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"Off the beaten path" road trip from Vail, CO

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Hello! I'm headed to CO this June for a friend's wedding in Vail. The current plan is to fly into Denver on Friday morning and make my way to Vail by late afternoon for check-in. The wedding will take up the entire weekend, but my hope is to check out on Monday morning and then have the entire week ahead for vacation, with plans to fly home the following Saturday.

With Vail as my starting point, I'm running into issues with which direction to go for the remainder of the week. Part of me would love to do Southwest CO, incorporating Moab, UT and Telluride if at all possible. But I also realize that it might make sense to head back east toward the Rockies from Vail on Monday in order to make the most use of our time that week, seeing as though everything seems closer together and we would wind up in Denver for flying out.

I'm traveling with my boyfriend and want to make sure that, along with some great day hikes and maybe a water sport here and there, that we're staying in locations that have a "cooler" vibe with good food and at least some nightlife (funky bars and hole in the walls will do!). Not really interested in the whole mining/ghost town thing, though if there are any spots that are a must-do no matter what I would be open to suggestions.

It's our first trip together, and really hoping for it to be a unique one with some off the beaten path gems. Any sample itineraries or even a general direction on where to head from Vail for the week would be appreciated--thanks so much in advance!

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