Vail is famous for pricey pleasures, but one of its best summer treats is free. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, the highest botanical park in the country at 8,200 feet, erupts in a riot of wild blossoms from June through August. You’ll find plants not just from the Rockies, but also the Himalayas and Alps. (In August, deep blue delphiniums are at their peak.) Docents lead $5 walking tours, and there’s plenty of hands-in- the-dirt fun for kids too: craft stations, gardening classes, and treasure hunts. At the on-site gift shop—whose profits help fund the garden—you’ll find reasonably priced prettifications, such as handmade jewelry and vases.
Ashley Davis Tilley
500 S. Frontage Rd.