May 30th, 2022
Best Places to live in Aspen
What are the best neighborhoods in Aspen, CO? Here are the best places to live in Aspen!
Aspen, Colorado is one of the most desirable places to own a home in America but it comes with a price tag. The beautiful city has some luxurious real estate opportunities and it’s a great place for people looking to invest in high-end properties. Aspen is one of the most popular cities in Colorado because of its amazing ski resorts, luxury hotels, delicious restaurants, and shopping options. The major industries in Aspen are tourism and real estate and Aspen is even home to three billionaires. Steve Kuhn, Louis Bacon, and Robert Earl Holding all own private and commercial real estate within the city. Aspen has a population of around 7,000 people and is situated west of Denver at an elevation of 8,000 feet above sea level.
Another reason people love to live in Aspen is because of the weather. It rarely gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, even during the winter. There is a personality to every part of Aspen so it’s important to understand the different areas of the city. Most importantly, due to the increasing demand for real estate, you must understand your budget before moving there because of the high costs. That means having enough money saved for a down payment, closing costs, taxes, and more. Aspen is one of the best places to live in Colorado.
If you still haven’t decided whether Aspen is the right place for you, make sure to check out our blog: 10 Things to Know Before Moving to Aspen, Colorado. When moving to a new city, it’s important to find the right neighborhood to fit you and your family. We’ve researched for you to ensure you get a look at the best neighborhoods and choose the best one for you. Keep reading to see the 5 best neighborhoods in Aspen!
If convenience is most important to you, then the Central Core neighborhood may be the perfect place for you. It’s located in the heart of Aspen so you have easy access to premier shopping, gourmet dining, and the ski slopes. Central Core is the downtown area so you can walk right outside of your door onto the cobblestone streets and check out shops like Gucci, Prada, Chanel, or smaller boutiques. All of the houses and complexes in this neighborhood are no more than three blocks from Gondola Plaza so it’s incredibly easy to get to the mountains. It’s also located 1-3 blocks away from the City Market grocery store.
The real estate in this area is full of penthouses, condos, single-family homes, and townhouses with both old and modern architecture. If you’re looking for a condo or apartment, you might want to try Chateau Chaumont, Chateau Snow, Chateau Dumont, Little Nell Condos, Old Hundred, Glory Hole, Independence Square, Hyatt Grand Aspen, St. Regis Residences, or Aspen Townhouse East. If you have a higher unit at any of these properties, you will have amazing views of Roaring Fork Valley, Red Mountain, Independence Pass, and Aspen Mountain. Central Core has small-town vibes while also having bustling streets in a lively atmosphere.
If you have children, Central Core is part of the Aspen School District, an excellent school system in Colorado. Nearby schools include Aspen Elementary, Aspen Middle, and Aspen High School. Aspen Central Core also hosts many of the community’s largest events including June’s Food & Wine Classic, Aspen’s 4th of July festivities, New Year’s Eve parties, and much more.
Jimmy’s Cache Cache: Upscale French-American cuisine with a wine list over 100 pages long. It’s a destination for wine connoisseurs and people who love fine dining.
Aspen Art Museum: Presents the newest, most important evolutions in international contemporary art. The innovative exhibitions, educational programs, and immersive activities engage the audience in thought-provoking experiences of art.
Silver Queen Gondola: Located right outside of your doorstep, the Silver Queen Gondola takes skiers and snowboarders directly from Central Core to the slopes of Aspen Mountain.
West Aspen is a family-friendly neighborhood primarily made up of single-family homes, older townhouses and duplexes, as well as newly-constructed homes. It’s a historical area so there is a mix of older charm blended with modern, newer amenities. Many of the buildings are protected by strict laws to keep the Victorian feel and design of the area. West Aspen has beautiful views of Aspen, Buttermilk ski resorts, and the Hunger Creek Valley.
It includes the north area of Main Street and the Cemetery Lane neighborhood. West Aspen has easy access to all four ski areas so it’s ideal for big skiers, snowboarders, and people who want the convenience to the slopes. Since many of the homes are located on or near Main Street, you will have access to some of the best restaurants in Aspen. Downtown Aspen is also nearby for any of your designer shopping needs. You can also find awesome local boutiques, like Aspen Fur & Shearling or Kemo Sabe. Since you will be living so close to the mountains, there are awesome trails for hiking and biking near West Aspen.
You can bike from Cemetery Lane and head downtown. Or, Sunnyside Lane has a great hiking trail as well. If you love fishing or wild water rafting, West Aspen also has numerous creeks and rivers for some summer fun. If you live in West Aspen, you will live slightly further from the center of Aspen but the homes are typically bigger with more amenities. A few options to check for real estate include West Hyman Ave, Innsbruck, Hoguet House, West Bleeker, Cooper, and Cottonwoods.
Matsuhisa: Upscale, trendy Japanese restaurant known for its chef, Nobu Matsuhisa. The most popular dishes are sushi and ramen, and you can also book the restaurant for exclusive parties. It’s located within a 120-year-old Main Street Victorian house.
Steakhouse No. 316: Steakhouse with generous cuts of prime beef, fresh seafood, and delicious sides located in a dimly lit venue. The cowboy ribeye is one of the favorites!
