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Publication: Weekend GetAways
The Winter Playland

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       WEEKEND GETAWAYS - Friday, October 20, 2006
    Make The Most Of Your Vacation - From Coast to Coast!


Greetings Getaway Lover,

Welcome To Vail, Colorado.....The Winter Playland

The attraction for vacationers from all over is the thin, 
aspen-cloaked Vail Valley, a narrow corridor slit by 
Interstate 70 and bounded by the rugged Gore Range to the 
north and the tabled Sawatch escarpments to the south. 
Through it all runs the sparkling Eagle River. 

The resorts begin just west of Vail Pass, a saddle well 
below treeline, and stretch 20 mi through the communities 
of Vail Village, Eagle-Vail, Minturn, Avon, Beaver Creek, 
Arrowhead, and Edwards. The hub of activity in winter and 
summer revolves around Vail Village, but many vacationers 
will spend time dining, skiing, and shopping in the other 
towns. The vibe in these places varies dramatically, from 
Beaver Creek, a gated community of second (and probably 
third) megahomes; to Edwards, a rapidly growing worker 
town; to Vail Village, filled with styles of lodging, 
dining, and shopping appealing to a wide range of tastes. 


Happy Trails,
Jan

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--DESTINATION: Vail, Colorado

In winter, this region is famous for the glittering resorts 
of Vail and Beaver Creek. Between these two areas, skiers 
and snowboarders have almost 7,000 acres at their disposal 
including the unforgettable Back Bowls far beyond the noise 
of I-70 traffic. 

In summer, these resorts are great bases from which you 
can explore the high country by foot, horseback, raft, or 
bike. But take heed, all trails go up. Some trails are 
designated for bikers, others for hikes, and many for both. 
Always remember that bikers should yield to hikers, though 
in practice it's considered courteous to let them blow by. 
In addition, there are hundreds of miles of trails weaving 
through the White River National Forest. Warm-weather 
weekends are filled with an exciting range of cultural 
events, including performances by groups such as the New 
York Philharmonic and the Bolshoi Ballet. 

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--WHAT TO DO AND SEE:

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens 
Garden/Arboretum, Vail 
 
Vail is only a few decades old, so there aren't many 
sights. But there are two places worth a visit. The Betty 
Ford Alpine Gardens, open daily from snowmelt (around 
Memorial Day) to snowfall (Labor Day or a bit later), are 
an oasis of forsythia, heather, and wild roses. These are 
the highest public botanical gardens in North America. 
www.bettyfordalpinegardens.org. 

Address: Ford Park, Vail, CO, USA
Phone: 970/476-0103
 

Colorado Ski Museum/Ski Hall of Fame 
Museum/Gallery, Vail 
 
The Colorado Ski Museum/Ski Hall of Fame traces the 
development of the sport throughout the world, with 
an emphasis on Colorado's contributions. On display 
are century-old skis and tows, early ski fashions, 
and an entire room devoted to the 10th Mountain 
Division, an Army division that trained nearby. 
www.skimuseum.net. COST: $1. OPEN: Tues.-Sun. 10-5. 

Address: 231 S. Frontage Rd., Vail, CO, USA
Phone: 970/476-1876
 
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Other Places of Interest:

Minturn Cellars Winery 
Winery/Brewery, Minturn 
 
You might begin a sojourn here by visiting Minturn Cellars 
Winery, a wine-tasting room featuring some of the finest 
local wines. 

Address: 107 Williams St., Minturn, CO, USA
Phone: 970/827-4065 


Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival 
 
Festival, Vail 
  
Stretching from late June through early August, the 
annual Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival is a month-and-
a-half-long celebration of music. Among the performers 
that are in residence for a few days or more than a week 
are the New York Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony 
Orchestra. Chamber-music concerts, many performed by the 
ensemble-in-residence, are popular events. There's also 
music from an American composer-in-residence. 
www.vailmusicfestival.org. 

Address: Box 2270, Vail, CO 81658, USA
Phone: 877/812-5700
 
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--WHERE TO SLEEP:

Beaver Creek Lodge 
Over $200, Beaver Creek 
 
A central atrium grabs all the attention at this European-
style lodge a few hundred yards from the lifts. Rooms are 
generously proportioned -- you'll probably get more space 
for your money here than at most other properties in the 
heart of the village. The decor is mountain chic -- 
polished leather furniture, original art, sleek cabinets, 
flat-screen TVs in the bedroom, and beds plumped with 
pillow-top mattresses. www.beavercreeklodge.net. 72 suites. 
In-room: kitchen, dial-up, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: restaurant, 
bar, pool, gym, no-smoking rooms. AE, MC, V. 

