hours. We are so proud of him!

Check out our Aspen family adventures below including recommendations for all our favorite spots.

We use to send everything in advance: skis, boots, helmets, bulky boots, and sweaters. The rest goes in our Rubber Patagonia Duffles, which we check. In my case, I have a rolly bag where things can lay flat! 

THE PEAKS: in order of preference

  1. Aspen Highlands: This was the most challenging significant terrain. Parking is limited, but since this is where Cloud 9 is, you must go if you can ski it! 
  2. Aspen Mountain: This mountain is advanced to intermediate-advanced. It is the main mountain with an incredible shopping town—the original mountain resort.

  3. Snowmass: This one is intermediate and advanced. It has long runs and is the farthest away, but is good for families.

  4. Buttermilk: More for families and is the least steep. Ranges from beginner to intermediate. There’s no town, just a few shops and eateries.


We rented a home through VRBO and a car for our family of five. It was lovely and just what we needed. Less than five minutes away from town. 
Other options include:

  • Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts: At the edge of town, but the coolest of all! Shot a few photos there!

  • St. Regis: Located at the base of mountain

  • The Little Nell: Located at the base of mountain
  • W Aspen: Located a few blocks from base of mountain, where had our photo shoot
  • W hotel in Aspen rooftop pool modeling Hedge cashmere hoodie




    • Bonnie’s: Serves breakfast and lunch and is located on the mountain
    • Sundeck: Located on the mountain
    Sundeck on Mountain
    • ASPENX: Gray Malin, the photographer collabs to make a snow lounge, DJ party make a reservation its tres chic
    • Cloud 9: Aspen Highlands, Top of the Cloud Nine Lift. Make a reservation for lunch! This is the place for apres ski at around 2pm. There are champagne guns and it flows endlessly. Just make sure you can ski down afterwards at high altitude...


    • Pine Creek Cookhouse: Our favorite adventure! This is a cute restaurant nestled under the mountains and near tons of trails. You can either snowshoe, cross-country ski, or take a horse drawn carriage there (which the girls might love doing). Such a cozy vibe!
    • Matsuhisa Sushi
    • Paradise Bakery: We went literally every day!
    Paradise Bakery in Aspen the best coffee shop in Aspen
    • Bear Den
    • French Alpine Bistro
    • Aquolina Aspen
    • Duemanitry
    • Ajax Tavern
    • Bruno’s Sneaky Good Pizza
    • Steakhouse 316
    • Woody Creek Tavern: Outside of town, but worth a trip
    Woody Creek Tavern
    • J Bar
    • Hotel Jerome
    • White House Tavern: Burgers
    • Las Montañas
    • Mountain Social: Après ski
    • Mi Chola
    • Clark’s
    • Local Coffee House
    • Felix Roasting Co in Hotel Jerome: Coffee, pastries and people watching! This is where we found the beautiful
    Local Coffee House
    • Poppycocks Breakfast: Super casual diner
    • The Art Base
    • French Alpine Bistro: Very Austrian and feels like you’re in the Alps. This is a cozy, quaint restaurant with fondues, raclette, etc. Even if you don’t go, peak in because it’s so cute.
    • The Little Nell: Hot chocolate by the fire. Truly the best hot chocolate you will ever have!!

    • Betula

    • St. Regis-this is where we apréd with our friends from Love Shack Fancy!



      THE GEAR

      Black Crow Skis


      Zermatt Moos Mountain

      • Boots: Lange (by Sure foot)

      • Ski's: Black Crows
      • Jacket: Mammut

      • Ski Pants: Corduroy Bogner, Toni Sailor

      • Underlayer: LSF for Bogner and Rossignol, Martini

      • Socks: Surefoot/Icebreaker

      • Helmet: POC

      • Hiking Boots: AKU, Ventesima Strada

      • Hats: Eistor 

      • Sweaters: Dale of Norway

      • Gloves: Hestra

      • Snow Boots: Rossignol

      • Other Brands: Frauenschuh


      Aspen Family Ski pics Stio Jacket

      • Ski's: Stocklii

      • Jacket: Stio

      • Ski Pants:
 Erin Snow
      • Underlayer:
 We Norwegians
      • Socks: Falke
      • Helmet:
      • Goggles: Vallon
      • Ski Boots: Lange
      • Knit Hats: Eugenia Kim

      • Ski Sweaters: Lingua Franca

      • Gloves: Hestra

      • Snow/Hiking: Rossignol
      • Skincare: Meagan’s Winter Skin Care routine as recommended by Dr. JoAn Monaco, who swears by Obagi products! Cleanse: Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser, Mask
: Obagi Professional C polish mask, Nourish with Obaji Vitamin C-Serum, Obagi Daily Hydro Drops vitamin B and hibiscus oil. Favorite winter cream: MBR Cream Mask Smooth 100, it's $$$ but like La Mer, worth every penny.Winter skin care for high altitudes we love Obagi products vitamin C drops


      Jerry's Go-To Ski Gear

        • Jacket: Arc’teryx shells are worth the money and will last forever. Go with their more heavy duty, gore-tex models in a length you like. Stio also makes a great shell and their customer service is excellent. Patagonia is always a favorite and their ESG policies leave the rest of the industry in the dust.
        • Ski Pants: Patagonia or Black Diamond for ski touring. For downhill, I generally like snowboard pants as they provide plenty of room and plenty of pockets.  Burton has some great choices…
        • Underlayer: Patagonia or Stio are my current go-tos…
        • Socks: Smartwool or any of the selections available at Surefoot.
        • Helmet: Just make sure the fit is adjustable, your goggles fit easily and there is enough room for a thin hat on cold days…
        • Snow/Hiking Boots: Scarpa, Vasque and Asolo. Unless it’s a highly technical effort however, I do most hikes in trail running shoes. I’ve tried a ton but Speedgoats by Hoka are what I come back to every time…
        • Goggles: Oakley usually but just got a new pair from Glade optics and we will see how they work soon…
        • Gloves: Hestra Heli Glove is my current favorite

