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Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado

Vail has grown on me over the years and I enjoy it now more than ever, so without further ado, here are five reasons to love Vail, Colorado.

1. It’s a BIG Mountain

You may stand in lift lines at the base of Vail ski area but once you are on the mountain it’s easy to get away from the crowds. The size of Vail ski area is what makes it tops with my husband, a lifelong Colorado skier. He loves getting into the back bowls where he’s far away from any slope traffic. Here’s a great Insider Guide to Vail Back Bowls on Snow.com.

Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado_Vail_BackBowls__Photo by Jack_Affleck

Vail Back Bowls, Photo by Jack Affleck (Vail Resorts)

The only problem with the sheer amount of acreage here is that you might be late to lunch with your wife because you underestimated how long it was going to take to ski back to Vail Village — so plan accordingly!

2. Truffle Fries

While my husband’s a lifelong fan of skiing, I’m a lifelong fan of truffle fries. There’s nothing better in this world than when they are done right and the truffle fries at Expert Burger in Vail’s Lionshead neighborhood are to die for. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.

Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado, Truffle fries from Expert Burger. HeidiTown.com

Take it from me, they make the perfect afternoon snack on your condo patio paired with a nice wine or a local craft beer.

3. It’s Adorable

Let’s face it, Vail Village is just plain adorable. I recently took my mom to Vail Village and her squeals of delight over the European Alps-like architecture reminded me of my first visit to the town.

Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado Vail Village

In the summer, Vail explodes with flowers of every kind and color. In the winter, snow embraces the village in a wintry hug that’s as photogenic as any alpine village in Europe, and that’s not a coincidence. Many of the town’s buildings were purposely modeled after European architecture such as the iconic Hotel Gasthof Gramshammer, home of Pepi’s Bar & Restaurant and the Sonnenalp, to name just a few.

4. Vail Brewing Company

For years I’ve been visiting Vail Brewing Company’s tent at beer festivals because I can always count on them to be pouring something delicious, but I hadn’t actually been to their brewery until earlier this year.

Technically, their brewery is a stone’s throw away from Vail in Avon, but Vail Brewing Company does have a tasting room in Vail Village.

We visited the brewery in Avon on a snowy afternoon and were delighted to discover that we like the brewery space as much as the beer. It’s a local waterhole that features the Rocky Mountain Tacos food truck, live music and more.

5. Shopping

Despite the rash of shopping posts recently on HeidiTown, I’m not a big shopper or big spender. However, I love interesting jewelry and while I don’t wear much, the jewelry I do wear usually has a story.

Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado. Shopping in Vail Village. HeidiTown.com

On the Vail shopping outing with my mom, I bought a ring that’s become part of my daily worn accessories. The cool story behind the ring is that Mary Jane’s Vail also has a store in Hawaii and one of their featured jewelry artists there makes a gorgeous silver and gold wave ring for that store. The owners of Mary Jane’s decided that the wave pattern could be tweaked into a great mountain motif and now the artist makes wave rings for Hawaii and mountain rings for Vail.

A LITTLE EXTRA – GETTING AROUND VAIL

If you aren’t familiar with the layout of the town, Vail Village is the old part that photographs well because it looks like a European ski hamlet. West Vail is home to the Lionshead area, and while it’s quieter than Vail Village it has a neighborhood feel that I really enjoy. We frequently stay in Lionshead.

Five Reasons to Love Vail, Colorado. Lionshead area. HeidiTown.com

Springtime in Lionshead at Vail Spa Condominiums.

A free bus connects all of Vail and the buses run frequently, so there’s never a problem getting around without a car.

Read more about Vail on HeidiTown.com, Things to do in Vail, Colorado When You’re Not Skiing.

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So there you have it, there are so many reasons to love Vail.

Feel free to leave a comment telling me why you love Vail!

Whisky, Lights, Pinball – a Holiday Outing in Lyons, Colorado

Lyons, Colorado is one of our longtime haunts; after all, we’ve been visiting for more than a decade. It’s home to one of Ryan’s favorite destination, Lyons Classic Pinball, and anytime we’re in town some pinball must be played.

Whiskey, Lights, Pinball, Spirit Hound Distillers. HeidiTown.com

Last Friday, we had a new destination in Lyons – Spirit Hound Distillers. They’d invited me for a tour and we’d gladly accepted. Spirit Hound has been open for four years, and I’m embarrassed to say that this was my first visit.

The distillery has obviously been embraced by locals as the place was packed on a Saturday evening.

We weren’t just here for a tour, but to taste some spirits, including their holiday drinks made with their recently released barrel aged rum. Ryan had a warm chocolatey rum drink while I had my first-ever hot buttered rum – I highly approve. Continue reading

Win passes to Colorado Brewers’ Festival in Fort Collins, Colorado

Northern Colorado is known as the Napa Valley of Beer for a very good reason – people here LOVE beer, and everyone fancies themselves a beer snob, and whether they enjoy stouts, IPAs, wheats or reds, it’s gotta be Colorado-brewed.

Today, you’d be hard pressed to throw a rock and not hit a brewery in Northern Colorado. More than a dozen new breweries popped up in just the last year, with several more in the works.

Northern Coloradoans live in Beer Heaven, so it makes sense that they should have one of the longest running beer festivals in the state in their backyard every summer. The 23rd Annual Colorado Brewers’ Festival, referred to by locals as Brewfest, is June 23 and 24, at Civic Center Park in Fort Collins, Colorado.

