Colorado Vacations 
Family Travel Colorado 
Your Guide to Visiting Colorado with the Kids
A Family Vacation at Beaver Creek Village

 
Beaver Creek Village
was made for families on vacation in Colorado.

It offers a full range of activities, tempting restaurants, great shopping, plus a picturesque village to explore.

 




Beaver Creek Ski Resort is home to the Golden Eagle ski run.

Kids who ski this alpine World Cup race way earn their bragging rights.  

 














Winter Lodging Options for your Colorado  Ski Trip with the Kids

From rustic cabins to five star resorts, Colorado offers families a variety of choices for tucking the children in.

See our article about the
Best Hotels for a Colorado Christmas Vacation with the Kids.

Photo: The Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs creates a fairyland of twinkle lights for the winter holidays.




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Beaver Creek Village Shopping Spot


Generation BC, right on the plaza in Beaver Creek Village, offers families colorful children’s clothing (mostly for the outdoors), great accessories, and fun and unusual toys to bring home as vacation souvenirs.



 





















At the Westin Riverfront Resort at Beaver Creek Mountain, the lobby wears an understated and elegant look during the day.



By night it fills with guests - families who come downstairs to socialize and relax.

In short, for a luxury family ski lodge experience, the Westin Riverfront strikes the perfect tone. 

Read our review:
Kids at the Westin Riverfront Resort at Beaver Creek Mountain in Colorado





Colorado Hotels have come a long way.



Canvas tents and drafty log buildings have been
replaced by
elegant inns
and plush accommodations.


Photo: Colorado hotels like The Little Nell in Aspen, offer vacationing families posh quarters close to blue-ribbon outdoor recreation.

 

Read our
articles about
Colorado's Luxurious Lodges.












Family Ski Resorts
in Colorado


What is the difference between a ski area and a ski resort?

How do you know what kind of a ski resort is best for your family?




How expensive are Colorado's ski resorts?

Find out in our article on Colorado's Family Ski Resorts.











 
Did You Know?

Denver International Airport
has special baggage carousels to accommodate skis.





Photo: Beaver Creek Village is full of European charm. 

I think the founders of Beaver Creek Ski Resort got a little bit confused when they planned Beaver Creek Village. The architecture of the buildings is very reminiscent of European mountain towns, and Beaver Creek does have that cozy feel of the Alps when you walk its streets. 

But then you come across a place name like “Buckaroo Express”, or “Ski Storage Corral”. It kind of pulls you up short. 


Photo: The Buckaroo Express Gondola at Beaver Creek
is especially kid-friendly. It even has its own playground.

Here you are strolling down a pedestrian walkway, surrounded by buildings six and seven stories tall, with peaked roofs, little towers, balconies, and flags hanging everywhere. Cute boutiques line the street level and people walk about in ski boots and parkas. 

Just when you are really in the mood to eat some strudel, you catch sight of a cowboy, larger than life, leaning on a mailbox in the middle of the plaza. He’s made out of bronze, and his trusty, if a bit scruffy, border collie gazes up at him lovingly. Huh?


Photo: A bronze cowboy relaxes with his dog
on the plaza in Beaver Creek Village. 

Where on Earth

Beaver Creek, Colorado lies on the Western Slope of the Colorado Rockies. By line of sight, Beaver Creek sits about 85 miles west of Denver. Yet it takes about two and a half hours to drive from Denver (depending on traffic and weather) on I-70 all the way. You pass Vail, Colorado about 10 miles east of the exits for Beaver Creek. The resort village lies south of the freeway about three miles up a curving valley. 

The Lay of the Land

Several chains of mountains run through Colorado, making up Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Right in the middle of all these is a particularly long, particularly tall band of peaks, known as the Sawatch Mountain Range. 


The tallest peaks in the Rocky Mountains rise in the Sawatch, but the range ebbs to an end where the Eagle River cuts around the range’s northern flank. 


