By Car -- Vail is right on the I-70 corridor, so it's exceedingly easy to find. Just take exit 176, whether you're coming from the east (Denver) or the west (Grand Junction). A more direct route from the south is U.S. 24 through Leadville; this Tennessee Pass road joins I-70 5 miles west of Vail. Beaver Creek is located 12 miles west of Vail, off I-70 exit 167.
By Plane -- Year-round, visitors can fly directly into Eagle County Airport, 35 miles west of Vail between I-70 exits 140 and 147 (tel. 970/524-9490; www.eaglecounty.us/airport), which is served by American (tel. 800/433-7300), Continental (tel. 800/523-3273), Delta (tel. 800/221-1212), Northwest (tel. 800/225-2525), United/United Express (tel. 800/864-8331), and US Airways (tel. 800/943-5436).
By Airport Shuttle -- Many visitors fly into Denver International Airport and continue to Vail and Beaver Creek aboard a shuttle service such as Colorado Mountain Express (tel. 800/525-6363 or 970/926-9800; www.cmex.com), with one-way rates starting at about $69 to $93 per adult. There are also shuttle services from the Eagle County Airport to Vail and Beaver Creek; contact High Mountain Taxi (tel. 970/524-5555; www.hmtaxi.com), which charges $125 to $150 for up to six passengers in a van and also provides regional shuttle services. Both of the above shuttle services offer online reservations. To save a bundle of money, take the bus..
For information or reservations in the Vail Valley, contact the Vail Valley Partnership, 113 Fawcett Rd. (P.O Box 1130, Vail, CO 81658), Ste. 201, in Avon (tel. 970/476-1000; www.visitvailvalley.com); Vail Mountain Resort, P.O. Box 7, Vail, CO 81658 (tel. 877/204-7881 or 970/476-5601; www.vail.com); or Beaver Creek Resort (tel. 970/845-9090; www.beavercreek.com). You can also get information on year-round activities and events by calling the Resort Information and Activities Center (tel. 970/476-9090). Information centers are located at the parking structures in Vail and the Lionshead area on South Frontage Road.
Parents traveling with kids can find all sorts of pointers in The Parents Handbook to the Vail Valley (tel. 970/390-3533; www.theparentshandbook.com), available free all over Eagle County.
Vail is one of only a few Colorado communities where you really don't need a car. The town of Vail runs the nation's largest free shuttle-bus service between 6am and 2am daily, although hours may be shorter in shoulder seasons. Shuttles in the Vail Village-Lionshead area run every 10 minutes, and there are regularly scheduled trips to West Vail and East Vail (tel. 970/479-2178; www.vailgov.com). The Eagle County Regional Transportation Authority, known locally as ECO Transit (tel. 970/328-3520; www.eaglecounty.us/ecotransit), runs shuttles between Vail and Beaver Creek, a 12-mile trip, plus regional bus service to Avon, Edwards, Minturn, Leadville, and the Eagle County Airport daily ($3-$5 each way). High Mountain Taxi (tel. 970/524-5555; www.hmtaxi.com) operates throughout the area, around the clock.
Car rentals, including four-wheel-drive vehicles, are available at the Eagle County Airport: Call Alamo (tel. 970/524-2277), Avis (tel. 970/524-7571), Budget (tel. 970/524-8260), Dollar (tel. 970/524-9429), Hertz (tel. 970/524-7177), or National (tel. 970/524-2277).
The hospital, Vail Valley Medical Center, with 24-hour emergency care, is at 181 W. Meadow Dr., between Vail Road and East Lionshead Circle (tel. 970/476-2451; www.vvmc.org). The post office is at 1300 N. Frontage Rd. W.; for hours and other information, contact the U.S. Postal Service (tel. 800/275-8777; www.usps.com). For road conditions, call tel. 970/479-2226.
Taste of Vail, early April; Vail America Days, July 4th; Vail Arts Festival, mid-August; Beaver Creek Arts Festival, early August in Beaver Creek; Oktoberfest, mid-September in Vail; Vail Tannenbaum Festival, December; and New Year's Eve Celebration, December 31 in Beaver Creek.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.