Traveling is one of our favorite family activities. And while we love the adventure of traveling around the world, there are also many majestic sites to visit here in our own country. With this in mind, by the time my youngest child was 11 and my oldest was 18 (2009), all 5 members of our family had visited the 50 United States of America. An amazing experience and so grateful that we did it.
So when it comes to planning current trips around our country, sometimes we are at a loss for where to go. One place we hadn’t been is Aspen, Colorado.
We usually associate Aspen with the winter season and winter sports. And since we spend our winters in Mammoth, CA and Lake Tahoe, CA, we decided to visit Aspen in the summer.
We included Aspen on a road trip that we took through the southwest. Heading east through Utah, we drove into Colorado through Grand Junction. When you enter Colorado it’s immediately evident what a breathtakingly beautiful state it is. There is scenic beauty in every direction and we felt fortunate to be experiencing this by car in the summer, as many visitors fly in during the winter.
Our visit was brief but we were fortunate to stay at the Kimpton Sky Hotel, located at the base of Aspen Mountain. A boutique, chic hotel with an inviting outdoor pool and restaurant, we enjoyed spending afternoons lounging and basking in the sun.
Not bad for pool snacks: kale salad with pine nuts, goat cheese, currants and beets and ahi tuna tartare tacos in fried won ton shells. Creative and unexpectedly gourmet.
One thing Aspen is known for are its’ music festivals. After leaving dinner one night in town, we stumbled upon an impromptu concert on a corner.
As we love to hike, we decided to explore Aspen this way – on foot! There are foot and bike trails all around the city. We viewed amazing homes, flora and fauna on our 5 mile trek through town.
We thought these were Aspen trees, but weren’t really sure. They’re beautiful nonetheless!
Our next destination on this road trip was a favorite city of ours, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Coming from Aspen, we took Highway 82 South as the most direct route. We had no idea how winding (and nerve-wracking!) the two-lane drive would be. But a wonderful surprise we received on the ride was crossing the Continental Divide at Independence Pass @ 12,095 feet elevation.
Our only regret was that our stay in Aspen, CO was a bit too short. But we know we can always go back and I hope that we will. It reminds me of how many absolutely wonderful places we have to experience in our own backyard of the United States of America.