Vail Valley, Colorado

When I Went: July 21-25, 2011

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? Middle of the summer is a great time to visit Colorado. The weather is great, and there are lots of activities and fun things to do.

Why I Went There: A dual-purpose trip: both a beat-the-heat excursion about halfway through the 100-degree temperature streak in Dallas and a “babymoon,” as my wife Jen was almost seventh months pregnant with our first child.

Who Went With Me? My wife

We Stayed Here: The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

You Won’t Want to Miss: Beaver Creek and Vail are both great towns, each with its own distinct personality. The Beaver Creek antique festival at the ski resort was neat, and in Vail a walk through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens was a highlight. Also, the New York Philharmonic was playing a summer series in Vail, and though we didn’t attend a performance, observing their afternoon tune-up was a nice experience.

Eat Here: Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek was spectacular, a truly luxurious place to eat on vacation. Vin48 in Avon and Dish in Edwards had great food and were a nice, modern change of pace. There is no shortage of nice restaurants in Vail, and we skipped some of our usual favorites and tried Larkspur, which was great. Also, Larkburger in Edwards is from the same restaurant group, and it was a really nice burger place. One last one that was recommended to us but we didn’t try: the Wolcott Yacht Club, described to us as a diner with a great location on the Eagle River and better-than-you’d-expect food.

Play Here: Play for me involved golf at Red Sky Ranch and fly-fishing all over the place, with the best spots on Gore Creek and Homestake Creek down past Red Cliff. Water was a little high when we were there but still fishable. My wife really enjoyed the spa at the Ritz-Carlton and the outdoor pool.

If I Went Again: Just stay a little longer! Great trip.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? You can fly to Vail-Eagle County Airport directly and drive over to the Vail Valley, about 30 minutes away.

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers: Folks often think of Vail Valley mainly as a ski destination, but summertime makes it a really special way to get out of the Texas heat.

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