Headed to Aspen? Our Aspen insider, Karen Luter, lists her must-haves, favorite shops and best bites and sips.
While most of her childhood was spent skiing in the Northeast, Palm Beach’s Karin Luter found a “welcome and addicting change” in Aspen’s powder slopes. Here, she went on her first date with husband Joe—and later transformed his expansive bachelor chalet into an inviting family sanctuary. Now, the city that was once an occasional getaway serves as a cherished second home.
Personality: “Aspen has a heart and soul that no other ski town has. With its colorful history of the Ute Indians, silver mining, hippies and glamour, it is a beautiful melting pot of different tastes and styles.”
“John Denver—but of course!”
Best time to go: “It’s perfect year-round.”
Fashion essentials for day and night: Jeans in all colors: blue, white, brown, purple, red, green, khaki and gray.
Best seat in town: “The first booth at Matsuhisa (970-544-6628), the gourmet Japanese seafood and sushi eatery created by famed Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.”
Local dish worth dreaming about: “Cache Cache’s frisée salad, which consists of “tender belly” applewood-smoked bacon, garlic-balsamic dressing and goat cheese croutons.” (970-925-3835)
A must-do experience not in the guidebooks: “If you’re invited, visit Palm Beacher William Koch’s western town in Gunnison County. He built an entire frontier town that includes a saloon, a church, a jail, a firehouse, a livery and even a train station on a 420-acre meadow in his Bear Ranch.”
Outdoor space that is quintessential Aspen: “My back terrace. From Independence Pass to Sopress Peaks, I can see it all from here.”
A rule the locals live by: “Bikers, hikers and skiers have the right of way.”
“The Paloma (Corzo Reposado Tequila, grapefruit and peppercorn) at the White House Tavern. (970-925-1007)
Local speak: “ZG,” a.k.a. Aspen. (ZG was originally a license plate number prefix for Aspen and Pitkin County, Colorado.) “Ajax,” a.k.a. Aspen Mountain.
Hometown goods to savor: Paonia peaches