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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!

Meet Me in Meeker, Part Two: Staying & Dining in Meeker, Colorado

Last week, I shared with you part one of my two-part “Meet Me in Meeker” series. In last week’s post, I wrote about the surprisingly vibrant downtown we encountered. Click here to read it. This week, I want to introduce you to where we ate, drank and stayed in this fun little northwest Colorado town.

Meet Me in Meeker, Part Two Staying & Dining in Meeker, Colorado (10)

As a reminder, we were in town for the Jammin’ Lamb Festival, a culinary event that’s part of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials which I wrote about here. I’d been invited to town to be a judge for Jammin’ Lamb Festival.

After discovering all the neat stores in downtown Meeker, we drove the short distance to 8th Street to find our bed and breakfast. Festival organizers had booked us a room at the Bear Mountain Inn. Cheryl Houser welcomes guests into her home as if each one were a long-lost friend. Her husband Dale and son Toby are also very sociable and accommodating to guests. Continue reading

Two Restaurants in Grand Junction, Colorado that Foodies Can’t Miss

Let’s face it, many people who grew up on Colorado’s Front Range tend to think of Grand Junction as that far away cowtown town that’s practically in Utah. Of course, that reputation has slowly been changing thanks in part to the growing popularity of and interest in local food.

Eat All the Things in Grand Junction, Colorado. Farmers' Market. HeidiTown.com

Grand Junction Farmers’ Market

Colorado’s western slope is a place where local food has been a way of life long before it became trendy. It doesn’t hurt that food grows relatively easily here when compared to other parts of Colorado, so sourcing locally is a little less complicated for chefs.

On our trip earlier this summer, we had the delicious pleasure of dining at two of Grand Junction’s most foodie restaurants. These two eateries, 626 on Rood and Bin 707 Foodbar, have set the bar high for farm-to-table cuisine (and for cuisine in general). Continue reading

Dining in Colorado – New Favorites & Longtime Favorites

I wish I were a picky eater, because if I were pickier I’d probably be a bit slimmer, but I like food a lot. Thankfully, Colorado’s food scene is fantastic right now. No matter where we go, we find good, often farm fresh, food to eat. It’s a fabulous time to be a foodie in Colorado.

Dining in Colorado, Meat & Cheese in Aspen. HeidiTown.com

Photo courtesy of Meat & Cheese.

In my work as a freelance writer and Mayor of HeidiTown, I get the opportunity to dine out a lot. Here are a few standout restaurants from the last six months; some are brand new to me and others are old favorites we hadn’t visited in awhile. Continue reading

When Visiting Aspen, Colorado, Eat All the Things

No matter when you plan to visit Aspen, Colorado — winter, spring, summer or fall — plan to spend some time and money on dining. You won’t regret it.

Before we visited this winter, I had no idea Aspen was such a foodie town, and I’m not kidding when I suggest that you should go there and eat all the things. Seriously, forget about the diet and don’t cry over carbs, just eat everything and be happy.

When Visit Aspen, Colorado, Eat All the Things, photo courtesy of Meat & Cheese, HeidiTown.com

Photo courtesy of Meat & Cheese.

While nothing in Aspen is cheap, the bar is set high for good food in this resort town, and it’s nearly impossible to have a bad meal here.

When in Aspen, you must go to Meat & Cheese. The restaurant was opened in late 2014, by the founders of Avalanche Cheese Company, and these folks know their cheese and meats.

When Visiting Aspen, Colorado, Eat All the Things, Meat & Cheese courtesy photo. HeidiTown.com

Meat & Cheese, courtesy photo.

Of course, when at Meat & Cheese, a restaurant and farm shop, you must order the Meat & Cheese board, which serves two, and follow it up with one of the restaurant’s creative entrees such as coffee chocolate rubbed short ribs or the rotisserie chicken (the best I’ve ever had). Continue reading

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Denver Date Night

Ryan and I hadn’t been out in the big city since the fall, so when we read that the Colorado Symphony was playing Beethoven, we decided it was time for a Denver date night.

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Date Night in Denver, HeidiTown.com, © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

Colorado Symphony © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2009

We used to frequent the Colorado Symphony quite often. In fact, for several years we bought concert packages to the CSO, giving us an excuse for a Denver date night every month. The Colorado Symphony has all sorts of subscription packages available, making it easy to pick and choose the number of symphonies you want to attend and which shows.

We started our Denver date night at TAG Restaurant on Larimer Street, an eight minute walk from Boettcher Concert Hall. This restaurant has been on my radar for awhile now and this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

A Symphony of Food & Music on a Date Night in Denver, TAG Restaurant octopus

The food scene in downtown Denver has come a long way since we lived in the Mile High City in the early 2000s.

