The California Bucket List: Your daily guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State

Aspen glow


From LAX, United flies nonstop to Aspen, Colo. United, Delta and America West offer connecting flights (change of planes). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $388.


The best deals at Aspen are early and late in the season; late season is usually the better gamble because there's a better chance snow will have accumulated (although, so far this year, Colorado is having a monster snow year).

Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Snowmass lift-ticket prices: adults, $82; ages 13-17 and seniors 65-69, $74; 7-12, $52; 6 and younger ski free. Tip: You'll probably save money by shopping around for a lift-and-lodging deal. Info: (800) 525-6200,


Hotel Jerome, 330 E. Main St., Aspen; (800) 331-7213, The historic downtown hotel offers luxury and a short walk or shuttle ride to the slopes of Aspen Mountain. Doubles from $660.

Aspen Meadows Resort, 845 Aspen Meadows Road, Aspen; (800) 452-4240, The hotel is in a campus-like setting high above the Roaring Fork River, a five-minute drive to town or a nice walk. Doubles from $250.

Hotel Aspen, Aspen; 110 W. Main St.; (800) 527-7369, This hotel is just a couple of blocks from downtown and has small but comfortable rooms. Doubles from $199.


Little Annie's Eating House, 517 E. Hyman Ave.; (970) 925-1098. Very popular for its big burgers and servings of ribs and chicken at moderate prices. Excellent prime rib and horseradish sauce. Main dishes from $16.

Blue Maize, 308 S. Hunter St.; (970) 925-6698. A casual Southwestern-fare spot with a popular bar. Good shrimp fajitas. Main dishes from about $13.

The J-Bar, 330 E. Main St. (inside the Hotel Jerome); (970) 429-7674. The bar is casual and often smoky — there is a nonsmoking room — and the burgers are good. Main dishes from $12.

Gusto Ristorante, 415 E. Main St.; (970) 925-8222. Good pasta, pizzas in a hip setting. Applause-worthy rigatoni with mushrooms. Main dishes from $14.


Colorado Tourism Office, 1625 Broadway, Suite 1700, Denver, CO 80202; (800) 265-6723

— Steve Hymon

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