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Aspen Off Season - Advice Needed

Tvan

Angel Diva
#1
My youngest godchild was accepted at the Aspen Music Festival again this year, and I’m thinking about visiting him during the week of July 4th. I’ve never been to Aspen and don’t now they lay of the land, or what the town is like in the summer. Can anyone give me advice on where to stay, things to do (when he is in rehearsals), favorite restaurants?

All input welcome!
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
My youngest godchild was accepted at the Aspen Music Festival again this year, and I’m thinking about visiting him during the week of July 4th. I’ve never been to Aspen and don’t now they lay of the land, or what the town is like in the summer. Can anyone give me advice on where to stay, things to do (when he is in rehearsals), favorite restaurants?

All input welcome!
How exciting! Yes go! Sorry I'm not much help on what to do but seeing the Mts, will hopefully bring you back for skiing with the Divas! We did go eat at " The Red Onion" it was good and I got a fun T-shirt of the Alpine rescue dogs sitting at the bar.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#3
My youngest godchild was accepted at the Aspen Music Festival again this year, and I’m thinking about visiting him during the week of July 4th. I’ve never been to Aspen and don’t now they lay of the land, or what the town is like in the summer. Can anyone give me advice on where to stay, things to do (when he is in rehearsals), favorite restaurants?

All input welcome!
Are you going to fly into Denver and rent a car?

Probably better check lodging options ASAP. Lots of VRBO and AirBnB but that week things may already be fully booked. I've stayed in Carbondale, which means driving to a free bus parking lot. Probably not worth trying to deal with pay parking in the town of Aspen.

Basalt is a bit closer. There were Divas happy with The Element. Easy walk to Whole Foods so possible to eat in a bit.

Glenwood Springs has hot springs and more motel-type options than Carbondale. Carbondale has several interesting restaurants in the "downtown" that is perhaps 4 blocks long and 1 block wide. I think we ate in a Thai restaurant. There was also a good one in the shopping center across the road from the Days Inn.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#4
I will probably fly directly to Aspen. He has a car, so I won’t rent one there.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
I will probably fly directly to Aspen. He has a car, so I won’t rent one there.
So are you going to stay with him? Definitely don't need a car when flying into ASE.

Worth taking the bus out to Snowmass. I would think the gondola is open for rides.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#6
Aspen has at least one well known art museum. Remember reading about it but didn't have time.

The nice part about the town is that it's very walkable. All flat and on a grid. Most of the places with something to see are in a section perhaps 15 by 10 blocks.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#7
I wont be staying with him - still need to make hotel reservations but dont know location of hotels to music festival
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
I wont be staying with him - still need to make hotel reservations but dont know location of hotels to music festival
Anything in the town of Aspen is walkable. From Basalt it's possible to get a bus that runs on a reasonable schedule. Take a look at the trip report that @alison wong did. She didn't have a car for most of her stay. I think @NewEnglandSkier has stayed in town.
 

Skier31

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I live in Snowmass. Do not stay in Basalt or Carbondale. Plenty of summer lodging in Snowmass and free, convenient, easy bus service to from Aspen.

Great hiking, mountain biking and fishing etc.
No shortage of things to do. Everything is so close and available via bus.
 

alison wong

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
Basalt is a bit closer. There were Divas happy with The Element. Easy walk to Whole Foods so possible to eat in a bit.
My first time visit to Aspen was this March for a ski trip. I stayed in an AirBnB in Basalt downtown and found the location to be very convenient. Basalt is about ~15 miles to Aspen town, 20-30 mins (?) bus ride. I like Basalt a lot because it is quiet and quaint little town.

In terms of towns proximity to Aspen downtown (from farthest to the closest):
Glenwood Springs -> Carbondale -> Basalt -> Aspen

If you take bus (RFTA bus), you will see bus stations mention "down valley" - this is in reference to the direction of Glenwood Springs, "up valley" - reference to Aspen Town. (Analogy is NYC bus / metro stations: uptown vs. downtown. Here you have up valley vs down valley)

The Element Hotel - It is not located in Basalt downtown, it is further down valley, towards the direction of Carbondale, the bus stop is Willets. @marzNC is correct. The Element Hotel is right at the Bus stop, there is a strip mall with many shops, include Whole Foods and few restaurants, so it is indeed very convenient.

