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Aspen, A Totally Unique Experience


Vacation in Aspen

With a population of approximately 6,000, and surrounded by either wilderness or mountains on three sides, Aspen, Colorado would appear to be an unlikely tourist destination. However, in many ways, this isolated vacation Mecca is the perfect "getaway" destination for those seeking a totally unique experience.

From humble beginnings as a silver mining camp in the late 1800, Aspen (so named due to the large presence of American Aspen trees in the area) transitioned from a mining community to a ski resort during the 1930s, although the onset of World War II caused a slight delay in development. With the formation of the Aspen Skiing Corporation in 1946, Aspen soon became a popular winter skiing and vacation destination. Other cultural undertakings followed, including the Aspen Music Festival and School, while the area's ski resort industry boomed. Four major ski resorts (Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Snowmass) currently service the Aspen area, attracting winter sports enthusiasts world-wide.

But Aspen is anything but strictly a "winter wonderland." The surrounding mountains provide excellent hiking, camping and biking opportunities, while the local rivers (Roaring Fork and Fryingpan) offer splendid fishing and whitewater rafting for the adventurous. For the camera buff, the picturesque Elk Mountains are among the most photographed in the western United States, with incredible scenic vistas at practically every turn.

For the more adventurous, try a soaring tour of Aspen and surrounding area by hang glider or parasail, activities which have become one of Aspen's most popular attractions. Thrill to the sensation of free-flight while experiencing the breath-taking panorama of the natural beauty that surrounds Aspen, a view unlike any other.

If outdoor activities aren't your preference, or if you're looking for something to entertain you after a day of exploring the unmatched natural surroundings, Aspen offers historic landmarks such as the Wheeler Opera House, built in 1889, which features performers and performances from the entire entertainment spectrum. The Eagles, Jerry Seinfeld, Sheryl Crow, Rickie Lee Jones and Lily Tomlin are a small sampling of past performers, while the Wheeler also is noted for other cultural "happenings" such as theater productions, film festivals, dance recitals and of course, opera.

Despite the relatively small geographical size of Aspen (3.5 square miles), it boasts an enviable upscale shopping district featuring such world-class names as Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Prada, Dior and Louis Vuitton, among others. The downtown area abounds with fine dining of every imaginable cuisine, with the contrast between "glitz" and the "Old West" only adding to the unique atmosphere that only Aspen provides.

Aspen has become a "second-home" (in some instances, a "first" home) for many "A-List" celebrities. It isn't unusual for visitors to bump into or spot such "names" as Jack Nicholson, David Beckham, Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn, Kevin Costner, or even Mariah Carey or Michael Douglas. The charm and appeal of Aspen attracts visitors from every corner of the globe and usually lures them back, sometimes permanently.

The late John Denver, Aspen's beloved "Favorite Son," no doubt had Aspen in mind when writing his most famous song, "Rocky Mountain High." Aspen, obviously, is a totally unique experience that won't easily be forgotten or duplicated. Whether winter or summer, Aspen thoroughly and effortlessly delivers.


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