When you’re combing the list for recreation in the Colorado Rockies, there are so many choices: skiing, snowboarding, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, river rafting, antiquing.
That’s right. Not only can you revel in the natural beauty-type of treasures in Colorado, but you can find precious things of the manmade sort. And, there will be a higher concentration of treasures than usual this summer during the Rocky Mountain Antique Festival in Beaver Creek.
Beaver Creek is a gated, ski-in/ski-out enclave of the uber rich. The gates will swing wide July 23-25 for many antique dealers from throughout the West and Southwest who will bring their rarest finds in antique furniture, linens, porcelain, glass, silver, artwork and jewelry.
Ancient artifacts from shipwrecks, vintage ski accessories, and Native American rugs and pottery are especially popular with festival-goers.
The free Antique Festival takes place in Beaver Creek Village, which took its design inspiration from classic European architecture. A grand cobblestone plaza, complete with a year-round ice rink, is graced with bronze sculptures and colorful flowers in large ceramic planters. Upscale hotels, restaurants, boutiques and galleries line the plaza.
Three escalators lead from the plaza to the base of the ski area, where you can hitch a ride on the ski lifts over grassy ski slopes to Spruce Saddle to play disc golf or volleyball. Culinary demonstrations, live music, children’s play areas and food booths round out the festival to make it fun for the whole family.
Beaver Creek is not one of those hokey made-up titles, but is a real creek where beavers still appear. Icy waters make their way through one end of the village, jauntily splashing over the boulders. Strategically-placed benches along the banks are inviting spots to relax and listen to the water while admiring the flowers and sculptures.
Summertime temperatures run a pleasant 75 degrees and drop to 45 degrees overnight, making outdoor activities comfortable even at high noon. Rain showers are common in the afternoon, but are usually over with quickly.
While you’re visiting the area, don’t miss the local antique spots. The only antique shop in a permanent location on the Beaver Creek Plaza is Christopher & Co., a vintage poster gallery.
Signed and numbered European and ski posters are essential wall art for a ski condo or a mountain mansion or just some funky mountain-style decorating in the flat lands.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of antiquing, then head 4 miles west down U.S. 6 to Edwards. On the right is Riverwalk, a group of retail and commercial buildings built to look Victorian or Old Western. Tucked among the restaurants and shops are Asian Village, with “antiques, accessories and adornment” from the other side of the Pacific. Imported antique oriental rugs and home accessories are sold at Nomadic Collection.
And save a spot in your itinerary for The Shaggy Ram. Don’t let the fact that the store is tucked away on a hillside in a commercial strip with plumbers and electricians keep you away. Crammed with French and English antiques and accessories, this large showroom is filled with unusual oddities and gorgeous furniture pieces.
If You Go
Beaver Creek is located in the valley above Avon, which is exit 167 on Interstate 70. As you exit the highway, turn south toward the town center. After going straight through four roundabouts you’ll come to the gates and parking areas for Beaver Creek. Edwards is located off exit 163 from I-70. If exiting from either gate to Beaver Creek resort, take a left at the light or roundabout. Go 4 miles down U.S. 6 to reach Edwards. Riverwalk is the first group of commercial buildings on the right, or the corner of U.S. 6 and Edwards Access Road. Edwards Access Road is the road that leads from the I-70 exit. Christopher & Co. also has a location in Edwards at 105 Edwards Village Blvd.
To reach the Shaggy Ram, go south on Edwards Access Road from the intersection of Edwards Access Road and U.S. 6. Take the second left to the strip mall. Drive to the end of the parking lot and follow the driveway through the U. The Shaggy Ram is on the right in the second tier of shops.
Lodging Specials for the Rocky Mountain Antique Festival:
The Charter is walking distance to the plaza. Lodge rooms are $170 per night; a 1-bedroom condo is $225 per night; a 2-bedroom condo is $335 per night. Reference the Rocky Mountain Antique Festival when calling (800) 525-6600 for reservations.
Vail Beaver Creek Resort Properties have 30 percent discounts during the festival. Call (866) 829-4360 or check vbcrp.com for details.
Holiday Inn Apex Vail costs $119 a night for a king or double. Call (866) 317-APEX or visit apexvail.com.
Be sure to reference Rocky Mountain Antique Festival when calling for reservations.
Check rmafest.com for additional information and updates.
Michele Angello is a freelance travel writer, photographer and copywriter. After living and traveling overseas, she received her degree in mass communications and public affairs from the University of Denver, and is now based in Aurora.
From the Editors: We spent a heap of time making sure this story was accurate when it was published, but of course, things can change. Please confirm the details before setting out in our great Centennial State.