All the Love for Aspen

Aspen really pulled my heartstrings you guys. Occasionally I find myself in places and I JUST see myself apart of them. I envision my life there and see it working and making me incredibly happy. Aspen is a place I could easily call home in a heartbeat. It's moved third on my United States list behind San Francisco and Chicago. If you have been following along you know I took a motorcycle tour all through Colorado recently and half way in, we decided we would go to Aspen over Vail (no offense dear Vail) and actually take a day off from the bike. (thank goodness because my butt and tight shoulders were giving up) I ended up loving it so much that we extended our stay 2 days and I cried when we were leaving. And I didn't even make it to Hotel Jerome where rumor has it John Wayne, Gary Cooper, and Hunter S. Thompson swapped stories with the locals. Wouldn't you cry too?!

Now I know what you are thinking...Samantha, the town is just three and a half square and the population is maybe just below 7, adore that BIG city life?!(Scratches head) All I can say is it surprised me too. I mean I am still baffled but I cannot stop thinking about this cozy little ski town surrounded by high peaks on every side. You truly are lost in an enclave with a variety of people from all walks of life. You have the hippies, the ski bums, the rich and glamorous, the celebrities even..I mean where else can I walk around with a hooded Patagonia over a Gucci dress if I want to. Where else can I ski all day and then come right into town from skiing, clean up and head to a fancy dinner with my love or best girls just to wake up and do it all over again the next day??! Where else can I pull up a seat at the art museum in the middle of the town and work while I watch all of the action on the slopes?! Okay, okay..I know what you are thinking again. But Samantha, you were there towards the end of summer, there was no snow. I know guys but this is what Aspen does. It ignites my imagination and that is all I need! I am a Pisces after all. This place has lived in my dreams ever since I was a little girl. 

Aspen is the perfect mix of everything I love about Colorado....gorgeous nature, perfect seasonal weather including a Winter Wonderland, nice diverse population, but then there are the luxury boutiques, fabulous glam events, and the oh so fashionable people. (You should see the swarm of personal jets at the airport) And truth be told I would not mind rubbing elbows with Goldie Hawn over the Christmas holiday. Kate Hudson can come too! Currently trying to book a Christmas vacation home there but with the 9 day minimum required stay they are requiring,  we are going to need to crunch some numbers. Hmmm...hey Jack Nicholson, you have two homes there so maybe I could just borrow one of them for a long weekend???

(Just look at the cute town)

Here were my favorites in Aspen! 

  • The drive from Breckenridge to Aspen was the best of my life, especially on the BMW bike. So I highly recommend taking Independence Pass. Independence Pass originally known as Hunter Pass, is a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado in the United States. It is at elevation 12,095 ft (3,687 m) on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range. And OMG, we timed it perfectly because The Aspens were in full glory. Also 12 miles SW of Aspen is Maroon Bells. The view of the Maroon Bells to the SW from the Maroon Creek Valley is one of the most famous scenes in Colorado. Take a look here. Seriously mind blowing fall foliage. 
  • Meat & Cheese Restaurant & Farm Shop: One of my favorite lunches featuring world class farm house cuisine, craft beers, eclectic wines, fresh squeezed juices, coffee, meats, cheeses, and seafood. Highly recommend experiencing one of the boards. I treated myself to the steak board featuring the daily butcher's cut, roasted potatoes, and a green salad. Lin got the falafel sandwich and it was delish too. The goat milk panna cotta was out of this world.
  • The Red Onion: This is Aspen's oldest historic restaurant and bar. This is a local favorite too. Great salads, burgers, and the jalapeno margaritas are divine. 
  • Mezzaluna: Delicious Italian cuisine, wood fired pizza, and a fantastic wine list.Highly recommend the Tuna Tartare and the chicken parmesan.
  • White House Tavern: This place is such a gem. Elevated sandwiches, burgers, salads, and craft cocktails in an intimate 19th-century miners' cottage. Great patio too where they will lend you a Burberry blanket if you are chilly. We had an amazing feast and do ask for The Paloma. It's no longer on the menu but they will do it! This was also the best french dip I have ever had in my life.
  • HOPS Culture: Craft beer and wine and comfort food in this great gastropub with great outdoor seats. Oktoberfest happened to be here too. We had soooo much fun talking to the guys in the band. One of them was a doctor and had been traveling all over Colorado with his band for Oktoberfest in any spare time that he had. He even had to help a guy sitting on the picnic tables who was dehydrated with the elevation. (The apricot cider is amazing)
  • Mi Chola: Spiced up Mexican fare in a hip and trendy, yet approachable and fun environment.  Serving authentic and traditional classics along with progressive, chef inspired dishes from all across Latin America and beyond.  Extensive selection of tequilas and mezcals and an extremely delicious, fresh squeezed margarita menu. This place is so sexy! I enjoyed a prickly pear margarita and wish we had eaten here but everything coming out of that kitchen looked amazing! Lin loved the motorcycle and dirt bike videos they play in the bar area.

Jour De Fete: This adorable little cafe is EVERYTHING! Truly legit owned by a French man but the chef is El Salvadorian. The croissants and coffee were amazing and I met the cutest little dog named Avec. He only understood French and he loves ham and cheese croissants. I adore him. And I adore this little orange car.

  • Peach's Corner Cafe: Such a swanky little corner cafe with a great patio and so many healthy options. Wonderful coffee too including the iced matcha latte! 
  • Poppycocks Cafe: The locals told us we had to do breakfast here so naturally we obliged. The world famous oatmeal buttermilk pancakes are no joke. And the pistachio sausage...WOW! 
  • Aspen Art Museum: This beauty sits right in the middle of the town. Shigeru Ban designed such a breathtaking space. Admission is free and you should definitely treat yourself to a glass of rose and a sweet treat at the top floor cafe over looking the slopes. There are three floors of amazing art to view. It's heavenly.
  • Shop till you drop: Gucci, Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Prada,Dior......the possibilities are endless. Of course there is J crew too and some other smaller shops plus several local boutiques too. So seriously something for everyone! There is a great consignment shop too that had amazing inventory. 
  • Georgia Brown: Do go into this gorgeous store. They have two other locations too, one in California and one in Houston. Home furnishings, textiles, jewelry, and everything you can think of. They curate their things in such a way. I could get lost here. I hope to get them on the blog soon for an interview. Seriously breathtaking. 
  • Sky Hotel Aspen: We loved loved staying at this Kimpton property. Adore the contemporary design and balconies. Ski in access and only a 2 minute walk from Aspen Art Museum and a 4 minute walk to Wagner Park where we caught a rugby game! Love the heated pool and hot tub and everyone is sooooo incredibly nice. Amazing amazing staff. See Alex ! 

Traveling the world with my sweet fox is my favorite! Thanks for showing me Aspen darling and thanks for traveling along you guys.

What are your fave things to do in Aspen?!

Up next...Durango!