The Aspen Music Festival – A Summer Treat for Arts Lovers

Every summer, locals and vacationers prepare to enjoy one of Aspen, Colorado’s premier performing arts attractions, the Aspen Music Festival. When you stay at The Innsbruck Aspen, Bluegreen Resorts’ luxurious and centrally located getaway, you can join in the delights of this annual celebration of the finest in orchestral and chamber music.

Spanning eight weeks at the height of the summer season, the Aspen Music Festival offers hundreds of performance events – many of them free to the public – featuring some 600 emerging classical music artists. The Aspen Music Festival and School hosts some of the most promising and accomplished talent in the field, many of whom have already achieved significant recognition as professionals. In collaboration with internationally renowned faculty and conductors, the students present programs distinguished by exceptional beauty and attention to their craft.

Guest conductors at the Aspen Music Festival have included stars such as Leonard Slatkin and James Levine. The festival’s widely acclaimed music director, Robert Spano, formerly of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, brings an innovative approach to the project.

The program for summer 2014 demonstrates the wide range of top-flight talent in a single season. Organizers of the 65th anniversary season focused on the resurgence of Romanticism in classical music, offering iconic pieces that distinguish the genre. The sweeping majesty of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” and the romantic horror of contemporary composer Lowell Liebermann’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” offer an example of the breadth of compositions gathered under the Romantic umbrella at Aspen.
The 2014 season also features scheduled performances of Brahms’ magnificent First Symphony in C minor, as well as modern masterpieces by Philip Glass, John Adams, and the festival’s Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-in-residence, Steven Stucky. His orchestral composition “Rhapsodies,” which is scheduled for the 2014 season, received praise from The New York Times at its 2008 debut for its creative melding of instrumental leaps and striking juxtapositions.

Your Aspen vacation offers an array of exciting choices in artistic experiences during the summer and all year long.

A Stroll along Calle Ocho in Miami

When you visit Miami with Bluegreen Resorts, you will quickly become acquainted with the city’s Cuban and Spanish cultural heritages in food, entertainment, and the arts. Stay in the quiet town of Surfside at Bluegreen’s Solara Surfside resort, and the international city of Miami will be right at your doorstep.

Calle Ocho, the part of Southwest 8th Street that stretches from South Miami Avenue to Southwest 107th Avenue in Little Havana, brings the rich culture of Cuba to life with its distinctive small restaurants, open-air markets, furniture stores and tobacco shops, coffee vendors, art galleries, and streams of salsa and merengue music floating through the air. Take a stroll and buy a white cotton guayabera shirt, a book in Spanish by a classic or contemporary author, or even a box of cigars. Along your way, you can stop for refreshments such as a glass of chilled coconut water, a dark-hued cafecito, or a Cuban-style tamale spiced with tomato-and-cilantro salsa at any of the area’s numerous small cafés.

The area, whose streets signs are all in Spanish, is home to people from Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, and other parts of Central and South America and the Caribbean. Colonial-style homes line the streets, and local botánicas sell candles and other trinkets that are part of the Afro-Caribbean Santeria religion. Bakeries offer guava pastry, rough yet flavorful Cuban bread, and delicious dulce de leche.

Perhaps the best way to enjoy your own self-guided walking tour of Calle Ocho is to head west. You may want to start at Cuban Memorial Plaza, which is home to monuments commemorating the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.
On Calle Ocho between Southwest 13th and 17th Avenues lies the Paseo de las Estrellas, or Walkway of the Stars, modeled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Miami version pays tribute to famous Latino musicians, actors, artists, and writers. Miami Sound Machine superstar Gloria Estefan is included, as are baseball great Sammy Sosa and the late, beloved salsa singer Celia Cruz. A mural outside Cafeteria Guardabarranco remembers heroes such as Abraham Lincoln, Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío, and Cuban patriot and poet José Martí.

And if you’re in the area on a Friday, enjoy one of the Latin Quarter Cultural Center’s “Cultural Fridays,” when the streets fill with music and art.

