No matter when you plan to visit Aspen, Colorado — winter, spring, summer or fall — plan to spend some time and money on dining. You won’t regret it.
Before we visited this winter, I had no idea Aspen was such a foodie town, and I’m not kidding when I suggest that you should go there and eat all the things. Seriously, forget about the diet and don’t cry over carbs, just eat everything and be happy.
While nothing in Aspen is cheap, the bar is set high for good food in this resort town, and it’s nearly impossible to have a bad meal here.
Of course, when at Meat & Cheese, a restaurant and farm shop, you must order the Meat & Cheese board, which serves two, and follow it up with one of the restaurant’s creative entrees such as coffee chocolate rubbed short ribs or the rotisserie chicken (the best I’ve ever had).
Dining here is a true foodie experience. We relied heavily on the staff for information about what we were eating and Parker, the manager on duty, knew the menu inside and out, including the fantastic craft beer selection.
For a quick pick-me-up, drop into Aspen Overeasy for a freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice concoction. I met up here with my friend Jillian Livingston of AspenRealLife.com. I ordered the Super Sunrise which had pineapple, strawberry, orange, and grape, and Jillian went with the Avocado Dreamboat, a coconut water infused green drink filled with good-for-you stuff.
If you’re looking for a swanky après ski destination in Aspen, but don’t want to break the bank, check out BB’s bar. BB’s restaurant serves up delicious items like antelope steak ($42), and the bar keeps the creative spin going, but has more affordable bites.
I highly recommend the pork belly steamed buns ($16). Great for sharing, add a side of kale and Brussel sprouts and you’ve got a high-end meal for a reasonable price. In addition to après ski, the bar at BB’s is a fun Aspen late night destination.
Bloody Marys are a big deal in Aspen. I saw them on every menu in town, and if you google “best Bloody Mary in Aspen, Colorado” a ton of lists come up, but the place that makes every list is the St. Regis. In fact, their Bloody Mary is so popular that they have a free Bloody Mary tasting every day at 11:15 a.m., which just so happened to be when I stumbled in.
The Regis Hotel in New York, is said to be the birthplace of the Bloody Mary. Originally called “The Red Snapper,” it was invented by a bartender working there in the early 1920s.
At the St. Regis in Aspen, you can sample this hotel’s unique recipe, the “Downhill Snapper,” and order from their Bloody Mary menu that includes versions from their hotels around the world.
I ordered the “Downhill Snapper,” which is made with Woody Creek Vodka and muddled dill and basil. It was well-worth the $18 price tag, although, at that price, I didn’t order more than one.
My last Aspen dining tip is Home Team BBQ. If all this gourmet fare has you longing for down home grub, this brand new Aspen restaurant is the place to go, especially for those who love Carolina style barbecue.
Located in the Inn at Aspen, at the base of Buttermilk, this is a family-friendly dining option. Everything here was quite tasty, although the southern style mac ‘n’ cheese was my favorite. On a tip from a server, I added a little Home Team Death Relish to my mac ‘n’ cheese, a habanero salsa — and my life was complete.
Thank you to the Aspen Chamber for hosting us on this trip and to the various restaurants that invited us to dine with them while we were in town. We can’t wait to dine in Aspen again!
If you’re in the market for a pair of shoes that cost more than my first car, Aspen is certainly the place to go. However, I was surprised to find a number of shops selling affordable items in this high-end town.
We visited Aspen in January during Wintersköl, their annual winter festival that features snow sculpting, a canine fashion show, on slope fun and more.
While in Aspen, I discovered that if you poke around, you can find some fun little shops scattered amongst the big fancy names we’re all familiar with from New York Fashion Week.
Here are some of my favorite Aspen shopping finds. I’d love to learn about your favorite Aspen stores in the comment section.
Do you think the old-fashion bookstore is a thing of the past? It’s alive and well in Aspen at Explore Booksellers. This the kind of place that welcomes the reader and encourages them to stay awhile. Continue reading
I am ashamed to admit that an iconic Colorado town has been missing from my HeidiTown travels and it’s entirely my fault. After six years of traveling the state, up until this month, I had only ever been to Aspen for an afternoon.
To be honest, I was intimidated by Aspen.
I’m a laid-back, West Coast girl. I grew up in small towns in Oregon and Washington, far from the glitzy streets of LA or cultured avenues of NYC. I’m all about jeans and t-shirts. I get a manicure once a year, and I’ve only ever had one French manicure and that was for my wedding.
I was truly worried that I’d feel out of place.
