790 skiable acres; 3,635 vertical feet; summit elevation 11,675 feet; 300 annual inches; 131 trails; four lifts. Tickets: adults $74; youth and seniors $67; children (7-12) $45.
A few units are occasionally open at the slopeside Ritz (970-920-2000), but Aspen is Highlands' bedroom. The Little Nell (888-843-6355) and the St. Regis (888-454-9005) are the cream-here or anywhere else ($625-$4,750). The Gant condos are perfect for families or friends ($165-$1,300; 800-345-1471).The Tyrolean Lodge is the best bargain downtown ($65-$125; 888-220-3809).
Willow Creek, slopeside at Highlands in the Ritz Carlton, is a must (970-429-2327). Across the plaza, Iguana's features cold Tecates, hot enchiladas and ski-up access (970-920-9449). In cuisine-crazy Aspen, you can't do any better than local favorite Takah Sushi (970-925-8588) or Montagna at the Little Nell (970-920-4600).
Iguana's lets you chat up the local talent. The no-frills Woody Creek Tavern is as real as it gets. In town, the old-school elegance of the J-Bar, hip Eric's, the private confines of The Caribou Club, to name a few.
The Stollard House and Holden/Marolt museums. For $6, you experience what many ski resorts don't have: history, including videos of Stein Eriksen throwing back-flips in the 1960s.
Aspen's airport is three miles from town; Eagle County Airport is 70 miles away, with van service available.
aspensnowmass.com , 800-308-6935 (resort); stayaspensnowmass.com (reservations)