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FTC Travel Guide: Vail Beaver Creek Colorado Ski Travel

Located in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, Vail and Beaver Creek are among the world’s most beloved ski destinations, with slopes that are filled with fresh powder, luxurious resorts, and a winter wonderland ambiance all season long. But there’s more to these spots than snow! Check out the best things to do in Vail / Beaver Creek below — and start planning your mountain getaway with FTC.

What To Do

Together, Vail and Beaver Creek add up to an action-packed mountain playground. Here are a few fun activities to keep you busy during your getaway.

  • kiing & Snowboarding: This one’s obvious. Vail is the gold standard for a world-class snow sports experience in the Rocky Mountains. The more-than-5,000-acres of diverse terrain here ensures that all skill levels will have a blast on the slopes. Beaver Creek Resort, meanwhile, is the perfect place to learn how to ski or snowboard, with a team of Ski School instructors who will turn snow newbies into snow experts in no time.

  • Vail Gondola Ride: Even if you’re not a skier (or it’s not winter), the Vail Gondola is a great way to get above it all. Way above it all — you’ll travel 10,000 feet above sea level to enjoy breathtaking views of the Rockies. Good to know: kids 12 and under ride free!

  • Betty Ford Alpine Gardens: Filled with exotic wildflowers and plants, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the highest botanical garden in the United States — 8,250 feet above sea level to be exact. Wandering amidst the rock gardens and waterfalls here is a must-do Vail activity year-round — in the winter, it’s a great spot for snowshoeing.

  • Vilar Performing Arts Center: See a show! Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center is an intimate, 530-seat venue that hosts concerts, comedy, dance, film, Broadway, family shows and more.

  • Biking: Vail Mountain isn’t just great for skiing. It’s also a premier mountain biking destination, with two-wheel adventures suitable for all ages. You can rent a bike and take it up to the top on the gondola, zooming back down on a variety of trails.

Where To Eat

Vail and Beaver Creek are home to stellar dining scenes that combine classic American cuisine with global influences. Don’t miss these unique eateries.

  • Beano’s Cabin: A one-of-a-kind mountain dining experience, this Beaver Creek restaurant is nestled at the base of the Larkspur Bowl. You can get there either by complimentary shuttle — or by horseback! However you get there, you’ll enjoy exquisite cuisine and spectacular views at Beano’s.

  • Sweet Basil: A foodie favorite since 1977, Sweet Basil in Vail offers Rocky Mountain fine dining at its best. The chefs consistently deliver imaginative and innovative dishes, often utilizing the region’s freshest ingredients. Don’t skip dessert, either. The Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake is to die for.

  • Larkspur: Steps from the Riva Bahn Express Lift at Golden Peak, Larkspur boasts one of Vail’s best apres-ski happy hours (Daily, 2:30 PM – close). The food is great as well, with a seasonally inspired menu and grab-and-go items if you’re in a hurry to hit the slopes.

  • Bōl: When you’ve had enough of skiing Vail and Beaver Creek’s bowls — how about some bowling? Bōl not only boasts a full-service restaurant and a 60-foot bar, it’s also home to ten bowling lanes. A great place for family and friends to gather once the sun has gone down …

Where To Shop

The charming cobblestone streets of Vail Village are a shopper’s delight. Make sure to browse the offerings in these spots.

  • Patagonia: The Vail outpost of one of the most esteemed outdoor brands in the world is the ideal place to pick up sustainably and ethically made clothing and gear. Whether you’re skiing, surfing, hiking, or doing virtually anything else in the great outdoors, Patagonia has you covered.

  • Axel’s: The Rocky Mountain’s fashion vibe is rustic-chic and Axel’s is where you can get into the swing of things. Luxurious cashmere, rugged denim, leather goods, handcrafted cowboy boots … this upscale-but-approachable boutique will have you blending in (but still standing out) in the Vail-Beaver Creek scene.

  • Buzz’s Boards: There are plenty of ski shops in Vail, of course, but Buzz’s is the longtime go-to for die-hard snow fanatics. The staff here is as passionate about skiing as you are, and they can get you set up with the right gear in no time.

Where To Stay In Vail / Beaver Creek

Find your home-away-from home in the Rockies!

  • Ritz-Carlton Club, Vail: If you’re looking for luxury in the mountains, look no further than the Ritz-Carlton Club, Vail. The on-site spa will soothe your body, mind, and soul, while the huge, heated pool is perfect for an apres-ski dip.

  • Marriott’s Streamside at Vail: A picturesque option, Streamside at Vail features contemporary one-bedroom and two-bedroom accommodations, a heated indoor and outdoor pool, complimentary shuttle service to the Vail Mountain.

  • Hyatt Mountain Lodge: This classic Alpine-style chalet in Beaver Creek is old-school but up to date, offering guests luxury and sophistication at every turn. Relax in your studio, two and three-bedroom villas, and take advantage of direct ski access.

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