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Colorado

Glass of Wine (Credit, Vail Resorts)

By Bronwyn Long, Examiner.com

Planning a day trip to Vail? Here are five great places for a glass of wine in Vail. Stopping at more than one of them offers the chance for a nice walking tour of Vail Village, which is in full bloom this time of year.

La Tour Restaurant & Bar, 122 East Meadow Drive, has been a top-rated restaurant in Vail for many years. One reason is its exceptional wine list, which includes some of the rarest and most sought-after Burgundy wines in the world, as well as bottles from the great champagne houses. Two of the notables on the list are a 2001 Romanée-Conti Domaine de la Romanée-Conti — only 600 cases produced from what has been regarded as the single-greatest site for Pinot Noir, and a 1959 Clos du Vougeot Grand Cru-Remoissenet. For the casual wine-drinker, they offer more than 23 wines by the glass, nine half-bottles, and more than 550 wines by the bottle. La Tour’s Collectors’ List, which contains top-rated wines, has been discounted for the summer. La Tour is located across from the westernmost entrance to the Vail parking structure.

Restaurant Kelly Liken, 12 Vail Road, a relative newcomer to Vail’s dining scene, is an energetic destination for wine and food. They maintain a focused cellar of American and French wines. Ongoing staff education assures assistance with navigating the list of 250 grower champagnes and other wines by the bottle, and more than 50 wines by the carafe, full, and half-glass. They pour five custom wine flights daily, including one of Colorado wines. Canyon Wind Cellars, Infinite Monkey Theorem, and Jack Rabbit Hill wines are among the Colorado wines available currently by the glass. Colorado ingredients are used in the cocktails seasonal cuisine. Summer Harvest Dinners, available on Sundays during the summer season, use items from that day’s farmers’ market.

La Bottega, 100 East Meadow Drive, offers 30 wines by the glass, 15 by the half-bottles, and 400 by the bottle. Seating choices include large and small bistro tables, bar stools, low tables with benches and chairs, and a large patio that runs the length of the restaurant along Meadow Drive. It is a relaxed and rustic environment, reminiscent of an old farm house in Europe, with its white stucco and exposed brick trim and fieldstone fireplaces and pillars.

Sweet Basil, 193 Gore Creek Drive, a longtime favorite among locals and visitors alike, pours 10-15 wines by the glass, 50 by the half-bottle, and more than 550 by the bottle. Located centrally in Vail Village, their selection of champagne and sparkling wine is unusually diverse, offering bubble-lovers the choice of new world sparkling wine, and vintage, non-vintage, and rosé champagnes by the full and half-bottles. After pouring wines by the glass, the bartender offered a sample of the Hendricks Haze, a tasty gin martini made with fresh cucumber, fresh lime, and coriander syrup. A nice alternative to a summer rose or white patio wine.

Terra Bistro, 352 East Meadow Drive, is located at the corner of Vail Valley Drive and East Meadow Drive, across from the easternmost entrance to the Vail parking structure. Terra Bistro is on the main level of the Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa. Happy Hour is from 5:00-6:00pm daily. During Happy Hour they offer six wines by the glass and nine appetizers. The bar is open until 9:30pm, offering 15 wines by the glass, 19 by the half-bottle, and 300 by the bottle, and innovative appetizers, including sprouted quinoa lettuce cups and an inside-out spicy tuna roll with watermelon.

Honorable mention goes to Up the Creek Bar and Grill, 223 Gore Creek Drive. Its waterside dining at the edge of Gore Creek lures diners to the restaurant, while seasonal wine specials and such menu items as truffle fries and gnocchi with duck confit, pine nuts, chives, bleu cheese, and lavender-honey cream keeps them there, sampling the extensive wine list.

Sláinte!


By Claudia Carbone, Examiner.com

Beano’s Cabin is an exotic on-mountain destination restaurant at Beaver Creek, Colorado. If you’ve been there, you know what a special place it is.

Have you ever wondered how the restaurant got its name?

It was named after Frank Bienkowski. This now famous man didn’t win an Olympic medal. There are no inventions or discoveries credited to his name. He simply was a guy who staked out a homestead in a remote meadow that 61 years later would become part of Beaver Creek Resort.

