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Relocating to Aspen? 10 Things to Know

Aspen is world-renowned for its spectacular scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities. And while many tourists flock to Aspen to experience its majestic beauty, an increasing number of people are choosing to relocate here permanently. If you're thinking about moving to Aspen, there are a few things you should know.

Why is Aspen a great place to live?

There are many reasons why Aspen is a great place to live. The scenic beauty, endless outdoor recreation opportunities, and friendly, small-town atmosphere are just a few things that make this a desirable place to call home.

There are also many cultural and social activities in Aspen, and the community is very supportive of the arts. In addition, Aspen is a healthy place to live, with plenty of outdoor activities to keep you active.

Aspen real estate is also a sound investment, with values increasing above the national average. Aspen houses range in style and price, from modest mountain cabins to luxurious ski-in/ski-out estates. Whether you're looking for a primary residence or a vacation home, Aspen has something to offer everyone.

One thing people worry about before moving here is the weather. While it's true that Aspen experiences cold winters, the summers are generally mild and comfortable. The weather is one of the things that makes Aspen such a desirable place to live.

The rich history of Aspen

Aspen was first settled in the late 1800s as a mining town, and the rich history of this unique community is evident in its many historic buildings and landmarks. Back when Aspen was a mining town, the wealth and power of the community were concentrated in the hands of a few.

Today, Aspen is a more diverse and egalitarian community, but its rich history remains. If you're interested in learning more about Aspen's unique past, visit some of its historic landmarks, such as the Wheeler Opera House and the Aspen Historical Society.

The former is a beautifully restored theater that hosts various cultural events throughout the year. The latter is a museum that tells the story of Aspen's history, from its early days as a mining town to its current status as a world-renowned ski resort.

Things to do in Aspen

Aspen is an excellent place for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, and more. Situated in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is also a great place for mountain activities such as rock climbing and camping.

The Maroon Bells, two of the most photographed peaks in the United States, are located just a few miles west of Aspen and offer some of the best hiking and mountain biking. In winter, Aspen's world-class ski resorts attract visitors worldwide.

In addition to its outdoor recreation opportunities, Aspen has a lively arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and music venues throughout the city. There are also several restaurants and bars in Aspen and a few shopping malls.

Visit the Aspen Art Gallery to taste the local art scene, see a show at the Wheeler Opera House, or enjoy a drink and live music at one of Aspen's many bars and clubs.

Where to eat in Aspen

Aspen is home to many restaurants, from casual diners to fine dining establishments. If you're looking for a quick meal, there are plenty of fast-food restaurants in Aspen and a few pizza places and sandwich shops.

The Bear Den is a popular local diner that offers homey comfort food, while the Ajax Tavern is a great place to enjoy a steak or seafood dinner.

For a more upscale dining experience, check out the Matsuhisa Aspen sushi restaurant. This award-winning restaurant is co-owned by celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and offers a unique blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines.

Skiing in Aspen

An Aspen relocation isn't complete without experiencing the world-famous Aspen skiing. Aspen is home to four world-class ski resorts: Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass.

Snowmass Ski resort is the largest of the four resorts and offers something for everyone, from beginner to expert skiers. This resort is also home to the world's most extensive ski area, with over 3,000 acres of terrain. Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk offer ski and snowboard schools where you can learn the basics of these winter sports for those new to skiing or snowboarding.

Aspen Highlands is a centrally located resort, just a short shuttle ride from downtown Aspen. Skiing at night is also a popular activity in Aspen, with most of the resorts staying open until after sundown.

Traveling through Colorado

The drive from Denver to Aspen is approximately four hours, but the views are well worth the trip. The route travels through Colorado's most scenic areas, including the Rocky Mountains and the Royal Gorge.

You can take several scenic routes to get to Aspen, so be sure to do your research and choose the path that best suits your interests. The traffic situation in town isn’t bad, but it can get a bit congested on the weekends, so be prepared for some delays.

You can also arrive in Aspen by air — Aspen-Pitkin County Airport serves the area. This small airport offers direct flights from several major U.S. cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco.

Downtown Aspen

Anybody moving to Aspen will want to experience the lively downtown area. This vibrant neighborhood is home to various restaurants, bars, and shops. This is where you'll find most of Aspen's art galleries, theaters, and music venues.

The heart of downtown is highly walkable and is a great place to watch people pass by. Festivals like the Food and Wine Classic and the X Games occur in downtown Aspen and attract visitors worldwide.

