Aspen Nightlife – Getting Around
After a day on the slopes, you may be wondering what there is to do for the rest of the evening. Well, don’t use up all of your energy, and leave the slopes early enough to get in a short nap – you will need all of the energy you can muster for the Aspen nightlife. No matter how much skiing you get in or how many of the runs you have mastered, you have not truly experienced Aspen until you venture out after dark!
Aspen has three basic areas: downtown, the West end, and the East end. The town is remarkably small, considering how many people venture here each season – but surprisingly, everyone and everything just fits. The town is actually small enough to leave your car parked at your lodge or hotel and walk anywhere that you want to go. In fact, this is recommended.
Not everyone pays heed to this advice, which can make driving around and parking very difficult. You can also take a free shuttle from one mountain to another, take the Roaring Fork Transit Authority Bus, or go to the Rubey Park Transportation Center to get a ride anywhere in the valley.
Don’t worry about getting lost. The town is well laid out. Starting on the West end, you will find a quiet Victorian neighborhood. While this is a residential district, where locals live, you will also find many hotels and condos on the West end, particularly on Main Street. You will also find the Aspen Meadows Conference Center and Hotel. This is a 40-acre area where you will also find the Aspen Institute, the Music Tent, the Harris Concert Hall, the Paepcke Auditorium, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Hallam Lake Nature Preserve, and the Aspen Center for Physics.
In the East end of Aspen you will find another residential area, as well as the Roaring Fork River and the Aspen Club and Spa. The East end features more forests than the West end, which has been developed a great deal more. Between the West End and the East End, you will find downtown Aspen. Downtown is where most of the action is. Featuring old Victorian buildings, downtown Aspen boasts pubs, restaurants, shops, and everything else you could ever possibly need – all housed in beautiful historical landmark buildings.
Down the valley a ways, you will find Snowmass Village. To the west, you will also find Roaring Fork Valley. These two villages are compliments of Aspen, and you should take the time to visit them as well.
How to Find the Entertainment?
No matter what time of year it is when you visit Aspen, there is always something going on – even in the off season. The town is small, but there are usually several types of entertainment offered each evening in different parts of the small town. Generally, you won’t have to search too hard to find some entertainment – but it is better to know exactly what is going on all over town, so you can choose the Aspen nightlife that best suits your interests.
First, call the Chamber of Commerce in Aspen a few months before your trip if possible. Ask them what events are planned for the time period that you will be there. Events are usually scheduled well in advance, and finding out about these events well in advance will not only help you to better make your plans, but it will also allow you to purchase needed tickets in advance. Nothing will be more disappointing than arriving in Aspen and finding out that your favorite band is in town for a sold out show!
Events can come up at the last minute as well. Upon your arrival to your lodge or hotel, ask the concierge about events that will be taking place during your stay. If you have already contacted the Chamber of Commerce, you will know most of what is going on around town – but there may be a few surprises in store for you.
Don’t forget to check with the Chamber of Commerce offices in nearby towns and villages! Snow-mass is a village that almost seems to be a part of Aspen – but it isn’t. Contact the Snow-mass town hall to find out what events are scheduled in the village during your visit.
Have a plan before you arrive in Aspen. Use Internet resources, as well as the information that you learn from the various Chambers of Commerce and your lodge to plan your daytime and night time activities while you will be in Aspen. Again, there is always something to do in Aspen, and if you don’t plan ahead, you will waste a lot of time trying to decide what you want to do.
While you want to go in with a plan, leave a day or two open – with no plans. Use these days for shopping expeditions or simply take a quiet walk through the quiet Victorian neighborhoods. Go to a restaurant that isn’t in your plans, or spend some time in the Great Room at your lodge. There is always something to do…but sometimes, it is nice to have nothing to do as well!