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Adventures in Beaver Creek, Colorado

Over Labor Day weekend, Matt and I had quite the treat: a trip to the beautiful Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain in Colorado.

westin beaver creek

Colorado is one of my favorite places in the world, so when the press team from the Westin invited us out for a complimentary stay we jumped at the opportunity. A HUGE thank you to the Westin for having us, for covering our trip expenses, and for sponsoring this post. We were beyond lucky and grateful to have such a cool opportunity.

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Matt and I were especially excited for the trip because Colorado is such a great place for couples like us that love active, outdoorsy trips! Pair that with some pampering and luxury at the Westin and you have yourself a seriously the perfect weekend. If you’re looking to plan a romantic but adventure filled trip, I highly recommend checking out the Westin at Beaver Creek, which is located near Vail, just a couple hours west of Denver. It would make a great anniversary long weekend trip or stop on a Colorado hiking themed honeymoon! Fun fact: a recent survey that polled 4,000 people across North America found both mountain and hiking honeymoons are on the rise. Clearly Matt and I aren’t alone in loving active outdoorsy adventures together!

hiking in beaver creek

The Westin planned a fun itinerary for us that had us enjoying all that the area had to offer in summertime (in winter, it’s a snow sport paradise). Here are the highlights!

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

Hiking at Beaver Creek Mountain

Of course the hiking portion of the trip was my favorite – you guys know there’s nowhere I’d rather be than on a trail on a beautiful day with Matt. It’s definitely my happy place.

hiking to beaver lake

Our friends at the Westin told us that a hike to Beaver Lake (from the adorable town of Beaver Creek, which is a quick and free shuttle ride from the Westin) in the Rocky Mountains was a must do – and they were right! From the town, we took the Five Senses Trail which links up with the Beaver Lake trail. It’s about 2 or so miles to the lake – but be prepared because it’s almost all uphill. Between that and the altitude (Beaver Creek is at over 8,000 feet – whoa!) our hearts were pumping and our legs were burning!

beaver lake trail

We had great weather for the adventure – it was in the 70’s during the days. Perfect for outdoor fun!

hiking beaver lake

Made it to the lake! :) Beautiful.

beaver lake hike

Instead of taking the Beaver Lake Trail back into town we decided to mix it up and take the Royal Elk Trail, which takes you up higher across the mountainside, ending a couple miles away at an operational gondola that we could take back down the mountain. Apparently Matt was hamming it up for the camera in the photo below and I didn’t realize it. ;)

royal elk trail

This trail ended up being even more gorgeous than the Beaver Lake Trail because of all the stunning views, both in the forest and then looking out into the distance.

royal elk trail hiking

royal elk trail views

royal elk trail view

The trail took us right across ski slopes which was fun – we tried to guess what difficulty they were before we reached the signs. Double black diamond – yikes! Count me out for that one… :)

black diamond beaver creek

When we made it to the gondola we were treated to the most stunning view – a rainbow! What are the odds?!

rainbow in colorado mountains

Taking the gondola back down was cool – it really showed us how high up we had climbed! Guess that’s what happens when you do nearly 6 miles of hiking uphill… :)

beaver creek gondola

When we got back into town, Oktoberfest was in full swing – how fun! Clearly we decided to stick around and participate. :) Up a mountain, down a beer! How awesome is the huge stein that Matt bought?! Also, Beaver Creek is so cute – it really felt like a little European town in the mountains!

oktoberfest beaver creek

Plus bratwurst and kraut, obviously!

oktoberfest beaver creek

Running and Walking on the Riverfront Path

One of the coolest things about the Westin, location-wise, was that there was a beautiful trail (the 40 mile long Eagle River Bike Path) mere steps out the back door!

Eagle River running path

Matt and I took one run and three walks out there (two in the afternoon and one in the early morning with our coffee/tea).

walking trail westin beaver creek

You can either stay on the trail or walk over to the gorgeous Nottingham Lake, which offers paddle boating, stand up paddleboards, and swimming!

nottingham lake

nottingham lake

All Westins worldwide have a really cool program for runners staying at their hotels – not only do they provide pocket-sized running directions (which are laminated, so they don’t dissolve in a puddle of sweat – there’s a map on one side and written directions on the other), but you can also rent New Balance running gear (including shoes!) for $5 per day – you simply wear it and then leave it behind and they wash it and lend it to someone else! How cool is that?! Love the idea of not having gross, sweaty running clothes and shoes in my bag when I travel!

westin workout running map

The running/walking map came in really handy – we walked the 3 mile loop around the lake a couple times, and we also did the 5 mile run along the Eagle River Bike Path on our last morning of the trip!

