Vail Mountain — one of two world-famous ski mountains in the valley (Beaver Creek is the other) — has recently launched oodles of new summer activities under the theme of Epic Discovery from Adventure Ridge to Game Creek Bowl and down to Mid-Vail. Take the gondola up and walk down amid colorful wildflowers, or for a more heart-pumping adventure, hike up the mountain and catch the gondola back down.
There’s also off-road SUV tours and guided hikes for all abilities. Or discover the aerial ropes course, zipline tour, mini golf and waterless tube track. As you navigate the mountain, keep an eye out for Interpretive Discovery Zones, where you can learn about this beautiful area’s flora and fauna.
Or, savor Colorado’s sun-drenched mountain mornings with a round at one of Eagle County's golf courses. Take on the challenging but fair par 3 river and mountain courses at EagleVail Golf Club, or tackle the Beaver Creek Golf Club’s narrow Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed fairways.
After working up an appetite on the links or trails, relax over lunch or brunch at one of Vail’s fabulous restaurants, such as Sweet Basil, Elway's Vail, The Little Diner, La Tour, Mountain Standard or Vail Chophouse.
Then, stroll Vail Village or nearby Beaver Creek Villages for world-class shopping — think fur coat shops, glitzy jewelry dealers and couture clothing outlets as well as more down-to-earth t-shirt shops, art galleries, home décor shops and more — open year-round.
Wind down your afternoon with an alpine-inspired treatment at one of the valley’s premier resort spas. After being pampered by luxuries such as Ultimate Body Bliss at The Spa at The Arrabelle in Vail or Colorado Wild Rose Cure at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, you’ll be refreshed and ready for an unforgettable night in the Vail Valley.
Treat yourself to the unexpected delight of gourmet dining at 10,000 feet with a meal at Game Creek Restaurant, whose location on Vail Mountain overlooking Game Creek Bowl provides unmatched views. Beaver Creek offers another unique restaurant option at Beano’s Cabin, a grand yet rustic on-mountain epicurean experience. Getting to either restaurant is half the fun, with transportation choices ranging from a gondola, wagon or horseback ride.
After dinner, get an earful of the plentiful live music around town. Vail’s Samana Lounge, Shakedown Bar and Pepi’s provide the best opportunities to linger over a cocktail while watching live musicians, and be sure to check the schedules for summertime special performing arts events such as the Hot Summer Nights Concert Series, the Vail Jazz Festival, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Vail International Dance Festival, which brings dancers from top companies all over the world to a gorgeous outdoor stage.
Visiting in Winter?
Vail and Beaver Creek are home to two of the state's largest and most popular ski resorts. Vail practically set the standard for the modern ski-resort experience, and its famed back bowls and expansive and diverse terrain ensure fun for skiers of all levels. Beaver Creek Resort’s motto is “Not Exactly Roughing It,” which tells you delightful amenities like fresh-baked cookies slopeside and 20-hour-a-day slope grooming await.
Both towns have easy access to off-stope attractions, from snowmobiling and snow-tubing to mountain-top dining and sleigh rides.
Photos: Courtesy of The Spa at the Arabelle/RockResorts; Gypsum Creek Golf Course.