SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The doors have been boarded up, the signs have been taken down and the circus has moved on - at least that's what it feels like walking along the streets of the Village right now. Restaurants and shops are closed, which means the majority of people have left town to either visit family or bask on a beach somewhere, and the remaining lost souls (me included) are left to kick up the leaves and sit in hateful envy of our friends' vacations. But what if someone came up with the ultimate stay-cation to turn our colorless days into bright and shiny adventures?
OK, so bright and shiny adventures might be a bit far-fetched, but here's a self-whittled list of possible activities that those left behind in the Village can engage in so that he or she can come out of the offseason with stories, laughs and an unbeatable photo collection that is sure to one-up all the friends' vacations, no matter where or how far they go.
1. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park: So it's not Six Flags, but for an amusement park at altitude, it's guaranteed to keep the inner child happy. Take the gondola up to the top, grab some lunch, ride the big swing, take a tour through the caverns and enjoy the day. But hurry - the park will only be open one more week.
2. El Jebowl: Perhaps the best attraction in El Jebel, the bowling alley is always a good choice, especially if the weather breaks and it's too cold for that afternoon hike. Gather some friends and make for a full-day tournament - losers buy postgame margaritas at El Korita.
3. Restaurant promenade: There aren't many options for eating in Snowmass for the offseason, so grab a date, hop on the bus and go to Aspen for a cheap night on the town. The restaurants that are open have some award-winning prix fixes that will make you feel like a king without breaking the bank, and who knows, you might even catch a free show at Belly Up afterwards.
4. Segway strut: Want to have fun while embarrassing yourself and everyone else around you? Rent a segway. These uncool robo-cop coasters beat any primped out moped, and make for a hilarious day of street cruising in Aspen - just make sure not to ride on the sidewalks or you might get a ticket.
5. Great Sand Dunes National Park: We all know how great Moab is, but this place is guaranteed to make your ears bleed. Drive three hours to the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and witness one of the most spectacular settings imaginable. Two named dunes, High Dune and Star Dune, rise more than 600 feet from their bases, making for some great photos and an unforgettable overnight stay.