In This Article
- Looking for Things to do in the Summer in Aspen?
- How to Get to Aspen, Colorado
- Things To Do In Aspen, Colorado
- Take a Hiking Trip
- Culinary Experiences in Aspen
- Independence Pass
- The Lost Forest Adventure Park
- Ride Up The Silver Queen Gondola
- Shopping in Aspen
- Enjoy The Many Hiking and Biking Trails in Aspen and Snowmass
- Nightlife in Aspen
- Attend The Snowmass Rodeo
- Horseback Riding in Aspen Snowmass
- Aspen’s Best Spas
- Golf in Aspen
- Best Outdoor Shop in Aspen
- Arts & Culture in Aspen Snowmass
- Snowmass Concert Series
- Belly Up
- Fly Fishing in the Roaring Fork River
- Mountain Biking in Snowmass
- Camp Aspen Snowmass
- Where To Stay In Aspen, Colorado
Looking for Things to do in the Summer in Aspen?
If you’re looking for a place to escape the heat this Summer, look no further than Aspen, Colorado. This small mountain town is home to some of the best outdoor activities and events that Colorado has to offer!
From hiking trails to dining alfresco, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Aspen in the summer without ever leaving town! And, if you want something more cultural, we have a few suggestions as well. Check out our list below for all your options!
Some things to do in Aspen that we’ll cover are ideas like going for a gorgeous hike on one of the many beautiful trails, seeing an outdoor concert, visiting a gallery, enjoying delicious food, or relaxing while taking in the magnificent views from atop Aspen Mountain.
You can also take a day to explore the iconic downtown area of Aspen. Stroll the cute mountain town streets and shop until you drop at the adorable boutiques and high-end designer stores. Even a spa day is an option if you’re feeling like you want some pampering. Summer in Aspen, Colorado is glorious!
This post is all about Summer in Aspen.
photo by Dan Bayer
How to Get to Aspen, Colorado
Aspen is located in Western Colorado, about four hours away from Denver International Airport. Aspen Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is the closest airport to the city of Aspen, located just 4 miles from downtown.
There are direct flights to Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Houston (IAH), Austin (AUS), and Phoenix (PHX) During the winter months, there are also flights from Salt Lake City (SLC) and Atlanta (ATL). As far as mountain towns go, Aspen is one of the easiest to get to with the most direct flights!
The drive to Aspen from Denver is about 3 hours and 45 minutes depending on traffic and weather. This drive from Denver to Aspen is a stunning ride! If you decide to do the drive to Aspen, be sure to stop for some photo opportunities along Vail Pass. Driving from Denver to Aspen is a gorgeous way to take in plenty of Colorado beauty. You might want to give yourself some extra time to take it all in!
Things To Do In Aspen, Colorado
Take a Hiking Trip
If you want to go for a hike, the Maroon Bells are a great place to start.
Also known as the “Aspen Alps,” this 14,000-acre recreation area is located just west of Aspen and offers 38 miles of trails that meander through dense forests and high alpine meadows. “The Bells”, which tower at 14,163 feet and 14,014 feet respectively, are an absolutely picture-perfect backdrop to any hike. Aspen in the summer still feels like a “best-kept secret” that you will love!
Read all about visiting the Maroon Bells in Aspen in the Summer here. Reservations are required in the Summer unless you’re riding your bike up.
Culinary Experiences in Aspen
The restaurants in Aspen have a world-renowned reputation for being some of the best. Dining outside during the Summer in Aspen is an experience unlike any other.
You’ll feel the mountain-vibe of the town all around you while taking in the crisp, clean air. There are several restaurants in Aspen where you can enjoy a gourmet meal while relaxing under the sun or stars in town. Go here to read about the best bars in Aspen Snowmass!
Sometimes it’s just fun to stop for a cocktail and people-watch in town. Bring a sweater as the evenings can be chilly, even in July and August! You can find some of the best Aspen recommendations here!
You might also like: A Complete Guide to Breakfast in Aspen
Another great idea for your Aspen vacation that you don’t want to miss in the summer in Aspen is to take a drive up Independence Pass. Independence Pass is a stunning drive between Aspen and Leadville, Colorado.
