TravelPhilip Valles

Photo Diary: Aspen

TravelPhilip Valles
Photo Diary: Aspen
Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE

Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE

Dinner at Chefs Club

Dinner at Chefs Club

Breakfast and Matcha at Victoria's Espresso Bar

Breakfast and Matcha at Victoria's Espresso Bar

Aspen Art Museum

Aspen Art Museum

Lobby at Hotel Jerome

Lobby at Hotel Jerome

Lunch at Element 47

Lunch at Element 47

If Christmas Town (c/o The Nightmare Before Christmas) were indeed a real place, I would imagine it would look exactly like Aspen, Colorado. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting this ski-town for a work trip, and have complied a few pictures I took along the way,

HOW TO PREPARE: For those of you that have never been to Aspen – keep in mind there is literally ONE Uber driver in the entire city. Do not count on being the lucky person who locks that driver down – I was the loser sitting on a bench outside the airport re-requesting a car on my phone app for at least 30 minutes before a lone-taxi cab pulled up out of nowhere. I recommend reaching out to your hotel in advance of your visit and coordinating a shuttle to bring you to and from the airport. The people of Aspen are exceptionally friendly and free-shuttles are one of the most common methods of transportation here! Once you are actually within the city of Aspen you can pretty much walk to wherever you wish to go – everything is VERY walk-able.

What most people don’t anticipate is how body must adjust the increase in elevation when you land in Aspen. Take in to consideration, if you are from New York City like me, then you are accustom to being 33 feet above sea level on a day-to-day basis. In Aspen your body is forced to quickly adjust to being elevated 8,000 feet above sea level (11,000 if you are visiting any of the mountains.) When you first land it is important to take it easy and drink lots of water – I found myself nauseous and short of breath throughout the duration of the trip.

Lastly, you may have guessed, Aspen is EXTREMLY cold. The key to staying warm here is layering as much as you can – especially if you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time. 

WHERE TO EAT: Breakfast – My go-to spot was Victoria’s Espresso Bar. Here you have to order the Sunnyside Avo Open Faced Sanga (code word for avocado toast) and a cold brew.

Lunch – Within the historic Hotel Jerome, there is a cute little restaurant called Prospect. This place is a great spot to chill out and escape the cold. Another great spot is Element 47 at the Little Nell hotel which features contemporary American cooking – this is where you MUST grab the burger I pictured above. 

Dinner – Chefs Club by FOOD & WINE was the first restaurant I went to in Aspen because I am completely obsessed with the Food Network and had previously been to the New York location. Here you can sample dishes from the country’s most promising up-and-coming chefs.

WHAT TO DO: If there is one thing you must do when in Aspen it is to take a day-trip up the Aspen Mountain and catch the view from the top. Don’t worry if you aren’t up for skiing, you can purchase a “site-seeing” pass for about $36.00. There are several other excursions that would be great with a group – unfortunately I was alone on this trip and did not want to venture to far out of town. I would recommend renting a car and exploring the outskirts of Aspen. 

Maximize your time in Aspen to unwind. The views in the city are breathtaking and simply strolling around the city is satisfying in and of itself. The people you’ll pass are well mannered and very kind and outgoing. You will see nobody with headphones on the street, and everybody greets you with a smile.

shop my Aspen outfit essentials: