By Irvina Lew
This story originally appeared in the September/October 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
For an extraordinary Colorado Rocky Mountain experience, head to Aspen and discover its pristine peaks, towering trees, flowing rivers and sprawling meadowlands. The 1880s mining town has transformed into a sophisticated mini-metropolis, swank ski resort and chic year-round destination. In winter, you can ski from atop an 11,775 ft summit on a black-diamond ski run; in warmer weather, you can hike, bike or do sun salutations atop the peak. After dark, savor fine food, including freshly-flown-in seafood, sip world-class wines, attend ballet, concert and jazz performances or simply hang out at a local pub. Culture gives a splendid sense of place to this environmentally caring, intellectually curious and ever-active community. Since 1899, when Jerome Wheeler launched a grand hotel and opera house, there’s been a vibrant cultural ambiance; in the mid-20th century, it expanded to a core value when Elizabeth and Walter Paepcke founded the “Aspen idea” dedicated to the mind, body and spirit and inaugurated the Aspen Institute.