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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
I’ve been a longtime champion of Greeley. Over the years, it has suffered from a reputation that’s perpetuated by people who haven’t visited the town in more than a decade or who have never visited at all. Considering this, I think their new tagline, “Greeley Unexpected”, is rather apropos.
Earlier this month, Ryan and I spent the day shopping in downtown Greeley and discovered that, in addition to a good variety of restaurants and fun bars, the town offers an interesting array of boutiques appealing to everyone from clock fanatics to gamers.
We started our outing at Aunt Helen’s Coffee House. The shop is filled with quotes from Aunt Helen, who at the ripe old age of 105, has a lot of snarky wisdom to pass along such as, “It’s important to recognize your lack of talent early in life.” Continue reading
Shopping along Pearl Street is a longtime Colorado tradition, even for people outside of the state. Case in point, when my mother visits from Oregon, she always requests that we spend an afternoon shopping on Pearl Street.
I shopped Pearl Street Mall last Wednesday with my friend Karen on what was probably the last 80-degree day of the year. If you aren’t familiar with Pearl Street, it’s a stretch of road in Boulder, Colorado, bordered by lots of locally owned shops, restaurants and bars. And no matter the day of the week, it’s always a hub of activity.
We parked at the garage on Walnut Street below the St Julien Hotel & Spa. The hotel, which is glorious by the way, smells amazing thanks to their spa, and because of its proximity to the St. Julien, the underground garage is the best smelling parking garage in the world. This city should use this in any future parking garage marketing campaigns. Continue reading
Fort Collins is best known for craft beer, bikes and Horsetooth Reservoir, but downtown boasts a healthy variety of retail stores and whether you’re shopping for the holidays or for yourself, there’s a store here to fit every need (or want).
This past week I went on a little shopping outing in downtown Fort Collins with my friend Karen, and our first stop was at a store that’s been a longtime tradition in downtown Fort Collins. The Cupboard just celebrated its 45th anniversary this summer, and while this milestone is fantastic, what makes this store even more special is that it’s been in the same family for all that time. Continue reading
As some of you know, I grew up in a small town in the Pacific Northwest and I have a real affinity for communities where the cows — or in Meeker’s case, the sheep — outnumber the people.
Meeker is located about one hour and 40 minutes north of Grand Junction and three hours and 45 minutes northwest of Denver. When they asked me to be a judge for this year’s Jammin’ Lamb Festival, I answered a resounding “yes” because I’d been looking for an excuse to visit the town ever since we stayed in Rangely, Meeker’s neighbor, and one of the friendliest Colorado towns that I’ve ever encountered.
Jammin’ Lamb Fest, a culinary competition, is part of the Meeker Classic Sheepdog Trials, which I previously wrote about here.
We pulled into town in early September and despite summer drawing to a close the town’s proximity to the White River had kept it green. The area surrounding the town of approximately 2,300 is really quite lovely. Continue reading
I like to keep things real here on HeidiTown and so I will start this blog post by telling you a personal story about Longmont. When Ryan and I decided to move out of Denver in the early 2000s, we looked into Longmont and decided it was a big nope. There just wasn’t much going on in the town.
Fast forward to today and I think we may have made the wrong decision.
Longmont has blossomed into a beautiful and vibrant community. Downtown’s renovated sidewalks and artful alleyways make it a welcoming place. There’s always a festival or live music happening somewhere in town, and places like the Prospect neighborhood are cute little escapes with their own special vibe. There’s also a plethora of breweries, a cidery and several distilleries.
What comes to mind when you think of Cheyenne, Wyoming? Cowboy hats and big trucks? Trains? Those are all accurate descriptions of Cheyenne. It’s a historic train town with a lot of cowboys, cowgirls and big trucks. Today, however, Cheyenne is so much more.
We spent a weekend in Cheyenne earlier this month. We were there to attend the Celtic Festival and Rock the Block, as well as explore a town that we’d only ever passed through.
I’m going to write several posts about this trip, including some of the fun touristy things you can do here like the trolley tour, botanic garden and museums, but in this post, I want to concentrate on some of the surprising things we discovered in Cheyenne.
First of all, did you know that there are three breweries in Cheyenne, Wyoming? True story.
We visited two of the three, stopping first at Accomplice Beer Company where guests pour their own beer. Yes, you read that right. Accomplice has self-pour taps, and they have a lot of them. After a brief explanation of how it works from the bartender, we were off. They use an electronic card system to track how much you pour, so you can’t drink here all day long.
