Last week, I traveled to one of my favorite places in the world. Less than three hours from where I live in northern Colorado, Beaver Creek is a magical, alpine-inspired village in the Colorado Rocky Mountains 10 miles west of Vail. It’s where my family vacationed in winter and summer over the past 25 years, and it’s where my kids learned to ski and ice skate. This time, I ventured up there solo to enjoy the fresh mountain air, hiking, and solitude.
Established in 1980, Beaver Creek Resort was once referred to as the “Tiffany’s of ski resorts.” And while the resort is undeniably upscale, it’s most definitely not snooty or pretentious. In fact, it has a real family feel to it with wholesome activities and attractions. One of them being Munich transplant, Helmut Fricker, who gives weekly performances in the plaza on his alpenhorn and accordion while dressed in traditional lederhosen.
The entrance to Beaver Creek village is this photogenic pedestrian bridge crossing over Beaver Creek.
The center of Beaver Creek plaza features an ice skating rink in winter. During summertime, however, the rink turns into a turf-covered family area with games, picnic tables, and a small stage for musical performances. Quaint shops and restaurants surround the ice rink. When it’s time for a break, settle into one of the plush couches near a fireplace and enjoy a refreshing gelato.
The Chapel at Beaver Creek sits on the outskirts of the village and is an easy stroll from the plaza. The peaceful creek runs past the chapel, through town, and down the valley.
I rode the chairlift and had lunch at the Spruce Saddle, which is a restaurant located mid mountain. Then I hiked a bit and took in the breathtaking scenery. In the summer, wildflowers are abundant on the mountain. Lupine, columbine, and Indian paintbrush, among others, line the hiking trails.
A quick word about my outfit…I recently purchased these pieces from Athleta and love them for hiking! Both the top and shorts are lightweight, quick drying, breathable, and offer sun protection. I’ll also use the top over my swimsuit for paddle boarding and boating for added sun protection.
As big as Helmut Fricker’s alpenhorn is, his personality is even bigger (photo from Beaver Creek Mountain’s Facebook page)!
Flowers are everywhere you look, from the mountain to the creekside to the village.
Bachelor Gulch is Beaver Creek’s neighboring village and is home to the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch and “Bachelor,” the hotel’s 8-month old, 100-pound Saint Bernard ambassador pup.
A favorite hike is the village to village trail connecting the two resorts…then finishing with a refreshing mimosa.
Just 15 minutes away, Vail is home to the Betty Ford Botanical Gardens. It’s free of charge (donations are appreciated) and definitely worth a visit.
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If you’re taking a road trip this summer and coming anywhere near Colorado, put Beaver Creek on your list. You won’t be sorry!
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