Year-Round Fun at Bluegreen Resorts’ Mountain Hideaway in Aspen

Bluegreen Resorts’ vacation property in Aspen, Colorado, can afford you and your family seasons’ worth of excitement and relaxation. When you stay with Bluegreen at The Innsbruck Aspen, you will enjoy widely varied terrain ideal for warm- or cold-weather sports and outdoor activities. Go rock climbing, hiking, or mountain biking amid four internationally renowned mountain peaks in the summer. Take a raft or kayak through the spectacular natural wonders of a whitewater river, or drink in the beauty of golden-leaved aspen growths along one of the area’s scenic byways in autumn.

Aspen’s reputation as a leading winter sports venue is unsurpassed. When you visit The Innsbruck Aspen, you will have access to a varied selection of world-class ski jaunts, snowboarding adventures, sleigh rides, and other cold-weather experiences. Your comfortable Bluegreen Resorts accommodations will bring you closer to both the amenities of downtown Aspen and the ruggedness of the mountain slopes.
Aspen holds numerous delights for the sophisticated tastes of shoppers, gourmets, and cultural arts enthusiasts. The area is home to a range of music, performing arts, culinary, and environmentally themed festivals, as well as numerous choices in popular entertainment.

The decor of The Innsbruck Aspen offers a blend of the best of contemporary design and traditional mountain lodge architecture. Enjoy the courtyard’s hot tub and swimming pool, which is open all year long, or relax in the lounge with its complimentary Wi-Fi access.

Your private suite is equipped with granite counters and stainless steel kitchen appliances, elegant cabinetry fashioned from alderwood, and a gas fireplace. Unwind in your jetted tub or settle in for a cozy evening in to watch a movie or TV show on your large, flat-screen television. And when you’re ready to join the crowds enjoying the city, take advantage of a free bicycle rental or the always-running shuttle service into downtown Aspen.

Your concierge services include assistance with restaurant reservations, advance grocery shopping, ski lift access, and valet equipment storage.

Tour Vizcaya, Miami’s Magnificent Estate

Vacation in sun-drenched Miami with Bluegreen Resorts, and you’ll encounter stunning sunsets, miles of sandy beaches, and the 24/7 pulse of a multicultural city with a cosmopolitan flavor. Your comfortable beachfront accommodations at Bluegreen’s Solara Surfside are just a quick drive from South Beach, giving you the best of both worlds: a quiet haven in which to enjoy some relaxation before picking up the city beat once again.

But the Miami area offers more than just surf, sand, shopping, and hot nightspots; it is also home to some of the most distinctive and stunning architecture and gardens you can hope to see. While you’re in Miami, visit Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, a National Historic Landmark located right on South Miami Avenue.

The cultural significance of this beautifully preserved Italianate house and grounds, now open to the public, has become renowned the world over. Vizcaya was the home of millionaire industrialist James Deering, whose father founded the Deering Harvester Company during the Gilded Age. James Deering, known as a partygoer and avid traveler, became the company’s vice president in the early 1900s, after Deering merged with the McCormick Reaper Company to create International Harvester. After retirement, he created his palatial Florida estate against the backdrop of Biscayne Bay as a subtropical refuge where he sought to restore his health.

Vizcaya was completed in 1916 under the direction of architect Francis Burrall Hoffman, Jr., with the gardens completed in 1921 by landscape expert Diego Suarez. Artistic director Paul Chalfin furnished the house with exquisite examples of Italian design. After the 1926 hurricane that wreaked heavy damage on Vizcaya, Chalfin reconstructed the estate under the direction of Deering’s heirs, who hoped to open it as a museum.

Today, Vizcaya is open year-round, every day except Tuesdays, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. When you visit, be sure to tour the intricate network of French- and Italian-style gardens, filled with statues, fountains, and subtropical plants. Deering loved orchids, and an orchidarium lies close to the main house.

The house itself, a sanctuary in the midst of quiet and greenery, is modeled on the villas and landed estates of the Veneto region in northern Italy, and features a large open courtyard at its heart. The interior includes a library, dining room, and music room along the perimeter of the courtyard, and the entire suite of rooms provides an intimate look at Deering’s Italian-influenced tastes. The house’s easternmost façade opens to a terrace that sweeps down toward the waters of Biscayne Bay. Vaulted arches shelter a swimming pool at the north side, and the southern façade takes visitors directly into the landscaped gardens.