downtown aspen

The things to do in Aspen, Colorado, are almost limitless  — during both a winter and summer vacation — especially in Downtown Aspen.

At nearly 8,000 feet, Aspen, Colorado, a small ski town, hosts just 7,000 residents yearly and is a top spot for skiers and snowboarders.

Each year, around 300 inches of snow create a winter wonderland. I was fortunate to land a job at the Gant Condo Resort and spent several seasons here, enjoying mountain biking, backpacking, paragliding, and snowboarding in Aspen/Snowmass.

Without further ado, take a look at these top things you can do in Aspen on a nice walk — there really is no other mountain town quite like this one! 

5 Things to Do in Downtown Aspen

1. Shopping in Aspen

The shops are definitively known for catering to the rich and famous — the various high-end stores like Gucci, Prada, and the like certainly dominate the majority of the market.

But don’t let this fool you. It is home to a handful of shops that can cater to your average Joe.  Between the thrift stores, consignment shops, and secondhand used sports stores, you can certainly find a diamond in the rough as the upper class donates their hand-me-downs for a fantastic deal that you can pick up.  

Pro tip: This bodes especially well after winter when spring cleaning is at its most popular.

2. Art Gallery in Downtown Aspen, Colorado

Walking down the beautiful red and black brick sidewalks, make your way to Paradise Bakery and grab two scoops on a waffle cone of their butter pecan ice cream.  

Once your treat is in hand, take a stroll through downtown and enjoy window shopping at the art galleries. It is renowned for some of the world’s most interesting and authentic art. Between the plethora of fine art, glass art, and themed galleries, you’ll definitely have a relaxing afternoon viewing the finer things in life.

3. Downtown Aspen Restaurants

downtown aspen

The restaurants in Aspen are quite diverse, considering just how small this ski town is. You can always dine at old-school classics like the Red Onion located on the Hymen Walking Mall, Jimmy’s over on Restaurant Row, and Rustique Bistro. Where can you find an affordable meal?

The City Market has a pretty good meal deal that makes up a great, quick 3-course meal for under $10.  Otherwise, check out The Butcher’s Block for some of the best sandwiches in Aspen, as well as the breakfast sandwiches at Ink coffee shop, and (my personal favorite) try the “Secret Sandwich” over at Annette’s Bakery.

4. ACES – Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

When you are thinking about things to do in Aspen Downtown, check out the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. With the sole mission to inspire a life-long commitment to the earth by way of education for environmental responsibility and conservation through the balance of natural communities, the ACES is a fantastic place to learn more about the local environment.

Taking a day trip here is fantastic, especially if you have children, as you’ll be able to entertain yourselves with guided nature tours on the mountains as well as get up close and personal with some of the local inhabitants of the area.  Have another adventure in mind?  ACES is more than happy to assist with an opportunity to hire a personal guide for private custom tours.

5. Hike Smuggler Mine Trail in Aspen

downtown aspen

If you’re planning an Aspen, Colorado vacation, set aside an hour or two for yourself and hike up the Smuggler Mountain Mine Trail. You can easily walk there in just 5 to 10 minutes.  

Afterward, once you reach the trailhead, it’s a moderate climb uphill until you reach the viewing platform.  From there, you will be given fantastic views of the city of Aspen as well as Buttermilk Mountain and Highlands Mountain in the backdrop.

Discover the Magic of Downtown Aspen on Your Next Vacation!

Plan your getaway to Aspen today and get ready to embark on a journey full of breathtaking landscapes, thrilling adventures, and rich cultural experiences. 

Whether it’s hitting the slopes, indulging in the local culinary delights, or exploring the arts and music festivals, Aspen promises an unforgettable vacation. Don’t wait any longer — when you experience it, Aspen awaits your discovery — share it with us!