Expat tips: Aspen, Colorado

WHO Amanda Boxtel, 50, paraplegic skier and disability advocate helping people regain mobility through bionic technology, bridgingbionics.org

FROM Sunshine Coast, Qld, in the Aspen area for 30 years.

SEE The Aspen Art Museum was built by renowned architect Shigeru Ban. It showcases international contemporary artists, its little café, SO, has become a community gathering place, and admission is free. The historic Wheeler Opera House is a wonderful place to see a film or catch a musical performance, and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet curates new ballets and has a distinctive repertoire with virtuoso dancers. I lose myself in the dance and for a moment, I forget that I'm in a wheelchair, aspenartmuseum.org, wheeleroperahouse.com, aspensantafeballet.com

DO Paralysis made me braver. In winter, you'll find me on the slopes downhill skiing at Snowmass or Highlands in search for anything deep or steep. Maroon Bells is a favourite cross-country ski trail, but nothing beats Ashcroft!

EAT Ajax Tavern is a great casual spot for truffle fries, aprés ski and people-watching. If you're into mountain gourmet adventure dining and you're a romantic like me, cross-country ski or take a sleigh to the Pine Creek Cookhouse, thelittlenell.com, pinecreekcookhouse.com

DRINK You absolutely can't miss the J-Bar in the Hotel Jerome. It's a little bit of old Aspen, a little bit upscale. Try the cranberry-spiced Manhattan made with local Woody Creek "Hotel Jerome" rye, or an infamous Aspen Crud. It's a milkshake-like throwback to the town's early Prohibition days, made with bourbon and ice cream, hoteljerome.aubergeresorts.com

AVOID Taking Aspen for granted. Embrace its opportunities, from every outdoor activity imaginable to the spirit and generosity of its people, aspensnowmass.com

Know an expat who's in the know? Contact belinda.jackson@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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