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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.
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.
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.