send to printer

Vail + Beaver Creek See And Do

Adventure Ridge
Vail Mountain
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 754 8245

If riding a bike over the snow and through the trees—at night, with only a headlamp illuminating the path ahead—is your kind of thing, then head straight for Adventure Ridge, an adrenaline junkie's dream at the top of Vail Mountain. It's actually pretty child-friendly, too, with a long, multilane tubing hill, trampolines with bungee harnesses, and pint-size snowmobiles for kids ages 6 to 12. You can try the ski bikes on your own starting at 2 pm or take a two-hour guided nighttime tour. It's good, thrilling fun, and probably not much more dangerous than Vail's bar scene.—Sarah Tuff

Open daily 2:30 to 8 pm.

Beaver Creek Golf Club
103 Offerson Road
Beaver Creek Village
Beaver Creek , Colorado
Tel: 970 845 5775

This 18-hole course with to-die-for views was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. It's open to the public from May to mid-June and then becomes a private club only for members and resort guests of Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead villages for the remainder of the golf season.

Vail , Colorado

Mountain Musher Dog Sled Rides runs trips twice daily on the 10,000-acre Diamond Star Ranch outside Vail. Two people board a sled operated by a musher and pulled by 10 to 12 friendly huskies. The experience is a strangely quiet glide through snow-muffled woods. Halfway through, clients are given the option to take the reins (970-653-7877;

Hotel Photo
Mountain Biking
Vail , Colorado

The same verticality that draws skiers in the winter lures the nubby-tires set in summer. The 20 or so trails are rated in difficulty the same way ski runs are (green to black), so you don't have to be an expert to relish the gravity-fed thrills. From seven-mile Village Trail, a meandering green, to '94 Downhill, a technical romp used in the 1994 World Cup Mountain Bike races, most trails are reachable by the Eagle Bahn gondola.

Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 476 6797

The Vail valley's predilection for all things Teutonic climaxes in three raucous weekends in September. The first weekend in September is a more civilized affair in Beaver Creek with live bands, beer tasting, and culinary classes on the finer points of German cuisine. The festivities then unravel the following weekends in Vail with foot-stomping oom-pah music, yodeling, and alpenhorn-blowing demonstrations, a bratwurst-eating contest, keg bowling, and, of course, all the Erdinger Weissbräu you can guzzle down. Expect public drunkenness and bad singing.

Skiing and Snowboarding at Beaver Creek

Like Vail, Beaver Creek gets an average snowfall of 350 inches, but with 1,815 skiable acres and 17 lifts, it's decidedly smaller than its sister resort. And that's why so many skiers and boarders love it: Beaver Creek is easy to navigate yet still big enough, with its village-to-village skiing, that you can try something new each day. Beaver Creek is also a favorite venue for athletes who fly downhill at 70-plus miles per hour: The mighty Birds of Prey racecourse hosts the only men's Alpine World Cup races in the United States every year in early December, and the men's and women's Alpine World Championships will be held here in 2015. In the meantime, the Stone Creek Chutes on the western edge and Talons Challenge terrain (mid-mountain, centered around Grouse peak) should satisfy any expert. The rickety old Rose Bowl double was replaced with a high-speed quad for the 2011–2012 season, serving up faster access to the popular Rose Bowl terrain. There are also three freestyle terrain parks suitable for all levels, including a superpipe.

The Beaver Creek Nordic Sports Center offers access (via the Strawberry Park Express lift) to more than 20 miles of cross-country and snowshoeing trails in McCoy Park. There are also snowshoe tours that include lunch at the mountaintop Mamie's (970-754-5313).

For equipment rentals, try Beaver Creek Sports, which has locations at every base chairlift, including one inside the Ritz-Carlton (970-845-5418). Or, have your skis and boards delivered to your room via Ski Butlers (970-845-2268). Aim to make all rental reservations at least two weeks in advance for holiday periods.—Sarah Tuff

Hotel Photo
Skiing and Snowboarding at Vail
Tel: 970 476 9090

With 5,289 skiable acres and 31 lifts, Vail is enormous. Getting your bearings on the slopes can take days, but you'll never be bored. Even better, the resort averages 350 inches of pristine Rocky Mountain powder per year, so you can forget about those ice chutes they call runs on the East Coast. Vail's Front Side, which rises up from the village, offers a good mix of terrain, including Double Black Diamonds off the old Highline chair to the west (Roger's Run and Blue Ox are two favorites) and easygoing groomers off the Avanti Express to the east. There are four terrain parks for snowboarders who go for tricks, including a 400-foot-long superpipe (picture a half-pipe on steroids). But to get the full value from your lift ticket (more expensive every year), frolic in Vail's incomparable Back Bowls. Sparsely groomed, beautiful, and wide open, the bowls are perfect for advanced skiers (to access them, take the Mountaintop Express or Northwoods Express lifts and follow the signs to Sun Up Bowl or China Bowl). Just past the bowls (take the catwalk trail off Sun Up Bowl), you'll find epic Blue Sky Basin: 645 acres of ungroomed powdery bliss for quite advanced skiers and boarders. Tip: Head there first thing in the morning, because it takes 45 minutes to reach from the village, and Blue Sky starts shutting down in the early afternoon.

Prefer a slower, lung-filling pace? Vail has two Nordic centers for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. At Vail Golden Peak, daily group tours include equipment rentals (970-754-3200). The Vail Nordic Center, meanwhile, has 17 kilometers of groomed trails, along with rentals, lessons, and clinics (970-476-8366).

The American Ski Exchange, next to the Vista Bahn Express, demos Salomon, K2, Rossignol, Völkl, Volant, and Head skis (225 Wall St.; 800-327-1137).

Double Diamond, in Lionshead Village, demos all the skis and boots it sells (no snowboards), so opt for a Demo Package; you can also choose nondemo rentals of skis and snowboards (877-433-7547).

One Track Mind, in Lionshead Village, specializes in snowboards (970-476-1397).

Ski Butlers delivers skis and boards to your hotel room (970-845-2268).

For all rentals, aim to make reservations at least two weeks in advance for holiday periods.—Updated by Sarah Tuff

Vail Farmer's Market
Meadow Drive
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 479 1711

Every Sunday from mid-June through mid-September, the region's farm and food vendors set up 100-plus tents on Meadow Drive in Vail Village to sell just-picked berries, vegetables, meats, cheeses, local wines, and outrageously delicious pies. You'll also find local artisans selling watercolors and such.

Summer Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Hotel Photo
Vail Resort Gondola
Vail , Colorado
Tel: 970 476 9090

There's no better perspective on the mountains than from the top of one: The bonus at a ski resort is the ability to save yourself a five-hour uphill hike to achieve that 360-degree view. The Eagle Bahn gondola offers scenic rides from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Tues.– Sat.) in the winter. It also runs during the summer months (Thurs.–Sat.), linking up to a warren of hiking and mountain-biking trails.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.