Pet Travel. Made Easy.

Pet Friendly Aspen, Colorado

On our way across Colorado we stopped for a day in Aspen. (Well, it was supposed to be a day – some of you may remember our lost camera debacle.) Such a short stay didn’t allow for our usual in-depth research, but we did want to give you a look at this city because it’s definitely worth a visit.

We’d heard a lot about the area, and even got a few tips from @AspenSpin on places we might want to check out. But, once we arrived, all we wanted to do was make ourselves comfortable and soak it all in.

Downtown - Aspen, CO

The best way to explain the aura of Aspen in the summer is “a celebration in outdoor living.” I have never been in a place where the sidewalks and pedestrian walkways were so well furnished! There were flowers, benches, tables, and chairs everywhere – and not just ones owned by the local eatery or coffee shop.  Of course they were there too, but what surprised me was the number of seating areas provided purely for public enjoyment. And, people – and their pooches – were taking full advantage.

Downtown - Aspen, CO

Of course, Buster can only sit still for so long, so we did walk around the downtown area and that’s when we figured out how pet friendly Aspen is!

During breaks in the kids’ soccer game, the dogs ran around on the field.

Dogs on soccer field - Aspen, CO

At the Silver Queen Gondola, the first black car after a red car is pet friendly.

Gondola - Apsen, CO

And, the mail has been delivered by this carrier and retriever team for more than ten years.

Mail Carrier and Retriever - Aspen, CO

The only drawback we could find is that it’s a pricey place to hang out. There’s shopping at Louis Vuitton and Gucci, where you can easily spend an entire paycheck. There are highly acclaimed restaurants like Cache Cache and Montagna, where you can blow your grocery budget for the week. Given the clientele that frequent these types of establishments you might expect the folks around town to be dressed to the nines with attitudes on the snooty side. You would be wrong.

The people we met were wonderful. It’s possible they were ski bums, living off trust funds and just waiting for snow, but you’d never guess it. To the last, they were friendly and unpretentious.  And the attire tended to be comfortable, bordering on outdoorsy. You’ll fit in perfectly in your favorite t-shirt and jeans.

Thanks to the beautiful weather and the scenery we were able to maintain our self-control. We avoided the shops and enjoyed a late lunch at the outdoor seating area of Poppycock’s Café for a not-completely-unreasonable $32.

Buster and Ty - Aspen, CO

Aspen holds the prize for being the most pet friendly city we visited in 2010 – at least, so far. It’s only October, so we can’t say for sure that we won’t have our socks knocked off again before the end of the year, but it will be tough to beat Aspen. I promise that we’ll go back and spend the time to thoroughly research the area. Plus, I have a new friend visit – her name is Bo Derek! :-D

Bo Derek - Aspen, CO

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  • Julie says:

    Well, sadly I disagree that Aspen is dog-friendly. I moved here 5 months ago. I am staying with a friend, and can’t find a place to live BECAUSE I HAVE A DOG. The homeowner’s assocations are the main problem. Here in Aspen, the homeowner’s assocations decide if you can have a renter with a pet, and almost all only allow the OWNER to have a pet. I am a broker, and Aspen real estate is $1300 to $1800 sq ft. So, a 700 sq ft condo would run about $1,100,000. Since I cannot afford to buy here, I am not welcome. Solely because I own a16 lb Westie. The town loves to brag that Aspen is sooo dog-friendly. It is. But only for the very wealthy. Sorry.

  • Jschoech says:

    We have traveled to Red Stone (near Aspen) and found it very pet friendly… charming, beautiful village. I also like to go to Ft. Collins with my dogs and absolutely love Taos.

  • Peggy Frezon says:

    Wow that's beautiful! I've never been anywhere west of NY!

  • Your pictures look fab and I would love to visit Aspen during the winter for skiing. When Sean & I drove to California, we checked out Vail for a minute but didn't even stay for lunch. It's very nice but very pricey.

    • Hi Karen! Vale kind of reminded me of Vegas – the little village with the shops and restaurants on the ground floor and the hotels and condos up above felt like one of the big hotels on the Strip. I didn't care for it much and we hung around about as long as you and Sean did!

  • Deborah Flick says:

    Yes Yes Yes!!!! Aspen is fabulously pet friendly. As you know I live in Boulder, CO which is oppressively not pet friendly in so many ways not the least of which, unlike Aspen, dogs are not allowed on the downtown pedestrian mall much less off leash in city parks. I could go on. There's much to love about Aspen short of the high prices, buy surely the pet friendliness is at the top of my list. I'm so glad you all had a chance to enjoy it.

    • Deborah, it absolutely baffles me how a city as progressive and forward thinking as Boulder holds itself out to be has such imposing restrictions on dogs. It seems to go against everything the town stands for! The town would be so fantastic if we could just enjoy it with the boys!

      • Deborah Flick says:

        Exactly. No decent hotels accept dogs. Can't take dogs on the pedestrian mall. There is currently a move afoot to to ban dogs or have them leashed on city open space and Boulder County is even worse. I think this is correct–the country creates 5 miles of new trails a year and all are NO dog. Not even leashed. That said, you can take your dog to the farmer's market and to the various creek festivals of which there are many if you and your dogs like that sort o thing. And there are quite a few stores around town that welcome dogs. But, many restaurants won't allow dogs in the outdoor seating areas, although some do. There is a very vocal, mean-spirited, powerful anti-dog contingent in Boulder. Three decades ago when we moved to Boulder, it was much more dog friendly, although the downtown mall built in 1977 never did allow dogs. I would never move to Boulder today. We talk about moving away from Boulder sometimes. If and when we do the town/city will have to be very dog friendly. Dog friendliness is at the top of my list.

  • EdieJ says:

    Aspen was the first destination I covered for my KVOA pet travel segment and I was awed by how pet friendly it was. Two things I found in my notes:

    During June, July, and August, the Silver Queen Gondola whisks hikers to the top of 11,212-foot Aspen Mountain. Not only can your dog accompany you (at no charge), but you can purchase a souvenir dog gondola pass with your loved one's picture on it for $5 at the gondola ticket office.

    And at January's Winterskol festival there's an extremely popular dog fashion show.

  • michelechollow says:

    I love Aspen too, and I agree, it is quite pricey. Same with Vale and Boulder.

    • Deborah Flick says:

      You're right Michele, Boulder is pricey AND NOT dog friendly! I live in Boulder and it's distressing how dog unfriendly this once dog friendly town has become over the last 20 years. Seems to me if one is going to 'do' pricey then best to spend money in a town that loves dogs.

      • I live in Denver and went to school at CU Boulder and it is ironic to hear about how dog unfriendly Boulder is. It's especially weird to me since during my four years at CU I constantly saw dogs all over campus as well as regularly attending classes with students and teachers alike. I once took a midterm in the fourth floor Norlin library classroom amidst the barking and romping of five puppies a classmate was fostering for Boulder Valley Humane Society.

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