Looking for a quintessential mountain experience in a luxury setting? Look no further than Beaver Creek, Colorado. Resorts in the Rocky Mountains often come to mind when planning winter vacations with skiing and other cold weather activities. But Beaver Creek, located just two hours from Denver, is a perfect destination for families in the summer. This 3-day itinerary is based on our family’s recent visit to Beaver Creek. We absolutely loved our time there and can’t wait to go back. Thanks to Beaver Creek for hosting us.
We arrived by air to Denver International Airport and headed to the mountains with Colorado Mountain Express. This luxury shuttle service offers shared transportation and private transfers with vehicles equipped with WIFI and other comforts like ice-cold water. The drive was just two hours, and we didn’t even notice the time as we got our first glimpse of Colorado’s treasures. Eagle County Regional Airport is also an option for arrival at Beaver Creek and is located just 30 minutes away by car. Whether you’re coming from the West Coast, the East Coast or somewhere in between, Colorado is centrally located, making it an easy-to-get-to family destination for everyone.
Once we arrived in Beaver Creek, we checked in at the Pines Lodge, a luxurious on-mountain resort located inside the gated community of Beaver Creek Village. Oversized beds with comfy linens and rustic pine accents were part of the charm. We loved the outdoor pool, and spa area tucked in the resort’s property and surrounded by aspen trees.
It truly is an ideal setting for your family’s home base for a summer vacation. After we were done getting settled in our room, we were anxious to go and explore. We walked out of the lobby and down to the village by way of a beautiful wooded trail. Beaver Creek Village is just 10 minutes away by foot. First, we passed by the Strawberry Park Expressway, and then we walked across a pedestrian bridge. The village of Beaver Creek was as picturesque as we had imagined. Restaurants, shops, and hotels encircle a car-free space that sits right at the base of the mountain.
Once in the village, the first thing that caught our boys’ attention was the open-air ice skating rink located right in the middle of the village. In summer months, the rink is open each evening at 6 pm. Right then we planned to spend our evening ice skating after dinner.
For dinner, we headed over to Toscanini for some delicious Italian food. This restaurant was the perfect place for our family to enjoy a delicious and authentic dinner with a casual and cozy atmosphere.
If you’re arriving earlier in the day and have more time to spend in the village, choose from these fun family activities: The Children’s Museum at Beaver Creek or the Beaver Creek Miniature Golf Course. And for a sweet afternoon treat, don’t miss homemade gelato or crepes at Rimini’s. Our boys particularly liked the soda-inspired flavors while I opted for decadent chocolate.
This was our day to explore Avon, a small town located down the hill from Beaver Creek. We were excited to spend our morning on a half day fly fishing excursion with Gore Creek Fly Fisherman. Our guides, Cooper and Max, met us in the lobby at Pines Lodge at 8 am, and we were off for what we hoped would be an epic experience.
Anticipation began to build as we stopped by the shop and got outfitted in our waders. Then we made a quick stop over at Loaded Joe’s for an on-the-run breakfast. The place was busy, and the French Toast looked amazing. “Next time,” we thought.
Our short drive to the Eagle River, just outside of Avon, took us less than 20 minutes. We walked along the pedestrian path like astronauts in our suits, but of course, no one looked at us twice as fly fishing is so commonplace in these parts. Max and Cooper gave us the safety talk first. That’s a good thing since tossing around lines with hooks with kids has its inherent dangers. We wanted to catch the fish in the river, not each other. We learned that fly fishing is a multiple step process. The art of the continuous casting, watching, and waiting was only part of it. Once the “indicator” sunk, then the real challenge began; hooking the fish and getting it out of the river.
We were fortunate to get many bites and even a few brown trout out of the river and into the net. Our family has done quite a bit of fishing over the years, but this was an all-new experience for us. Standing there in the Eagle River, with the sound of cascading water over boulders, watching an occasional ferret forage for food, we were in heaven. We all settled into the rhythmic casting and reeling back in. Max and Cooper were excellent guides, so helpful and personable. We also learned that the Eagle River was named for its many tributaries. It reminded the Utes, the Native Americans who named it, of the feathers on an eagle. Fly fishing isn’t just a summer activity but instead is available all year.
