Mountain photography by Dan Bayer
Explore the dreamy jewel of the Rockies.
Aspen was founded in 1880 and was originally a very successful silver mining town. By the time ski runs were developed in the late 1930s, the character of the town’s 60-year-old buildings had long since been established. A definite charm is seen in the original homes and throughout the business district. Many historic buildings now house upscale boutiques or gourmet restaurants.
The houses in the desirable west end exhibit the history of a century ago and are surrounded by many of the finest gardens in the area. Several streets have small streams that run in front of each house and landscaping that includes columbine, iris, and lilies. A walking tour of this lovely neighborhood is a delight that will long be remembered after the trip home.
Summertime in Aspen offers more activities and events than most ski towns can boast when snow is absent. When other areas are gearing down for the off-season, Aspen is just getting warmed up. In the spring and summer, outdoor concerts and festivals are plentiful. You’ll need a ticket to see headliners perform at The Aspen Snowmass Jazz Festival, but you can enjoy local performers who play for free on the walking mall while you shop. A favorite evening treat is to sit outside The Paradise Bakery and listen to a string quintet while enjoying the sunset and an ice-cream cone.
No trip to Aspen is complete without a visit to the Maroon Bells. These mountains are about 20 minutes from town and are breathtakingly beautiful. They have the reputation of being the most photographed spot in Colorado, and after one sees this area, no one would question why. This jewel of the Rockies was built on dreams, and once you have been here, you will forever dream about coming back.