The drive from Aspen up Independence Pass provides you with breathtaking views of the Elk Mountains as well as acres upon acres of lush green meadows.
This is a Colorado mountain drive you will not forget anytime soon. You might even be able to put your toes in the snow in June for a photo at the Continental Divide! This should go on your list of things to do in Aspen in summer.
The Lost Forest Adventure Park
If you want to experience adrenaline-pumping activities, check out the Lost Forest Adventure Park on Snowmass Mountain.
This Summer activity and mountain top area are known for the amazing views in all directions! When you visit the Lost Forest Adventure Park, you’ll find a fun, exhilarating mountain coaster, a high ropes course among crispy mountain fresh air.
It’s a great place to spend an afternoon with the kids or friends taking in the mountain vista views that go on for days. For families, summer in Aspen, Colorado is a special vacation full of outdoor activities!
photo by Anna Stonehouse
Ride Up The Silver Queen Gondola
Another popular activity in the Summer is to take a ride on the Silver Queen Gondola, which gives you access to some of Aspen’s best views and trails. You can take the gondola up to 11,212 feet to get a new viewpoint of the town of Aspen below.
Have lunch at the Sundeck and feel on top of the world! The Aspen Sundeck is a very popular spot for weddings and parties in the Summertime so you may spot an elegant bride and groom sharing their vows. The Aspen gondola ride, also known as the Silver Queen Gondola ride takes about 10 minutes each way.
Shopping in Aspen
If you enjoy shopping, Aspen is the place for you! This historic mining mountain town offers dozens of high-end boutiques and designer shops featuring everything from casual clothing to luxury items and exclusive finds. Stroll the streets of Aspen, Colorado downtown to do some window shopping or pop in and buy something you’ll always cherish from Aspen.
One of the shops I love to always check out is Kemo sabe. Kemo sabe is a western shop on Galena Street in Aspen that sells cowboy hats, boots, and accessories. They feature unique, stylish western designs that you’ll have fun trying on! Maybe you’ll go home with a new, very special cowboy hat that you bought in Aspen. Some folks take Aspen vacations solely for the shopping!
Enjoy The Many Hiking and Biking Trails in Aspen and Snowmass
The Aspen Snowmass area offers dozens of hiking and biking trails that will help you explore the beautiful mountains, and get some exercise!
Sunnyside Trail is one of the most popular trails in Aspen, giving you panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. The Rio Grande trail is an easy, paved biking and walking trail that is great for a stroll or light ride to get out and about.
Another popular Aspen hiking trail in the summer is the Smuggler Mountain Overlook, which is a go-to trail for local Aspenites. Smuggler Mountain Overlook is easily accessed from town, making it a popular one for any time of day. The ascent is about 1.5 miles which is a pretty nice workout! You’ll be rewarded at the top with a spectacular view of downtown Aspen.
Once you get to the top, you can connect onto the Hunter Creek trail which is a beautiful trail that will wind you back down near where you started. This is a perfect little hike to do when you’re in Aspen in the Summer!
Nightlife in Aspen
Aspen is a great place to enjoy the best ski town nightlife and apres hike (ski) around! You can spend your evening dining at one of the many restaurants or having drinks with friends on one of the town’s popular patios.
An Aspen favorite for happy hour is Aspen Brewing Company which sits in the heart of downtown on South Galena St. Here you’ll find craft beer and the mountain lifestyle together as one.
The Living Room and the J Bar are two intimate spots inside the Hotel Jerome with personality and craft cocktails. Perfect for a sophisticated night out! The Wet Deck is a newer addition to Aspen in the stunning W hotel. Enjoy your drinks around the pool or hot tub at the hottest pool scene in this mountain town.
Attend The Snowmass Rodeo
Grab your cowboy boots and head on over to the Snowmass Village Rodeo. You can catch this rodeo every Wednesday throughout the summer, which is a great way to take in the Western culture while enjoying an evening under the stars.
