The 8th Annual Vail Film Festival brings more than 60 international films, documentaries, and shorts to the cinema-craving denizens of the central Rocky Mountains, and this year presents an acting achievement award to actress Kate Bosworth. Screening pass holders get admission to all non-VIP theater screenings, panel discussions, and access to the open bar at the Festival Hospitality Lounge, open every day of the festival. In addition to all of the above, festival pass holders get admission to all screenings (VIP included), the awards ceremony, the closing night party, and a Friday night concert by singer/songwriters from the well-known Hotel Cafe in LA. Black diamond pass holders get all the benefits of a festival pass, plus the chance to bump shoulders and exchange elbows with celebrities and festival patrons at the opening night party, the Friday filmmaker reception, and the late-night festival lounge.
Paddles slice through churning waters, keeping rafts on their course down Clear Creek as it cuts through the Denver Mountain Parks . At the base of the red crags of Gore Canyon, the white-capped water of the Colorado River foretells rafters’ trips through daunting class IV and V rapids. Elsewhere, guests make like protoplasmic coat hangers as they zipline over the scenery of Idaho Springs.
But rafting trips and zipline tours are just the beginning. Arkansas Valley Adventures leads all kinds of expeditions through Colorado’s mountains and valleys, tossing in ATVs, hot air balloons, helicopters, horses, and fishing rods with the paddles and ziplines. While flying down the Eagle River explorers will have plenty of chances to get in touch with their rugged side and ask ancient rock faces whether the paleo diet is an apt reflection of the habits of early humans.
An original 1865 newspaper bearing the headline of President Lincoln’s assassination hangs on the walls at The Buffalo Restaurant & Bar in the historic mining town of Idaho Springs. It’s just one of the many historic elements at the eatery, which is comprised of four different buildings—all more than a century old. Like an adaptable vampire, each structure has lived many different lives since the late 1800s, serving as everything from feed stores and hotels to billiard halls and recording studios. The antique bar, built in Chicago in the early 1860s, first journeyed to Colorado by wagon train, and a collection of antique signs also hang throughout the restaurant. The historical Western decor and atmosphere pairs fittingly with the menu, which showcases buffalo as a choice ingredient, from buffalo black-bean chili to barbecue-buffalo-brisket pizza pies.
Surrounded by lush alpine scenery and rushing rivers banked by boulders, brush, and thicket, rafters ride the rapids during Performance Tours' half-day, full-day, and multi-day trips. The company requires their guides to complete training beyond the state's requirements, ensuring a crew with exceptional rafting prowess in addition to a special affinity for the Arkansas, Clear Creek, Blue, and Colorado Rivers. During tours, groups take in the scenery, spotting wildlife including bighorn sheep, while navigating river regions with names such as "Devil's Punchbowl". Now with more than 25 years' experience taming the bucking local waterways, the team can craft experiences ideal for families and rookie rafters, as well as the seasoned boater looking for a challenge and an impressive story to tell their salmon buddies.
When the staffers at Colorado Carriage and Wagon says that their business is family owned and operated, they extend that description all the way down to the horses who make each journey possible. Their beloved Draft breeds travel throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska, bringing charmingly old-fashioned transportation to weddings, family reunions, and romantic traipses through town. When snow blankets the ground, guests can schedule sleigh rides, taking the classic conveyance on a caroling trip or just prowling the woods for drag races against one-horse hotrods. In addition to horses, the family's petting zoo of chicks, sheep, pigs, and other barnyard animals often makes appearances at parties and festivals, delighting young and old alike with their cute, fuzzy faces.
The Pines Lodge is tucked comfortably into the snow bed that is Colorado ski country. Guests can enjoy nearby access to superior slopes, as well as eclectic dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation options. Each room offers rustic charm and modern conveniences, putting guests squarely into the middle of a Venn diagram of comfort. Skiers can suit up for a full day in the cold outdoors by using the in-room boot warmer and iPod charging dock. Those preferring to stay indoors can snuggle into a fuzzy robe and strap on cyber skis to slalom through a high-speed Internet connection. For a happy medium, guests can enjoy the great outdoors without risking frost-nipped fingers in the resort's heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.