A hiker’s paradise, Aspen has among the most exquisite scenery and hiking trails in the world. It easily compares to the Alps, and has outstanding skiing in addition to marvelous summer activities. There are delightful restaurants in Downtown Aspen and within a reasonable drive for people who are seeking a more rustic setting. For a city of this size there are two art museums, one downtown and one a few miles’ drive. The Aspen Art Museum in Downtown Aspen is a non-collecting institution presenting the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art; it has a delightful rooftop café overlooking a fountain with a view of the town.
Aspen Institute (http://Aspen Institute) hosts a variety of programs, including the stimulating Festival of Ideas with many impressive speakers, during the summer, and Aspen Music Festival and School (http://Aspen Music Festival and School) presents concerts with top conductors and performers. For example, Aspen alumnus and star pianist Jonathan Biss is playing Beethoven’s piano sonatas there this summer. Arnie and I just heard him play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 27 at Tanglewood, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by the young Latvian Andris Nelsons, and he was magical.
Celebrating with our recently married great niece and nephew at Casa Tua in Downtown Aspen.
About a half-hour’s drive from Aspen, the Powers Art Center, opened on July 7, 2014, in Carbondale, Colorado, is a memorial to the life of John G. Powers and showcases Jasper Johns’ works on paper. Jasper Johns is considered one of the most influential contemporary artists of the mid- twentieth century. John G. Powers and his wife, Kimiko Powers, collected a broad array of contemporary artists and were also open to sharing their love of art and appreciation for the power of contemporary art with the public. The museum is in a beautiful rural setting and the art is very well displayed.
Pine Creek Cookhouse (http://Pine Creek Cook House) is a fantastic rustic restaurant about 12 miles from Downtown Aspen, accessible for lunch or dinner during the winter by cross-country skis. “Depending on your skiing ability, it will take you between 20 and 40 minutes to reach the rustic restaurant through some of the most spectacular scenery in Aspen. (It took the New York Times writer 40 minutes.) When the snows are gone, you can hike or drive to the restaurant.
“The emphasis is on Hungarian and Swiss food, offering a locally made bundnerfleisch, or air-dried beef, excellent homemade bread, a tasty Hungarian beef and vegetable soup. Two kinds of crepes were good; the bratwurst was less successful. The Hungarian cheesecake and poppyseed cake were excellent.”