The downtown area is alive with music and street performers on the weekends. Check out the Aspen Market on Saturday mornings for local produce, artisanal foods, and live music.

Working in Aspen

If you're relocating to Aspen for work, you'll be happy to know that the city has a diverse economy and many job opportunities. The largest sectors in Aspen are tourism, health care, and government.

The Aspen-Snowmass region is also home to several major companies, including Vail Resorts, Aspen Skiing Company, and Aspen Valley Hospital.

There are also several small businesses in Aspen, so if you're looking for a more intimate work environment, you'll find it here. Aspen is also a great place to start your own business — there is plenty of resources and support available to help you get started.

Aspen is also a great place to call home if you're a freelancer or remote worker. There are plenty of co-working spaces and cafes that offer free Wi-Fi and a comfortable workplace.

What is the tourist season like in Aspen?

If you’re considering relocating to Aspen, keep in mind that the city experiences a high volume of tourists from November to April. That means that hotels, restaurants, and ski resorts will be more expensive, and it can be challenging to find parking.

If you're not a fan of crowds, you might be inclined to avoid Aspen during peak season. However, there are many things to do outside of the tourist traps in Aspen, so it's still worth a visit. That being said, socializing with tourists is an excellent opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

A tight-knit community

Finally, one of the best things about Aspen is its tight-knit community. Aspen is a small town with a population of just over 6,000 people — everyone in Aspen seems to know each other, and there's a strong sense of community spirit.

Helping thy neighbor is common in Aspen, so it's easy to make friends and get involved in the community. There are many opportunities to volunteer, get involved in local politics, or just meet for coffee.

Bottom line

As you can see, there are plenty of things to know before relocating to Aspen. The city has a lot to offer, from its vibrant downtown area to world-class ski resorts. Aspen is worth considering if you're looking for a place to call home.

Saslove & Warwick is the number one ranked real estate company in Aspen and can help you find the perfect home in this beautiful town. Give us a call today to learn more!

About the Authors

Joshua Saslove

Joshua Saslove is the undisputed luxury real estate leader in Aspen, Colorado. Saslove routinely outperforms all other brokers in one of America's most exclusive, and most competitive, real estate markets when it comes to Aspen real estate. With over 40 years of experience and an unwavering commitment to the perfection of client service, he has sold an estimated $3+ billion in real estate while accumulating a client list of some of the world's most influential individuals.

Joshua Saslove has been featured on the cover of New York Times for his representation of the Prince Bandar $135 million estate. During 2009, the worst economic year in decades, Saslove made headlines for seller representation of the largest residential home sale in the United States for that year, a $43 million Aspen estate.

A Detroit native, Joshua is a proud Harley guy who enjoys cross-country skiing and spending time with family.

Riley Warwick

Riley Warwick is co-founder of the Aspen-based brokerage team, Saslove & Warwick, at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, with his partner Joshua Saslove. Saslove & Warwick approaches Aspen’s real estate landscape with an auspicious blend of experience, deep community ties, and forward thinking. Together, The Saslove & Warwick Team has over 60 years of experience and $5+ billion in closed sales.

Riley’s uncanny ability to find off-market opportunities for his clients is one trait that sets him apart. Recent examples include his record-setting sale of 421 Willoughby Way for $108M, 132 Placer Lane for $55M, representing Buyer and Seller in both transactions, and numerous other off-market sales. 

Crediting his success as an Aspen real estate agent to a relentless work ethic, responsiveness, and deep market knowledge, Riley also adheres to the primary principles of discretion, honesty and continual improvement. Ultimately, Riley judges his success by the number of clients who would recommend him to their friends and family.

His success thus far has not gone unrecognized. The Saslove & Warwick Team maintains standing as the #1 Colorado Team by sales volume for 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019. Riley was ranked #1 Douglas Elliman Colorado Agent in 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019 for gross sales volume, #2 Douglas Elliman Colorado Agent in 2019 for GCI, voted the #2 Aspen Times Realtor of The Year in 2017, and received the Team Player Award from Douglas Elliman in 2018. 

A graduate of Purdue University and an Indiana native, Riley has been a downtown Aspen resident for the past ten years. When not working on real estate, Riley is an avid reader and cyclist. His other interests include art, architecture, design, vintage watches, and cars.


We have positioned ourselves as the “go to” agent for Aspen Buyers and Sellers across all price ranges. It’s all due to our tenacity, trustworthiness, and experience.