Daycations: Find your escape in Avon and EagleVail
Fun on the beach and great eats aren’t hard to find
Editor’s Note: “Daycations” is a series showcasing what our local towns have to offer in the shoulder season. Stay tuned for more Daycations stories throughout the rest of May.
Avon and EagleVail have plenty of activities to go around during the offseason, and it’s only getting better as the weather gets warmer.
Breakfast of champions
The Route 6 Café is a beloved community hub in EagleVail that is known for many things. Among them: the very large and very delicious breakfast menu that they offer. To kick off my Avon and EagleVail daycation, I head over to Route 6 Café for a waffle topped with whipped cream and berries, complemented with a side of bacon and a hot cup of coffee that is roasted right down the road at Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea.
I will note that while I happened to wake up with a sweet tooth, the Rocky Mountain Trout & Eggs should not be overlooked. Nothing quite like fresh fish in the morning.
Following breakfast, you can head over to the other side of the bar to shoot a few rounds of pool while playing whatever music you would like at the digital jukebox.
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Hit the links
Just across the highway from Route 6 Café is one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the valley, the EagleVail Golf Club. The club does not offer a 9-hole rate, so to get your money’s worth you’re going to want to commit to playing all 18 holes. EagleVail residents get a $10 discount on the rate, and if you play after 4 p.m. there is a $50 discount.
Nestled right into the side of the mountains, the course is melded into the nature surrounding it, with many holes overlooking expansive vistas of the surrounding peaks.
As a beginner, I also like to spend time working on my swings at the practice range. Fair warning for those who are directionally challenged with their shots: many of the houses in EagleVail are located on the golf course, to the point where decks and windows are lined right up against some holes. It’s a high stakes way to learn to shoot straight.
After finishing the course, it’s time to head over to the town of Avon, where you can refuel at a number of fast-casual restaurants. One of my personal favorite meals is a classic Benderz Burger with a cold vanilla milkshake and cajun waffle fries.
Another option is to pick up grill ingredients at the City Market, and then bring it with you to our next stop: Nottingham Lake. This man-made lake, overlooked by the still snow-capped peaks of Beaver Creek, is the place to be for hanging out on a warm day. Walk, jog or skate the paths around the lake, find a swing or picnic table to relax at while looking out over the water, or step onto the sandy beach volleyball courts for some fun in the sun. More often than not, there is a group of people playing at one of the two nets, and most will let you join if you walk up and ask.
If you have a paddleboard or other water recreation equipment, bring it along and enjoy the unique sensation of floating under the mountains. The park rents equipment during the summer, but does not start that program until June.
If you prefer mountains to beaches, Avon also offers numerous hiking trails, many of which are especially beautiful during this time of year as the young aspen leaves begin to emerge.
Over at Walking Mountains Science Center, visitors can enjoy the Eagle Valley Wild Photography Exhibition that is currently up, and then can make their way to the hiking trails north of the center. Those who want shorter forays into nature can surround themselves with aspen trees at one of the short walks that take you a mile or less into the wilderness, before popping you right back at your car.
There is also a stunning and more challenging 5-mile hike that starts just beyond the beginner trails. The Buck Creek Trail trailhead begins just north of the science center, and takes a straight route up that weaves through aspen groves, over creeks, and through patches of wildflowers. The hike down also overlooks an awe-inspiring view of the southern peaks, which glow with much remaining snowpack.
Escape, if you can
Before the sunburn sets in, it’s time to head over to the Vail Valley Escape Room. Located in downtown Avon, this indoor activity challenges participants to uncover clues that lead to a key that allows them to escape the room.
There are three different rooms, each with a different level of difficulty: “Save the Mountain” is for beginners, “Rocky Mountain Meltdown” for intermediate players and “Marble Mountain Mystery” for advanced players.
A full game takes about an hour and a half, and the Vail Valley Escape Room offers games every two hours starting at 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required, and can be made at vailvalleyescaperoom.com.
Raise a beer, and a taco
After all of that thinking and code-cracking, the only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy the sunset, and one of the best spots to do that is Vail Brewing Company in EagleVail. Just five minutes down the road from the escape room, you can get a cold craft beer poured from VBCs many taps, grab a seat at their outdoor porch, and just relax as day turns to night.
Dinner is served right there, from the Rocky Mountain Taco Truck, and if all of that isn’t enough to summon inner peace, do not fret — you’re on the green mile.