Located within the White River National Forest and divided by the Roaring Fork Rover, Aspen is an adventure-lover's paradise. Aside from the obvious winter sports, there is also ample opportunity for backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, and a romantic hot-air balloon ride or two.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Flight Time: 6 hours from NY, 2 1/2 hours from LA
Getting around: Car, bus, taxi, shuttle
When To Go: Aspen at its best
Best weather: Summer, when it's in the 70s and 80s; but if you here to hit the slopes, winter sees lows in the 20s and 30s.
Best prices: September to October
Four mountains: For extreme sports enthusiasts and novice snow lovers alike, Aspen boasts four peaks to venture down, all within 12 miles of one another. Aspen Mountain features intermediate to expert trails with a summit elevation of 11,212 feet. The Aspen Highlands is a local favorite as was recently outfitted with a state-of-the-art lift and 180 acres of expert-level terrain. Though Snowmass Mountain is geared more toward families, couples who love to snowboard will find their zone here on the Super Dragon half-pipe. And for those who want to show off their skills among the pros, Buttermilk Mountain is home to the ESPN Winter X Games and also has a reputation for being one of the best teaching mountains in the country...just in case you need to brush up on your technique.
Dining and nightlife: You'll want to save some energy for a night out in downtown Aspen. This city is known just as much for its nightlife as it is for slopes. There are restaurants and music venues to suit every taste. You can pop sushi rolls and sip saketinis at one place, or listen to live outdoor music while filling up on barbecue and drafts at another. If you want to dance, there is no shortage of clubs and posh lounges spinning toe-tapping beats.