Active + Adventure

Alpine Agenda

Aspen, Colorado

Ski and be seen—or just be seen. That's the action plan in Aspen, a former silver-mining outpost where everyone from Goldie Hawn to Will Smith makes the scene each winter.

8:00 AM No-Holds Carbs
The Aspen AM begins in a suite at the St. Regis Hotel (315 E. Dean St., Aspen, Colo.; 888-454-9005; rooms from $209-$2,650) which pairs English elegance with Wild West chic and is about to gain a decisive edge over local competitor The Little Nell (675 East Durant Ave.; 970-920-4600) with the addition of a massive, renovated spa in December. Pull on your custom-made cowboy boots from Aspen's Kemo Sabe (434 East Cooper Ave.; 970-925-7878) and head for breakfast at media mogul fave The Big Wrap (520 E. Durant Ave.; 970-544-1700), or give in to temptation at Paradise Bakery (320 S. Galena St.; 970-925-7585), where street performers wow the crowds outside.

10:00 AM Warm-Up Run
For the ladies, make like Cindy Crawford and Amanda Peet at Distractions (465 E. Hopkins Ave.; 970-544-9946), which stocks Chloe, Daryl K, and Jimmy Choo, or snap up Kate Spade and Earl Jeans at Pitkin Country Dry Goods (520 E. Cooper Ave.; 970-925-1681). Move on to D&E Snowboard Shop (520 East Durant Ave; 970-920-2337), where serious snow fans keep it real. Rent or buy must-have boards from "it" brands like K2, Switch, and Burton, along with boarder gear from Billabong, Vans, and Reactor. (Courses on snowboard mountaineering are also available.)

12:00 PM Maize Graze
Stop for an early lunch at Blue Maize (308 S. Hunter St.; 970-925-6698), a Latin American joint beloved for its fajitas and Sangria.

1:30 PM Trail Mix
Extreme skiers should head for Buttermilk, site of the annual X-Games and a favorite of Michael Jordan. Families may prefer to follow the lead of the (Mel) Gibsons and (Robin) Williams and opt for Snowmass, Aspen's largest mountain. And slope-studs like Antonio Banderas will make for Aspen Highlands, with the ultra-challenging Highland Bowl.

5:00 PM Face Time
Après-ski lounging at the Aspen Club & Spa (1450 Crystal Lake Road; 970-925-8900). Overachievers will love the weight room, though sybarites—like Mel Gibson and Faith Hill—tend to make a beeline for one of their 34 treatment rooms. The Alpine rejuvenator and Ayurvedic Holistic Facial are especially nourishing for cold-damaged skin. Keep loving your face with a pit stop at Cos Bar (309 S. Galena St.; 800-722-8982), for Creme de la Mer products, or Glo, for cult local beauty brand, Skin.

8:00 PM Fancy Feast
Haute dining options abound in Aspen: Back at the St. Regis, Olives Aspen is the local branch of chef Todd English's haute boite, while on South Mill Street, side-by-side Cache Cache (205 S. Mill St.; 888-511-3835) and Campo di Fiori (205 S. Mill St.; 970-920-7717) are linked by a charming courtyard. Head to the former for hearty osso buco before doing dessert across the way.

10:00 PM Cocktail Hour
For after-hours entertainment, there's always the celebrity-friendly Caribou Club (411 East Hopkins Ave.; 970-925-2929). It's nominally private, but visitors can join for $500 a week ($1,000 at Christmas/New Year's). Or check out J Bar in the Hotel Jerome (330 East Main St.; 970-920-1000). Order a round of Manhaspens (like a Manhattan but made with Tuaca, a local spirit). Just like the town, it has sophisticated western flair.

WHO SHOULD GO:
The rich (Michael Eisner), the famous (Bono, Kevin Costner, Jack Nicholson) and even the plain curious—with everyone hidden behind their latest Prada shades, Aspen is open to all.

BEST FEATURE:
The city's year-round small-town/big-city vibe. In winter, there's superb skiing along with Madison Avenue-worthy shopping. Come summertime, Aspen hosts a world-class jazz festival, as well as the DanceAspen and Aspen Theater in the Park series.

MUST SEE/DO:
An Aspen Mountain Powder tour. A favorite of celebs and the mere rich, Powder tours provide skiers with prime access to coveted first tracks. A pair of guides leads these intimate groups of skiers/boarders, ferrying them via heated Snowcats, which pick them up at the bottom of each run. Check with your hotel for reservations.
—David Kaufman

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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