When traveling to Colorado, it can be a bit overwhelming choosing a destination. There are the cities of Denver and Colorado Springs, and then myriad mountain towns throughout the Centennial State offering fun in the winter, spring, summer and fall. One such mountain town to consider for your next family getaway is Beaver Creek, about two hours west of Denver, just beyond Vail off of I-70 West.
Having had four feet of snowfall last month, Beaver Creek is a perfect destination for a last-minute spring ski trip; the mountain will close for skiing April 15. With that, there is plenty of time to ski from any of the 24 lifts that take you to 150 trails all along the mountain, with runs ranging from green to blue to black. For those of us who need them, ski and snowboard lessons are available daily for all ages and skill levels.
New this season is Red Buffalo Park, a 200-acre area atop Beaver Creek Mountain where families can learn to ski together at both beginner and intermediate levels. Once you’re ready to swoosh down the mountain, you’ll find 13 mild trails to follow without losing sight of the gorgeous mountain backdrops. Along the way, stop to admire the snow sculptures created by Beaver Creek’s master snow sculptor. And you won’t want to miss the Cookie Cabin, also in Red Buffalo Park, where warm chocolate chip cookies are served daily, providing that extra burst of energy to go down the mountain one more time. Another sugar rush can be found at the Candy Cabin at the top of the Strawberry Park Express and Upper Beaver Creek Mountain Express lifts — all of your favorite candy in one place. The Cookie and Candy Cabins are open only during the winter season, so satisfy your sweet tooth soon.
If skiing isn’t your thing, or you simply want to take a day off from the slopes, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the mountain.
Visit the Nordic Sports Center where you can be outfitted with snowshoes or cross-country skis for a different on-the-mountain experience. Guided tours of McCoy Park are available, and one fun one to try is the Winter Wine Excursion on snowshoes, which includes a post-tour wine tasting at The Osprey Fireside Grill back in the village. Cheers! Or, on Tuesdays, the Nature Valley Complimentary Family Snowshoe Tour is a terrific way to spend the afternoon as a family — the guided tour includes snowshoes, cookies and cocoa for all, but you’ll want to be sure and make reservations. Or, channel your inner Dorothy Hamill and take a spin around the ice skating rink in the middle of the village. Ice skates and helmet rentals are available.
When it comes time to eat in Beaver Creek, there are plenty of options, and the most fun may well be on mountain. For lunch, ride to the top of Bachelor Gulch Express Chairlift #16 or ski to Mamie’s Mountain Grill for grill-your-own burgers and Euro dogs with incredible views of the surrounding mountains.
For dinner, make reservations for Zach’s Cabin and arrive via a sleigh ride pulled by a Beaver Creek Snow Cat. Inside the cozy, rustic cabin you and your family will enjoy fine dining and a terrific wine list. You’ll soon understand why it’s been awarded the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence for 10 years running.
Beaver Creek is part of Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass, which provides unlimited, unrestricted access without restricted dates at 15 resorts, and access to another 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. A Military Epic Pass is now available, too, for Active or Retired Military and for Active or Retired Dependents at $99 each.
Family travels don’t necessarily need to be in theme parks or resorts with massive kids’ clubs. In fact, more upscale properties across the world cater to both adults and kids, and wellbeing brand Sensei joins the growing trend of family wellness travel. Sensei’s Wellness Science team, led by Dr. Vishal Patel, emphasizes the importance of family travels and exposing young travelers to wellness pursuits. Developing healthy habits at a young age can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s life, and bonding via family trips alleviates some of the main drivers of loneliness and isolation.
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