The secret to visiting the Vail Valley in summer is to base yourself in blissfully uncrowded Beaver Creek. Fewer visitors mean you can enjoy deep discounts on lodging in a high-end hotel or condo. Add a perfectly planned village, lift-served mountain biking and an endless list of activities for everyone in the family, and you're guaranteed vacation success.
Kids love the weekly Beaver Creek Rodeo, which provides a taste of the Wild West. Hike Discovery Loop as a family, and then drop off the kids at the BC Kids' Camp for a day of archery or horseback riding. For adults, flyfishing on the Eagle River, teeing off on the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Beaver Creek Golf Course or hiking to Beaver Lake are all noble pursuits. So is attending a concert at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival at the Vilar Center for the Arts. The toughest decision of the day will be whether dinner is at Mirabelle, Splendido or Remingtons at the new Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch.
For a change of pace, it's off to nearby Vail for thrill-sledding at Adventure Ridge, followed by a guided hike booked through the Discovery Center. Once you've learned a bit about Vail's vast wilderness, play a set or two at the tennis courts at Golden Peak or Ford Park, enjoy Mozart at the Ford Amphitheater, and then sample antipasto at Campo di Fiori. Face it, a week in Vail Valley isn't enough.
•DON'T MISS A lunch ride with the Beaver Creek/Steve Jones Stable ($75 per person). 970-845-7770; beavercreek.com
•BEST DEAL Rooms at The Charter at Beaver Creek start at $135 per night in June and $150 the rest of the summer. 800-525-7280; charter.com