Keystone, Colorado Travel Guide

Sometimes called the "ultimate all-things-to-all-skiers" resort, Keystone, Colorado encompasses four mountains and two villages (Keystone Village and River Run), covering all skill levels from beginner to expert. Keystone boasts a long skiing season, from October to June, and its night skiing gives it twelve hour ski days. Golfers can find not one but two championship courses here. Enjoy skiing or snowboarding – or escape the summer heat – and stay in a Keystone, Colorado ski rental. If you have ideas on how we can update our Keystone travel guide, please send us your tips.

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What to Do in Keystone, Colorado

keystone family friendly vacationKeystone offers so much fun and adventure you'd have a hard time cramming it all into one trip, even if you stay the whole week in a cozy Keystone mountain cabin rental! Take a look over what it offers to find out what best suits your family.

If you're looking for winter sports, you can snowboard on any of the mountains in Keystone, or try nordic skiing, cross country skiing, or NASTAR racing. Keystone also has the largest outdoor ice skating facility in the United States. For hikers, experts can try hiking Independence Bowl, or take a snowcat tour for a half hour or an extended trek. The half-hour trip lets you view the resort from the safety and comfort of a heated vehicle, which is perfect for learning your way around on your first day before you retire to the comfort of your Keystone ski rental. Sign up for a half-day or full-day event and you'll have the experience of going "backcountry lite" – touring the expert-level The Outback mountain with a specialist guiding you and eleven other people town specially reserved terrain. While you're required to have a certain base level of skill to be able to keep up, if you fit the requirements, you're sure to have a great time.

Keystone has some of the best night skiing you can find, with an extensive lighting system keeping things safely lit to give the mountain a 12 hour ski day. Between that and the eight month ski season (October through June), you'll get the most bang for your buck. Stay in a Keystone ski in ski out condo rental and you'll make even better use of your time.

Summer in the Rocky Mountains is just as peaceful or active as you want it to be: fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, or just relaxing and enjoying the temperate weather. In addition, Keystone boasts two world-class golf courses, horse stables, spas, and more.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Keystone

Keystone is more of a straight-up resort than a shopping mecca, so don't go here expecting to spend all day checking out fabulous deals. You can still find fashionable boutiques to shop and local artists to support (want a one-of-a-kind gift? Stop by Amazonia and pick up an entirely hand-knit sweater you won't find anywhere else), but it's not one of Keystone's big selling points. Swing by any number of outfitters in the area to pick up any gear you might have forgotten, whether you need ski gear or just another fleece layer to keep you or the kids warm. You'll have plenty of room to stow your shopping treasures at home in a Keystone, Colorado ski rental.

Dining, however, is another story. Keystone's villages can dish up just the right meal, no matter how casual or upscale you want. Experience truly classy living with the Alpenglow Stube lunch, the highest AAA four diamond restaurant in North America. Ski in or ride the gondola up and be treated to top-notch cuisine in a restaurant so unique, you're invited to trade in your boots for slippers the moment you arrive. This restaurant only serves lunch, but what a lunch it is!

Take the kids out for an extra-special treat at Der Fondue Chessel, which serves up the full fondue dining experience. The food is upscale, but you're allowed to be casual, which makes it perfect for a memorable outing with the whole family. If you're looking for a romantic night out, this restaurant is a great choice too, as is the horse-drawn sleighride that culminates in a traditional cowboy dinner – food, fun, and a night to remember.

Countless other steak and seafood places deliver upscale yet casual cuisine, where you can be treated like a star even when you're tired just off the slopes. And a wide range of cafés provide sandwiches to fill you up or soups to heat you up if you're in need of a quick bite to eat. Those looking for the aprés-ski nightlife won't be disappointed by Keystone's bars, nightclubs, and taverns that serve up cocktails and a ton of fun. Freshen up in your Keystone vacation rental, then hit the town for a great night for the whole family.

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When to Visit Keystone

The prime reason to visit Keystone is for skiing, and Keystone's ski season lasts longer than most places – running from October to June. Earlier in the season usually means cheaper rates, though the tradeoff is that you may not have quite as much snow. If you're bringing the whole family, the discount may be worth it! Save extra money by renting a Keystone, Colorado ski rental home. Keystone is much less crowded in the summer, and it's a great place for those who live in hot climates to get away from oppressive heat and instead relax in cooler temperatures. If you're a golf fanatic, you just can't beat Keystone, which is one of the best golf resorts in the country – and the season for this runs from the spring through the summer, when the weather is absolutely perfect.

