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Vail and Beaver Creek, Colo.

Vail and Beaver Creek, Colo.

Features
posted: 02/04/2005

A true year-round resort, Vail's village was made for summer vacations: tons of outdoor dining, perfect pedestrian-only shopping and an outdoor amphitheater, the Ford, which consistently surprises with big-name performers. Neighboring Beaver Creek is hardly a second-class citizen, what with the bevy of theater and music performances at the Vilar Center for the Arts and an itinerary crammed with mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding centered around its own Bavarian-inspired enclave. At the high end, it's impossible to go wrong here. Best Beds The pinnacle of luxe, Vail's Sonnenalp (so authentic, you may think you've landed in the Austrian Alps), drops its summer rates to $350 from $605 (866-284-4411; sonnenalp.com). Beaver Creek's newest star, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, pulls off the feat of looking like a National Park Lodge on the outside while keeping up a Euro-style elegance in its upscale rooms. Its rates tumble from $395-$550 to $195-$275, a 40 to 50 percent cut (800-241-3333; ritzcarlton.com). And the Charter at Beaver Creek, adjacent to an 18-hole PGA-rated golf course, shaves $205 off its winter prices for a summer rate of $150 (800-525-6660; thecharter.com).

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