more about your Oliver Guide: Mimi Swank
TRIP Type: Family
IDEAL trip LENGTH: One week is the perfect length.
TO & FROM
- Fly into Denver, rent an SUV with optional ski rack, and drive 130 miles west on I-70. We often stop for a bite at Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs which is about an hour into the drive from the airport. It's a good way to break up the trip.
- You can also fly directly into Eagle and drive east 30 minutes to BC.
We stay at Creekside at Beaver Creek. They offer 2-4 bedroom units with full kitchens and great amenities such as ski-in/ski-out access to the mountain, a newly renovated locker room and ski storage area, a large covered outdoor hot tub, and a parking garage. While you can catch the free shuttle into the village, it is close enough to walk.
EAT & DRINK
- The Gashouse: Our first pit stop, 10 minutes west of BC in Edwards. Steve has been going there since the 80's, and it has a casual, rustic, mountain vibe. It is always packed and loud, so no worries if you have small children in tow. They offer game and surf & turf and have a great kids menu that features BBQ ribs and a 4 oz filet mignon. Don't miss the hot apple pie.
- An unforgettable experience is taking a 15 minute open air "sleigh ride" in a snowcat up Bachelor Gulch mountain to have dinner at Zach's Cabin. Once there, you store your shoes in cubbies and don slippers that they supply for dinner. There is a buffet for kids and an à la carte menu for adults.
- Coyote Cafe, the Beav's first bar and restaurant. I like to devour the "Coyote" nachos with carnitas and the chili con queso - no dieting allowed on vacation. They do have a kale and avocado salad if you insist.
- If you want to venture off campus for Mexican, drive 15 minutes east to Minturn and visit the legendary Minturn Saloon. It's very family friendly and super casual and offers a nice selection of local craft beers and a good range of tequila.
- Blue Moose Pizza in the village is a yummy family spot for a casual night with the kids. If you want delivery, we like Gondola Pizza in Avon (they have steamed broccoli!!), BUT delivery can take a long time, so order early.
- By the end of the week we need a break from elk medallions and are craving sushi, so we head back to Edwards and get our fill at Sato - great food in a hip atmosphere.
- Invest (literally) in a sitter one night; you won't be sorry. Our top spots sans kiddos in BC are Grouse Mountain Grill and Splendido. We had our wedding reception at GMG in 1999, so it has a special place in our hearts. Tony still plays jazz piano, and every meal is a feast for the senses. Splendido is always an incredible meal in one of the most elegant dining rooms ever.
- On a sunny day when the kids are at ski school, we ski over to Bachelor Gulch and have a long lunch outside at the Ritz Carlton. It usually involves rosé. When we are skiing Beaver Creek, Talons is our normal lunch destination. It's only accessed by more difficult slopes, so ski school instructors usually head elsewhere. It's a gorgeous location, and the tunes are usually cranking outside.
- It's hard to beat the Park Hyatt where you can sit inside or out and enjoy a beer or cocktail after a day on the slopes. In the 8100 bar don't miss the locally brewed Crank Yanker IPA and the spicy margarita. There is a huge fire pit and a s'mores "happy hour" for the kids from 4pm-5pm daily.
- Rimini in the village has a great selection of gelato and incredible crepes.
- Ski: BC offers one of the best ski schools in the country; my kids have loved it through the years and are now beginning to phase out and ski with us. It's a great family mountain and has a wonderful group of green runs at the top that my 8 year old daughter and I love (Booth Gardens, Red Buffalo & Piney) and plenty of groomed blues. Did I mention that everyday after ski school at 3pm warm chocolate chip cookies are served at the base of the mountain?
- Hyatt Allegria Spa - redesigned in 2006, you have access to the progressive pool soak with entry into the Spa.
- Ice Skate- There is a small rink in the village near the Vilar Center that my kids enjoy.
- Shop - While there are many shops to choose from in the village, our favorites are Christy Sports in Avon and Ptarmigan Sports in Edwards.
Book your restaurants in advance; the good places fill up quickly, especially around holiday weekends.
Beano's Cabin - People still love it, but it seems a little tired to me. I prefer Zach's (or Allie's if you know a member!)