Ski season is still here for a few more weeks, so what better way to spend your weekends than by hitting the slopes? Places like Aspen and Vail tend to be the most popular, but just a short drive further west is another spot you’re sure to love. The charming town of Beaver Creek–along with its closest neighbor, Avon–is a beautiful, tranquil area that’s most notable for the Birds of Prey World Cup downhill ski course. But even if you’re not a skier, you’ll find plenty to love about the area. Fine dining, luxury spas, nature walks, and live entertainment all abound in this quaint mountain village.
How To Get Around
Beaver Creek is a roughly two-hour drive west on the I-70 from Denver. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll find that many neighboring hotels offer free shuttle rides to and from both Beaver Creek Village and Vail Village, which is about 15 minutes or so back east. And if you’ll be doing some skiing, you’re going to want to invest in a ski pass to get on the slopes.
Where To Stay
Hotels in this area typically run between $200 and $1000 per night. For something middle-of-the-road, opt for the Westin Riverfront. This hotel is perfect for both the avid skier and folks who simply want a bit of pampering in the mountains. Gorgeous mountain views, in-room fireplaces, nightly live entertainment, an exceptional kid’s club, and an on-site gondola to get you to your preferred village shuttle are all part of the experience at this quality hotel. Also, Olympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin also happens to be their Resident Gold Medalist, so you know you’ll be in excellent company.
Looking for exceptional luxury? Book a night at the slopeside Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, which is $1500-$5000 a night. For a more budget-friendly option, try the Comfort Suites in Avon, with complimentary breakfast and rates starting at $150/night.
What To Do
Skiing is the main thing to do in Beaver Creek, and to do that, you’ll need to purchase a lift ticket. An Epic Day pass for the Beaver Creek Resort–which can also be used in Vail–will run you about $180 per person and $125 for kids ages 5-12. Save money by purchasing a multi-day pass. You’ll want to bring your own ski clothes, but gear is available for rent at a number of shops in the area to which your hotel concierge can always guide you.
If you’re not one for the powder, though, there are plenty of other options. Wander around Beaver Creek Village and you’ll find plenty of shopping and other fun activities. Browse the oddities at the By Nature Gallery, where you can pick up anything from fossil shark teeth to a giant sabre tooth tiger skull, or simply rent some skates and do a little ice skating at the village rink. The Vilar Performing Arts Center also offers a wide variety of entertainment. Among some of their upcoming performers are comedian T.J. Miller and rock band Collective Soul.
Traveling with family? Make sure to drop in at the Walking Mountains Science Center. Check out their exhibit hall and learn about the local flora and fauna. They also offer free guided nature hikes, complete with free snowshoes in the winter time.
On especially snowy days, you can always stay indoors and get a quick workout at your hotel’s gym, or sign up for a fitness class. For instance, try an AIReal yoga class that will turn your world upside down in the best way. Down for some pampering? The Allegria Spa features the Colorado Wild Rose Cure, which involves a warm rose compress, body scrub, lavender essential oils bath, and body wrap. And nearby Spa Anjali boasts some truly unique spa journeys, including Ponderosa Pine Therapy, a full-body massage, light stretching, and use of a sage, lavender, and pine-filled poultice, which will leave you feeling plenty revitalized.
Where To Eat and Drink
One of the most unique dining experiences you can have in Beaver Creek is at Allie’s Cabin. Arrive via sleigh ride to enjoy a comfortable and delicious gourmet dinner featuring everything from roasted beet salad to prime rib or glazed salmon while your kids indulge in a child-friendly buffet.
If you’re wiped from a morning of skiing but don’t want to spend too much, a highly affordable and delicious local option is Blue Moose Pizza. Pick up a soda and a slice here for just $5 during lunchtime, or splurge a little extra for a delectable multi-course dinner.
For apres-ski cocktails, consider Bachelors Lounge. This impeccable spot features sommelier-curated wines plus signature cocktails and an outdoor hookah, cigars, plus a Vaportini experience you just have to try.
Another solid option is Maya. This Mexican-themed restaurant has an excellent cocktail menu. I highly recommend ordering La Maestra, a smooth but smoky blend of Maestro Dobel Humitos tequila, plus agave, lillet blanc, and lemon.
While Beaver Creek is somewhat of a high-end vacation spot, don’t let that keep you away from this beautiful destination. There’s still plenty to enjoy on a budget if you know where to look and plan ahead. That said, don’t be afraid to splurge a little while you’re here–the perks are all certainly worth it.