The municipality of Vail, Colorado, was originally built as a base village for the Vail Ski Resort but has since grown to become a popular mountain getaway. While the town experiences warm summers, the winters are cold due to its Rocky Mountain location and receives an average of 200 inches of snow per season - making it a ski haven.
Blue Sky Basin is an expansion of Vail Ski Resort and features chairlifts taking skiers and snowboarders up Vail Mountain. This natural ski experience boasts a 1,900-foot vertical drop with wide, clear-cut runs. The mountain has more than 5,200 acres of downhill and cross-country trails and is considered one of the best in the world.
Vail isn't just for winter vacations, you can also stay when the weather's warm and check out Gore Creek Fly Fishing. Guided fly fishing trips are available and a trip will take you down numerous rivers including Eagle River, Gore Creek, the Colorado River, the Roaring Fork River and the Yampa River. Fly fishing in Vail is some of the best you can find in the area and is an ideal activity for families and friends visiting the area.
Adventure Ridge is open during summer and winter and offers several activities fit for the whole family. There are also hiking and mountain biking opportunities as well as scenic views. Take a scenic gondola ride up the mountain and gaze at the views along the way. You can go tubing in the winter and zip line in the summer. The ZipLine features four lines that are 1,200 feet long and send you flying through the air at 10,000 feet. There's also a kid's zipline for young thrill seekers looking for adventure during their stay in Vail. Kids also have access to a climbing wall, rebounding trampoline and a ropes course made just for them. Other winter activities at Adventure Ridge include showshoeing, snowmobiling and ski biking.
The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are the world's highest botanical garden with an altitude of 8,200 feet. The gardens are open year round, but you'll want to visit during the warmer months of the year for peak flower season. When you visit the gardens you can see innovative exhibits, programs, interpretations and media. You will get to see the Children's Garden, Schoolhouse Garden, Mountain Perennial Garden, Mountain Meditation Garden and the Alpine Rock Garden.
Explore your surroundings with a walk on the Vail Recreation Path. This 15-mile paved trail takes you throughout town and is located parallel to the golf course. There are 35,000 acres that surround the path.
Things to Do in Vail
Vail Events: The community puts on a number of events throughout the year. Bravo! Vail is held in June and August and features musical acts such as the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The Vail Film Festival brings in thought-provoking independent filmmakers and offers screenings, panels, workshops, networking events and educational projects. In the summer Vail plays host to the Vail International Dance Festival. Major ballet and contemporary dance companies including the New York City Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company and the San Francisco Ballet perform at the dance festival. Taste of Vail is held during the first week in April and features food and drink vendors such as Batter Cupcakes, Atwater on Gore Creek, Bistro Fourteen and Beano's Cabin. There are several other summer and winter events in the community including the GoPro Mountain Games, the Vail Jazz Festival, Vail Oktoberfest and the King of the Mountain Volleyball Tournament.
Shopping: There are hundreds of shops throughout Lionshead and Vail Village that sell products ranging from outdoor gear to art. At any one of the boutiques you'll be able to find jewelry, apparel and ski boots. While looking for the latest outdoor and skiing gear, head to Icebreaker, Salomon, Vail Sports Kids, Patagonia and Vail Sports. Those looking for apparel can venture out to Avalon Clothing Company, Axel's, Bella Italia and Cashmere Vail. Golden Bear sells handcrafted jewelry designs and its pieces are often considered "The Symbol of Vail Valley." Find something for the little ones at Kidsport, Moose's Caboose and Golden Peak Kids.
Dining: Up The Creek Restaurant is family-owned and serves fresh ingredients from local sources. Lunch and dinner are served daily and the eatery is located on the banks of Gore Creek. This creek-side patio also offers signature cocktails and a stellar wine selection. La Tour Restaurant and Bar is a great place to visit for lunch, dinner or happy hour and features handcrafted plates using fresh, seasonal, organic and sustainable ingredients. The Little Diner has a breakfast and lunch menu made from scratch. This family-friendly restaurant has a menu that includes American dishes, burgers, crepes, deli sandwiches and French and Mexican plates.