Synonymous with swank, Vail is a favorite winter playground for the world’s rich and famous. This is where the movie stars ski. And it’s not odd to see Texans in 10-gallon hats and ladies in mink coats zipping down the slopes. A resort town in every sense of the word, the compact Vail Village offers restaurants, bars and boutiques of high standard. The glitz factor is certainly up there, but the place is more laid-back and less pretentious than Colorado’s other high-octane resort, Aspen. For terrain, Vail is our favorite mountain in the state. Wide open and immense, the back bowls (which cater to intermediate and expert skiers) are nothing short of spectacular, especially on a powder day. Locals must agree, because they flock here by the SUV-load each weekend. Those not shopping and skiing can hike, bike and explore the surrounding alpine country.