Photo by: Ben & Whitney Carey, Creative Commons
Named for the many aspen trees in the area, the city of Aspen in Colorado, U.S.A is a prime ski resort and visitor center widely known as a playground and vacation spot for the rich and the famous. Originally founded as a mining town, Aspen can be found in the Roaring Fork Valley along the Roaring Fork River. The city is surrounded by Red Mountain on the north, Smuggler Mountain on the east, and Aspen Mountain to the south.
Nestled nearly 8,000 feet high in the Rocky Mountains, the city is home to four major ski areas called Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass, and Buttermilk. There is something for every kind of skier in the four areas. Buttermilk is more for the beginner, as it has easier terrain and is home to a highly-rated skiing school.
This area has also been the site of the Winter X Games as it has proven to be very snowboarder-friendly. Snowmass is the largest area, and is considered as the most family-friendly. Both Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands are known for their steep terrain, making them good places for more experienced skiers.
Visitors not inclined to go skiing or snowboarding can go ice skating in the city’s skating rink, hike along the many mountain trails, or just simply enjoy the majestic view of the surrounding mountain peaks. In the summer, visitors may also go rafting in the nearby river or they could fish for trout or other fish. They may also go biking up in the mountains or along the many trails which in winter also serve as ski trails.
Downtown Aspen provides an upscale shopping district with high-end boutiques offering products from Prada, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, and many others. There are also many restaurants and salons. Visitors may also visit historic landmarks like the wheeler Opera House or view the collections of nearby art galleries.