Even if the Aspen area were much more populated than it is, the wealth of cultural offerings here during warm-weather months would be astonishing. Consider just some of the options: eight weeks of programming from the Aspen Music Festival and School; a summer-long repertoire from Theatre Aspen; nightly concerts at one of the best club venues in any mountain town; and Aspen Words’ weeklong literary festival. Add in art exhibitions, film fests, ballet, and the 10-day Aspen Ideas Festival, and the possibilities may seem overwhelming.
To help you sift through the options, we highlight our top picks from June through September. Take these as your starting point, then round out your schedule and prepare to immerse yourself in the sort of up-close encounters that the valley's small venues provide. Where else can you, say, ask a question of artist Ai Weiwei or sit so close to Dianne Reeves that you see every facial expression as she sings? That unmatched access is just one more amazing aspect of the local culture scene. Here's to a summer's worth of incomparable experiences.