Colorado national treasure Aspen well known for its winter glitz and glam, but it also has a rich cultural atmosphere and offers travelers the ultimate outdoor lifestyle. Visitors will find that Aspen has big-city mentality in a small-town casual setting, with world-class festivals, renowned shopping, and incredible cuisine, all against the backdrop of picturesque mountains.

Aspen is a playground for the active traveler. No matter how many times I visit, I always set aside time to bike to Maroon Bells. Rent a bike from the Hub, a cycling store in town, and be sure to bring a water bottle and even some snacks for energy. The 11-mile ride from downtown will have your quads (and lungs) burning as you slowly make your way uphill. The steady climb makes about a 1,630-foot elevation gain.

The views at the top are worth your efforts. The Maroon Bells and Maroon Lake are one of the most photographed areas in North America. On a sunny day the lake takes on magical turquoise and green hues.

Relief comes on the ride back to town, which is all an easy coast downhill.

With plethora of outdoor delights available—skiing and snowboarding in the winter, hiking and biking in the summer—you’ll never be at a loss for things to do.