We finally visited Aspen for a three-night stay earlier this month during Wintersköl, and while the town was all the things that I’d imaged it would be — women in fancy fur, high end shops catering to the mega rich and $20 cocktails — under the glossy surface, Aspen is a real town, with real people and real Colorado charm. It is, in fact, much more laid back than I expected. Continue reading
Summer is quickly coming to a close and you may be thinking about one last trip to the Colorado mountains before the kids head back to school.
This week’s radio segment on KRFC 88.9 FM, Fort Collins public radio, highlights some of the late summer music festivals happening across the Rocky Mountains. From soul music in Vail to jazz in Copper, the hills are alive with the sound of music.
Listen to this week’s segment HERE.
HeidiTown.com’s KRFC 88.9 FM radio segment for the weekend of December 16-18, 2011.
Click here –> LISTEN TO AUDIO
Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about events, festivals and road trips around Colorado. Remember, HeidiTown is not a calendar of events, but rather stuff the Mayor likes!
And one thing I like? Birds. Yes, I’m an amateur birder so this event caught my eye. Bald eagles spend their winters in Northern Colorado, and I’ve already seen one sitting in a tree near I25 around the Berthoud exit.
You will have a chance to see one during Eagle Watch at Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space this Saturday, December 17th from 9 to 11 a.m. Join a Master Naturalist and learn about these amazing birds. Binoculars and scopes are provided. These Eagle Watches will take place through January 22nd, so check out FCGov.com/naturalareas for dates and times.
Also in Northern Colorado, don’t miss the Garden of Light at The Gardens on Spring Creek. The garden is lit up in thousands of lights, and kids young and old will be amazed. Visit Santa, listen to holiday music, and enjoy warm drinks and sweet treats. Visit FCGov.com/Gardens for the list of activities planned and for directions to The Gardens.
If you haven’t visited Santa in Old Town Square in Fort Collins, you still have time! And don’t miss Story Time with Santa on Thursdays and Fridays at 11:30 a.m. and Skating with Santa on Saturdays from 11 to 12 at the Old Town Skating Rink. Get all the details at DowntownFortCollins.com.
Also in Fort Collins, don’t miss the Be Local Winter Market on Saturdays from 10 to 3. The market, held in the Opera Galleria at 123 N. College, features over 40 vendors with local products. Go to BeLocalFirst.org for more information.
Here’s something to do with the family. This event started on December 10 and is continuing daily through this Friday the 16th. Enjoy free holiday tours of the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion. The mansion is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day and the decorations this year will reflect the theme Holiday Heritages. Entertainment will be provided throughout the week in the Carriage House. Go to HistoryColorado.org for more. See a slide show of this year’s decorations at the mansion here.
This weekend take part in Twas the Night Candlelight Christmas Tour at the Molly Brown House Museum on Friday and Saturday night. Take a special Christmas tour of the museum with special holiday readings, treats and Old St. Nick. A truly wonderful family event. Also at the Molly Brown Museum, Holiday High Tea. For more information visit MollyBrown.org.
In Golden, Colorado it’s the last weekend to witness the Olde Golden Christmas Parade on Saturday at 11 a.m. If you’ve never visited Golden during the holidays, you’re missing out on a great little Christmas town. While there, don’t miss Santa and Mrs. Claus’s last weekend at the Colorado Railroad Museum. Here in Colorado, Santa has replaced his sleigh and reindeer with a locomotive and historic passenger cars all decked out for the holidays. The train departs every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.. Visit ColoradoRailroadMuseum.org for details.
In the mountains, the 12 Days of Aspen kick off next week on December 20. This event is just one reason Aspen made the HeidiTown’s Top 5 Christmas Towns list. From the 20th through New Years Eve, Aspen celebrates the season with all sorts of cheery activities from concerts to theater, from street entertainment to ice-skating to shopping and dining specials and much more. Visit AspenChamber.org for the entire 12-day lineup.
That’s it for this week… there are lots of events taking place across Colorado this month and if you’d like to share something that’s happening in your neighborhood, there are lots of ways to connect with me.
You can email TheMayor@HeidiTown.com, tweet me on Twitter @HeidiTown
or leave me a comment on the blog or on Facebook at HeidiTown.comOnFB.
Thanks for listening and happy holidays!
I love Colorado during the holiday season. From Denver’s Larimer Street to the Christmas Market in Georgetown, there’s something about Colorado that make me feel as though I’m spending the holiday season in a postcard.
As the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, I attend a lot of events and festivals and I spend a lot of time at holiday events around the state, so I’ve decided to share what I deem as the Top 5 Colorado Christmas Towns. This list is in no particular order, although if I were to pick a number one Colorado Christmas town, it would be Georgetown.
1. Georgetown, Colorado is a hidden gem just 45 minutes west of Denver along I70. I’d driven by it a hundred times before actually stopping in, but once I did I realized what a great little place it really is, and during the holidays it’s truly outstanding. With the a tree lighting ceremony, Letter Day and the Georgetown Christmas Market running for two weekends, this town commemorate the holidays the way they were intended to be celebrated. Visit HistoricGeorgetown.org for more information.