running avon colorado

YOU GUYS – running in 45 degree weather was basically the most incredible thing ever. I’ve been dreaming about this running weather all summer in swampy DC! Views like this certainly didn’t hurt either. :)

running avon colorado

Fly Fishing with Gore Greek Fly Fisherman

One of the things this area of Colorado is known for is fly fishing, so I was especially excited to see that on our weekend agenda! What a unique and different experience – definitely hadn’t tried that before. :)

fly fishing in avon colorado

You stand in the river while fly fishing, so before heading out they got us suited up in overall waterproof booties and pants with big boots on top. We were lookin’ pretty fly (pun intended).

fly fishing westin beaver creek

fly fishing colorado

It was a bit of a slow morning out there because it was cold and cloudy so the fish weren’t biting quite as much as usual, and there’s definitely a lot of skill involved in this sport, but I’m happy to report that we both caught one fish each – pretty rainbow trout! Hooray! It’s catch and release (and they don’t use barbs on the hooks) so we said a quick hello and then sent them back on their way. I was mildly terrified to hold mine – he was so slimy and wiggly that I dropped him pretty quickly!

fly fishing rainbow trout colorado

Enjoying the Hotel Amenities

After so much outdoorsy fun we were also treated to some more restorative activities back at the hotel! The hotel pool (which is salt water, not chlorine – awesome!) was gorgeous, and there were three big outdoor hot tubs which we also spent a fair amount of time in. Love that the hot tubs were so big – we never had to wait for a spot!

westin beaver creek pool

We were also treated to an amazing couples massage at the beautiful Spa Anjali – we both agreed it was among the best massages we’ve had! Mine did some really great running-specific sports massage which felt awesome on my legs. The spa amenities were lovely, too – very calming and we both loved the locker rooms with saunas.

westin beaver creek spa

I was also really impressed with the athletic club at the Westin – it was HUGE and featured a ton of space to work out on your own, as well as a full schedule of classes (over 70 per week). We checked out an AIReal Yoga class – so cool!

aireal yoga

Have you guys tried AIReal Yoga before?! You use a hanging hammock as your prop for the yoga poses, which helps you to deepen stretches and invert without compressing the spine. It’s also just plain fun. :)

aireal yoga

We both loved the instructor, Tanya, who was really welcoming and friendly, and the class was a really cool twist on regular yoga! We did some great deep hip stretches that felt amazing after sitting on a plane, and the class ended with shavasana cocoon-style in the fabric, with Tanya coming around to massage everyone’s calves. Amaaazing!

The Food!

Of course I can’t talk about a trip without sharing some food photos! We ate at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek for most of our meals, which was cool with us because they have great food. :) The fish tacos and feta, walnut, and strawberry salad below were from the pool bar – not your average lame pool bar fare!

westin pool bar food beaver creek

The main restaurant at the Westin is a Mexican restaurant called Maya; we ate there Friday night when they had live music out on the patio and it was quite lively! Delicious food, too – we shared the tuna tartare guacamole and then each got three mini tacos. Love me some tacos – the smoked brisket was our favorite! Love that you can select different tacos rather than getting the same three, too. I also tried one of their Mexican Mules which was herradura blanco tequila, lime, cilantro, and ginger beer. Delicious!

maya restaurant dinner westin

We also ate at Maya twice for breakfast – you can either order from the menu or hit their (awesome) buffet – we went for the buffet, which included the world’s most adorable mini huevos rancheros. How cute are these?! That’s a coffee cup sized plate I have it on for perspective!

mini huevos rancheros

I had a mini huevos rancheros both mornings because it was so good – plus some other goodies!

breakfast maya westin beaver creek

They also had some fun fresh juice options that were more interesting than the usual juice breakfast fare – Matt was really into their orange, carrot, mango, ginger, and turmeric juice, and I enjoyed their celery, lime, cucumber, coconut water juice!

maya juice beaver creek westin

The other food option on site (in addition to a Starbucks on the property) was a cute café called “The Lift” – named so because it’s right by the on-property ski lift that takes you to the slopes in the winter! They offer a more casual and to-go option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which was nice. We had breakfast there our last morning before hitting the airport – egg sandwiches + berries (and a latte from Starbucks next door) hit the spot!

westin olorado the lift breakfast

They had a great lunch/dinner menu, too – the same juice options that I mentioned before from Maya, and some yummy salads, sandwiches, and legit entrees, too, like this yummy salmon with lentils and grapefruit!

the lift westin beaver creek lunch

They also have delicious homemade energy bars which were full of dried fruit, seeds, coconut, and more – we had a couple with us on our hike!

the lift westin housemade energy bar

What a fun trip – another big thank you to the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain for spoiling us with such a wonderful long weekend. In case it wasn’t obvious, we had the best time! FYI for those who are interested in a last minute end of summer trip – now through September 30 they are offering a “Hike, Stay, and Play Package” that includes accommodations in a studio suite and a picnic backpack (with a hat and sunscreen) starting at $179 per night (2 night minimum stay). It’s an awesome excuse for a long-weekend honeymoon redo if you’re craving an active but romantic late summer escape! Happy traveling, my friends!