Address: 26 Avondale La., Beaver Creek Village, Beaver 
Creek, CO 81620, USA
Phone: 970/845-9800
Fax: 970/845-8242
 

Lodge & Spa at Cordillera 
Over $200, Edwards 
 
An aura of quiet luxury prevails at this mountaintop 
lodge, with a decor that calls to mind the finest alpine 
hotels. The rooms vary quite a bit in size; those in the 
newer wing tend to be larger. There are wood-burning 
fireplaces in some of the older rooms, whereas the newer 
rooms have gas fireplaces. The indoor pool has a view of 
the mountains through the wall of windows. The lodge is 
in the gated community of Cordillera, 15 minutes from 
Beaver Creek. The lodge operates a shuttle to the lifts. 
www.cordillera-vail.com. 56 rooms. In-hotel: 4 restaurants, 
bar, golf courses, pool, gym, spa, no-smoking rooms. AE, 
D, MC, V. 

Address: 2205 Cordillera Way, Box 1110, Edwards, CO 81632, 
USA
Phone: 970/926-2200 or 800/877-3529
Fax: 970/926-2486
 

Gasthof Gramshammer 
Over $200, Vail 
 
Pepi Gramshammer, a former Austrian Olympic ski racer
who runs some of the country's best intensive ski pro-
grams, operates this guest house. The charming rooms, 
all done up in pastels, are filled with original oil 
paintings and fluffy down comforters. In keeping with 
the theme, the waitresses are done up in dirndls. 
www.pepis.com. 30 rooms, 9 suites and apartments. In-
room: kitchen (some). In-hotel: 2 restaurants, bar, 
gym, no-smoking rooms. AE, D, MC, V. 

Address: 231 E. Gore Creek Dr., Vail Village, Vail, CO 
81657, USA
Phone: 970/476-5626 or 800/610-7374
Fax: 970/476-8816
 

--WHERE TO DINE:

Bart & Yeti's 
American, $8 to $18, Vail 
 
Grilled portobello-mushroom sandwiches, spicy Southwestern 
green chile, and Irish stew are among the choices at this 
laid-back restaurant. Pictures of cowboys on horseback, 
wagon wheels, and other odds and ends line the rough log 
walls. If you want a full meal, entrées include favorites 
like barbecued baby-back ribs and crispy fried chicken. 
The deck is a popular gathering spot in warm weather. The 
place is in Lionshead, just north of the Eagle Bahn gondola. 
AE, D, MC, V. 

Address: 553 E. Lionshead Cir., Lionshead, Vail, CO, USA
Phone: 970/476-2754
 

Fiesta's 
Southwestern, $8 to $18, Edwards 
 
The Marquez sisters, Debbie and Susan, use old family 
recipes brought to Colorado by their great-grandparents 
to create great Southwestern cuisine. Among the favorites 
are chicken enchiladas in a white jalapeño sauce and blue-
corn enchiladas served Santa Fe-style with an egg on top. 
Handmade corn tamales are stuffed with pork and smothered 
in a classic New Mexican-chile sauce. The eatery in 
Edwards Plaza is brightly decorated with New Mexican-folk 
art and paintings. More than 20 tequilas keep the bar -- 
and patrons -- hopping. AE, D, MC, V. 

Address: 57 Edwards Access Rd., Edwards, CO, USA
Phone: 970/926-2121

 
La Bottega 
Italian, $13 to Over $25, Vail 
 
This casual, small restaurant has a loyal following that 
appreciates the creative northern Italian fare. Customers 
especially love the lunch specials, which include creative 
pizzas from the stone ovens. In true bistro fashion, the 
specials are posted on a huge blackboard. Some people turn 
out for a glass of vino in the wine bar, which takes up 
one side of the establishment. The cellar is one of the 
best in town. D, MC, V. 

Address: 100 E. Meadow Dr., Vail Village, Vail, CO, USA
Phone: 970/476-0280
 

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