Horseback Riding in Aspen Snowmass
Riding horses is a fun “Western” way to take in the beautiful mountain views in the Summer. You can head out on horseback with Capital Peak & Aspen Wilderness Outfitters to explore Aspen and Snowmass from a whole new perspective! When you’re looking for fun and different things to do in Aspen in summer, horseback riding could be just the thing!
Aspen’s Best Spas
REMEDE SPA IN THE ST. REGIS ASPEN
The St Regis Aspen Resort has a luxurious spa called the Remede Spa. It’s one of the best spas in Aspen because it provides a tranquil and serene environment that sets you up for spa success from your first steps inside.
With plush treatment rooms with mountain views, this is the ultimate destination for relaxation. The skilled staff uses their extensive knowledge of healing arts to craft treatments that promote wellness and rejuvenation, as well as address specific needs. You won’t want to leave!
This post is all about Summer in Aspen.
courtesy of St Regis Aspen
The Remede Spa at St Regis offers a variety of services including body scrub treatments using sea salts rich in essential minerals, hot stone massages which use heated stones placed strategically on key points of tension throughout your body to release sore muscles.
THE SPA AT THE HOTEL JEROME
The Hotel Jerome’s Spa is an oasis in the heart of Aspen. Services such as The Auberge Signature Custom Massage, salt stone massages, and salt glow exfoliation are all popular choices. This tranquil spa also offers a Clarity Cleanse facial and other treatments that are special and uniquely designed for the Hotel Jerome.
Golf in Aspen
The Aspen Golf Club is a gorgeous municipal course located in the heart of the Roaring Fork Valley. Located only 2 miles from downtown Aspen, this is a beautiful, challenging course that has been ranked as the 21st Best U.S. Municipal Golf Course, and the #1 Municipal Course in Colorado by Golfweek Magazine in 2009-10.
Golf is a sport that requires patience and precision, and it’s the perfect way to take in the beautiful mountain views in Aspen! Spending your afternoon at The Aspen Golf Club is the perfect activity for a Summer day in Aspen.
Best Outdoor Shop in Aspen
One of my favorite things to do in a mountain town is finding the local outdoor shop. In Aspen, Ute Mountaineer is the premier outdoors store in Aspen. This local shop specialized in hiking, skiing, climbing, camping, and more! The crew here knows the best local hikes, climbs around the Aspen Snowmass area, and the right equipment you’ll need to get out and enjoy the mountains.
Arts & Culture in Aspen Snowmass
You’ll be surprised at how many opportunities there are in Aspen to find music, art, theater, and history. Aspen has an abundance of culture, throughout all the beautiful seasons!
The Benedict Music Tent is the primary music venue at the Aspen Music Festival & School and seats over 2000 people. The Joan and Irving Harris Concert Hall is located next door to the Benedict Music Tent, seating 500. The 8-week summer concert season includes more than 400 events! These events are mostly fully staged opera productions, orchestra concerts, master classes, lectures, and children’s programming.
The Aspen Music Festival & School began in 1949 by founders Walter Paepcke and Elizabeth Paepcke. After a two-week event featuring musical performances and intellectual forums, they formed the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Music Festival and School. It has since become a highly regarded classical music festival in the US.
You can find the Summer Schedule here https://www.aspenmusicfestival.com/events/calendar
Jazz Aspen Snowmass is a local organization that provides multi-day festivals and a schedule of performances in venues around Aspen called the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Cafe. Its mission is to preserve jazz and related forms of music through world-class events and educational programs! These events in Aspen Snowmass are local’s favorites. Jazz Aspen Snowmass is a non-profit that raises money to support its multifaceted music programs.
For the Jazz Aspen Snowmass schedule https://jazzaspensnowmass.org/events/
Snowmass Concert Series
The Snowmass Free Concert Series is a super casual, fun way to spend a Thursday Summer evening in Snowmass. Find a spot on Fanny Hill (on Snowmass Ski Area) and spread out your blanket and camp chairs. Here you’ll enjoy live music with gorgeous mountain scenery all around you. Bring a sweater because even in the Summer there can be a chill in the air after the sun goes down! This is one of the best things to do in Snowmass Village.
