COLORADO & UTAH SKI RESORTS: SNOW’S PERFECT STATES
Aspen, Colorado: Aspen, in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, is a ski resort town and year-round destination for outdoor recreation. It’s also known for high-end restaurants and boutiques, and landmarks like the Wheeler Opera House, built in 1889 during the area’s silver mining boom. The Wheeler-Stallard House is a local history museum set in a 19th-century, Queen Anne–style home, while the Aspen Art Museum displays contemporary artworks. Aspen lives up to its winter reputation. Four ski mountains make up the terrain for the world-renowned Aspen Snowmass resort. Aspen Mountain, locally referred to as Ajax, rises up directly from downtown, bringing a whole new meaning to ski-in/ski-out. Buttermilk Mountain, home of the Aspen X Games, is a kids’ and beginners’ paradise. Aspen Highlands boasts the legendary Highland Bowl, and Snowmass offers the largest acreage and diversity by having something for everyone. Aspen’s beautiful scenery and open space also lends itself well to other types of winter recreation, such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, fly-fishing and even hot-air ballooning. After a hard day of play enjoy Aspen’s legendary après ski scene, or head out for dinner at one of our world-class restaurants. Top off the night by enjoying a show at Belly Up, Aspen’s 500-person live music venue featuring renowned artists. Aspen’s big-city cultural institutions, well known for their summer programming, have plenty of events throughout the winter months as well, leaving you inspired.
Beaver Creek is a pampered skier’s paradise. This resort just might ruin you for other ski trips because it sets the bar pretty high. With a world-class ski village, excellent service, free warm cookies, tons of fun both on and off the mountain, long ski runs and excellent mountain maintenance, it’s easy to feel spoiled at Beaver Creek. If this is going to be your first visit to Beaver Creek Colorado, you’ll want the inside scoop. Our family insider’s guide to Beaver Creek Colorado can put you on the up and up so you get the most from your family ski vacation and meet the needs of each family member
The properties in Beaver Creek range from more affordable and cozy (such as ThePines Lodge) to more posh and luxurious (such as The Osprey). The prices definitely reflect that! You can meet for certain types of ski lessons at Bachelor Gulch — The Ritz Carlton or at the Park Hyatt, which can make these on-site ski hotels extra convenient. Ski hotels in Avon (such as the Sheraton Mountain Vista or the Comfort Inn Near Vail Beaver Creek) are generally going to cost a fraction of the price of an on-site ski hotel. An Avon ski hotel might be a good choice if you plan to visit other ski resorts besides Beaver Creek because you can just hop on the highway from there.
Beaver Creek is our favorite ski destination in Colorado. Click on the picture for videos.
Vail is all about being something to everyone, which is why it’s such a great ski destination for families. Every level of skiing, every lodging preference and every budget can find its own home on a Vail Colorado ski vacation. Skiers and snowboarders looking for incredible views will be thrilled with the scenic vistas of Vail’s Gore Range, and restaurant-goers can find everything from Iron Chef foodie-fare to down-to-earth pub food and New York City-quality pizza.
As North America’s fourth largest ski area (behind Whistler, Park City Mountain Resort and Big Sky Resort), Vail’s terrain will please every level of skier or snowboarder. The resort’s vast 5,289 acres offers wide-open, pristine bowl skiing, a plethora of meandering intermediate trails, multiple beginner areas and plenty of steep and deep terrain in the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin to keep expert skiers satisfied.
The beginner skiing at Vail is found all over the mountain, providing novices and first-timers with breathtaking views they won’t soon forget. Vail beginner skiing can be found from all three base villages: Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead Village. Gentle traverse trails allow beginner skiers to explore nearly the whole entire front-side of the mountain. But, at its heart, Vail is an intermediate to advanced intermediate skier’s paradise from the famed Back Bowls wide-open, groomed runs to the many zippy runs off of the Mountaintop Express lift and long, sustained cruisers like Simba and Born Free. Blue Sky Basin is an expert skier’s playground, with cornice drops, leg-burning mogul runs, trees and open powder fields.