Top 5 things to do around the Vail Valley this weekend |

Top 5 things to do around the Vail Valley this weekend

Underground Sound Concert Series

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Live music fills the air during the summertime in the Vail Valley. From Hot Summer Nights and Vail Jazz to Vail Bluegrass and Showdown Town concerts, the genres of tunes are abundant. As the seasons change, we still have an opportunity to hear some great performers this fall with the Underground Sound concert series at the Vilar Performing Arts Center (VPAC) in Beaver Creek.

This year features more diverse and bigger name artists than ever before. The series kicks off this Saturday, Sept. 22 with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. This indie-rock band formed in 2004 in New York City. Both David Bowie and David Byrne attended these early performances and many popular music blogs wrote about the band frequently. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah self-released its first album in 2005, which NPR's "All Songs Considered" would go on to name as one of "The Decade’s 50 Most Important Recordings" in 2009.

The Vilar Performing Arts Center is located underneath the Black Family Ice Rink at Beaver Creek. This 530-seat theater was modeled after a theater in Munich, which provided inspiration for the wood-paneled columns, walls and ceilings that are combined with the curved horseshoe-shaped seating layout, so there's not a bad seat in the house. Performers love to come to this setting and patrons love the intimacy of the shows.

Best of all, the full VPAC Fall Underground Sound Series is available for $125, which includes all 7 shows and 7 drink passes for a drink at each show. This is an affordable way to discover new bands, meet up with friends and enjoy a show. Passes are transferable, so employers, why not pick up a few passes and reward a different employee each week? Couples, get together with your neighbors and trade off babysitting for a date night and enjoy a few shows. Or just put these dates on your calendar and attend the whole series. The Vilar never disappoints. For more information, please visit

Underground Sound Line-Up

Sept. 22 | Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | $30

Recommended Stories For You

Sept. 27 | Trace Bundy | $20

Oct. 9 | Flamenco Quartet Project | $20

Oct. 17 | Addi & Jacq | $20

Oct. 25 | Flor De Toloache | $30

Oct. 30 | Lo Moon | $25

Nov. 5 | The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc | $20

Taste of Vail Fall Food & Wine Classic

The Taste of Vail, which has been held in April for over the past two decades, has added a fall event to take advantage of not only the bountiful harvest but also the beauty that surrounds Vail this time of year.

The Fall Food & Wine Classic blends the best of both worlds with great activities like biking, hiking and yoga along with venues that provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy fabulous food and great wine.

Enjoy the fall colors and beauty of nature with an outdoor activity followed by a brunch featuring wine tastings and education with Southern Hemisphere wines. According to the Taste of Vail website, The Berry Picker Hike and Brunch is sold out but there are a few other outdoor activities you can partake in.

Drink in the fall colors as you coast through Vail via bicycle. This 12-mile cruise will showcase the best weekend of color in the Vail Valley. Participants will take a shuttle up to East Vail circle. From here enjoy the fall air and the beauty of autumn in the valley as you glide through Vail. The cycling ends at Lionshead at Charter Sports. Afterwards, a guide will take you to Remedy at Four Seasons Vail for an a la carte brunch and Bloody Mary bar and wine.

  • Bike and Brunch – $70
  • Saturday, September 22
  • 9:00 -11:00 a.m.
  • Meet at Charter Sports in the Vail Marriott Resort, Lionshead
  • $50 for bike rental and tour
  • Event is rain or shine and tickets are nonrefundable.

You can also choose to get your ohm on with yoga instead of hiking or biking. On Saturday, Sept. 22 try Yoga in the Garden with Tanya Miller from 10:00-11:15 a.m., then enjoy brunch al a carte at Remedy at the Four Seasons Vail.

Saturday evening, the Taste of Vail Fall Food & Wine Classic brings Vail Valley restaurants together with Southern Hemisphere wines at the Grand Tasting Event at the Gerald Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Guests will enjoy a picnic-style event on the grass with south of the equator music while taking in the gorgeous Vail scenery and fall colors. The Grand Tasting features more than 25 wineries and 20 restaurants.

Grand Tasting – $85
Saturday, September 22
4:00 pm – 7:30 p.m.

Ride the lifts at Vail and Beaver Creek

You still have two more weekends left to take advantage of lift operations at Vail and Beaver Creek. Take the lift to give you a different vantage point for the fall colors that surround us. Also note that the activities at Epic Discovery and Adventure Ridge at Vail and the activities at Beaver Creek are still open while the lifts are running.