Have you ever been to Colorado? Which part?

Comments

  1. 1

    Fiiiiish for the win ;)

  2. 3

    Gorgeous!! I’ve only been to Colorado (including Beaver Creek) in the winter to ski but looks like I’m going to have to add a summer trip to my list. Glad you had such a great time, it’s an amazing state

  3. 5

    So crazy – I just returned from Colorado and my husband and I actually did the same Beaver Lake Trail hike on Saturday! My heart was definitely pumping! We had never been to the area but we found a great deal on hotwire. I loved that there were such great hiking options by just walking outside of our hotel.

  4. 7

    Wow, that sounds like an amazing trip! As we love hinking too, we have to put Beaver Creek on our bucket list!!

  5. 9
    Roadrunner says:

    Wow! Looks awesome. Sign me up. Definitely adding Beaver Creek to the “must visit” list. Looks like a wonderful place. Thanks!

  6. 10

    Wow! It looks like you had a great weekend! I’m so glad you and Matt got to have an awesome time away together – what an adventure :) I love that the Westin is so friendly for runners! I’ll be sure to keep their chain in mind when I’m booking hotels for our honeymoon trip next year! As for Colorado, I’ve always wanted to go! My fiance isn’t the outdoors type, but maybe I’ll have to get my sister to go on a girl’s trip to the USA with me for some hiking and outdoors fun!

  7. 12

    Fly fishing is so fun! My grandpa belongs to a trout club and we go fly fishing there. :) Those mini huevos rancheros are adorable – I might have to try to recreate something like that. And Colorado is stunning. Definitely on my must-see list!

  8. 14

    Wow, what a beautiful trip! Sounds like a fantastic time.

  9. 15

    Everything about this trip sounds fantastic and so much fun! All my favourite things – hiking, food, outdoors, and relaxing/self-care. I haven’t been to Colorado but I’d love to go!

  10. 16

    How cool! I got to stay at a Westin in Buckhead (Atlanta) once and it was great. Also, I love your hat!

  11. 18

    We are owners of a two bedroom villa there at Riverfront and spend a week every summer. We love the mountains in the summer!

  12. 20

    What a beautiful weekend getaway! I’m heading to Colorado next week to visit some old friends. Might have to make a detour to Beaver Creek!

  13. 22

    We actually stayed there last summer. It was such a wonderful visit. Probably one of our best vacations because the weather was perfect and we could hike and do outdoorsy stuff and then come back and relax at the pool. I loved it. The Westin also has a really nice gym for people who are interested.

  14. 24

    I’m from the Denver area and am constantly telling out of state people that summer in CO is highly underrated! So glad you had a good time, your pics look wonderful!

  15. 26

    That sounds like a great trip! We are traveling from here (Arlington) to Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado for our honeymoon in October. We may have to stop at Beaver Creek now that we know about it.

    Since you love Colorado so much, have you considered moving there? I have! I hate swampy Arlington summers.

    • 27

      Oh yes! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to live in Colorado – I actually almost went to grad school there (I got in to a masters in nutrition program in Colorado so I was choosing between that and UNC) but UNC ended up being the better choice for a lot of reasons. I’d still love to live there someday though – I love that everyone is as into outdoorsy adventures as I am!

  16. 28

    That looks like a perfect trip! I’ll definitely keep it in mind for next summer.

  17. 29

    that trip sounds amazing! i’ve heard about how beautiful Colorado is, but I’ve never been. Now it’s on my list!! Like seriously, that FOOD! I also haven’t taken a hiking centered trip, but this sounds so worth it.

  18. 31

    So jealous, I haven’t been fly fishing yet! My next trip for sure

  19. 32

    Ok I’m convinced, Beaver Creek it is for the next vacation :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] was mid threshold – nothing too crazy but not easy either. I felt tired for this one (we got back from Colorado at like 10 p.m. on Monday night) but my track buddy Diane was there so she helped get me through it […]

  2. […] adventurous post has me planning a fantasy holiday in […]

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