Bienkowski came to the valley in 1919. The locals welcomed him but had trouble pronouncing his Polish name. So they nicknamed him “Beano.” And it stuck.

Beano built a modest log cabin deep the mountain high above Avon, a pioneering settlement along the confluence of the Eagle River and Beaver Creek in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. He farmed his land and worked in the mines, an occupation that eventually claimed his life. Beano died young from miner’s lung back in the Midwest after selling his Colorado property in 1931 to another rancher.

Beano’s original cabin with remnants of benches, a stove and bed frame rests today under the arms of a huge evergreen tree in the meadow near the bottom of Larkspur bowl at the ski area. An inscription tacked onto the old logs reads: This homestead cabin was built in 1919 by Frank Bienkowski, known to his neighbors as “Beano” who had come west from Chicago to do some mining and farming. He raised hay and lettuce, traveling to the store at Avon by wagon, sleigh or snowshoe – a quaint, kindly man who could spin good yarns.

Not far from the old homestead stands the magnificent new Beano’s Cabin – hardly a “cabin.” Its lodge pole pine frame was built in Montana in 1985, and after the logs “settled,” was disassembled and brought to Beaver Creek a year later. It is a superbly crafted post-and-beam construction with a massive stone fireplace separating the lounge and dining room. Sunlight streams through French-pane floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating its rustic elegant decor.

Inside, gourmet five-course dinners are graciously served in Beaver Creek’s distinctive style.

During winter ski season, the only way to reach Beano’s is on a sleigh pulled by a snow cat. The experience of riding through the snow-covered forest under the brilliant stars is a magical one you won’t forget!

In summer (from June 1 though late September), you can arrive for dinner by horseback, on a tractor-pulled wagon or via a short shuttle ride from the village. Reservations are a must both seasons. Book early for this popular venue. Click here to reserve your space.

It’s nice to know that Beaver Creek Resort has honored this simple man by not tearing down his home and by lending his name to one of their signature restaurants.

And Beano’s spirit? Well, there’s this little porcupine who lives under the old cabin. . .


Summer fun in Breckenridge (Credit, Stacy Sanchez)

By Stacy Sanchez, Examiner.com

Wondering when the best summer events are in Breck?  Well, here’s a link to a post that I was asked to write for the ski area’s blog, which is new this year. Click this link to see the full list: http://blog.breckenridge.com/2013/04/30/top-10-summer-events-in-breck/

I included some of the classics like 4th of July and Labor Day, but Kingdom Days are a lot of fun. There are some tasty libations that are the center of attention a few times as well.


Credit: Dan Bayer

By Julian Gothard, Examiner.com

The attractive alpine town of Breckenridge was founded by General George E. Spencer and populated by pioneers and prospectors during the 1859 Pike’s Peak gold rush in the Blue River Valley. The town has grown from a small 320-acre mining base camp, consisting of a handful of stores, notorious saloons like the “Gold Pan,” seedy brothels and hotels; to the current 5.3-square mile, modern resort town. Today, it is an immensely popular destination for hikers, cyclists, golfers and fishermen; as well as being one of the premier ski resorts in the Unites States.

Breck, A Ski Town 

Skiing came to Breckenridge in the early 1960s and the resort presently attracts in excess of 1.6 million skiers and snowboarders every season. It incorporates four ski areas and a number of terrain parks on Peaks 7 through 10. Peak 8, at a height of 12,998 feet, boasts the ski slope at the highest elevation, though in actuality Peaks 9 and 10 are higher. Most of the two diamond “expert” pistes can be found on Peaks 7 and 8. Snowfall in Breckenridge averages 168 inches per year – though there was a record high of 404 inches in 1893. The resort is at its coldest in January and warmest in July. Sleigh rides, Snow Cat tours, dog sledding and snow shoe walking round-off the winter entertainment.