Also worth a visit in Avon is the Walking Mountains Science Center, a great place for families to get in touch with nature and gain a scientific understanding of the mountainous area. This ten-acre nature center offers plenty of space to explore. They provide many family-friendly activities such as opportunities to observe an active beaver den, a “think like a trout” class, and bedtime story walks.
If you plan to be in the Beaver Creek/Avon area on a Thursday night in the summer, don’t miss the Beaver Creek Rodeo. This was great fun for our family! From the bull-riding to the barrel racing to the calf roping, we were in awe the entire time we were there. In fact, we didn’t even take our seats but instead stood next to the arena for a front row view.
Without a doubt, the crowd favorite was the Mutton Bustin’, where mini cowboys and cowgirls attempt to stay on the back of a sheep for as long as they can. Trust me; it’s a real show stealer! Local restaurants set up food booths, along with cotton candy and salty pretzels stands so there’s plenty to eat for both adults and kids. Beaver Creek provides trolley rides to the rodeo through their “Dial-a-ride” service.
During our visit to the rodeo, the Wine & Spirits Festival was just getting underway with a variety of fine whiskeys. Taking place one weekend each August, participants can enjoy signature events that showcase Beaver Creek’s finest chefs and exquisite wines and spirits.
The kick off at the rodeo was just the beginning. Special events include mountaintop fitness classes, farm to table dinners, a guided gourmet hike and lunch, a 4×4 jeep excursion that includes port and cheese and much more. And if participating in some of these events sounds good to you, but you’re wondering about childcare for the littles, Beaver Creek has that covered too. Small World Play School, operated by Vail Resorts, provides a warm and caring environment for children of preschool age and younger.
For the bigger kids, Beaver Creek provides week-long day camps for children between the ages of 5 and 12. These fun-filled weeks include lots of kid-centered activities like alpine slides, river rafting, arts and crafts, horseback riding, kayaking and much more.
You can’t appreciate all Beaver Creek has to offer until you take a scenic gondola ride up the mountain. The Centennial Express Lift operates in the summer providing rides to hikers and mountain bikers to Spruce Saddle. The fully enclosed gondolas are perfect for families and an excellent way to explore the area further. Once on the mountain, choose from some family-friendly hikes including the Spruce Saddle Loop, the Royal Elk Trail or the Overlook Trail. Stop by the Adventure Center for detailed information on hiking and suggestions that will best suit the ability and interest of your family.
You’re sure to work up an appetite, so after your time on the mountain, stop in at the Osprey Fireside Grill for a meal. Our family loved the Charcuterie Board with local cheeses, and Colorado cured meats. Our teen declared the truffle mac and cheese to be the best he’d ever had. The menu offers an array of flatbreads, sandwiches, and entrees including game hen, trout, and elk.
If your family is looking for more adventure, check out the options provided through the Adventure Center like 4×4 mountain tours, disc golf, gem panning and ropes courses.
And just like that our three days in Beaver Creek had come to an end. It was time to check-out and head home. What we loved most about Beaver Creek was the relaxed mountain vibe with a touch of class and luxury. We love nature and time spent in the great outdoors, but we also love comfy hotel rooms and culinary delights. Beaver Creek was all this and more. From the moment we arrived, we got a real sense of a family-friendly environment that made us feel welcomed from the start.
We can’t wait to visit again!
Many thanks to Beaver Creek Resort for partnering with Top Flight Family. Author and her family received complimentary accommodations and meals. All opinions are her own.
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About Dianne Sivulka
Dianne Sivulka is a former teacher who became a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler. Today she and her husband are traveling near and far with their boys every chance they get. She writes about educational travel tips at ourEDventures. Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.
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