CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

Queen of the Slopes Chef Carrie Baird points our skis in the right direction.

January 14, 2019
CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

CITY GUIDES | Colorado Ski Towns

Queen of the Slopes Chef Carrie Baird points our skis in the right direction.

January 14, 2019
Interview by Aralyn Beaumont | Art by ChefsFeed

Trips to the snow are, as we all know, actually about the eating: the hearty breakfasts, the midday break over liege waffles with cups of hot cocoa, the après-ski drinks.

Every year, more than seven million people trek to the various mountains on offer in Colorado. Vail, Aspen, Breckinridge, Telluride—even if you're more of a warm-weather creature, you've heard of them, because they offer some of the most beautiful views and snow in the country. This winter, if you find yourself in any of Colorado's resort towns, we've got your morning coffee and après ski covered. If you’re going to spend all day on the slopes, you need to fuel up like the world is ending and you're facing a long hibernation.

And if skiing isn't your thing, or you just happen to find yourself in Colorado during the off-season, we've got you covered there, too. Once the snow melts, the mountains are lush for hiking and biking, and the lakes and rivers are ready for water sports.

Steamboat Springs

I like little sleepy cowboy towns like Steamboat. I had one of the greatest skiing days of my life there: we got thirty inches that day, it was literally to my hips. It was almost dangerous because you couldn’t get around fast enough. It was so good. The area is also filled with natural hot springs. The Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs is gorgeous.  

Café Diva is right at the base of the mountain. Further into town, there's Cloverdale Farm and Restaurant, where chef Patrick Ayres builds pre-fixe menus that showcase Colorado ingredients from their own farm and relies on local purveyors for the rest.

Telluride - Wolf Creek

The last time I was in Telluride I was filming Top Chef. We ate at 221 South Oak, which is owned by Top Chef alum Eliza Gavin. It's a super fun little restaurant, it's in an old house that's been converted. It's really cute.

East of Telluride, but still in the southern part of Colorado in the San Juan Mountains, there's Wolf Creek, which is an almost undiscovered resort. They always get the best snow—huge snow packs. It's still a mom and pop town, so you don't have all the luxuries of the Vail resorts, but it's great terrain: steep, steep, steep.

The Off-Season Secrets

All of these towns are great in the summer. Around the Fourth of July, it's still really busy, but you're going to get fewer crowds and the weather is so nice: 70 and sunny every day. The mountain biking and hiking is some of the best in the whole world. There's a lot of river rafting, and lake at Frisco is so beautiful. Out near Aspen, don't miss Maroon Bells, the Grottos Trail, and Beaver Lake Trail.

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