Make your reservation in late December through early January and you'll be able to go to the Kid's Indoor Fun Zone – an event with inflatables, crafts, games, and more to give your kids a truly magical experience.

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What to Bring to Your Keystone Vacation Rental

keystone family ski destinationIf you'll be traveling through the fickle weather of Keystone Mountain, be sure you come fully prepared for the extremes you might face. Don't wear cotton clothes in the winter because cotton retains moisture, which means it won't insulate you from the cold. Wear a breathable non-cotton layer next to your skin, then add warmer layers and, finally, a waterproof outer layer to keep snow and rain from soaking you. Bring plenty of socks, since you'll want to change yours if they get wet; if you're skiing, special ski socks will do the trick, but otherwise wool socks will do. Protect yourself from the cold with a hat, a scarf, and gloves or mittens. Don't underestimate the strength of the sun; take special sun precautions with sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats. Bring lotion and lip balm to soothe burned or chapped skin. Rent a Keystone ski condo and you'll be just a short trip away from picking up what you need to stay comfortable and safe.

You can rent your gear, including helmets, on-site. Otherwise, either ask around to see if you can borrow gear from someone you know (this is especially affordable if you have growing kids) or invest in a set yourself. Be prepared to dress for comfort first and foremost, even when you're not on the slopes, because nowhere on Keystone will make you dress up. The weather can get pretty extreme, so keep that in mind when packing. Don't worry if this sounds like an awful lot to haul around; stay in a Keystone vacation rental home and you'll have plenty of space to stash everything.

Your gear is slightly less important if you're coming up in summer. Bring comfortable shoes, and while you might feel tempted to wear only summer-only clothing, be aware that cold can creep up on you, so you'll want longer-sleeved shirts, thicker jeans, and sweatshirts or another warm outer layer. Also, it frequently rains in the afternoons, so come prepared with a raincoat, umbrella, boots, or whatever else your preference may be.

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What to Know About Keystone

All Keystone skiers must follow the posted skier responsibility code to ensure the safety of everyone at the resort. Be aware of the danger of altitude sickness, which affects 20-30% of visitors. Signs include shortness of breath, accelerated heartbeat, nausea, tiredness, headache, or have trouble sleeping. Take it easy for a day or two after arriving in high altitudes, and drink plenty of water (but not a whole lot of alcohol or caffeine). If you feel your body telling you to take it easy, listen to it and rest in the comfort of a Keystone ski condo! Your body knows what's good for it. Don't push yourself and especially take good care of your kids.

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Getting to Keystone, Colorado

The Denver International Airport (DEN) is 90 miles east of Keystone, an easy drive if you rent a car or hop a convenient shuttle. If you don't want to drive as far, and you're lucky enough to live in a city that flies into Vail/Eagle County Airport instead of DEN, you'll only have 65 miles to go. The Colorado Springs Municipal Airport is 109 miles away, a little far but handy to have as a third option. Make arrangements ahead of time so you can drive straight from the airport to your Keystone, Colorado vacation condo.

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Keystone's Local Services

Keystone is vacation rental friendly, with numerous shopping services available to help deliver your groceries – pick your menu, and then they do the shopping and leave it all for you in your Keystone ski rental home. Childcare services are available in River Run Village, whether you want group daycare for your child (two months to six years) or one-on-one supervision. You can rent lockers to store your gear on-site; also, you can check your skis near the Peru lift of the Mountain House base area. Of course, if you rent a Keystone ski in ski out condo, you'll be staying so close to the slopes, you might not even need it.

Park in the free ski parking and catch a golf cart shuttle to the base, and if you get there early enough, you can snag a complementary wagon to bring your gear and your kids along. Or, if it's worth a little extra to park your car closer, there's a paid parking lot too. Pick what's best for your family and your budget.

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Why Choose a Keystone, Colorado Vacation Rental?

Vacation rentals are a great way to save money, which makes them perfect for budget-conscious travelers. You can put up the entire family (or even share space with extended family or close friends) with more space than a bunch of hotel rooms, at a fraction of the cost. Also, Keystone ski in ski out condos are conveniently located right on the slopes, which means you can maximize your time exploring all that Keystone has to offer. With a Keystone vacation rental, you get a lot of place to stow your gear in a family-friendly setting, especially because some owners have packages tailored to families with kids.

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