Vail, Colorado: What’s On


Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
Dance Festival will be held at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, which has a dramatic view of the mountains.


Vail may be most famous for its world-class skiing, but when summer rolls around savvy travelers can avoid the beach crowds by escaping to the mountains, where Vail plays host to a series of outdoor dance and music festivals and exclusive adventure opportunities. 

Gourmet Adventures With Kelly Liken

For a little more off-the-beaten path adventure, we hear that Iron Chef America and Top Chef alumnus Kelly Liken runs a series of small epicurean tours, including a horseback ride between Vail and Aspen. Liken, who serves locally inspired, ultra-seasonal cuisine at restaurant Kelly Liken, developed the tours in partnership with local tour operators to pair gourmet dining with exclusive mountain activities.

The Vail-Aspen horseback riding trip developed in partnership with Bearcat Stables. The 55-mile ride takes place over four days, with breakfast, lunch, dinner and trail snacks provided. Accommodations are in Tenth Mountain Division huts and at a guest ranch on the second night of the journey. The trip usually takes place during July and August.

Luxury travel advisors interested in setting up a gourmet excursion with Liken can reach out to Development Coordinator Sarah John ([email protected]; 970-479-0175).


Vail International Dance Festival:

Luxury Travel Advisor got the chance to check out this year’s opening night performance, New York City Ballet Moves, which featured pieces by New York City Ballet founding choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins set to music by Maurice Ravel and Frédéric Chopin, respectively. The performance took place in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, an outdoor venue with a picturesque view of the mountains as a backdrop. 

Our advice? Be sure to get seats under the awning—the upper grassy area can get muddy when it rains. Travelers looking for a more VIP experience may want to consider making a donation—a $1,250 Silver Dress Circle donation includes six general admission tickets to a performance of your choice, an opportunity to observe a closed rehearsal, four reserved seats and an invitation to a champagne reception. A $2,500 Gold Dress Circle donation nets all those benefits as well as two invitations to the dance gala, two VIP reserved seats to the gala night, preferred ticket ordering and access to the Borgen Family Patron Plaza. The festival also offers champagne or wine at donor seats.

Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival

The 2013 Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival will kick off June 27 with a complimentary recital from Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott and run through August 1. In its 26th year, the festival will host the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic for a six-concert residency in the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will perform for the Fourth of July patriotic concert, and the festival will also have a free family concert from the National Repertory Orchestra, a Big Music for Little Bands series and a Soiree Series. Tickets will go on sale in April. 

Vail Jazz Festival 

The Vail Jazz Festival will return for its 19th season in 2013 from June 23 to September 2. The largest festival of its kind in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, it has more than 40 performances that range from straight-ahead jazz to Latin, swing and the Great American Songbook. While a final schedule wasn’t available at press time (the festival staff was taking a well-earned rest from the 2012 festival), past artists from this year include Ernie Adams, Cyrille Aimee and Heather Ballew & Stephen Newcomb.


Summer Hikes
Summer Hikes offer amazing views off the backside of the mountain.


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