In late April, we will be driving from Colorado Springs to Vail, where we will stay for a week. Does anyone have any suggestions for must-see spots on the way and things to do, places to see, food and drink spots in Vail? We are foodies and we love going to different breweries and vineyards. Thanks for your help!
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Vail is a wonderful spot for foodies!
Are you going to hit Taste of Vail in April? If you are in town, you should definitely hit some of the events. It's an amazing event for a foodie.
I've written about some of my favorite things to do in Vail when you're not skiing. Perhaps it will be helpful?
I'd drive the backway to Vail from the Springs. You will go through Manitou Springs take a stop there a funky town it is just outside of Garden of the Gods along Highway 24 west outta town. Pikes Peakroad won't be open but is nearby and there is the old narrow gauge tracks The Inclinethat may get your lungs working before you head up to the mountains. I agree with City of Cripple Creek neat spot not as commercialized as Black Hawk (Colorado) and City of Cripple Creek for some gambling.
Not sure if your outdoorsy if so there is Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument just off Hwy 24. Out by Lake George great fly fishing along South Platte River around Eleven Mile State Park and Spinney Mountain Reservoir. May be a bit chilly but if the sun's out it will be pleasantly mild.
At Jct of CO Hwy & 9 Hwy 24 you can take 9 to Fairplay and Alma. You are now in the "Real" South Park now. (If you go on 9 past Almayou can hop over Hoosier Pass to Breckenridge. Or head back south on US 285 and rejoin US Hwy 24).
or At the Jct of 9 & 24, keep on 24 to Buena Vista (Colorado), this place is known for its rafting your probably a bit early in April. If so try The Adventure Company or Performance Tours Inc. Then continue north on 24 towards Leadville National Mining Hall of Fame is interesting. For great pizza High Mountain Pies, cup of coffee City on a Hill Coffee & Espresso, and a burger Wild Bill's Hamburgers & Ice Cream.
Also in Leadville check out Melanzana Outdoor Clothing to get your outdoor clothing made right there or a great outdoor shop Sawatch Backcountry. Then head outta town on Hwy 24 you will go by and incredible view of Mt Massive, La Plata Peak, and Colorado's highest Mt Elbert. Then past Ski Cooper a great little ski area that probably won't be open but check it out.
Don't forget to register for the Leadville 100 if you come back in the summer. Unfortunately you gotta qualify and it's probably all booked up.
Keep heading north to the town of Red Cliff go for some red stripe and fish tacos Mango's Mountain Grill and a great ATV/Snowmobile place Colorado Backcountry Rentals in the same building. Then back onto Hwy 24 to Minturn cool little town. May find a neat B&B or airbnb rental here. If not hit I-70 head a few mile east to Vail.
In April you are getting into mud season in the mountains don't be surprised if things are closed, because people are mtn. biking in Moab/Fruita or down in Mexico. If you make closing day Vail Ski Resort it's a good time to be there.
Enjoy the "high" country.
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