by Max Bellamy
Aspen, Colorado, best known as the ski resort for the rich and famous, is more than just that. Aspen is a complete vacation destination with four special resorts that provide you with unlimited recreation opportunities for all four seasons. It has a bit of everything for everyone: the ski slopes of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk; the Aspen Food and Wine Classic summer festival for the gastronome; loads of outdoor activities; scenic grandeur for the nature lover; and a dash of Hollywood glitz for the starry-eyed.
Apart from its world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, you can also indulge in snowmobiling, snow shoeing and snow camping. You could also go hiking, camping, mountain biking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, kayaking, whitewater rafting, hunting, and paragliding when the snow melts.
Aspen's Maroon Bells mountains are a popular attraction for photographers from all over the world. Restored historic buildings in the town of Aspen and ghost towns in Ashcroft and Independence provide a glimpse into the area's mining past. The Roaring Fork and Fryingpan Rivers make for some great trout fishing spots. Independence Pass, Castle Creek Road to Ashcroft, and Maroon Creek Road are splendid scenic routes. Some of the other attractions, albeit not of the natural kind, include the Wheeler Opera House, Hotel Jerome, and Ski Lift #1.
Aspen is located in west-central Colorado, forty miles southeast of Glenwood Springs on Colorado Highway 82. This highway is the only access into Aspen during winter. During summer, you can reach Aspen through Independence Pass on Highway 82. Independence Pass is closed from early November through May.
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