While a world-class ski town with luxurious resorts and more “cha-ching” associated with the city’s name alone than many other U.S. resort towns, Aspen, Colorado, can actually be achieved on a budget. A flexible one, but a budget all the same.
Treat your family to a winter-white getaway in this stunning locale — while accommodations, flights and ski passes can be pricey, day-to-day expenses and alternate activities don’t have to be.
Save up for your lift tickets, rentals, flights and housing while we map out your free time.
Fuel up for a day on the slopes with breakfast at Poppycock’s, serving breakfast and lunch daily. Menu options range from half grapefruit and smoothies to crêpes, eggs, waffles and pastries — there’s a little something for all palates and wallets. The affordable stop allows for great wiggle room later in the day, but, better yet, book a hotel with complimentary breakfast and continental options to get the best value for your dollar.
Save money on the non-skiers and snowboarders in the family and spend the day downtown. Explore the locale between runs or just when you want to get a better lay of the land and see what beautiful Aspen has to offer. Conveniently for your active family, it’s quite a lot. This small resort town boasts weekly events and special happenings around town, depending on the season.
Pro tip: Visit Aspen between seasons and still enjoy all the same great outdoors and activities without having to compete with peak pricing and crowds.
Explore the natural landscape of Aspen for little to no pressure on the old wallet. Visit Hallam Lake and hike through the gorgeous setting or head to Rock Bottom Ranch and tour the farm with a $5 donation. The kids will love meeting local livestock and get a behind-the-scenes look at the gardens and animal paddocks. Check out the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies for more outdoorsy exploring opportunities, including group hikes and community events.
Hold out for summer when travelers opt for the Sightseeing Package at Aspen Snowmass for $35, including three days of chairlift and gondola rides, $10 lunch credit, $5 Limelight Lounge, Maroon Bells Bus Tour and 20 percent discounts on bike rentals and Park Party downhill clinic.
End the day on a high note with an upscale dinner at Aspen Kitchen. Indulge in a whole meal or stay on track with just drinks and small bites on the rooftop patio. Adult children and parents, choose from the extensive wine, beer and cocktail list while enjoying the view outside amid the casual vibe inside. The view is free so soak it up.
Santa Barbara is perfect for couples. It’s no wonder the city nicknamed the American Riviera is a place to walk hand-in-hand through the urban wine trail, gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over dinner at an award-winning restaurant or listen to the crash of waves and call of seagulls along the country’s oldest operating wharf. Yet, it’s also a great place to bring kids.
Walking across The National Mall, I literally crossed paths with Lonnie G. Bunch III, the Smithsonian Institution’s first African American CEO. Dr. Bunch, who first visited the Smithsonian as a 10-year-old Civil War buff, was told by his father, “Here’s a place where you can understand yourself and your country and not be worried by the color of your skin.” Bunch, who famously created the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, was quoted as saying, “I wanted to give back to those institutions that shaped everything I am.”
By Hainan Airlines
Sure, we’re barely dipping our toes into winter weather, but isn’t it more fun to think ahead to the warm weather family fun your crew could have at the Jersey Shore? Luckily, Atlantic City, New Jersey, offers far more than sandy beaches and casinos — enough to entertain all ages in all sorts of weather.