Sure, Aspen was founded for silver mining in the late 1800s, but you could argue that the town was really founded for post-ski partying. The powder stashes on Aspen Mountain and its three sister properties hold their own against any mountains in this country, but nobody does après-ski better.
With Your Boots Still On: 39 Degrees
You gotta love a ski in/ski out bar at the bottom of the slopes with a hot tub, heated pool, and a DJ to drive the party. Sky Hotel’s 39 Degrees Lounge sets the standard in Aspen—and the rest of the country, for that matter. We suggest skiing early in the morning, and then showing up for lunch and staying put through happy hour.
Cheap Eats: Big Wrap
Aspen isn’t known for cheap food, but Big Wrap is a notable exception. With hearty, inventive wraps (grilled tofu, peanut sauce, and jasmine rice) for about $8, this is easily the best lunch deal in town. With only a few seats, Big Wrap is basically takeout only, but it’s located at the base of the gondola, so that’s not a problem. Show up on Thursdays for the Thanksgiving wrap: turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy.
Best Restaurant in Town: Matsuhisa
To call this a sushi restaurant does it a disservice. Yes, you can get a California roll, but world-famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa has invented his own style of sashimi that’s finely sliced and dressed with seasonings like garlic and ginger. The joint even has its own brand of sake, brewed specifically for the restaurant by Hokusetsu Sake Brewery in Japan.
Up All Night: Belly Up
The Belly Up is a contradiction: It’s a tiny music venue, maxing out at 450, but it pulls some of the best talent touring today. The National, Snoop Dogg, Ben Harper—everyone plays Belly Up, giving you a chance to see some of your heroes in a venue not much bigger than your living room. No big band in town? Local DJs spin till 2 a.m.