Contrary to popular belief, Aspen is an affordable destination, with the best deals offered during the spring aka Secret Season, summer, and fall. Discounted accommodations, inexpensive dining options, and a plethora of free amenities and events create the opportunity for anyone with any budget to enjoy Aspen. Below are our top picks for 10 free things to take advantage of this summer in Aspen:
- Enjoy music from Aspen Music Festival and School students. Every Sunday throughout the summer season guests can sit outside the Benedict Music Tent on the lawn and enjoy a free performance at 4 p.m. Every Saturday visitors can enjoy a free performance with an incredible view from the Aspen Music Festival & School on top of Ajax. All throughout the summer season, Aspen Music Festival and School students are known to play for free around town including outside Paradise Bakery nightly and along the pedestrian walking malls.
- How can you enjoy the ultimate summer Sunday in Aspen? Hike up to the top of Aspen Mountain and enjoy Bluegrass Sundays on top of Ajax from noon – 3 p.m. and ride down the Silver Queen Gondola — all for free!
- Head to Snowmass in the summer for free concerts on Fanny Hill. The 2017 summer lineup includes performances from Hot Buttered Rum, Brothers Keeper & John Popper, Head For The Hills , and more.. Added bonus, if you’re coming from Aspen, you can take a RFTA bus from downtown to Snowmass for free.
- From June through September Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) offers a variety of things to do for all ages around Aspen, including free guided nature walks. The daily hikes explore popular places such as Richmond Ridge on Ajax, the Maroon Bells, and Snowmass’ Ice Age dig.
- For travelers who left their pets at home but still yearn for some canine attention, the Aspen Animal Shelter's 'Rent-a-Pet Program' allows visitors to spend a day with an eager companion. Guests can visit the shelter and pick up a four-legged friend to go on a hike or hang out with for the day. Many participants end up going home with a new adopted friend.
- A popular summer playground in Aspen, the Grottos are easily accessible through a series of short trails. Within a few minutes from the trailhead, you can access ice caves, view waterfalls, or lounge in the sun on the rocks with a picnic. This is a great area for families and those seeking a beautiful view without the long trek to get there. The Grottos are located eight miles east of Aspen towards Independence Pass.
- Free, drop-in spotlight tours are led by Aspen Art Museum staff every Wednesday and Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Aspen Art Museum. Admission to the Aspen Art Museum is always free, courtesy of Amy and John Phelan.
- Aspen’s answer to bike-sharing is We-cycle, allowing locals and visitors a bike when they need it and where they need it, with more than 100 bikes and 15 stations around town. Rides 30 minutes or less are always free. You can keep the bike for longer, but you will start to get charged overtime fees.
- Tuesday Cruiseday is a group of 100-plus town bike riders who cruise through town every Tuesday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. The free ride begins and ends at the Aspen Brewing Co. on Hopkins Ave. Come as you are, but make sure you have a bike!
- The Aspen Farmer’s Market kicks off in June and features Colorado grown produce, crafts, live music, and a food court every Saturday throughout the summer. The always free event is located downtown and makes a U-shape from the corner of Galena and Hopkins, to Hunter and then back again to the intersection of Hyman and Galena.
Discover more tips on how you can enjoy an inexpensive trip to Aspen with affordable lodging, dining and shopping recommendations.