Summertime Fun

The town is also a fashionable summer destination for hikers and mountain bikers as both activities enable visitors to take-in the breathtaking scenery and stunning mountain vistas. There are a number of paved and dirt mountain bike trails, of varying distances, in and around Breckenridge. Peaks 8 and 9 offer a number of testing bike trails including the Game Trail, Pioneer Trail, Frosty’s Challenge and the Wagon Trail. The popularity of cycling in the area has spawned events like the “Breckenridge 100,” an epic backcountry challenge that has been held annually since 2005. In addition, Summit County provides an abundance of easy to strenuous hikes including treks at Loveland Pass (3.0 miles round-trip), Mohawk Lake (7.0 miles round-trip) and McCullough Gulch (2.8 miles round-trip).

The “Summer Trails” trailheads all originate from within Breckenridge and nearly all trails, with the exception of Cucumber Gulch, are dog friendly. The scenic Lily Pad Lakes Trail (3.0 miles round-trip) with its moderate grades is an especially good hike for our four-legged friends. This trail, like many trails in the area, is at approximately 10,000 feet, so unless you are acclimated to the elevation, walking may prove very taxing. Closer to town you can take the dog friendly three mile Morning Thunder loop trail or, four blocks from Main Street, you can visit Carter Park Dog Park.

Fly-fishing for Rainbow and Brown Trout in the Blue River is also a popular recreation activity as is whitewater rafting, horseback riding and off-roading in your own or a hired 4×4 whether crossing the Georgia Pass, tooling around Camp Hale, or exploring the surrounding mountains.  Getting around town and the ski area is facilitated by the free shuttle bus service that operates daily from 6:15 am to 11:45 pm.

RV at Tiger Run Resort

RV’ers should definitely consider staying at the Tiger Run Resort in Breckenridge. This is a superb vacation resort located just above Dillon Reservoir and resting beneath the Ten Mile-Mosquito mountain range close to the 723,000 acre Arapaho National Forest. The resort offers an eclectic mix of modern log cabins ($77-$172) and paved RV back-in and pull-through sites, full hook-ups including Wi-Fi and cable. RV sites are located adjacent to the Swan River and the Blue River (36’ or longer) both of which run through the resort. There are also RV sites outside the Lodge. At the center of the resort you will find the 12,000-foot recreation center with an indoor pool and spa, game room, TV room and 24-hour laundry and shower facilities. Outside they have tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

Tiger Run Resort
85 Tiger Run Road
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 453-9690
[email protected]

Check in: 1:00pm Check out: 11:00am | Clubhouse hours: 10am-10pm | Restrictions: No tent trailers, pop-ups or truck campers. RV length 20’ minimum |

Pets: Pets are welcome but are not permitted in the clubhouse or cabins |

 


By Regan Dickinson, Examiner.com

Copper Mountain‘s summer activities are in full swing and visitors are enjoying everything the mountain has to offer including ski and snowboard summer camps and a number of headlining events.

Copper’s Summer Activity Passes are available for $74 for a season pass or $44 for a day pass and include unlimited access to mini golf, Diggler mountain rides, scenic chairlift rides, bumper boats and paddle boats, mountain bike equipment haul, climbing wall, quad bungee jump, and Summit County’s only go-kart track.

Village at Copper activities are open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Fridays at Copper are back this summer and include free music, free movies, and free activities. Simply spend $40 in the Village’s restaurants and shops to receive free tickets to one of each of Copper’s village activities.

Woodward at Copper is a great place to improve on your extreme sports skills and even keep progressing your skiing and snowboarding while there is no snow on the ground. Woodward offers camp programs for every age group, including snowboard, ski, skateboard, BMX, slope-style mountain bike, and digital media camp. Go to www.woodwardatcopper.com for full details. The Woodward at Copper Barn is open after a host of renovations this year.

Copper has plenty of events under the sun. Visitors can enjoy everything from art walks, to bike tours, to free concerts. For more information on all the activities Copper offers check out www.coppercolorado.com/events.

Rounding out Copper’s summer fun is a Labor Day tradition of country crooners. Head up the mountain for the Copper Country Arts Festival and enjoy free live music from Kenny Rogers and Michael McDonald.

Visit CopperColorado.com for lodging steals, event details, and more, and stay connected all season long at www.facebook.com/CopperMtn or @CopperMtn on Twitter.


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