Five to Try in May

Think May is all about mud? We rounded up five of the Vail Valley's must-try events to hold you over til summer.

By Vail-Beaver Creek Staff April 30, 2019

Vail Recreation District's Whitewater Race Series

When Tuesdays, May 7 through June 4, 5 to 8 p.m.

Where Gore Creek, Vail Village

This season's epic snowfall means more than just powder days—it also brings about epic runoff in the valley's streams, creeks, and rivers and the start of whitewater rafting season. The Town of Vail's 2019 Bloch & Chapleau Vail Whitewater Race Series is the ultimate celebration of this time of year, as racers navigate the rapids through Vail Village's Gore Creek in weekly matchups throughout the spring. You can register your own team ($18 for two-man rafts, $12 for individual SUP or kayakers) or hang out by the creek bank (the International Bridge is a popular vantage point) as you watch teams paddle through the rapids to the home stretch.

Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival

When May 24 through 26

Where Beaver Creek Village

The valley's inaugural festival of the season? Beaver Creek's Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival, when local chefs and restaurants dish up jumbo-sized turkey legs and steaming heaps of mac and cheese with all the fixings from a sprawling tent village that takes over the base of Beaver Creek. Don't miss live bluegrass music all weekend-long (starting at 3 p.m. on May 24, and noon on May 25 & 26), and don't forget to vote on your favorite southern style dish, with winners announced Sunday (May 26, 4:30 p.m.) on the main stage. Entry to the event is free, but you'll need cash to pay for food and drinks throughout the event.

Live music at Beaver Creek's Blue, Brews, & BBQ Festival

Beaver Creek Craft Beer Festival

When May 25, 1 to 5 p.m.

Where Beaver Creek Village

If you like beer (or playing yard games by the base of Beaver Creek Mountain), don't miss the Beaver Creek Craft Beer Festival, when a plethora of Colorado brewers cram the lawn at the base of the Beav's slopes and pour tasters of everything from easy drinking ales to hazy IPAs. Our favorite part? The adjacent Blues, Brews, & BBQ Festival in Beaver Creek Village to refuel with some BBQ mid tasting. Just don't forget your rain coat, as last year's event coincided with some wet, offseason weather ($40 to $80 per person).

Vail Beaver Creek Restaurant Week

When May 26 through June 2

Where Bars and restaurants from Bridge Street to Beaver Creek

If you've always dreamed of wining and dining at some of the valley's most exclusive eateries, the last week of May might just be your chance thanks to Restaurant Week. Along with a slew of drink and food specials, the real perk of restaurant week is $20.19 priced entrees at establishments like Beaver Creek's Mirabelle, or Vail Village's Sweet Basil (just to name a few). If you're coming from outside the I70 stretch between Eagle and East Vail, check out newly added lodging deals (like $169 rooms at the Vail Marriott) so you have time to sample all the mud season dining steals.

The Bonfire Block Party

When May 31 through June 2

Where Downtown Eagle

The Bonfire Block Party might only occupy one calendar day in May (and two in June), but we're okay with that, given that the three-day outdoor concert in Eagle's downtown area has become on the valley's most popular music festivals of the season and the valley's unofficial kickoff to summer. This year's lineup includes local bands like reggae/funk rockers The Evolution and folk and Americana band The Runaway Grooms, along with Grammy-winning acts like the North Mississippi Allstars. Our pick for can't-miss performance? Perpetual New Orleans Jazz Fest headliner Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue on Saturday night (starting at $40 for two-day general admission tickets). 

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