If you’re looking for live music, Belly Up is your spot! Located in downtown Aspen, Belly Up attracts popular bands from around the world and is a perfect venue for a night out to enjoy a concert. Belly Up Aspen seats 450 people with VIP seating and a fun dance floor. Belly Up is an Aspen nightlife staple in town!
The Aspen Art Museum features international contemporary art. The museum is a wonderful exploration into the latest innovative exhibitions, education, and community events, engaging audiences to experience art and culture. Aspen is unique to have such a contemporary gallery in a mountain town!
Located in downtown Aspen on East Hyman Street, the Aspen Art Museum is centrally located and ideal for visiting on a day that you’re strolling around the town of Aspen.
Enjoy entertaining theater performances in the beautiful outdoors! The Hurst Theater stage is located along the Rio Grande Trail which is next to the river.
This is a spectacular setting for a star-filled evening. Theater Aspen’s productions feature local performers and Broadway talent, creating a professional, inspiring activity for everyone. As locals, these are some of our favorite things to do! Especially when friends and family come to visit.
Aspen began a long time ago as a silver mining town, back in 1879. The history and timeline of Aspen are vibrant and so very interesting! The Aspen Historical Society offers guided tours throughout Aspen that focus on history and architecture. It’s a really fun way to learn about how Aspen became the community it is now.
Fly Fishing in the Roaring Fork River
Aspen Fly FIshiing offers fly fishing lessons and equipment rentals. If you’re looking for a unique way to take in the views of the mountains while enjoying time outside, this is definitely an activity worth checking out!
Fly fishing is a great way to experience the Roaring Fork Valley and enjoy the outdoors. It’s the perfect activity for anyone who loves being out in the fresh air and who wants to learn a new sport. You’ll have peace and quiet, pretty views, and time to take in everything that the serene river offers.
The guides at Aspen Fly Fishing will teach you everything you need to know to get started fly-fishing!
If you’re interested in fly fishing lessons or equipment rentals, contact Aspen Fly Fishing today. You’ll love it!
Mountain Biking in Snowmass
photo by Matt Power photography
The Snowmass Bike Park offers 25 miles of downhill trails from the top of the Elk Camp chairlift down to the Snowmass Base Village. The trails range from beginner level to more advanced.
These trails have plenty of options for any skill level. For anyone who is a more experienced mountain biker, there are some great challenges! You’ll experience gorgeous scenery as you glide down each trail, filled with lots of Colorado fresh air we all love. Mountain biking at the Snowmass Bike Park is a fun, active way to spend a Summer day in Aspen.
If you’re looking for an IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center, the Roaring Fork Valley is a designated location. It’s one of the 7 Ride Centers in the world and the only one in Colorado.
This post is all about Summer in Aspen.
Camp Aspen Snowmass
For the little ones, Camp Aspen Snowmass is a fun mountain camp that offers downhill biking, rock climbing, fishing, arts and crafts, and more! One of the extra fun activities they’ll love is the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster! This is a mountain roller coaster that winds around the trees and up and down the hills. Daily reservations are required.
Where To Stay In Aspen, Colorado
The hotel accommodations in Aspen are unique, plush, and beautiful. They each have their own personality that embraces the destination in their distinct way.
Luxury offerings and top-level service are offered at all properties. When spending some time in Aspen in the Summer you’ll want to consider one of these fabulous hotels! Whether you’re in town for a weekend in Aspen or longer, these hotels will accommodate you.
HOTEL JEROME: A luxury hotel landmark on Main Street in downtown Aspen, Hotel Jerome is an iconic and one-of-a-kind property that began in 1889. Historic, storied, and now managed by Auberge Resorts, this hotel has been a beloved destination for years.
You’ll experience personalized service, impeccable, unique style, and the historic J Bar for craft cocktails. A summer vacation to Aspen is not complete without a drink at the J Bar! Book a VIP Virtuoso rate online and receive exclusive amenities during your stay!
courtesy of Hotel Jerome
THE LITTLE NELL: One of The Little Nell’s best features is its location at the base of Aspen Mountain. This five-star, five-diamond resort hotel will delight you with their stunning luxury accommodations and perfect views,
The Little Nell is one of the best ski hotels in Aspen.
