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Summer in ski country: Aspen is a top travel destination in the off-season

JENNIFER FODEN WILSON, Contributor JENNIFER FODEN WILSON, Contributor

Millions visit the mountains of Aspen each year for obvious reasons (in fact, Forbes called Aspen the “hot ski destination” for the 2013 season). So, when I found myself in Aspen in early summer, I was surprised that this small town is just as amazing when the temperature rises: transforming from a winter wonderland to a summer paradise.

Wildflowers

Photo Credit: Utah Wild Flowers

Connect with nature
Surrounded by the Rockies, Aspen has endless opportunities to wander the wilderness. The landscape surrounding the twin mountain peaks of Maroon Bells (the most photographed spot in Colorado) are most accessible in the summer and offer hikes ranging in length and difficulty level. Spot wildlife, including moose, fox and marmots.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit: noware

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Photo Credit: Mark Byzewski

Throw back a pint
There is no shortage of places in Aspen to eat, drink and be merry. Favourites include Main Street Bakery and Hickory House Ribs for good eats (indulge in “The Feast” at Hickory House — a meal large enough they serve it with an entire 17 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce) and Belly Up and Aspen Brewing Company for good drinks and good times (try the brewery’s super hoppy Independence Pass Ale).

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Photo Credit: Nan Palmero

Channel your inner adventurer
Aspen’s culture of embracing the outdoors doesn’t disappear in the summer: try paragliding, fishing or taking a ride in a hot air balloon. One of my favourite activities was riding a bicycle through the rolling green landscape. From downtown Aspen, you can travel a picturesque 7-kilometre trail south to Woody Creek Tavern, an eclectic pub that was once frequented by American journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson.

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Photo Credit: Jennifer Foden Wilson

Join in the festivities
Each summer, Aspen hosts plenty of noteworthy festivals. The Aspen Ideas Festival is a series of thought-provoking panels and discussions (past speakers include Hillary Clinton, Katie Couric and Robert DeNiro). If live music is more your thing, check out Jazz Aspen Snowmass on the Labor Day weekend (Ziggy Marley and Carrie Underwood perform this year).

Jennifer Foden Wilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer and magazine editor who has written for Canadian Living, Outpost, Travel+Escape, DreamScapes and more. Follow her on Twitter @jdfowil or check out her website at www.jdfodenwilson.wordpress.com


Date Added: July 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

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