We also got lunch at this brewpub, sliders for Ryan and chicken tenders for me. The tenders were some of the best I’ve had, although the ranch dressing could be a bit thicker. While it’s a bit gimmicky, Accomplice is centrally located in the famous depot building and a must-visit when in Cheyenne.
Freedom’s Edge Brewing Co. is just a couple blocks from Cheyenne’s downtown plaza. They have a traditional taproom with a nice contemporary feel and really good beer. We’ll definitely be back to Freedom’s Edge on our next visit to Cheyenne.
We didn’t make it to Danielmark’s Brewing Co. on E. 18th Street, but this is Cheyenne’s newest brewery and is located in a renovated historic home. They have an outdoor patio and feature food trucks.
And speaking of food trucks, there’s a delightful pizza place in Cheyenne that got its start as a food truck. Bella Fuoco Wood Fire Pizza gets top marks from both Ryan and I, and we recommend the jalapeno popper and the NY Blue. Just thinking about these pizzas makes my mouth water.
Everyone knows about the Wrangler (Boot Barn) in Cheyenne, and I did purchase a hat there while I was in town, but we found a real gem of a shop next to Freedom’s Edge Brewery.
Mid Mod Etc. is a terrific store that’s worth the drive if you love mid modern clothing, furniture, decor and even cars. You can track their inventory by following their Facebook page. And here’s the best part, their prices beat anything you’ll find at the mid-modern stores in Denver.
Ryan was excited to discover two stores selling vinyl in Cheyenne. There’s Ernie November and Phoenix Books & Music.
In addition, Ryan was overjoyed to discover that Cheyenne has an arcade bar. Located in downtown, Flippers Family Arcade is good for families, but also fun for adults because not only do they have a large selection of arcade games and pinball, they have a bar serving beer and wine. It’s a great place to kill an hour or two.
So there you have it — did you know Cheyenne was so hip and happening? I didn’t. Keep an eye on HeidiTown.com for more posts about where we stayed and what we did in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Thank you to Visit Cheyenne for hosting us on this trip.
If you’re in the market for a pair of shoes that cost more than my first car, Aspen is certainly the place to go. However, I was surprised to find a number of shops selling affordable items in this high-end town.
We visited Aspen in January during Wintersköl, their annual winter festival that features snow sculpting, a canine fashion show, on slope fun and more.
While in Aspen, I discovered that if you poke around, you can find some fun little shops scattered amongst the big fancy names we’re all familiar with from New York Fashion Week.
Here are some of my favorite Aspen shopping finds. I’d love to learn about your favorite Aspen stores in the comment section.
Do you think the old-fashion bookstore is a thing of the past? It’s alive and well in Aspen at Explore Booksellers. This the kind of place that welcomes the reader and encourages them to stay awhile. Continue reading
There’s big news in Ouray. The 80-year-old hot springs pool is getting a major facelift and this is incredibly exciting. Unfortunately, this means the pool is closed this winter and it’s a big draw to Ouray at any time of year.
However, the pool closure is no reason to postpone or cancel a trip to Ouray. No way! Not only are there other places to soak, there is so much to do and see in this charming mountain village. Here are just a few suggestions from someone who has been to Ouray multiple times during the winter months – me.
Ouray Ice Park
Even if you don’t ice climb, the Ouray Ice Park is worth visiting. It’s surreal in its beauty and if you happen to be lucky enough to watch someone climbing there, it’s impressive.
It’s easy to give ice climbing a try in Ouray, especially during several winter events. The Ouray Ice Festival, which occurs January 19-22, is an excellent way to become acquainted with the sport. This festival isn’t just for experts. There are presentations and clinics for every level, live music and more. It’s a party with ice climbing as the highlight. Continue reading
I’ll be the first to admit that I love online shopping. I’m also going to admit that when I visited Ouray this past weekend for Wine, Chocolate & Cheese Festival, I had no intention of Christmas shopping while in town except to maybe find something for my nieces at Ouray’s excellent toy store.
The new owners have taken a keen interest in getting to know the products they sell, and Tina helped us pick out the perfect gifts for our pre-teen and post-toddler nieces. We also picked up a new card game that’s been a hit in Ouray. It’s called Happy Salmon and is chaos your family will love. Continue reading