If you opt not to stay in Aspen or Snowmass, I'd recommend Basalt. 2 hotels in Basalt to consider: Aspenalt Lodge and Basalt Mountain Inn.

Aspenalt Lodge is located in downtown Basalt. From outside it looks a bit "run down" but it is right across from the RFTA bus stop (local), short walk (5-10 min.) to RFTA bus stop on route CO 82 (state road). The location is convenient.

Basalt Mountain Inn is located "further in" Basalt downtown. It looks much newer from outside and I read good things about it (from Trip Advisor). Hotel rate includes breakfast. However location wise it is not as close to RFTA bus stops as Aspenalt Lodge. It is about 5 min. to local RFTA bus stop, 10-15 min. to RFTA bus stop on route CO 82.

B/W these 2 hotels, I probably will go for Balsalt Mountain Inn because it is newer and rate is only bit higher than Aspenalt. There'd be no gear to carry (like skis, boot bag) and it'd be a nice stroll to walk through downtown and you will see plenty nice restaurants and pastry & coffee shops to choose from.

Public transportation - when I stayed in Basalt, I took RFTA bus everyday. $4 one way. It is exact change or you can purchase a bus card to load some $$. If you hop on the bus from the "Intercept Lot", it is free.
During ski season, I know people park their cars at Intercept Lot (free parking) and then take bus to ski the 4 mtns.

Local RFTA bus runs less frequent, regular RFTA bus stops along CO 82, it runs more frequent. I found the public transportation in the area very convenient and reliable. If you fly into Aspen Airport, there is a bus stop there.

From what I remembered from her TR, @NewEnglandSkier stayed at Pokolodi lodge in Snowmass.

I can also share w/ you my AirBnB place in Basalt, it is located right behind Aspenalt Lodge. Let me know and I can PM you.

Have fun at the Aspen Music Festival. I've heard a lot about this music festival and curious to learn more about it. Maybe I will make a trip there one year.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#11
All - thanks for the input! I’m waiting for him to confirm that my proposed dates work with his rehearsal schedule, then I will finalize plans. This is really helpful information!
 

NewEnglandSkier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
I stayed in Snowmass Village at the Pokolodi Lodge twice now and think it's a pretty solid, basic place to stay if you're not looking for fancy. It's clean and functional and convenient to the free bus stops.
Another time I stayed in the town of Aspen at the Annabelle Inn. It's really convenient to everything-right near the bus stop, walk to restaurants and shops etc. However, the first room I had was really tiny and not very convenient. I had to move rooms due to heating issue and the second room was much better but while the location is great, I actually like the Pokolodi better.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#13
All - quick update. I booked my travel ... flying into Aspen, and staying at Hotel Aspen for a few nights. Youngest Godson has rehearsals during the day, so I booked a half day bike trip (rated easy, paved downhill from Maroon Bells) for one morning. I’ll explore the town, ride the gondola, and probably attend some open rehearsals on the other days. If he has free time, we’ll do whatever he wants to do, and then hopefully have dinners and go to the evening concerts together.

This is the same kid that we surprised in the UK a few years ago. His fiddle group was on tour in Scotland and northern England. DH and I planned our summer vacation trip so that we were in Newcastle-at-Tyne on the very night that the kids were performing. Major surprise. :smile: I am so lucky that my godkids still enjoy spending time together, and that we get to do so in cool places.

Thanks for the input on Aspen - it was very helpful! DH is jealous that he can’t go with me on this trip.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#15
They say that things come in 3s. First, my bike trip to Maroon Bells tomorrow was cancelled due to lack of participants. Second, my flight from La Guardia was delayed by over an hour... after we wer sitting on the tarmac. Third, my flight from Denver to Aspen was cancelled due to wildfires in Basalt. Currently, I’m hanging out at the Westin at the Denver airport hoping to b able to fly into Aspen the morning. If not, I will probably fly back to NYC, making this the dumbest trip ever. Sigh.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#18
The fire appears to be spreading, with more evacuations ordered. Terrible situation for the area. I’m headed back to NYC today, which is small potatos compared to the situation that folks in Basalt are facing between the fire and the heavy smoke. I’m sorry to not get time with my godson, but I don’t want to add another person to the number of beings that emergency personnell need to worry about.
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
what a bummer, and awful the fires are so bad! If you are still in Denver the Denver Art museum is awesome.. hope you get home safely!
 

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