Originally a sheep pasture, Vail Mountian Colorado has become the world’s largest ski resort. Today, it offers more than 5,000 acres of slopes, and it has been continuously improving its facilities, chairlifts, and ski runs to make sure you get the best skiing experience possible.
Its founders, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, decided to build Vail after they climbed the mountain together in 1957. They had both served in World War II and were looking for the perfect ski area.
Located in the state of Colorado, Vail Mountian Colorado is one of the most popular ski resorts worldwide. Founded in 1962, the mountain has grown to become one of the largest ski areas in North America.
The mountain is surrounded by the White River National Forest, making it one of the most scenic ski locations in the United States. It is a popular destination for families and friends.
When Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton summited the mountain together in 1957, they instantly knew it was the perfect spot to build a ski resort. The mountain was carved into several separate “bowls” and the treeless backside terrain offered an unmatched powdery, wide-open landscape for skiing.
After returning from World War II, Seibert joined with Eaton and other investors to form Vail Associates (VA) in 1959. The fledgling company would soon raise money to pay for building a ski mountain, village, and gondolas on a federally owned piece of land in the Vail Valley.
Getting started was a challenge, as the project required funding and land permits from the United States Forest Service. But with a few friends who possessed expertise in the ski-resort industry–and a little luck–Vail was born.
The early years of the ski area were a time of upheaval. The competition was fierce; many larger ski areas were expanding their terrain and facilities, while smaller ones struggled to maintain their position in the market.
But Vail’s founding partners stayed the course, and by 1969, it was one of the top three ski resorts in the country. The company continued to develop new trails and ski terrain, while raising lift ticket prices.
In addition, the resort developed an extensive medical center. In 1965, Dallas Cowboys cofounder John Murchison donated money toward a larger, better-equipped clinic in his Mill Creek Court building.
This facility was moved to its current location in 1971 and renamed the Vail Veterans’ Medical Center (VVMC). After the Vietnam War, Vail’s first doctor, Tom Steinberg, was recruited.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the resort evolved into a year-round destination. It added golf courses, mountain biking trails, and gondolas to transport visitors looking for sightseeing opportunities.
Winter sports are a mainstay at Vail, and there are countless ways to experience the thrill of skiing or snowboarding in this alpine resort. But if you’re not a thrill seeker or simply don’t feel up to the task, there are plenty of other things to do in Vail Mountain that are equally exciting and enjoyable.
One of the best things to do in Vail during winter is ice-skating, and there are two rinks to choose from: Dobson Ice Rink and Vail Square. Both of them are only steps away from your lodge and are perfect for all ages.
Another top activity is renting a ‘fat-bike’ at the Vail Nordic Centre and riding down the specially groomed, snow-covered trails. These bikes have extra large and wide wheels that make cycling through inches of snow a breeze, and with 12 km of trails dedicated to fat-biking, it’s definitely an activity you shouldn’t miss.
When the sun goes down, grab a cocktail at one of the bars around town. The George is the local favorite for cheap drinks, and The Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons is a great spot to enjoy inspired craft cocktails.
Other winter activities include cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, which are also a time-honored tradition in the mountains. There are a number of different trails to explore and if you’re feeling up for it, you can even go on a snowshoe hike through the forest or along the river.
If you prefer something more leisurely, take a walk on the beautiful village streets or stroll through Betty Ford Alpine Gardens at the Vail Park complex. Both of these options are free, and both offer a spectacular view of the mountain.
And if you’re looking for a bit of culture, head to the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum. The museum features interactive exhibits highlighting the history of skiing and snowboarding, as well as the evolution of the sport.
For an even more adrenaline-pumping experience, visit Vail Adventure Ridge, a stadium-sized outdoor playground that opens in the winter and doesn’t close until mid-April. This all-day thrill park has it all, from gondola runs and ski bikes to the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, a raised alpine coaster that winds 3,400 feet down the mountain. There’s also a kids’ snowmobile track, slippery slope tubing lanes and various trails, as well as a delectable family restaurant at Bistro 14.
Vail Mountian Colorado has a number of hotels and lodges to choose from. It is a popular resort destination that receives visitors from all over the world. It offers lodging on both sides of the mountain, giving travelers several options to choose from.
The best hotels in Vail are located within walking distance to ski lifts and shops. The area is called Vail Village, and it has pedestrian streets lined with quaint condos, bars, restaurants and sports shops.
You can choose from a variety of lodging options, including ski-in ski-out resorts and luxury hotels. If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, there are also many airbnbs in the town.
If you’re traveling with children, there are many family-friendly vacation rentals available in the Vail area. One option is the Timber Falls property in East Vail that features a comfortable condo with a private hot tub, a full kitchen, dining area and washer and dryer. The property is conveniently located on the shuttle line and is a short walk to restaurants, grocery stores and the bus depot.
Another option is the Tivoli Lodge, which has been in operation since 1965 and is a great choice for families. The hotel is located directly across the street from the ski lift and is just steps away from the bustling cobblestone streets of Vail Village.
Accommodations include rooms and suites that offer stunning mountain views, fireplaces, and luxurious amenities. You can even enjoy a spa visit during your stay.
A new addition to the Vail landscape, Gravity Haus Vail is part members club, part resort. This boutique property offers 22 hotel rooms and seven condos, all with modern designs, chic look and high-end amenities.
The property is perfect for skiers who want to stay in a cozy cabin style hotel. The 4 bedroom, 3 bath cabin is nestled at the end of a cul-de-sac with scenic views. The cabin is a pet-friendly stay, so you can bring your furry friends along for the trip.
Aside from the hotel and its spa, you can also enjoy an outdoor heated pool and whirlpool, fitness center and daily housekeeping service. There is also a lounge and bar where you can enjoy a drink or a meal while enjoying the mountain views.
Vail Mountian Colorado is a skiers paradise with a dizzying array of on-mountain dining options. From quick grab-and-go meals to sit-down fine dining, there are restaurants for every taste and budget in Vail.
Some of the best Vail Mountian Colorado dining is right in the heart of the village, while others are tucked away in luxury resorts or hotels. The list below highlights the most popular spots for a casual dinner, gourmet experience or just to kick back and relax with a drink and a bite.
Mountain Standard: This cozy lodge is nestled on a hill above Vail Village and is a popular spot for lunch or après ski drinks. They offer a range of fondue, bratwurst and Austrian fare served by waiters in lederhosen. You can also try their signature Rosti Ballchen – rustic potato balls stuffed with swiss cheese and bacon, served with dip.
Alpenrose: This European restaurant specializes in traditional Bavarian cuisine. You’ll find a variety of dishes that are sure to tickle your taste buds, including Rosti Ballchen, steamed salmon and tomato soup.
The menu at this restaurant has a wide range of flavors and is perfect for everyone to enjoy. They have many delicious appetizers, a great wine selection and a variety of main dishes to choose from.
Flame: This Vail Colorado restaurant is a great choice for anyone looking to have a memorable experience during their visit to Vail. The cuisine is very high quality and the service is top notch. It is a great place to dine with family or friends and will be a highlight of your vacation!
You can go to any of the restaurants on this list for a delicious meal but the following restaurants will make your Vail Mountian Colorado vacation unforgettable. They will take you to a whole new world and leave you feeling like you are in a completely different place!
La Nonna: This is a family run Italian restaurant that has been serving the Vail Village community for over 60 years. They have a warm and inviting ambiance that makes you feel welcome the minute you walk in!