        • Backpack: Black Diamond, North Face, Patagonia.
        • Sustenance: GOO—all are a function of what works with your stomach but right now I like Spring energy with caffeine. For energy, I like electrolyte drinks like Tailwind. 
        • SKI'S: Always demo first as skis are a highly personal choice. Right now I’m on Stockli Stormrider 95s for my all-mountain skiing. For backcountry touring, I’m on the Black Crow Corvus Freebird and for Skimo. I last raced on the Ski Trab Maestro. Here are our recommendations for equipment:


      • Iron Mountain Springs:
 These natural mineral pools are located along the Colorado River. There are 16 geothermal soaking pools, an elevated jetted spa, a bathhouse, and a café.

      Iron Mountain Springs

      • Horse and carriage or cross country ski to Pine Creek Cookhouse

      Fun places to eat in Aspen at the Pine Creek Cookhouse horse and carriage ride to dinner 

      • Dog Sledding: Krabloonik Mountain Co.

      • Wheeler Opera House: When we were there, they had a kids competition concert called ASPEN ROCKS with judges. Check for events!

      Aspen Rocks festival

      • Live Music: There are so many options, but our fave was BELLY UP

      • Snowmass Rec Center: Indoor skate rink, pool for kids, slides, hot tub, and a small lazy run
      Snowmass Rec Center
      • Aspen Art Museum 
      Aspen Art Museum




        • Whole Foods (by Basalt before town)
        • City Market (great people watching)
        City Market


        • ETC Aspen: The coolest people in Aspen, the most original clothing from brands we know and love-but better and a curated collection of amazing finds from boutique brands!
        • Wild Blue
: Elegant collection of clothing and accessories for men, women, and kids. The style is very down to earth, with easy to style basics and beautiful, flowing dresses. 
        • Miller Sports: Truly the best selection of ski attire I’ve seen, if you’re a fashionista, try this. If you’re a hard core outdoorsy, natural kind a gal, go to UTE.

        • Fusalp: Alps style brand for sleek ski attire.

        • Duchess and the Dude: This local boutique is an Aspen original and the best spot for homegrown fashion. The boutique offers jewelry, vintage statement pieces, classic denim, handmade leather pieces, and one-of-a-kind refurbished outfits.
        • Kemo Sabe:
 This is the only place in town where you can get real western wear. One wall is lined with cowboy hats and the other lined with cowboy boots. Staff are friendly as could be—and are dressed in their own cowboy attire.
        • Ute Mountaineer: Family run, in the historic Elks Building (once the Aspen Post Office). The store sponsors and runs several local races throughout the year.
        • Mad Happy
: Grab an Aspen Mad Happy Hoodie you can't get those in NY!
        • Pitkin County Dry Goods: This is where the locals have been shopping since they opened their doors in 1969. Always up on the latest trends. They carry a number of boutique designers to mix with the casual lifestyle of Aspen living.
        • Gorsuch Ltd.: For those of the sporting lifestyle with discerning taste, this local boutique houses European brands of elegant and decadent alpine chic wear. There are very rare finds, from rich leather blazers embellished with horn detailing, to handmade, embroidered Austrian cashmere ski sweaters. It also dabbles in mountain lifestyle décor with furnishings, dish-ware, and fixtures to outfit any house in to the ultimate Colorado ski.


        • D’Angelico Guitar shop: Our eldest LIVED here, played and tested guitar with the shopkeepers on the casual stage in the window every afternoon. This is where we met Cat, a ski and tennis instructor in Aspen who modeled for us.
        D’Angelico Guitar Shop
        • Little Nell Hotel Boutique
: Tiny Shop, incredible discoveries!

        • Carl’s Pharmacy: More than a pharmacy. Opened in 1965 as a drug store, it is an extended version of a mom and pop’s store with a little bit of everything. On the first floor, they have a liquor department, a food department, a cosmetic department, the biggest greeting card selection in town, and of course the pharmacy and all the medical tools and remedies that go along with a pharmacy. The second floor is the fun stuff with souvenirs and costumes and a toy and arts and crafts area. On your way up the stairs make sure you get a pin to mark where you are visiting from on the large map.

        • Explore Booksellers:
 Housed in a Victorian home in the center of town, Explore Booksellers is an Aspen institution. Inside, books on business, history, art, travel, and more are crammed into every corner, with an entire room dedicated to children’s literature. The shop also stocks numerous regional titles as well as cards, journals, and gifts and regularly hosts events with local and visiting authors. When you’ve finished shopping, grab lunch on the second floor, where Pyramid Bistro serves healthy, veggie-forward fare.

        • Luxury Galore.....There’s always Ralph Lauren, Moncler, Gucci & Dior! North Face, and Patagonia


        • Alderfers Antiques of Aspen

        Alderfers Antiques of Aspen

        • Noori's Collection

        • Daniels Antiques
        • Paris Underground

        • Susie's Limited Consignments

        • Aspen Thrift Shop

        • Aspen Home
Consignment: Largely home stuff, but they have other things
        • The Little Bird: Fancier wares

        Cherish every moment in this town, it's on our list to go back in the summer for the Aspen Institute Festival, think tank discussions you can attend! Let us know if we missed anything, email and we can add to the blog.


        Meagan & Antonia

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