Best Things to do in Aspen, Colorado with your Girlfriends While Acknowledging a Budget.
I had a wonderful weekend getaway in Aspen, Colorado several weeks ago. I left the boys at home with my husband, and headed into the mountains with two of my besties to celebrate one of their birthdays. We had a fabulous time doing activities that meet a variety of budgets, although my favorite was by far the splurge event of the weekend!
Keep reading for ideas on how to have a blast with your besties in Aspen, Colorado.
1. Stay at a less expensive hotel.
After debating and debating upon where to stay (condo or the Hotel Jerome?!), we settled on a hotel, the Molly Gibson Lodge, that was very reasonably priced. Our room was basic, but clean. We were wanting a hotel pool/hot tub, and a room fridge for all the champagne we brought up. Unfortunately, the pool area was closed (we could have gone to another hotel’s pool, but didn’t), but the small fridge was fine! A continental breakfast was included in the room rate.
If you are trying to visit Aspen and have a budget to work with, I would suggest going after ski season. The rooms look to be way more affordable in June than during the winter months. Plus, the weather was wonderful for us!
2. Eat in and dine out.
We headed up to Aspen on a Friday after work, and I packed a bunch of treats for the car ride up…gluten-free, vegan dips and desserts, as well as gluten-full sandwiches. Because we knew we had a fridge, we brought snacks/light meals to help cut back on the amount of money we were spending. And, we knew the hotel would have breakfast for us.
Because this was a big celebration weekend for us, we knew we wanted to enjoy at least one meal out on the town. We did a ton of research, but because of the season, many of the places we wanted to eat at were closed. We ended up choosing the Aspen Kitchen, and enjoyed a lovely meal under the stars.
On Sunday morning we stopped by Jour de Fete to load up on food (bagels!)(breakfast burritos), coffee, and motivation before we headed out to the Maroon Bells. It was a quick, decent meal that was reasonably priced for Aspen.
3. Splurge, splurge, splurge on a spa day.
We wanted the weekend to be super memorable, so we booked spa treatments at Remede Spa in the St. Regis Hotel. This spa is ranked number one in the country! This was most definitely a huge splurge, but it is was pretty wonderful. We walked to the spa with plenty of time to take advantage of their swimming pool, hot tub, and champagne (of course). We each had a spa treatment and then an oxygen treatment and then we enjoyed the pool and hot tub one more time.
I was especially impressed with the women’s lounge–they had a hair diffuser! I could actually dry my hair without having to spend hours on it, and it looked amazing for our dinner out. It is the little things that impress me the most! Curly haired girls unite!
After our spa treatments, we got an appetizer at the hotel to linger in the luxury even longer. Since we went easy with the rest of the weekend, this splurge was worth every penny!
4. Free hiking in the Maroon Bells.
After eating a hearty meal on Sunday morning, we headed to the Maroon Bells to do some hiking. Even though everyone said to be there at sunrise, there is just no way that was in the cards for us. (Hello, vacation and being away from kids?!) So we got there in the late morning, but had no trouble finding a parking spot. (If you visit from mid-June through October, there is a bus that will deposit you at the parking lot.) We totally were not in research mode by this point, but luckily we did find ourselves on the Crater Lake Trail, which is about a 4 mile out and back hike. The mid-point is a beautiful lake–perfect for a little picnic or taking some yoga selfies while giggling. It was a bit of a haul up the lake, mainly because we did have to deal with leftover snow and slush. Right when we thought things couldn’t get anymore perfect, a huge moose graced us with his presence. So cool!
5. Bar hop…or not.
We got into Aspen fairly late on Friday night, but decided to go out for a drink since we were care-free. We walked to the J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome, and it was pretty much empty. We sat at the old bar and chatted it up with the bar tender. I enjoyed spending time at one of Hunter S. Thompson’s haunts, but it was pretty dead, so we let the bartender close up shop.
After that, we walked around Aspen, and realized every place was pretty much dead. We found some much younger people enjoying Eric’s Bar, so we stopped there for a bit before heading back to the hotel room for our champagne stash.
After dinner on Saturday night, we thought Aspen may be a little more hopping. Nope. This time we made a quick stop into the Red Onion which seemed to be the busiest bar around, but it was full of eager 21 year-olds. It was back to the hotel room for champagne and sleep.
Turns out, with crowds like that, Aspen is a cheap place to drink!