Beaver Creek, Colorado

Living in Beaver Creek

Iyna Bort Caruso

With more than 300 inches of snow and more than 300 days of sunshine, it’s no wonder why Beaver Creek, Colorado, is an alluring four-season destination.

Beaver Creek, in the Rocky Mountains, is just south of the town of Avon and 10 miles from Vail. The resort destination encompasses three villages, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead Village, connected by ski runs, lifts and shuttles. In summertime, the surrounding meadows are a riot of wildflowers.

The ski resort features 1,832 acres of terrain for all abilities. They include wide-groomed, cruiser-friendly trails, green forested runs and a healthy share of steep bump slopes. In skiing circles, Beaver Creek is known for attracting some of the fastest downhill skiers in the world for the Birds of Prey World Cup downhill competitions.

The area was settled in the mid-19th century, but it would be more than another 100 years before Beaver Creek developed as a major ski center. The area came into its own as part of a bid for the 1976 Winter Olympics. The games would wind up being held in Innsbruck, Austria, but skiers -- as well as bikers, golfers and hikers--have benefited from the effort ever since.

The village has a Bavarian feel with dozens of restaurants, shops, an ice rink and other off-mountain options. A notable one is the Vilar Performing Arts Center, a cultural complex that presents about 150 events a year. Beaver Creek also hosts signature events such as an annual wine and spirits festival, Oktoberfest celebration and rodeo series.

The range of architectural residential styles covers Euro-style manors and estates in the tradition of American National Parks as well as golf course homes, condominiums and walk-to-all villas that back up to national forest lands.