The experts who lead Aspen Walking Tours blend history, research, and cultural anthropology in a trio of informative strolls, nourishing the minds of tour-takers with local factoids. These guides quarterback small groups during each trek through time, imparting stories and tidbits that they've researched themselves. The Aspen's DarkSide tour unearths the area's ghastly past, rife with ghosts, murder, and mayhem, and the Aspen's Past to Present tour details Aspen's evolution from a modest mining camp to world-famous resort. In the fall, rather than wearing shoes whittled from dry ice, visitors can experience real chills with a spooky saunter through the Ute Cemetery—Aspen's first burial ground—during the Walking with the Dead tour.
The Pines Lodge is tucked comfortably into the snow bed that is Colorado ski country. Guests can enjoy nearby access to superior slopes, as well as eclectic dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation options. Each room offers rustic charm and modern conveniences, putting guests squarely into the middle of a Venn diagram of comfort. Skiers can suit up for a full day in the cold outdoors by using the in-room boot warmer and iPod charging dock. Those preferring to stay indoors can snuggle into a fuzzy robe and strap on cyber skis to slalom through a high-speed Internet connection. For a happy medium, guests can enjoy the great outdoors without risking frost-nipped fingers in the resort's heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.
Today, Breckenridge is a world-class ski town, complete with high-end shopping, vibrant nightlife, and outdoorsy splendor. But in 1859, it was just a shabby mining camp on the cusp of a gold-fueled population boom. Clearly, much has changed over the years. The nonprofit Breckenridge Heritage Alliance helps keep that history alive by preserving the town's historic sites and honoring the prominent people who helped shape the community. Thanks to the work of the alliance, visitors can pay a visit to the Victorian home once belonging to William H. Briggle, an early 20th century mayor, and his wife, the town's first Lady of Refinement. Or they can take a guided tour of the Washington gold and silver mine, one of the area's largest with more than 10,000 feet of underground workings. Similar exhibits explore the history of Summit County skiing, its pioneering railroads, and its haunted historic district, with tours available to suit all ages.
With the lapping of river tides as its soundtrack, the state-certified guides of Breckenridge Adventure Tours lead groups during private, all-inclusive expeditions into the wild. The passion they exude is helped along by the drive of owner Eric Carlson, who has spent the better part of his life exploring the outdoors. Such know-how comes in handy on rafting adventures, such as whitewater runs atop the Colorado and Arkansas Rivers, and on fishing trips, which bend around the skills of both beginner and advanced anglers. Together, Eric and his team enrich trips with their knowledge of local history, flora, and fauna that demonstrates their vast experience and direct access to Mother Nature’s journal.
A haven for creative thinking, doing, and living, Alpine Arts Center fosters the artist in every one of its visitors—no matter their age or medium. A stunning array of classes for kids encourages little artists to try their hands at drawing and painting independently as early as age 3, and toddlers and infants can come with a parent to get messy in a safe and fun environment. Likewise, teen and adult classes encourage artists to discover their favorite form of expression, whether that's mosaics, cartooning, or paint-eating performance art.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1–2 hours
Parking: Free street parking
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Pro Tip: Your admission to the Holden/Marolt also gives you admission to Wheeler/Stallard Museum.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Wheeler/Stallard Museum
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
The Aspen Historical Society is passionate about presenting Aspen's history. Our town's history is rich and colorful and we use a variety of tours and museum exhibits to tell the stories that make it up. Keeping the history going is integral to continuing to develop Aspen as a world-class place.
What special training do you or your staff have?
All of our guides and museum docents are NAI-trained and certified. NAI stands for the National Association for Interpretation. It's an extensive five-day program so that they are fully equipped in thematically designing tours and paying attention to guest's needs.
What is the experience customers can expect, and how do you make it special?
Each guest, or group of guests, is guided through the museum with their own docent. The experience is very intimate, and allows for a lot of dialogue and customization of tours.