2. Breckenridge, Colorado is well known as a ski town, but this place has a lot of other stuff going on and that’s why it makes my list. The Victorian style architecture of the town looks resplendent during the holidays. With the Lightening of Breckenridge on the first weekend in December to carriage rides available throughout the holidays, and wonderful shopping opportunities, this town will make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a holiday postcard. Check out GoBreck.com to keep an eye what’s happening in Breckenridge year-round.
3. HGTV recently named Durango, Colorado as one of their “Top Ten Christmas Towns,” and it’s no surprise. Durango is home to the Polar Express, a production of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This train ride is a memorable way to celebrate the holidays with your children. During the month of December, Durango is alive with festive music and the hubbub of the holidays. There’s never a dull moment and always something Christmassy happening, and that’s why it makes my list. Go to Durango.org for more information on this top Christmas town.
4. The 12 Days of Aspen, is just one reason this ski town is making the list. From December 20, through New Year’s Eve, Aspen, Colorado celebrates the season with all sorts of cheery activities from concerts to theater, from street entertainment to free ice-skating, to shopping and restaurant specials and so much more. Aspen is also quite lovely during the holidays – just one more reason they made this list.
5. Nestled between the soaring peaks of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado is known as the Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s always a bustling during the summer, but this charming little village lights up during the holidays. Visitors should stop at Longs Peak Coffee & Paper House for a cup of hot chocolate and then stroll the streets of this picturesque town. While in town, be sure to visit the famous The Stanley Hotel, to see the holiday dÃ©cor.
The 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games are underway, and among the members of Team USA, Colorado is well represented. Colorado ranks only behind New York and Minnesota for number of athletes represented at the games.
New York, 19
Aspen, Colorado claims the most Olympians from a single town, with three skiers, two snowboarders and one figure skater.
The total number of U.S. Athletes is 216.
For more information and stats regarding Team USA visit www.teamusa.org.
Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer (The Elders at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon on July 9, 2009)
Celtic music is in my blood, literally. My Scottish and Irish genes co-mingled to make me an undeniable descendant of the Celts, complete with red hair and freckles and a propensity to sunburn. From childhood the tunes of the fiddle, drum and bagpipe have inspired me to move. Throughout my life I have loaded up on Celtic music CDs from Celtic Women to the Proclaimers, if the music was related in some way to Ireland or Scotland, I had to have it.
Over four years ago, at Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, I was introduced to a band called The Elders, and I am now a disciple. Since that fateful summer evening, my husband and I have seen the Elders perform over a ten times. We have bought all their CD’s and regularly give their CD’s as gifts (we are working to convert others to The Elders discipleship).
Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, The Elders formed in 1998, and have gone on to become a successful and well loved band. Every summer they pull in over 3,000 people to Loveland’s Foote Lagoon, making them the most popular group by far to ever play the venue. This year, the band broke it’s own record by drawing over 4,000 people to the Northern Colorado venue.
The Elders live show is a must-have life experience. Their on-stage energy is truly infectious. Though the group calls their style “Arse-kickin’ music from the heartland,” front man Ian Byrne, from County Wicklow, Ireland gives the band an authentic Irish flare. The talent of the band members is mind blowing. Guitarist Steve Phillips, violinist Brent Hoad, bassists Norm Dahlor, drummer Tommy Sutherland, and keyboardists Joe Miquelon, always appear to be having as much fun as the audience. I especially love watching Brent Hoad; he flies through the notes on his fiddle at such a furious pace I expect to see smoke rising from the strings.
The audience at an Elders show is diverse and depending on the venue, there are often entire families in attendance. When the band visits the Loveland, a number of pint-size dancers collect at the edge of the lagoon and predictable end up in the murky waters.
The Elders are also gifted songwriters. From fish tales and pub tales to more somber themes such as the historical struggles of the Irish, each song tells a story and paints a picture. I particularly enjoy the fact that the words of each song are intelligible and singing along becomes inevitable.
There will be many chances this summer to see The Elders perform live. Last night the band played at the Foote Lagoon in Loveland and here’s where they will be over the next several days.
July 10, Cheyenne, Wyoming – on the Plaza – free, 5:30 p.m.
July 11-12, Littleton, Colorado – Colorado Irish Fest – both evenings
July 14, Aspen, Colorado – Belly Up – free show, starts at 10:00 p.m.
July 15 Crested Butte, Colorado – Wednesday night summer concert series- Red Lady Stage at 5:30pm
To see The Elders entire schedule, go to www.eldersmusic.com.