These great tips for visiting Beaver Creek Colorado - where to stay and what to do - are the greatest ways to explore the Vail Valley's most exclusive resort!
Beaver Creek and Avon Colorado- a semi-exclusive resort with a very chic tourist base- is a family favorite year-round. With five star lodging and dining, tons of family-friendly activities and lots of outdoor fun, there is something for everyone!
Don't let the high prices fool you- Avon and Beaver Creek can be really affordable, if you play your cards right. Look for bumer season discounts, buy multi-day or off-peak passes, rent a condo and make food- and find specials on dining for a memorable and affordable trip.
And be sure to head to one of the numerous free festivals or events always happening in the most charming spot in the Vail Valley!
This guide will help you find the best places to stay, eat, and have fun in my family's favorite resort town- Beaver Creek, Colorado!
Where to Stay:
Large suite-style rooms with full kitchens and a washer and dryer are great for families who are keeping costs down, but want the services that come with a hotel.
Rent numerous accommodations all over the Vail Valley. We love staying at the Ascent for it's convenient private shuttle to the mountain while still being walking distance to our favorite shops and restaurants in Avon.
A gondola connects the Westin Riverfront to the Landing at Beaver Creek's base- making the hotel a fantastic option for those that want the convenience of being in-town but don't want to schlep their gear all over the mountain.
Ski in, ski out on the hill- and enjoy unparalleled views with fantastic dining in a four star resort. Those staying at the Pines can also use the free Beaver Creek village shuttles right out their front door- call or ask the concierge to help.
Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
There is no comparison to the Ritz Carlton at the base of the mountain in ultra-exclusive Bachelor Gulch. From rooms to townhouse style flats, the Ritz offers a large number of accommodations in five star style. Expect to dine exclusively on site, however, as Bachelor Gulch is a private residential area unless taking one of the free shuttles to Avon or the Beaver Creek village base. (With Spago and other fine dining options, this isn't really a drawback- just be aware there aren't bars or restaurants you can stroll to in Bachelor Gulch.)
Where to Eat:
Gelato, pastries, cookies, espresso, and delicious breakfast comforts are all the specialties at Remini.
Free Cookies at the base
Make sure to head to the base of Beaver Creek Village at 3pm for one of their famous chocolate chip cookies, lovingly passed out by volunteers in full chef uniforms. (Winter-only confirmed in 2016)
Beano's Cabin -
Reservations Required. Shuttle/Snow Cat departs from Beaver Creek Chophouse, where you will be transported to a charming, rustic cabin nestled into the ski resort whose food and service is as impeccable as the views!
What to order: menu changes with each season, but if there is rabbit on the menu, jump for it! Rocky Mountain elk and trout are always delicious bets.
Park Hyatt / 8100 - Reservations strongly suggested during peak travel times and during holidays. During winter months, ski up to the champagne tent offering a large selection of bubbly and delicious treats like inventive cupcakes. In the summer, slide into one of the seats on 8100's expansive deck while you watch kids play disc golf in the sprawling grass at the base of the gondola. Look for burger and beer lunch specials, offered often on weekdays.
Pazzo's Avon - Reservations not accepted. No delivery- but take out available (plan on 30 minute-1 hour wait times during busy holiday weekends.) Pazzos is the locals favorite for a reason- the
Must order: Large sausage and mushroom pizza with extra cheese.... the spicy and smoky sausage perfectly accents gooey, melted cheese. Just as good cold- really (my test for truly great pizza will always include how good it is the next morning, especially at curing a raging hangover.)
Reservations strongly suggested. Gourmet belgian food in an intimate, romantic setting in one of the oldest houses in the Vail Valley- run by a husband and wife passionate about great food and wine.
Must order: Dover sole, scallops, elk, and foie gras are always impeccable and incredibly rich, guaranteed to ignite sparks on date night! Ask for wine pairings and let the staff
What to do:
Head to an event
Beaver Creek and Avon host numerous festivals, concerts, parades, fireworks displays, and other fun family-oriented events year round.
Beaver Creek's semi-exclusive slopes are the furthest "local" area for daytrippers from Denver, making it decidedly less crowded than other areas along the I70 corridor. Perfectly maintained groomers, big bumps, and plenty of steeps - plus a luxuriously easy to navigate beginners area make Beaver Creek my favorite spot to schuss.
The shorter lift lines and luxurious environment come with a steep price-- expect to pay the highest daily lift ticket rates in Colorado (just under $200 per day in 2016-2017), and pay the most for food ($30++ per person for a very basic meal on mountain.) Plan ahead with an Epic pass, a multi-day ticket option, find a friend with some buddy passes, and bring meals to lessen the brutal blow you'll receive at the Lift Ticket counter.
Hot tip- if you're a beginner or not interested in skiing the whole mountain, you can purchase a beginner-area only lift ticket that allows you to ride the Buckaroo Express Gondola for less than half price (at print we are not sure what 2016-2017 pricing will be- but in the 2015-2016 season it was $60/per day.) The Buckaroo Express services very short beginner-only runs, which are a great length for very little children.
Kids Ski School
I am biased (one of my best friends and her husband worked for the Beaver Creek Ski School for years), but the Beaver Creek Kids Ski School is the absolute best. They are great with kids, gently encouraging, take safety seriously- and get results! Our kids took three beginner lessons in 2014-2015 season, and two more this spring, and were quickly heading down the hill with my husband and I at ages 3 and 5.
They love the friendly teachers, the on-mountain story time with special characters, visits from Riperoo, and the safe and fun environment from the Ranch- an on-mountain beginner area with several "magic carpets", serviced by the Buckaroo Express Lift.
Ride the gondola
It's not really advertised, but you can ride the Buckaroo Express Gondola in the winter for free, as long as you are in street shoes (meaning you're not intending to snowshoe, hike, ski, etc.) There isn't really much at the Ranch beginner's area to do (unlike the lift to McKee Nordic Area at Beaver Creek or Adventure Ridge at Vail, which is NOT free for riders)- but there is a small stand selling drinks and snacks, and a few tables and picnic tables you can sit at and watch beginners do their thing.
If you have kids in ski school, this is a great chance to watch them without getting in the way- or to take kids up onto the gondola ahead of a lesson so they can see what this ski school stuff is all about.
Beaver Creek has numerous shopping destinations- for all budgets. From glittering displays at Gorsuch (and Gorsuch's home stores- expect only ultra-high end products and prices), to tourist tees, to anything you could ever need for summer and winter outdoor mountain activities- as well as plenty of fun and funky consignment and thrift shops- you will find them scattered around Avon and the Beaver Creek Village base. As a rule, the further you are from the slopes, the less you'll expect to spend.
Hot tip: Hit Chapel Square's Transition Sports to consign your gently used sporting equipment or find some great in-season deals on used gear- including boots, skis and snowboards, helmets, and kids equipment. Your wallet will thank you!