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Vail thrills with its understated yet upscale chicness, its gorgeous back bowls that flow like a sea of snow, and its Bavarian spirit. But this April, two festivals -- held on the same weekend for the first time ever -- give us two more reasons to head for the hills. -- Becca Hensley


TASTE OF VAIL

Join guest chefs from 35 restaurants and sommeliers from more than 50 wineries for an elegantly paced feeding frenzy. Foodies participating in Taste of Vail can flock to any of a plethora of events hosted by cuisine luminaries such as Tony Aiazzi of Aureole in New York, Joseph Manzare of San Francisco's Zuppa, and homeboy Curtis Lincoln of the legendary Brown Palace in Denver. Highlights include:

The Kickoff Touted as the "coming of the lamb," the fourth annual Lamb Cook-off invites Vail Valley chefs to step up to the grill with their lamb creations. You can taste their creative interpretations, which will be complemented by wines selected by winery owners from around the world.