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Love The Snow? Here We Go!!

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       WEEKEND GETAWAYS - Friday, February 8, 2008
    Make The Most Of Your Vacation - From Coast to Coast!


Greetings Getaway Lover,

For those of you who love the snow and winter sports
this is the place for you......

One of the world's fabled resorts, Aspen practically 
defines glitz, glamour, and glorious skiing. To the 
uninitiated, Aspen and Vail are synonymous. To 
residents, a rivalry exists, with locals of each 
claiming to have the state's most epic skiing, finest 
restaurants, and hottest nightlife. The most obvious 
distinction is the look: Vail is a faux-Bavarian 
development, whereas Aspen is an overgrown mining town. 
Vail is full of politicians: it's where Gerald Ford, 
Dan Quayle, and John Sununu fled to escape the cares 
of state, whereas Aspen is popular with singers and 
movie stars. Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith married 
(and divorced) here, and Barbra Streisand took a stand 
against state legislation that discriminated against 
gay people. 

Between the galleries, museums, music festivals, and 
other glittering social events, there's so much going 
on in Aspen that even in winter many people come 
simply to "do the scene" -- many never make it to the 
slopes. High-end boutiques have been known to serve 
free Campari-and-sodas après-ski, a practice so brazenly 
elitist that there's a certain charm to it. At the same 
time, Aspen is a place where people live fairly average 
lives, sending their children to school and working at 
jobs that may or may not have to do with skiing. It is, 
arguably, America's original ski-bum destination, a 
fact that continues to give the town's character an 
underlying layer of humor and texture. You can come to
Aspen and have a reasonably straightforward, enjoyable 
ski vacation, because once you've stripped away the 
veneer, Aspen is simply a great place to ski. 

Happy Trails,
Jan

[*TAGLINE1*]
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[*TAGURL*]

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SHAPE WALK THREE: Moderate to Fast Pace 4.2 to 4.5 mph
------------------------------------------------------------

--DESTINATION: Aspen & Snowmass 

Heading east along Highway 82 toward Aspen you'll spot 
the turnoffs (Brush Creek and Owl Creek roads) to the 
Snowmass Ski Area, one of four ski mountains owned by 
the Aspen Skiing Company. The town at the mountain's 
base, Snowmass Village, has a handful of chic boutiques 
and eateries, but it's more down-to-earth and much 
slower-paced than Aspen. 

In general, Snowmass is the preferred alternative for 
families with young children, leaving the town of Aspen 
to a more up-at-the-crack-of-noon kind of crowd. The 
selling points of Snowmass as an alternative to Aspen 
are many ski-in ski-out lodgings, a slower pace, and 
one of the best intermediate ski hills in the country. 

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------------------------------------------------------------

--WHAT TO DO AND SEE:

Maroon Bells  
Geological Site, Aspen 
 
The majestic Maroon Bells are twin peaks more than 14,000 
feet high. The colorful peaks, thanks to mineral streaking, 
are so vivid you'd swear they were blanketed with primrose 
and Indian paintbrush. It's one of the most photographed 
spots in the state. Cars are allowed only part-way, but 
the Roaring Fork Transit Agency provides shuttle buses 
that leave regularly in summer months from the Rubey Park 
Transportation Center in downtown Aspen. A convenient 
pass, available for $18.50, includes one trip to the 
Maroon Bells and one ride up Aspen Mountain's Silver 
Queen Gondola, where concerts, nature walks, and other 
activities await you. 

Address: White River National Forest, Aspen, CO, USA
 

Wheeler Opera House 
Arts/Performance Venue, Aspen 
 
Built in the same year, the elegant Wheeler Opera House 
still serves as a concert venue. 

Address: 320 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen, CO, USA
Phone: 970/920-5770
 

Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves 
Hot Spring/Spa, Cave, Spa, Glenwood Springs 
 
The Yampah Spa & Vapor Caves is a series of three natural 
underground steam baths. The same 120°F-plus springs that 
supply the pool flow under the floors of the only known 
natural vapor caves in North America. Each chamber is 
successively hotter than the last, and with 15 minerals 
in the waters, you can purify your body (and soul, 
according to Ute legend) in a matter of minutes. A variety 
of spa treatments, from massages to body wraps, are also 
available. www.yampahspa.com. COST: $12 for caves, more 
for treatments. OPEN: Daily 9-9. 

Address: 709 E. 6th St., Glenwood Springs, CO, USA
Phone: 970/945-0667
 

Wheeler-Stallard House Museum 
Museum/Gallery, Aspen 
 
You can get a taste of Victorian high life at the Queen 
Anne-style Wheeler-Stallard House Museum, which displays 
memorabilia collected by the Aspen Historical Society. 
While you're there, ask about the organization's newest 
endeavor, the Holden-Marolt Ranching and Mining Museum, 
a hands-on exploration of Aspen's past, housed in an 
old barn on the western edge of town. 
www.aspenhistory.org. COST: $6. OPEN: Tues.-Sat. 1-5. 

Address: 620 W. Bleeker St., Aspen, CO, USA
Phone: 970/925-3721
  
------------------------------------------------------------

Other Places of Interest:

Ute Cemetery 
Cemetery, Aspen 
 
With a trail that winds through gravestones dating to 
the 1800s, Ute Cemetery is a reminder that Aspen's roots 
go back deep into the nation's history. 