It doesn’t get any better than being steps from the Aspen Silver Queen Gondola. From exceptional culinary to access to the best activity guides and personalized itineraries around, The Little Nell caters to your every need and desire. Book a VIP Virtuoso rate online to receive exclusive amenities during your stay.
ST. REGIS ASPEN RESORT: Find rustic butler-style elegance at the St. Regis Aspen Resort! Stroll into downtown Aspen for shopping or bar-hopping, just steps out the door. Not to mention just a short walk to the Silver Queen Gondola!
Sophisticated comfort in the heart of Aspen with mountain views, VIP service, and luxury at its best. Book a VIP Virtuoso rate online to receive exclusive amenities during your stay.
VICEROY SNOWMASS: As the only luxury resort in Snowmass, the Viceroy Snowmass is a modern hike-in, hike-out (and ski-in, ski-out in the Winter) hotel with plush amenities, gorgeous finishes, and high-end service.
Enjoy breathtaking views of the valley and the slopes from your room, suite, or penthouse accommodations. Dine-in Toro Kitchen by Richard Sandoval or by the pool at the Nest Grill for some delectable snacks! Book a VIP Virtuoso rate online to receive exclusive VIP amenities during your stay.
THE W ASPEN: The newest addition to Aspen! The W Aspen, once the legendary Sky Hotel, has a mountainside location steps away from ski access and downtown Aspen.
The swanky “Wet” Deck provides guests with a pool, hot tub, firepits, and a full bar for your Apres hike (or ski) fun!
This is the place to be seen in Aspen this summer and to take in the social Aspen vibe. Book a VIP Virtuoso rate online. As a Virtuoso reservation, you’ll receive exclusive amenities to enjoy during your stay.
LIMELIGHT HOTELS: In the Aspen Snowmass area there are two Limelight Hotels to choose from!
The Limelight Hotel Aspen is located within walking distance to Aspen’s best restaurants, bars, Wagner Park and Aspen Mountain. The Limelight has a warm, contemporary design with a very approachable, friendly, relaxed vibe.
The culture of the Limelight brand is super comfortable. they begin each day with a community-style breakfast that their guests love! It’s a great buffet-style service with lots of delicious options. Late afternoon the energy shifts to a fun apres-ski social hour to chat about your adventures of the day in Aspen with your friends.
You’ll find lots of opportunities to sit by the fire in the lobby with a beverage to enjoy time with your family. If you’re interested in checking the best rate for The Limelight Hotel Aspen please fill out the Rate Request Form.
LIMELIGHT SNOWMASS shares the same Limelight vibe as the Aspen sister hotel but is located over at the base of Snowmass Mountain. With a prime location in Snowmass Village, you’ll enjoy Limelight’s fun, social energy with plenty of outdoor seating.
The Limelight Snowmass also has the same type of approachable, friendly staff as the Limelight Hotel Aspen does. You’ll find stunning mountain views, a great location close to restaurants and the gondola, and access to hiking trails (ski trails in the Winter) right outside the door. Both Limelight Hotels are perfect for families!
For a more extensive list of hotels in Aspen, go to the 23 Best places to stay in Aspen Snowmass.
Aspen is a beautiful mountain town with lots to offer in the Summer. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities, shopping sprees, or family fun on rolling trails, you’ll be happy in Aspen.
Aspen has it all!
If you’re planning on visiting Colorado this summer and want to enjoy some of the best mountain experiences, look into coming to Aspen Snowmass. Consider indulging in some luxury accommodations, where you’ll also find great dining options, too. You’ll feel renewed and inspired from your outdoor Summer vacation to Aspen!
To learn more about Aspen Snowmass, visit the Aspen Chamber website for up-to-date event information. The Aspen Chamber shares even more information on Aspen’s history and heritage, arts, culture, and more!
If you’re planning a winter trip to Colorado, enter your name to receive our FREE Ski Trip Essentials Packing List!