From Denver: Vail Valley
Technically, you can scoot from Denver to the Vail area and back in a day. But with four food-and-booze festivals scheduled in the next few weeks, we’re tempted to hang out all month long. The Beaver Creek Wine & Spirits Festival runs August 8-10. Flavors of Colorado in Avon is happening August 15-17, while Edwards craft-beer and music bonanza Ed Fest occurs August 16. Gourmet on Gore (pictured top) wraps it all up in Vail Village on Labor Day Weekend.
What to Eat & Drink: For some of the most innovative, upscale takes on Colorado cuisine going these days, check out Beano’s Cabin in Beaver Creek and Mountain Standard in Vail Village (pictured). Meanwhile, The Rose in Edwards couldn’t be more charmingly funky, from the smartly crafted cocktails to globally influenced shareables like avocado fries with soy aioli and chiles rellenos en nogada.
While You're There: If you can't figure out how to enjoy Vail Mountain at a glance, you need to get out more. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is a good place to start.
Transportation Time: Two hours in optimal conditions. In reality, give it three.