At the base of the Gore Range in the Colorado Rockies and 100 miles from Denver, lies the Vail Valley, a quaint European village full of alpine-style charm. Breathe in the crisp mountain air and soak in the views of the snow-capped peaks as the world’s weight melts away. While best known as one of the top ski areas in the world, there are also endless things to do in the summer. Year-round there is no shortage of world-class outdoor adventures. Here’s a rundown of all the fun things to do on your next trip to the town of Vail, no matter what season you choose to visit.
Tour Vail Village & Lionshead Village
Vail is a mountain town like no other. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of Colorado and into a European village. Many of the streets within Vail Village and Lionshead Village are pedestrian-only, so you can stroll down the cobblestone streets and along Gore Creek (or use the free in-town shuttle system) to explore Vail’s shops, restaurants, sports outfitters, and entertainment options. Glide on the ice skating rinks in Vail Square (Lionshead) and Solaris (Vail Village). The two villages blend seamlessly with the ski resort as the Eagle Bahn Gondola (Lionshead Village) and Gondola One (Vail Village) quickly whisk you up Vail Mountain to start your mountain adventure.
Experience Vail Mountain Resort
Home to one of the most famous ski resorts in North America, Vail, Colorado, has something for skiers and snowboarders of every ability level. One gets a special feeling viewing the endless mountain peaks from the top of Vail Mountain Resort and the seven legendary back bowls. In the warmer months, summer activities like exploring the network of hiking trails and mountain biking trails are great ways to enjoy the wildflower-covered alpine landscape. Epic Discovery delivers a thrill with the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, kids’ zipline, and Gore Creek mini golf. If you’re not in a playful mood, take a scenic gondola ride to the top of Vail Mountain for dining and 360-degree views of the White River National Forest that will take your breath away.
Dive into Vail’s Culinary Scene
It makes sense that Colorado’s largest ski resort also has a wide array of restaurant selections. From coffee to cocktails, breakfast to après-ski, there’s always an option to excite your taste buds. With so many experiences to choose from, from world-renowned gourmet restaurants like Sweet Basil in Vail Village to more casual family spots like Moe’s BBQ in Lionshead, the Vail restaurant scene has a dining option for any culinary preference and budget.
Visit Vail Breweries & Distilleries
Looking to grab a craft beer or cocktail after a long day of skiing or hiking? Vail Brewing Company, located in Solaris Plaza of Vail Village, is “veteran and ski bum owned” and delivers fantastic craft beers. 10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirits on Bridge Street in Vail Village is Vail’s premier distillery and is the perfect place to try bourbon, rye, moonshine, potato vodka, or the local Alpenglow cordial.
Visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame
Celebrate Colorado ski heritage and get a feel for the slopes without strapping on the skis at the Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame, chronicling Colorado’s skiing history. From the 10th Mountain Division’s WWII history to the more recent Hall of Fame inductees, this collection tells a fascinating story of the birth, rise, and explosion of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado.
Relax at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
Within Vail Village is the Ford Park complex, named for President Gerald Ford, who loved to vacation in Vail with his wife, Betty, lies the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Located just outside of Vail Village, it is one of the highest botanical gardens in the country. Take a break from the hustle and bustle and appreciate the beauty of the high-elevation plants surrounding you and the amazing view of the Gore Range in the distance.
Take in a Performance at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater
The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail is a spectacular outdoor music venue along Gore Creek that seats 1,260 guests in covered seating and an additional 1,300 on its expansive grassy hillside with a breathtaking view of the Rocky Mountains. Each summer, the amphitheater hosts a wide array of talent, from dance and classical to a weekly concert series with headlining acts.
Stay in a Luxury Vacation Home
Book a luxurious vacation rental in Vail. If skiing is your main agenda, Cloud 9 is perfectly located less than 5 minutes from Vail Ski Resort. If mountain seclusion is more your style, Bighorn is tucked away in the trees, and Condor is a cabin-style home in an idyllic, natural setting. Or, unwind in style at Highline, a breathtaking mountain home surrounded by snow-capped hills and aromatic pine trees.
Experience the Best of Vail
Ready to experience the fresh mountain air, natural beauty, and European charm that awaits in Colorado? Find your next vacation home in Vail today!