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Après & Chill: Where to Go and What to Pack in Lake Tahoe, Aspen, and Park City


It’s usually around August that we start dreaming of fresh powder and après cocktails, so we’re thrilled that ski season is almost here. In anticipation, we created a handy cheat sheet of long-weekend escapes to three of our favorite mountain towns—and of course, the packing-list essentials for the skiing, the cocktailing, and the everything-in-betweening.


There’s a reason why Aspen has so many repeat visitors: There are four world-class mountains that offer some of the world’s best skiing. Then there’s the town, which is worth a trip all its own, with some serious cultural bona fides, like the Aspen Art Museum, excellent galleries, and food and wine festivals. Coupled with some great restaurants (including, for the first time, Daniel Humm’s EMP Winter House) and enough shopping to while away an afternoon, it’s no wonder this Rocky Mountain escape is as popular in the summer as it is in ski season. Speaking of which, this year, Snowmass is getting its moment in the limelight (literally) thanks to a hefty $600 million investment from the Aspen Skiing Company to develop its base village. Up first is the ninety-nine-room Limelight Hotel, which will include a five-story rock-climbing wall, a spa, and the Snowmass Mountain Club, a private members’ space with ski valet, easy slopeside parking, and an après-ready lounge.


There’s no shortage of great (albeit pricey) hotels in Aspen. Hotel Jerome has been part of Aspen’s story since it opened—as the town’s first hotel—more than 120 years ago. Still in its original building, it retains its late-nineteenth-century charm but now offers amenities like the clubby, cozy Bad Harriett, a new underground bar in the basement of the renovated Aspen Times building; in-house ski rentals through Gorsuch; and arguably the best spa in Aspen. The location is perfect, situated between the base of Ajax Mountain and the Roaring Fork River.