THE DESTINATION: ASPEN
Drive Time: About three and a half hours.
Aspen's ski cred is well established, but the "secret season"—aka summer—shouldn't be missed (cheaper hotels, wildflowers, patio dining, and more).
Refuel: Treat your taste buds with Latin bistro Zocalito’s chile flavors (don't miss trying one of the chile rellano variations). After dinner, unwind at Justice Snow’s bar, where you can order the Bamboo (orange liqueur with sherry and vermouth). Or check out whatever is on tap at the ever-expanding Aspen Brewing Company (we like the Conundrum Red Ale).
Listen: The Jazz Aspen Snowmass June Experience (June 19–21 and June 28) hosts an impressive lineup including Diana Krall, Steve Winwood, and Tony Bennett with his daughter Antonia. The fall event, held over Labor Day Weekend, closes out the summer with headliners Fun., One Republic, and Carrie Underwood.
Hike: The nearby trek to American Lake is so enticing, we keep returning.
—Photo Credit: Dan Bayer