You probably know about Aspen, Colorado - the chic mountain town that is a favorite of visiting celebrities, with its sublime ski slopes and luxurious dining and nightlife. While Aspen often receives all the glory - which is guaranteed - because the hamlet is really rich in history and culture, while offering a multitude of outdoor activities. Snowmass, however, its sister resort, about 10 miles down the highway, has a lot to offer visitors as well.
In fact, as someone who lives less than 30 minutes from these two resort towns, I would argue that Snowmass is a fabulous destination in itself, especially in the summer months, when the resort town stretches the red carpet for families and hosts. a series of annual festivals with warm weather and weekly events. New restaurants, a newly renovated mountain hotel and easy access to outdoor adventures add to Snowmass ’appeal.
If your travel plans take you to western Colorado this summer, I highly recommend that you make Snowmass a wonderful and relaxed base for your home. You will have plenty of facilities and activities right in front of your door. And if you want to explore the sophisticated Aspen scene, it’s just a free bus ride.
Here are my tips for 16 great things to do in Snowmass this summer, including tips on where to eat and stay locally:
- 1 1. Snowmass Rodeo
- 2 2. Hiking and cycling trails
- 3 3. The collective
- 4 4. Annual festivals
- 5 5. The lost forest
- 6 Spas in Snowmass
- 7 8. Anderson Ranch Arts Center
- 8 9. Free live music
- 9 The best restaurants in Snowmass
- 10 The best Snowmass hotels
1. Snowmass Rodeo
Every Wednesday night, from late June to mid-August, Snowmass Rodeo entertains locals and visitors with its range of cowboy competitions, including bull riding, barrel racing and team ropes. Visiting children can even compete in the bustling of sheep and the sound of calves. Before the rodeo, dine on ribs, pulled pork or burgers on all sides. There are also a few Western-themed vendors on site to find the perfect souvenir.
2. Hiking and cycling trails
Snowmass hosts dozens of hiking trails that are considered light, moderate and difficult. Wrap your way through the aspen plantations, through meadows dotted with wildflowers and through evergreen forests. The higher you climb, the more fabulous mountain views await you. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies offers free guided walks in nature on Saturdays and Sundays.
Similarly, Snowmass is known for the variety of mountain biking trails for all levels of experience. In summer, the ski mountain turns into Snowmass Bike Park. Access the bike park trails via the Elk Camp Gondola and the Elk Camp Chairlift. Upload your bike (there are rentals available), get off at one of the two places and enjoy the thrilling mountain ride!
3. The collective
Comedy, Yoga and more
The team has been a welcome addition to Snowmass Base Village in recent years. This community center is where locals and visitors gather to eat, drink, exercise and simply have fun. The space, which is an outdoor ice rink in winter, turns into a grass-covered play area, where you will find yoga classes, live music and lawn games in summer. Then there’s the Game Lounge technicolor, with billiards, skeeball and foosball, plus 12 “selfie stations” to take holiday photos in front of the creative background. Eat a healthy meal at mix6 or relax with a drink at the Moxi Bar.
This special place is a beautiful and upbeat meeting place with some creative summer programs that include outdoor movies, live comedy shows, science camp camps, open mic evenings, art shows and salsa dancing.
4. Annual festivals
Snowmass loves to celebrate, whether it’s food, art, music or the outdoors. Chances are, whenever your vacation is scheduled, a special event will take place, such as the Snowmass Art Festival, Independence Day Community Celebration, Heritage Fire Culinary Demonstrations, Cidermass, or the beloved Festival. of Snowmass Balloons. . And that’s just to name a few. Check the Snowmass events calendar to see what happens when you’re in town.
5. The lost forest
Coaster, climbing wall and more
Climb the Elk Camp Gondola and head to the outdoor playground called The Lost Forest. Here, various ticket packages include access to an alpine coaster, a rope course, a climbing wall and a zip line tour. Bring your own equipment to throw the wire into the Trout Hook fishing pond or play a round on the Aerial Approach disc golf course.
If you just want to take a scenic gondola ride to enjoy the high-altitude views, then head down to eat at Elk Camp Restaurant or take a walk along some mountain trails.
Spas in Snowmass
All this high altitude outdoor activity could lead to some muscle aches, so why not schedule some time at the spa? Snowmass has some great options.
