Beaver Creek Resort#5 in Best Things To Do in Vail
Located about 13 miles west of Vail in Avon, Colorado, the Beaver Creek Resort is the newer kid on the block. Still, since it opened in 1980 Beaver Creek has earned a reputation as a premier ski destination that rivals the heavyweight Vail Ski Resort (even though they're both owned by Vail Resorts). Today, Beaver Creek offers winter travelers 1,815 acres of skiable terrain (about half of which is devoted to novice and intermediate skiers), 150 trails and 4,040 feet of vertical rise. Plus, the renowned ski and snowboard school makes this venue a great place to spark your kids' love of snow or to refresh your own skills. Past visitors also recommend stopping by just to stroll around Beaver Creek's three villages, which are known for their contemporary atmosphere and wide variety of shops and restaurants.
Although the Vail Ski Resort still reigns supreme, recent visitors strongly recommend a change of scenery. Those traveling with young children especially appreciated the ski school and the excellent conditions. Similar to Vail Ski Resort, Beaver Creek also hosts a variety of summer activities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and scenic chairlift rides, among other outdoor adventures.
Beaver Creek opens its slopes at the end of November, and snow-lovers can take advantage of the runs until early April. The lifts open every day at 9 a.m. and remain in service until 4 p.m. One-day lift tickets start at $108 for adults and $75 for children, and range depending on the month and day. You should note that multiday lift passes purchased at Beaver Creek also grant you access to the Vail Ski Resort (along with Vail Resorts other properties). During the summer (June through September), the resort welcomes visitors daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Individual activity tickets for the resort's summer facilities cost $14 each; an all-day adventure pass costs $90 for adults and $75 for kids. Learn more at the Beaver Creek Resort website.
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#1 Vail Hiking
Though Vail's ski terrain receives much of the spotlight, the area's many hiking trails are just as impressive. If you've got a car, you may want to consider driving to Eagles Nest or Holy Cross – two wilderness areas with impressive trails well-suited for backpackers. If you're hoping to trek closer to town, you'll find several trails on Vail Mountain, accessible from the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Here, you'll find trails ranging from short 1-mile hikes (Eagle's Loop and Fireweed) to more intermediate treks (Berrypicker and Ridge Route). Though you will have to pay for the gondola ride ($36 for adults; free for children accompanying a paying adult), the hiking trails won't cost you a thing to access.
If you'd rather not pay the gondola fee, you'll find several hikes on National Forest Service land that are accessible via Vail's free bus system, including Bighorn Creek, Booth Creek, Deluge Creek, Gore Creek, and Pitkin Creek, among others. Recent visitors especially liked the Booth Falls Trail, which sits a little more than a mile from Interstate 70 in East Vail. It's a steep trail, but a favorite among travelers for its wildflowers, waterfalls and view of the Gore Range. You can also sign up for a guided hike of the area with an interactive hiking expert. For more details, visit the Vail resort website.
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