A small stream starts as snowmelt in the Sawatch high country and flows northwards towards the Eagle River. The valley it carves is 2000 feet deep in some spots. The village lies at a wide spot in the heart of this valley.  Here, on the rolling north slope of the Sawatch Range, the  founders of Vail designed and built a recreational playland - Beaver Creek Ski Resort. 


Beaver Creek Village’s mountain valley is forested, surrounded by rolling hills. To approach it, follow the meandering stream (Beaver Creek) up the valley and climb past snowy meadows. As you draw near the village, ski runs appear on the hills above. They rise in layers and pitches that braid through the woods and give witness to the variety and extent of the terrain that awaits. 

Peaked roofs and rock walls materialize amidst the stands of aspen and evergreen trees. Clusters of buildings with a distinct European flavor herald your arrival. 

The centerpiece of Beaver Creek Village is a grand stairway that sweeps into the heart of the hamlet. In the summer, it embraces a waterfall-fountain, and in the winter ice sculptures and twinkly trees festoon the terraces. Beautiful bronze sculptures of children accent the stairway. At its base is the main street of Beaver Creek Village, a pedestrian-only plaza, that bustles with skiers, snow boarders, shoppers, and families on vacation. 


Photo: Ice sculptures on the grand staircase
make a great vacation photo opportunity. 

Stand on the broad stairway for very long, and the charm of this mountain village entrances you. Beaver Creek is a very pretty place.

Elevation and Climate

Beaver Creek Village sits at about 8,100 feet above sea level, in a subalpine meadowland and forest. During the summer, days warm into the mid-70s , and generally cool to about 40° Fahrenheit on summer nights. Winter highs average about 28°, chilling to 15° Fahrenheit at night. The village and ski slopes receive an average of 325 inches of snow each winter, most of it falling in February, March, and April. 

Built On a Hillside

Beaver Creek Village rises about four hundred feet in elevation from bottom to top. To make it easier for visitors to travel from one level to another, broad staircases rise between the buildings. In some parts, outdoor escalators make a steep ascent or descent easier, especially for those wearing ski boots. As you make your way around the burg, you are constantly reminded that the place was built on a hillside. These are the Rocky Mountains, after all. 


Photo: Escalators help skiers
get around Beaver Creek Village.
 

Chuck for the Little Buckaroos

All that going up and down hill can make a kid hungry, and parents looking for a good place to feed the children don’t have to look far. Several restaurants, from informal to fancy, dot the village.  

We find our way upstairs from the plaza to the Dusty Boot Steakhouse and Saloon. A pressed tin ceiling, metal stars, cow skulls on the walls, and tables made from thick pine-wood slabs give the place the relaxed feeling of being down on the ranch. Our super-friendly waitress brings a kids’ menu placemat with a cute cowboy scene to color. My son is especially impressed that they brought sharp, unbroken crayons to work with. Oh, how those little details can make an impression on a young mind!


He doesn’t have much time to finish his coloring, however, because the food comes promptly - even though every table in the place is full. Our ranch style meals are plentiful, plenty tasty, and offer good choices for the health nuts in the bunch. Even the kids’ menu has fruit and veggie options to go with the young-wrangler rations. For adults, the homemade green chili with pork is outstanding.

Skate Away

After dinner we head back outside and stroll past Bavarian-looking hotels and enticing shop windows.  We find the village’s focal point at the bottom of its grand, sweeping staircase. Here, families glide around the Black Family Ice Rink, an open-air skating facility surrounded by fire pits and comfortable furniture. The scraping and clacking of the ice skates, the squeals and laughter give the scene a story book quality. 


Photo: A family skating rink in the heart of Beaver Creek Village just adds to the charm of the place, plus it's a lot of fun for the kids. 

Spice

On the way back to our hotel, we pass the bronze cowboy, and I am tempted to nod a friendly but reticent Colorado “howdy” to him. That’s when I begin to understand what the resort planners were getting at. 


Beaver Creek Village does have a delightful European feel, but it is spiced with bits of western hospitality. Unexpected, yes, but in the end, a delicious combination.

 

 




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