6. Lupine Spa The Viewline Resort Snowmass
The Lupine Spa at Viewline Resort Snowmass is a newcomer, as this hotel on the slopes just opened in January 2022, after a $ 40 million renovation. The locker rooms here have steam baths, which you can use before or after treatment. Spa services include a personalized CBD massage for additional healing effects from the hemp plant.
7. Spa La Viceroy Snowmass
The Viceroy Snowmass’s spa has a quiet, dimly lit lounge with comfortable sun loungers set in a circle under an impressive chandelier. There are small hot tubs in each of the men’s and women’s locker rooms. Treatments include soothing and spiritual rituals inspired by the Ute tribe - the people who first settled in the Snowmass Mountains.
8. Anderson Ranch Arts Center
Anderson Ranch Arts Center is a hidden gem in Snowmass, and if you are an art enthusiast, you will definitely want to visit this special place during your vacation. Listen to a talk by a visiting artist, see the rotating exhibits in the art gallery, and shop at the ArtWorks Store. Take the time to walk through the outdoor sculpture exhibition: (Still) Sculptural distance.
9. Free live music
Snowmass celebrates 30 years of free live mountain music in 2022. The locals’ favorite Snowmass free concert series takes place on Fanny Hill every Thursday night from mid-June to mid-August. The range includes everything from pop and funk to R&B and country. Bring your own blanket or chairs, as well as a picnic basket and settle in for a good time. (You can’t bring your own alcohol, but beverage sellers are on the spot.)
Every Friday, from June to the end of September, he brings Music to the Mall. You will find a variety of local artists on Tower Stage during happy hour (16: 30–18: 30) for the perfect way to start the weekend.
The best restaurants in Snowmass
Snowmass restaurants are especially welcoming in the summer months, as so many have fabulous outdoor dining terraces in the fresh mountain air. Here are some of my favorites:
10. Limelight Lounge
The Limelight Lounge has a spacious, pet-friendly outdoor terrace and offers you a front seat to all the action in The Collective’s lawned outdoor courtyard. I especially like the wood-fired pizza and the variety of small, split plates.
11. Aurum Snowmass
Aurum Snowmass also has a large and comfortable outdoor seating area. The menu focuses on new seasonal American dishes. No matter what you order for the main course, don’t miss their amazing chocolate cakes served hot with a handful of whipped cream. Believe me, you’ll want to save room for dessert just by eating these mouth-watering divine delicacies.
12. Venga Venga
Venga Venga is the place for Mexican food in Snowmass. Its outdoor deck faces Fanny Hill - right in the middle of the Snowmass Mall. Make sure you start with guacamole at the table.
13. The new Ranger Station in Belgium
The new Belgium Ranger station offers Colorado brewery favorites such as Fat Tire and Voodoo Ranger IPA. Here is a regular meal, with menu items served to guests on sheets of tin biscuits. Order baked pretzel rolls with salty or sweet sauces, including cheese fondue, beer mustard and hazelnut chocolate.
The best Snowmass hotels
If you are looking for a full service hotel, consider these options:
14. Viewline Resort Snowmass
Located on the waterfront by Fanny Hill, Viewline Resort Snowmass is part of the Marriott autograph collection. If you have spare points, this is a solid choice not only for its location at Snowmass Mall, but also for its on-site spa, seasonal children’s club and upscale lobby lounge. I spent the night here on a media tour and thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Stark’s Alpine Grill. It’s expensive, but if you have the opportunity to celebrate, filet mignon and crab cakes are divine.
15. Limelight Snowmass Hotel
This lively Snowmass Base Village property includes a rich breakfast buffet in its room rates. Other facilities include a swimming pool and hot tub, electric charging stations in the garage and even a climbing wall. If you bring it with Fido, Limelight will provide you with a pet mat and a bowl of water.
16. Viceroy Snowmass
Accommodations here are luxurious residences, from cozy studios with efficient-style kitchenettes to spacious four-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and a washing machine and dryer. Super-luxury penthouses are also an option. The Viceroy Snowmass is adjacent to Assay Hill, a stone’s throw from the base village.
Tip: If you happen to spend the night in Aspen and want to drive in Snowmass for a day, you can park for free in the garage of Snowmass Base Village or in the numbered lots in the village in the summer months. Keep in mind, however, that the public bus service from Aspen to Snowmass is also free.
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