Hi everyone! Travel Guides are always highly requested after I get back from a trip, so I put together one for Aspen. I typically travel to Colorado during ski season, but I am so happy we took this trip during the Fall. As you can see from the millions of pictures we took, it was beautiful. Below I am recapping our favorite restaurants, the incredible hotel we stayed at and other things to do. As always, if you have any recommendations, or questions, please leave a comment! We can’t wait to visit again soon.
December- February- This is the time when a lot of people travel to Aspen as the town is blanketed in snow! Aspen normally gets 200 inches of snow every snow season, making it a go to destination for snow skiing/boarding. Since it is the most popular time to go, it is the most expensive time too. Go after the holidays or late Feb for less expensive rates.
March- May– This is when Aspen gets the most rain and the snow is long gone. Due to the rain, this is by far the slowest time in Aspen. There are hotels that close for periods of time too during this time of year.
June-August– This is prime time for travelers looking for outdoor activities. The weather normally sticks to around mid 70s making it ideal for hiking, biking and golfing. If you plan on visiting during the summer, be sure to book your hotel well in advance.
September-November- Surprisingly, Autumn is a slow time in Aspen. Depending upon weather, the fall foliage is usually at its prime late September, early October. Aspen starts to get snow as early as October too! We found that the village was not busy and reservations were not needed at the restaurants!
White House Tavern– This was our favorite Lunch Spot in Aspen. They have a beautiful outside patio and the food was incredible. We munched on a kale salad (AMAZING) and burgers. We also heard the crispy chicken sandwhich is delicious. Highly recommend the White House Tavern and we found that it stays pretty busy even in the Fall.
Campo De Fiori– If you are craving Italian food while visiting Aspen, then Campo De Fiori is a must. The pastas are incredible and I loved the ambiance. They also have a very large wine list full of incredible Italian wines. This restaurant also has a charming outside patio. Reservations are recommended during busy travel times.
Ajax Tavern– This restaurant is located at the Little Nell and right by Little Nell Ski Mountain. They have incredible soups, sandwiches and the truffle fries are to die for! This is a great people watching place and I can only imagine how beautiful it is with snow on the mountain!
Element 47– This restaurant is also located inside the Little Nell. We had breakfast during our stay and it was delicious. They have lots of classic dishes as well as numerous healthy options. They brought out Olivia’s pancakes in the shape of a face too which she loved! There is also a bar at this restaurant that has amazing craft cocktails! The white cosmo is incredible!
Matsuhisa– The owner of Nobu opened up this sushi restaurant in Aspen in 1998. I am a huge fan of Nobu and we loved our experience here as well. The menu is not as extensive as Nobu restaurants and there are not any rice options (if that is your preference!) Reservations are recommended.
Paradise Bakery– OH MY did we love the pastries and savory items from Paradise Bakery. Their quiche muffins, cookies, croissants, basically everything was SO good. Definitely take the time to stop in here for a hot caramel apple cider and treat during your visit.
Other Places to Try- Meat & Cheese, Wild Fig, Jimmys and Hickory House.
When researching hotels in Aspen we came across so many amazing properties. One that immediately stood out to us was The Little Nell. The Little Nell is Aspen’s only 5 star/5 diamond hotel. They go thru numerous tests throughout the year to maintain these prestigious status. I can easily say that our stay at The Little Nell was by far the best I have ever experienced in my life.
The Hotel recently went thru a major renovation under the hands of the renowned designer Holly Hunt. When we arrived to our room, it took our breath away. The spacious premium mountain side room had two full size queen beds, two sitting areas and a fireplace to warm up after a day spent in the city or skiing. The room has a walk in closet and other storage spaces to keep your things nice and organized. The bathroom has both a soaking tub and shower as well as heated floors. We didn’t want to leave our room!
After we got settled in our door bell rang and in came the concierge team with the most adorable teepee and stuffed log fire kit for Olivia. They gave her a stuffed animal to take home too! They also brought us a beautiful variety of snacks and drinks to enjoy before our day. The Little Nell also offers Luxury Pet amenities for furry friends too! I was absolutely blown away by the attention to detail at the Little Nell and Olivia has not stopped talking about it!
After exploring the city, we headed back to our oasis and ordered room service. The in room dining is offered 24 hours and they have an amazing Kids menu as well. That evening, the concierge team brought Olivia the cutest mini Little Nell robe and slippers and a bed time story about the Hotel’s dog. Like I said, the attention to detail was amazing!
After dinner we headed down to the “Living Room” downstairs and enjoyed a cup of the Little Nell’s world famous hot chocolate. I am a huge hot chocolate lover and my word I can see why it’s World Famous. Their homemade marshmallows alone were to die for!
Later that afternoon we got to peak into numerous rooms on the property including 2/6 Luxury Suites. Each Suite is designed differently and absolutely incredible. Holly Hunt really outdid herself with these designs. The presidential suite literally made my jaw drop from the entrance to the beautiful view of Little Nell mountain from the balcony. The Little Nell also manages the Residences at Little Nell which are private mountain side residences. We explored this property too and no detail was left untouched. The view from the rooftop was magical! After exploring the hotel and the residences, we headed to lunch at the hotel’s in house tavern, Ajax. We sat on the patio and enjoyed their scrumptious soups and salads.
We also had the opportunity to tour the hotel’s wine cellar where they host private dinning experiences. One bottle of wine they have in their cellar was rescued from a ship wreck! After the tour, we sat outside on the patio by the pool and relaxed by the fire pit.
The list of amenities the hotel offers is beyond impressive and you can check them all out here. We loved having a complimentary transportation service around town! Inside the hotel is also an amazing boutique. I was ooing and awwing over the beautiful assortment of blankets, winter accessories and much much more. Make sure to stop by during your stay.
It is easy to see how the Little Nell is a 5 star/5 diamond hotel. The entire staff was incredibly nice, helpful and always eager to help make your stay special. The Little Nell is an experience like no other and something I will never ever forget. HIGHLY recommend staying at the Little Nell in Aspen.
Maroon Bells– Maroon Bells is one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. I talked about it in THIS post and gave more details on what you need to know before visiting. If you are going to Aspen and Maroon Bell is not closed for the season, make the time to go visit! You will not regret it.
Gondola– The Gondola is only open on the weekends during the Fall season. It takes approx 30 min to get to the top and 100% worth the view. It is located just outside the Little Nell too!
Hiking– Since we had Olivia, we did not do any hikes on this trip. The ones we were recommended were Crater Lake, Cathedral Lake (for experienced hikers,) and Ute Trail.
Independence Pass– We took this drive when we were leaving Aspen to head back to Denver and OH MY GOODNESS, it was the most beautiful drive with the gorgeous fall foliage. When you reach the top at 12,000 feet, you will be in an alpine tundra environment (no trees due to altitude.) You can get out of your car and take in the amazing views too. The drive is a bit scary as it is 2 lanes and no guard rails, so use caution. The road is also closed during the winter too. I typically never have issues with altitude, but this drive dive give me a bit of an issue. Just keep that in mind!
OTHER THINGS TO DO
Shopping– The shopping in Aspen is incredible and the village is home to just about every designer you can think of. I was also impressed with their adorable children’s boutiques. I loved strolling around the village window shopping and checking out the boutiques.
Farmer’s Market– Saturday mornings they have a Farmers Market inside the village. It is typically open early June thru Early October.
Whew! That was a lot of information in one post! If you are traveling to Aspen and have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out! I hope this post was informational and helpful!
SHOP THE POST
*Thank you to The Little Nell for sponsoring our stay. All opinions are truly my own and thank you for supporting the brands that make JCTS possible.