Although you can hike and bike using your own power, if you want to save your legs and lungs or maybe aren't used to this altitude, then let the lift get you up to higher ground. Foot passenger passes are available and remember that children 12 and under ride free with an adult purchase of a Scenic Ride Ticket.

If you want to bring your mountain bike up and take to the trails from there, then purchase a bike haul ticket and enjoy the ride down trails like Big Mamba or view the fall foliage from the Grand Traverse trail in Vail or the Village to Village trail in Beaver Creek.

Jeep tours are also available at both Vail and Beaver Creek. Get a glimpse of what your favorite ski runs look like without snow on them yet.

Vail Lift Operations

  • Gondola One-Vail Village
  • Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. through Sept. 30
  • Eagle Bahn Gondola-Lionshead
  • Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. through September 30

Beaver Creek Lift Operations

  • Centennial Lift
  • Open Saturdays and Sundays
  • 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. through Sept. 30

The views from either mountain during the fall foliage season offer great photo opportunities, so make a point to do some on mountain activities while the leaves are at their peak. For more information, visit and

Take a Drive over Independence Pass

Another way to view the color-drenched Colorado landscape this time of year is to take a drive on some of our scenic byways. Now would be a perfect time to do the drive over Independence Pass since it is closed seasonally from October to May.

From Vail or Beaver Creek, travel on Interstate 70 to the Minturn/Leadville exit 171 and hop on Highway 24. After going through the quaint railroad town of Minturn, you'll climb up Battle Mountain Pass and discover the ghost town of Gilman before getting to Red Cliff, which is a former mining camp situated in the canyon of the upper Eagle River and is named after the red quartzite cliffs that surround the town.

The next stop you will get to is Leadville, the nation's highest-elevation incorporated city. It's a National Historic Landmark full of mining museums, antique shops and Victorian-era architecture.

With the majority of the byway winding above 9,000 feet, you'll cross the Continental Divide and follow the Arkansas River past old mining camps, high-country lakes and towering 14,433-foot Mt. Elbert.

South of Leadville you will find the junction of Highway 24 and Highway 82, take a right and you're on the ascent to Independence Pass. Before you get there, enjoy Twin Lakes and maybe stop by the Twin Lakes Store to pick up some water or a snack.

Independence Pass climbs 18 miles through aspen groves until it peaks above treeline at 12,095 feet above sea level. At the top there is a scenic overlook near the pass that allows visitors to take in the alpine tundra environment. Bring a jacket because you will definitely notice to the cooler temperatures at this elevation. From there, it's 19 miles down to the ski town of Aspen.

After exploring Aspen, make your way back to Eagle County by taking Highway 82 to Glenwood Springs. If time permits, take a soak in the Glenwood Hot Springs before traveling east on Interstate 70 to get back home.

Spread some joy at Happiness Sprinkling Day

If you see a group gathered in and around the roundabout located at Highway 6 and Eby Creek Road in Eagle, don't worry, they aren't trying to protest, sell or solicit anything, they are simply spreading positive messages with the community.

On Friday, Sept. 21 from 4-6 p.m. the Buddy Mentors Program will be spreading the joy by hosting a Happiness Sprinkling event in honor of International Peace Day.

Happiness Sprinkling has been embraced as a way to spread goodwill, to share joy and to sprinkle happiness. What started out with Laura Lavigne of the Center for Happiness and a few people waving signs at a busy intersection in Anacortes, WA turned into an opportunity to share happiness around the world. The honking and waving and good vibes gave this new movement some momentum. Soon groups were participating in Happiness Sprinkling events across the country and across the world in Europe and as far as South Africa.

Affirming statements like “You Rock,” “It’s going to be okay” and “You ARE a good parent” are just some of the messages you'll see shared by a group of people clad in bright yellow T-shirts, some with smiley faces.

This is the second Happiness Sprinkling event being held in Eagle County. In January, the wavers were representatives of the Buddy Mentors Program and Eagle River Youth Coalition. The realization that words have power and how words can be used to build people up makes this event so amazing.

Join Buddy Mentors and your fellow community members in celebrating International Day of Peace on Friday, Sept. 21 from 4-6 p.m. Get yourself safely to the roundabout at Highway 6 and Eby Creek Road in Eagle. They will provide the signs, they just ask that you wear bright yellow if you can and be happy. For more information visit