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Those who appreciate the more fabulous things in life tend to vacation in the northwestern region of Colorado. They come to ski and socialize in posh resort towns like Avon and Beaver Creek. It doesn't matter which season you choose to visit these resort towns — there's plenty of action on and off the slopes all year round. Here are five things you don't want to miss:
1. Skiing and snowboarding at Vail Resort. This Colorado hot spot has a gondola, 14 high-speed quads, seven fixed-grip quads, three triple and five double chairlifts, 10 surface lifts, a patrol, a school, rentals, snowmaking, cafeterias, restaurants, bars and a nursery. The longest run is four miles with a vertical drop of 3,450 feet.
2. The Colorado Ski Museum & Ski Hall of Fame. The museum, located in the Vail Transport Center, traces the history of skiing in Colorado back more than 120 years. It was established in 1976 to preserve the legacy of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado, and will tell you just about everything there is to know about the winter sports.
3. The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Enjoy top-notch entertainment under Vail's crystal-clear starlit skies at this open-air theater by the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, a public botanical garden with more than 500 varieties of wildflowers and alpine plants. Performances throughout the summer normally include classical music, rock 'n' roll, jazz, ballet, contemporary dance and children's theater. The amphitheater has also been known to host the Vail International Dance Festival, the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and free weekly concerts from the Bud Light Hot Summer Nights Series.
4. White-water rafting. Colorado is known for having some of the best white-water rafting in the country, from Class II to Class V rapids. Choose from a variety of white-water rafting companies like Lakota Guides, which is the only company in the United States to offer night rafting sessions; or choose Timberline Tours, which is the largest and most experienced outfitter in the region with 40 years of experience. Timerline Tours is known for its customer service and white-water U.S. team racing heritage. Plus, it organizes Jeep tours on trails around Vail Village and historic Eagle River Valley.
5. Teva Mountain Games. Held in both the summer and winter, this is the country's largest celebration of adventure sports, music and the mountain lifestyle. Created in 2002, the human-powered, environmentally-friendly games has quickly grown to the point of hosting more than 2,500 adventure athletes and 40,000 spectators over the course of the bi-annual four-day event. Competitions for the summer games include kayaking, bouldering, mountain biking, a half-marathon up Vail Pass and stand-up paddling. You'll also find parties, a photo competition, a film festival, the dock dog diving contest, tents full of samples and a parade of nations, with competitors hailing from all over such as France, New Zealand and the Czech Republic.