Using ground-based data, meteorological observations, and atmospheric environmental monitoring data, a comparative analysis of the microphysical and optical properties, and radiative forcing of aerosols was conducted between three stations in different developed environments during a severe air pollution episode during the Spring Festival over Beijing. During the most polluted period, the daily peak values of the aerosol optical depth were ~1.62, ~1.73, and ~0.74, which were about 2.6, 2.9, and 2.1 times higher than the background levels at the CAMS, Xianghe, and Shangdianzi sites, respectively. The daily peak values of the single scattering albedo were ~0.95, ~0.96, and ~0.87. The volume of fine-mode particles varied from 0.04 to 0.21 µm3 µm–2, 0.06 to 0.17 µm3 µm–2, and 0.01 to 0.10 µm3 µm–2, which were about 0.3 to 5.8, 1.1 to 4.7, and 1.2 to 8.9 times greater than the background values, respectively. The daily absorption aerosol optical depth was ~0.01 to ~0.13 at CAMS, ~0.03 to ~0.14 at Xianghe, and ~0.01 to ~0.09 at Shangdianzi, and the absorption Ångström exponents reflected a significant increase in organic aerosols over CAMS and Xianghe and in black carbon over Shangdianzi. Aerosol radiative forcing at the bottom of the atmosphere varied from –20 to –130, –40 to –150, and –10 to –110 W m–2 for the whole holiday period, indicating the cooling effect. The potential source contribution function and concentration-weighted trajectory analysis showed that Beijing, the southern parts of Hebei and Shanxi, and the central northern part of Shandong contributed greatly to the pollution.