Joining together with the luxury site, Quintess, we created a list of Aspen’s best cultural activities to partake in.
In this past month, I have connected with Brooke Vick, a Lead Destination Host for the Luxury Residence Club, Quintess. Quintess has homes in destinations across the world, but Aspen is a favorite location for many members and when they come to Aspen, Brooke connects them with her favorite local entrepreneurs, the people who work hard to deliver the ultimate Aspen experience, and she and I compared notes.
Just recently Quintess posted an article on their website that I had recently written on two coaches of whom I greatly admire; Charlie MacArthur, the owner of Aspen Kayak Academy Kids Program and Elana Chase, a freestyle coach for the Aspen Valley Ski Club. But the excellence does not stop with the coaches.
As I mentioned in my latest post, Aspen has many festivals that bring culture to the mountains and these festivals provide ample opportunity for continuing education in the arts, dance and film for both visitors and locals alike. Brooke likes to send her clients and their children to the Aspen Music Festival and School to watch a student rehearsal or up to the renown Anderson Ranch to sign up for an art class or to shop in their gift shop where resident artists sell their work.
For adventure Brooke tailors each excursion to the families who come to visit. A client favorite is to rent bicycles from Aspen Velo to enjoy a gentle and beautiful riverside ride down the Rio Grande trail ending at a local’s favorite, The Woody Creek Tavern, a feel good family restaurant that also happens to have the best margarita’s in town. Another more strenuous way to get there is to mountain bike up to Four Corners from the Hunter Creek Valley and then down a long, beautiful single track through beautiful Aspen groves. Be forewarned, when entering The Tavern it is not uncommon to stumble out into the moonlight several hours later, in which case you might decide to hire High Mountain Taxi to bring you and your bikes back home, instead of swerving up the trail back to Aspen.
To delve even deeper into the backcountry, Brooke recommends Aspen Alpine Guides or The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies to explore the countryside with your children on a free forty-five minute guided mountain walk with an enthusiastic Naturalist. One day while playing around Snowmass Village with my children, I witnessed one of these Naturalists receiving immense praise from a family after she had taken them on a guided tour on the mountain. When I approached her to find out who she was I saw that she was holding a dog eared book by Janis Lindsey titled, Wild at heart, a natural history guide dedicated to Snowmass, Aspen, and the Maroon Bells Wilderness. The naturalists at ACES are devoted to their cause of teaching people about the surrounding wilderness.
Brooke also knows where to send her clients for pampering and during the winter season her first call is often to Riley at The Ski Butlers. Riley offers service with a smile, not only delivering ski equipment to the door but also making sure that everything fits properly before you hit the slopes. No longer will you have to get irritated by long lines, rude help or broken down equipment. For another way to get pampered Brooke recommends The Remede Spa at the St. Regis for spa treatments and we both agree that The Aspen Club & Spa is a great club to meet all of your gym needs. Brooke also turned me on to Judy Norman who will not only give you a massage but who will also guide you and your children on a fishing adventure. For your hair and nails visit Michael at Salon Tullio, he’ll take good care of you and tell you great Aspen stories. Just don’t pry him for information about me!
From May through October you can ride the Aspen Mountain gondola with your family for the easiest access to incredible panoramic views of the Elk Mountain Range. Eating lunch at the Sundeck, located on top of the mountain, while listening to the great music of bands like the Frying Pan Bluegrass Band provides for the quintessential mountain experience. There are also great gentle trails where you can hike through wildflowers along the ridge while enjoying the views.
In the winter enjoy the exhilaration of riding on a snowcat up to Cloud Nine for an over the top delicious dinner on Aspen Highlands Mountain. If you prefer to snowcat your ascent to phenomenal back country skiing contact Bob Pearlmutter with Aspen Mountain Powder Tours. If you’re not much on skiing, launch off of the top of the mountain in tandem on a paraglider with Dick Jackson’s company, Aspen Paragliding
For restaurants in town Brooke sends her clients to my personal favorite, Pinons or Lulu Wilson, Brunelleschis, Matsuhisa, Cache Cache and Montagna. For pure dining pleasure in the mountains, replete with sleigh rides and cross country skiing in the winter or an incredible hike in the summer, she and I both recommend the romantic and charming Pine Creek Cook House.
There are so many more adventures to be had and so much that we could share with you but I think that this is a good start for now. For more ideas on what to do in Aspen or how to plan your trip be sure to visit, StayAspenSnowmass.com and visit my articles written at Examiner.com, and remember that it is not just the adventures that await you but it is also the entrepreneurs, guides, restaurants, health clubs and spas who bring to you the greatest mountain experience that you may never find on your own.