Chef Troy Guard, who opened TAG in 2009, is a big part of the city’s culinary expansion. He has opened a number of restaurants since, and there are still more in the works. Guard’s restaurants elevate food, while still making it approachable, and I think this is why he’s so well-loved by Denver foodies. Continue reading

Fort Collins for Christmas

Considering a holiday getaway this month? Fort Collins is an excellent Colorado Christmas town. Downtown sparkles with thousands of lights and from Old Town Square to Oak Street Plaza Park, the atmosphere is merry.

Fort Collins for Christmas

This past weekend, we did one-night getaway in Fort Collins to experience the city’s holiday offerings. Before exploring the festive scene we checked into the Fernweh Inn & Hostel on Mulberry, just blocks from the excitement of downtown Fort Collins.

Some people, including my husband, Ryan, have an aversion to any place with hostel in the name. The word makes him worried that he’s going to have to share a bathroom or wash dishes to earn his keep.

Fort Collins for Christmas, the Fernweh Inn & Hostel in the snow

Fernweh is a modern-day, American hostel which offers private rooms as well as bunk rooms. Our private room, “The Loft,” was a virtual suite because the space occupied the entire upstairs of this historic, Victorian home. There was a full bathroom in the room complete with large, soaking bathtub and multiple beds, making it perfect for a family or friends. Continue reading

A food tour in Delicious Downtown Colorado Springs

Last Saturday we went on the Delicious Downtown tour in Colorado Springs with Rocky Mountain Food Tours. My first piece of advice for anyone participating in this tour is to wear stretchy pants. Seriously, you will thank me.

Our tour started at The Antlers Hotel, a mid-modern goliath in downtown. We had a full tour of 14 hungry people. About half the group was from the Springs area and the other half from the Denver metro area.

Rocky Mountain Food Tours, Delicious Downtown tour. Bambino's Urban Pizza HeidiTown.com

Bambino’s Urban Pizza, Colorado Springs, Colorado

There’s some walking involved on the tour, but I was grateful for the time between stops to let a little bit of the food in my stomach digest. Plus, Colorado Springs is a sunny city, so it’s likely that you’ll be soaking up some Vitamin D while you walk.

Our tour started with a visit to the Caribbean and ended by going down the Rabbit Hole. True story.

I’m not going to give away all the wonderful experience you’ll have on this Colorado Springs food tour, but I will tell you some of my highlights. Continue reading

Win a pair of tickets to Wine Fest featuring over 500 wines!

It’s time for another great give away, and I know many of you will be very excited about this one because my citizens love beer and wine. Here is your chance to win a pair of tickets to one of the largest wine events in Colorado.

This is the 30th Anniversary of Wine Fest in Fort Collins, a wine tasting to benefit  Disabled Resource Services. DRS provides support for those living with disabilities in Larimer and Jackson counties. As one of the ten centers for independents in the state of Colorado, DRS provides resources to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum level of independence through advocacy, awareness and access to the community.

Wine Fest features 500 different wines paired with food from Fort Collins’ restaurants. The evening also includes prizes, music, entertainment and a silent auction that raised $12,000 last year. For those who prefer beer, that delicious beverage will be available as well.

This year’s Wine Fest is being held at the Hilton  located at 425 W. Prospect Road in Fort Collins, Colorado.  The event is scheduled for Friday, March 23 with general admission at 7 p.m.

Tickets to this amazing wine event are $75 each, but here’s your opportunity to win a pair of free tickets from Wine Fest and HeidiTown.com.  Just leave a comment here telling me your favorite wine country. Are you a fan of wines from Australia? France? Chile?  Leave a response and be entered to win.

A winner will be chosen at random this Friday evening, March  16th.

Check out Wine Fest online at WineFestFC.org and check out their tasting tips.

Bon Chance!

~ Contest Closed ~

The 6th Annual Taste of Loveland

Island Grill at the Taste of Loveland, Colorado

Island Grill's owners serve up their popular fish tacos at the 5th Annual Taste of Loveland. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer. All rights reserved.

My husband and I attended this event last year and ate ourselves silly – it was so much fun!

This event has not been well advertised. In fact, I’ve been watching their website for date information and it was only recently updated with the date of the event which is next Thursday, April 7, 2011.

The Taste of Loveland is held at Embassy Suites and  features multiple restaurants from around the area, as well as beer and wine vendors.  Once you’ve paid your entry fee of $35, you can simply wander around and eat and drink from any of the vendors. It’s delightfully indulgent and slightly gluttonous.

I wasn’t able to get in touch with anyone about the details of this year’s event, but I do know that one of my favorite breweries will be there, Grimm Brothers Brewhouse of Loveland.

For more information on this event, read my review from last year’s event here.

You can purchase tickets to the 6th Annual Taste of Loveland at Thompson Valley Liquors, House of Spirits, Rowe’s or at the Foothills Service League website.

 

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