J-Bar: Located in a fancy saloon at Hotel Jerome, featuring specialty cocktails and pub food.
East Aspen is a more relaxed neighborhood with picturesque mountain views and countless opportunities for adventure. Many of the properties are within just a few steps of trails and mountains. East Aspen allows you to live within quiet streets without being too far from in-town. The neighborhood offers a mix of condos, low-rise apartments, and single-family homes with large yards. Many of the houses were built during the 1960s and 1970s. Some subdivisions for real estate include The Preserve, Stillwater, The Aspen Club, Chateau Blanc, Clarendon, Black Swan, Ute Condos, Little Jewel, The Gant, Silverglo, and Park Ave. Many of the lots scale the mountain and give you breathtaking views of Aspen Mountain and Independence Pass.
This area is also convenient to The City Market grocery store! There are various parks scattered around East Aspen so there are great locations for kids to play and open spaces for people to gather for barbeques or other events. The people who live here say it’s a rustic setting and an excellent place for people who want privacy and love being close to nature. The neighborhood is also extremely pet-friendly and your furry friends will be welcome on the trails, rivers, and even public places. East Aspen is just a few minutes from downtown so you aren’t too far from all the action.
Roaring Fork River: The river is located no more than a block or two from the properties and is a highlight of this neighborhood. This tributary of the Colorado River is about 70 miles long and a great place to go fishing!
Belly Up: Small but famous music venue with big-name acts & two full bars.
Ajax Mountain: Hop on a lift and go skiing or snowboarding on Ajax Mountain which is full of terrain that offers amazing runs and incredible views.
Located at the base of Smuggler mountain, this neighborhood is only minutes away from downtown and is situated in a forest of evergreen and Aspen trees. Smugger is a vibrant, charming neighborhood with beautiful views of Aspen Mountain to Mt. Sopris in Carbondale. Residents have plenty of outdoor activities to choose from whether hiking, snowboarding, or biking is your thing. The Rocky Mountains have many trails, rivers, campsites, and skiing resorts for you to explore. The area is the aftermath of the Smuggler Mine, a famous mining area in the early 1900s.
You can learn even more about the neighborhood’s history by taking a tour of the Smuggler Mine. It’s the famous site where the country’s largest silver nugget was extracted. Now, the town is known for its history and it’s bursting with an old-meets-new type of charm. Smuggler is located just a few miles away from Downtown Aspen which is packed with shops, restaurants, and all the action.
Smuggler Hiking Trail: Year-long, dog-friendly, 14-mile trail that features a lake and is rated “difficult” by the AllTrails app. There is an observation deck at the slope where you can see the whole town and other nearby cities.
Stapleton Ski: Located on S Spring Street, this shop has sportswear, ski & snowboard rentals, tour packages, and bike rentals. The store also has employees who are experts on bikes and scooters.
Jour De Fête: Cafe and coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch. It’s well-known for its delis, sandwiches, bread, pastries, burritos, salad, eggs, and hot drinks. When you walk in, you’re likely to meet one of the owner Olivier’s children or relatives.
McLain Flats is located on a wide-open plateau, just 10 minutes west of downtown Aspen. It’s the perfect place for residents who want big sky views, a peaceful landscape, and privacy. Most of the area is filled with large estates that have huge green lawns, surrounded by views of the Elk Mountains. It is secluded away from the downtown area offering a more relaxed lifestyle, without being too far from the city’s amenities. There are tons of outdoor opportunities nearby.
During the summer, you can head down to the river to fly-fish or go to Sunnyside for a hike to see amazing mountain views. It’s the perfect place to go during the fall season to see the multi-colored leaves falling on the trail. If you like to bike, take a ride into town on the scenic Rio Grande trail. Skiing is always the go-to activity while living in Aspen because you can choose from Ajax Mountain, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass which are all near McLain Flats.
This neighborhood is an area where you’ll see a lot of grazing horses, elk, and other wildlife. Some of the places to look for real estate include Star Mesa, White Horse Springs, and the White Star Ranch. Because there are incredible views from McLain Flats, many of the houses have large windows to give residents spectacular views at all times. You can find Roxy’s Market grocery store nearby for all of your grocery shopping and local produce. There isn’t a ton of shopping within this area because of its naturalistic setting so it’s best to head to downtown Aspen for all of your retail needs.
Franck Thirion French Pastry & Catering: Well-known for its soups, bread, and paninis. You have to try the chocolate croissant and quiche Lorraine!
Hickory House Ribs: Local BBQ joint with ribs, steaks, and other slow-smoke meats as well as classic sides.
Mawa’s Kitchen: Flagship restaurant of the owner, Mawa McQueen. It’s a high-energy, fun, and cultural restaurant that offers fresh, local ingredients on its unique, healthy menu. The food is mostly Mediterranean with French and African heritage for Dinner, with some American classics for breakfast and lunch.
The Bottom Line on the Best Neighborhoods in Aspen
If you are looking to buy a property in Aspen, you should consider all the neighborhoods we have listed above before making your final decision. Make sure to reach out to one of our helpful Realty Specialists to guide you through the moving and home-buying process. Contact us today to find your dream location in Aspen!
Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.