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10 Perfect Summer Mountain Towns

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© Courtesy of The Little Nell

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Aspen, Colorado

Where to Stay: The Little Nell, Aspen’s top property for more than 20 years, reopened its doors in December 2009, following a three-month, $18 million refurbishment under the auspices of acclaimed designer Holly Hunt. Rooms start at $545; 675 E. Durant Ave.; 888-843-6355.

When to Go: July 30–August 21, when conductor Robert Spano takes the reins of this year’s Aspen Music Festival. Hear pianist Simone Dinnerstein play Bach and the Aspen Opera Theater Center perform Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Top Tables: The Little Nell’s Montagna restaurant boasts a 20,000-wine cellar (dinner, from $75; 675 E. Durant Ave.; 888-843-6355); and at the atmospheric Brexi Brasserie you’ll find classic bistro fare such as bouillabaisse and coq au vin (dinner, from $50; 411 S. Monarch St.; 970-925-2838).

Other Activities: Practice your aim with Olympic skeet shooting coach Bob Perigo (970-948-7943), or take an angling tour to one of the area’s three Gold Medal trout rivers with Glenn Melus (970-309-2237) and have Montagna’s chef cook up your catch that evening.

Getting There: Several carriers offer flights to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, connecting through Denver or Salt Lake City.

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