Address: Next to Ute Park off Ute Ave., Aspen, CO, USA
 

Marble 
Town, Redstone 
 
A few miles up Highway 133 is Marble, a sleepy town 
that's undergoing a small renaissance as seekers of 
rural solitude are making it their summer residence 
and winter retreat. Incorporated in 1899 to serve 
workers of the Colorado Yule Marble Quarry, the tiny 
hamlet includes many historic sites, including the 
old quarry (marble from this spot graces the Lincoln 
Memorial and Tomb of the Unknowns in Washington, D.C.), 
a one-room schoolhouse that houses the Marble Historical 
Society Museum, and the quaint Marble Community Church. 
Marble is also the gateway to one of Colorado's most 
photographed places: the Crystal Mill. Set on a craggy 
cliff overlooking the river, the 1917 mill harkens back 
to the area's mining past; it's also the perfect place 
to enjoy a picnic lunch in the solitude of the Colorado 
Rockies. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is needed to get 
you here in good weather (your feet will have to do on 
rainy days when the road isn't passable). 
 
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--WHERE TO SLEEP:

Boomerang Lodge 
$151 to Over $200, Aspen 
 
This comfortable inn has a wide range of accommodations, 
from somewhat drab rooms to smartly appointed apartments. 
The nicest lodgings are the deluxe units, decorated with 
a Southwestern flair, each with a fireplace, a wet bar, 
and a balcony with views of the surrounding mountains. 
The lobby fireplace becomes a social scene during after-
noon tea. A continental breakfast is included in the 
rate. www.boomeranglodge.com. 32 rooms, 2 apartments. 
In-room: refrigerator. In-hotel: pool. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 
Continental breakfast. 

Address: 500 W. Hopkins Ave., Aspen, CO 81611, USA
Phone: 970/925-3416 or 800/992-8852
Fax: 970/925-3314

 
Hotel Aspen 
Over $200, Aspen 
 
Just a few minutes from the mall and the mountain, this 
hotel on the town's main drag is a good, if sometimes 
noisy, find. The modern exterior is opened up with huge 
windows that take full advantage of the view; the lobby 
reveals a Southwestern influence. Rooms are comfortable, 
if not luxurious, with plenty of down pillows and 
comforters. Most have balconies or terraces, and a few 
have hot tubs. A continental breakfast is included in 
the room rate, as is après-ski wine and cheese. 
www.hotelaspen.com. 37 rooms, 8 suites. In-room: 
refrigerator, VCR. In-hotel: pool, airport shuttle. AE, 
D, DC, MC, V. Continental breakfast. 

Address: 110 W. Main St., Aspen, CO 81611, USA
Phone: 970/925-3441 or 800/527-7369
Fax: 970/920-1379
 

Hotel Jerome 
 
Over $200, Aspen 
 
One of the state's truly grand hotels since it opened 
in 1889, Hotel Jerome is an elegant treasure trove of 
Victoriana. The sumptuous public rooms have five kinds 
of wallpaper, antler sconces, and more than $60,000 
worth of rose damask curtains, as well as crystal 
chandeliers, intricate woodwork, and gold-laced floor 
tiling. Guest rooms are generously sized, with high 
ceilings, sprawling beds, and huge bathtubs. The 
restaurants are held in high regard, and the J-Bar is 
legendary. The hotel even has several ghosts (inquire 
about the elegant grandfather clock in the lobby). Ask 
about "ski free" packages. www.hoteljerome.com. 77 
rooms, 15 suites. In-room: DVD, dial-up. In-hotel: 2 
restaurants, room service, bars, pool, gym, airport 
shuttle, minibar. AE, DC, MC, V. 

Address: 330 E. Main St., Aspen, CO 81611, USA
Phone: 970/920-1000 or 800/331-7213
Fax: 970/925-2784
 
--WHERE TO DINE:

Daily Bread 
American, Under $8, Glenwood Springs 
 
For years, locals have been packing this little café, 
where you can get some of the best food at the best 
prices in town. Hearty breakfasts such as the veggie 
skillet, breakfast burrito, and cinnamon-roll French 
toast are served until noon, and lunch features 
creative sandwiches, soups, and burgers. Many items 
are low-fat or vegetarian. The bakery also sells its 
baked goods to go. D, MC, V. Closed Sun. No dinner. 

Address: 729 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO, USA
Phone: 970/945-6253
 

Il Poggio 
Italian, $19 to Over $25, Snowmass Village 
 
In the cutthroat competition between resort-town restau-
rants, this unassuming Italian place is smart enough to 
let the big boys duke it out. It wins in the end, as it's 
possibly the best casual restaurant in the village. The 
classic Italian food is well received by the après-ski 
crowd. Try one of the hearth-baked pizzas, a hearty pasta 
dish, or any beef or chicken entrée. AE, DC, MC, V. No 
lunch. 

Address: 73 Elbert La., Snowmass Village, CO, USA
Phone: 970/923-4292

 
Little Annie's Eating House 
American, $8 to Over $25, Aspen 
 
Everything at this charmer is ultra simple, from the 
wood paneling and red-and-white checked tablecloths to 
the fresh fish, barbecued ribs and chicken, and 
Colorado lamb. Annie's is a big favorite with locals, 
who like the relaxed atmosphere, dependable food, and 
reasonable prices, not to mention the Bundt cake and 
"shot and a beer" special. AE, DC, MC, V. 

Address: 517 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen, CO, USA
Phone: 970/925-1098


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