This year, patrons will have the opportunity to taste 70 beers from 40 Colorado breweries. There’s also a full lineup of music scheduled including a special Brewfest reunion show from  12 Cents for Marvin.  There will also be a Beer Experience Tent – I believe this is new – with beer talks and demonstrations.

This year I’m giving away two pairs of passes to this fun, fun, fun event. That means that two of you will be winners – of course, all of you are winners in my heart.  The pass gets you into the fest and includes 10 free tasting tokens.  This year, tokens are good for the purchase of beer, soda and food.

Just leave me a comment letting me know your favorite taproom in Colorado. This is a difficult questions because there is a wide variety of taprooms across the state. I enjoyed the taproom at the Dolores River Brewery  in Dolores, Colorado, and I love the ambiance of Equinox Brewing in Fort Collins.

Leave me a comment and you’ll be entered to win. I will choose a two winners by using Random.org next Wednesday, June 13 at 3 p.m.

Tickets to Colorado Brewers’ Festival are $20 online and $25 at the gate. For the full band line up and more details about the fest go to DowntownFortCollins.com.

Note: You must be 21 or older to enter this contest. IDs will be checked at the festival gate.

~ CONTEST CLOSED ~

What’s happening in Colorado this weekend,June 1-3, 2012, & beyond (HeidiTown on the Radio)

It’s the first weekend in June and the following is the transcript from my radio show on KRFC 88.9 FM.  Find out what’s happening around Colorado this weekend, plus a look ahead at the busy month of June.

If you’d rather listen to the show CLICK HERE.

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Colorado

Proud to be writing about Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Hi, my name is Heidi and I’m the Mayor of HeidiTown.com, a blog about festivals, events and destinations around Colorado.

In just a couple weeks I’m heading up to TBEX, the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers. This year the event is being held right here in Keystone, Colorado and writers from around Sydney, Australia to Paris, France are attending. I’m excited to be representing Colorado at this event. Tourism is one of the most important industries in our state, and I’m proud to have carved out my little niche in this dynamic industry.

Now… on to the show.

Here’s the lineup for June 1 through June 3, 2012.

It’s First Friday Art Walk across the state this weekend, and I recommend using this as an excuse for a date night!

This Saturday, here in Fort Collins check out Global Village Museum’s World Rhythms in Old Town Square. Seven bands will perform live World Music from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.. Dance to the beat of African drums, swing your hips to some Latin tunes and tap your toes to Celtic jams. Enjoy craft beer, international vendors booth, and new this year, the Rio Patio featuring margs and salsa. For more information on this events and other fun happenings in Fort Collins go to DowntownFortCollins.com.

Berthoud Day Parade, Berthoud, Colorado

The Berthoud Day Parade attracts thousands of spectators. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Also on Saturday it’s the 58th Annual Berthoud Day in Berthoud, Colorado. I am excited to announce to the KRFC listeners that I will be emceeing this event. The day starts with a huge parade at 11 am that winds through this charming small town, followed by a big celebration in Berthoud Park with several stages, a pizza eating contest, a beer garden and lots more. Bring the entire family out to enjoy Berthoud Day. Go to BerthoudColorado.com to keep tabs on this event and this town.

Looking for a foot-stomping good time? Look no further than the third annual Rocky Mountain Old-Time Music Festival. The event will be held at Parrish Ranch just west of Berthoud, Colorado on June 1 through 3rd, and the ranch will be alive with the sounds of fiddle, banjo, guitar, washboards and more. If you love old-time music you won’t to miss this musical event. For info go to the Central Rockies Old-Time Music Association website at TheCROMA.org, that’s TheCROMA.org.

Lots of stuff is happening in Denver this weekend, here are the highlights… the long awaited Toyota Elephant Passage is opening at the Denver Zoo. The 41st People’s Fair is taking place in Civic Center Park. This is a laid back event where I enjoy listening to the many different bands, doing a little shopping, a little drinking and a little people watching.

While in Denver, check out the Chalk Art Festival in Larimer Square. I have not yet had the opportunity to experience this event, but I’ve been told it’s really amazing. You can check out some of the past chalk paintings at DenverChalkArt.com or follow them on Facebook.

I want to mention that Film on the Rocks starts Monday, June 4 at Red Rocks. If you’ve never been to this event, it’s a good time. This year’s movie lineup includes one of my personal favorites, Office Space, and other films such as Bridesmaids and Wayne’s World. For everything happening at this iconic Colorado venue this summer go to RedRocksOnline.com.

1940s WWII ball

Party goers check out a WWII era plane at the 1940s Ball in Boulder, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Lots of other stuff is going on this weekend, but I’m going to take this opportunity to look ahead at some June events that should be on your calendar, including one of my favorite events of the entire year, the 1940s WWII Era Ball. This year’s ball takes place on June 16 at the Boulder Airport. Watch for a write up about this one-of-a-kind event on HeidiTown.com on June 1st.

Also, I hope you’ve already marked June 23 and 24th on your calendar. It’s the 23rd Annual Colorado Brewers’ Festival in Fort Collins at Civic Center Park. This is one of the most highly anticipated beer events in the State, and for good reason. More than 40 Colorado breweries will be represented this year, and there is also a reunion show scheduled for 12 Cents for Marvin. More at DowntownFortCollins.com.

I’m running out of time, so I have to wrap up, but for more be sure to visit the blog at HeidiTown.com and join the town’s block party on Facebook at Facebook.com/HeidiTown.comonFB.

You can also follow me on Twitter @HeidiTown where I tweet tons of event and festival info or circle the town on Google Plus.

Thanks for listening! I hope to see you at a festival this weekend!  Happy 1st weekend of June!

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