Vail Valley: Places to Explore

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Photo: Jack Affleck/Beaver Creek Resort

Beaver Creek

As with the majority of the area's resorts, the heart of Beaver Creek is a mountainside village. What sets Beaver Creek apart is that it's a series of cascading plazas connected by escalators. In this ultraposh enclave even boot-wearing skiers and snowboard-hauling riders ride the escalators from the hotels and shuttle stops on the lower levels. Opened in 1980 as a smaller version of Vail, Beaver Creek has somewhat overshadowed its older sibling in glamour. In fact, its nearest rival in the luxury market is Utah's Deer Valley.

Locals know that Beaver Creek is the best place to ski on weekends, when Vail is too crowded, or anytime there's fresh powder. Beaver Creek is just far enough from Denver that it doesn't get the flood of day-trippers who flock to Vail and the other Front Range resorts. The slopes of Beaver Creek Mountain are connected to those of even ritzier Bachelor Gulch. These are close to Arrowhead, creating a village-to-village ski experience like those found in Europe.

Savvy travelers have learned that Beaver Creek is even lovelier in summer, when diners can enjoy a meal on a spacious patio, mountain bikers can hitch a ride uphill on the chairlift, and golfers can play on the beautiful Beaver Creek Course or on one of the dozen others in the Vail Valley. On special evenings you can attend concerts, get tickets to the theater, or head to a performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. In Beaver Creek you have easy access to all of the activities in Vail Valley.

Beaver Creek speaks loudly and clearly to a settled and affluent crowd, but visitors on a budget can also enjoy the resort's many attractions. Just drive past the pricier lodgings in the village and opt instead for a room in nearby Avon, Edwards, or even Vail.

Elsewhere in Vail Valley

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