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Vail Mountian Colorado Offers Alps-Style Adventures Year Round
The mountain village of Vail, Colorado, is an Alps-style experience with a North American flair. It’s the perfect destination for skiing, hiking, biking and much more.
Vail was founded by World War II mountain troopers who spent most of their time in the Alps and brought that vibe back home. Since its first opening in 1962, the resort has grown into one of the most popular ski destinations in the country.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Skiing in Vail is one of the best winter sports experiences available. The mountain is known for its vast terrain and powder stashes, with a variety of runs to suit any level of skier or rider.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there are a number of ski schools in town to meet your needs. Check with your hotel or rental for which location they recommend and make sure to book early in the day.
Aside from skiing, there are also other winter activities to choose from such as snowboarding, ice skating, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. There are also plenty of winter festivals, such as the Free Vail Snow Days, and a variety of events throughout the season.
For those who enjoy the history of skiing, you can visit the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum. This museum tells the story of skiing and snowboarding, and the stories of the people who pioneered it in Colorado. There’s also an exhibit on the 10th Mountain Division, a World War II alpine unit that trained in the Rockies.
To find your way around the slopes, you’ll want to study a trail map. The front side of the mountain has a wide range of runs to suit all skill levels, from easy cruisers on Sourdough Express to steeps and cliffs at Northwoods. You can also find some great soft-snow back bowls and terrain in Blue Sky Basin.
If you’re new to the sport, a complimentary tour is a good way to learn about the resort. Vail offers several options, including Mountain Tours and Back Bowl/Blue Sky Basin tours.
Another option is to go on a snowshoeing trip. These excursions are usually guided and take place on trails in Vail’s wooded areas.
Alternatively, you can visit Adventure Ridge to try snow tubing or ski biking. They offer tours for both adults and kids, as well as snowshoeing rentals.
While you’re in Vail, be sure to check out some of the many art galleries and boutiques that are located in the villages of Vail and Lionshead. You’ll find a range of stores that sell everything from custom hats to hand-made jewelry and artwork.
Hiking & Biking
Vail Mountian Colorado is a top destination for hiking and biking activities year-round. From a variety of challenging hikes in the summer to scenic and easy trails in the winter, there are so many options for all skill levels.
A few of our favorites include Bighorn Creek Trail, which offers a variety of terrain, from pine meadows to ponderosa pine trees and waterfalls. The East Vail portion of the Gore Valley Trail is also a great option with views of a red sandstone cliff band and Gore Creek.
Another option is the Ridge Route to Ptarmigan Loop, a flat and accessible 1.6-mile hike that starts at Lionshead Village. This moderately challenging hike is perfect for those who want to get a taste of the mountains while staying near town.
If you’re not a hiker but still want to experience some of the amazing scenery of Vail, try mountain biking. If you’re new to the sport, start with a few beginner-friendly trails before venturing out into the backcountry.
There are so many different types of bikes to choose from — mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids and e-bikes — that you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect bike for your next adventure. You can rent your bike at one of the local rental shops or at a Vail resort.
The most important thing to remember when riding a mountain bike is to be safe. Wear gloves, a helmet and follow all safety rules to ensure a fun and safe ride.
For example, make sure you don’t overheat and stay away from steep slopes if you’re not used to the altitude. During the summer, keep an eye out for dangerous thunderstorms and make sure you’re below treeline before lightning strikes.
If you’re planning a long ride, be sure to eat a snack along the way to avoid becoming dehydrated or nauseous. And don’t forget to pack sunscreen and water bottles.
If you’re looking for a more challenging and exhilarating mountain bike ride, head to the Vail Bike Park to take on some of the top-rated downhill trails in the area. If you’re not a biker, you can also take the gondola up to Vail Mountain for a fun ride down the hill with spectacular views!
Dining & Shopping
The quaint, picturesque mountain town of Vail Mountian Colorado is home to great restaurants and shopping. Its winter ski slopes are its greatest draw, but the town is also beautiful in summer and fall.
When it comes to dining in Vail, you can find a variety of options for both fancy and casual restaurants. Some are located inside a hotel, while others are spread out throughout the town.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get from one part of the mountain to the next thanks to a free in-town shuttle. It’s a great way to see the entire town and enjoy the mountain views.
While you’re in Vail, don’t miss the Vail Farmer’s Market and Art Show. This is an event that’s popular for its live entertainment and the wide range of local foods it features.
For some authentic Vail cuisine, check out the classic diner at The Little Diner. This family-owned and operated restaurant serves breakfast all day, and has a cozy, welcoming feel.
Another local favorite is Blue Moose Pizza. This restaurant recently remodeled their kitchen to include an indoor dining room and outdoor patio that’s perfect for people watching!
You can also get your fix of a delicious New York style pizza at Bart and Yeti’s. This is a fun, cozy, local spot that’s sure to have you coming back for more!
If you’re looking for something a little more refined, head to the 10th Mountain Lodge at Mid Vail. This is the place to be for a special dinner or lunch.
It’s the kind of dining experience that sparks a deeper connection to Vail, a mountain that only a town this spectacular could give. You’ll also find an impressive cocktail and wine list here, as well as a posh bar for enjoying the views from the top of Vail Mountain.
If you’re looking to add a few souvenirs from your visit to Vail, there are plenty of stores in Vail Village and Lionshead Village. There’s a good selection of resort wear and gear for skiing or snowboarding. Plus, there are a few jewelry shops to find the perfect keepsake from your vacation.
Events & Activities
With the backdrop of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Vail Mountian Colorado offers limitless adventures year-round for visitors of all ages. The town is known for its winter sports, awe-inspiring scenery and as a bucket list summer destination.
In the winter, you can experience a variety of activities including skiing and snowboarding, dog sledding, horseback riding, snowcat tours, and ice fishing. In the spring and summer, you can enjoy hiking and biking, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and fishing.
During the summer, there are also a variety of festivals and events to attend. For example, the Taste of Vail is one of the nation’s top food and wine festivals. There are also several annual music and dance festivals, including the Bravo! Vail Music Festival, International Dance Festival, and GoPro Mountain Games.
The Vail Automotive Classic is another event that draws people from all over the country. The multi-day car show features modern racecars and vintage motorcycles.
Other events in Vail include the Vail America Days celebrations, which includes a patriotic popular town parade, fireworks, and other fun activities. The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, which are located at the base of Vail Mountain, also host several events throughout the year.
Besides the many exciting activities, there are also numerous restaurants and shops in the area to explore. The two modern villages at the base of the slopes, Vail Village and Lionshead, are both full of fantastic shopping and dining options. The villages are connected by a free bus service and have easy access to the lifts.
Apres-ski is a great way to cool off after a day on the slopes, and Vail has many bars and clubs that offer live entertainment. Some of these bars are intimate and romantic, while others offer a more lively nightlife with happy hour starting at 4 pm and featuring craft cocktails like the Old Fashioned Sour and gourmet bites.
For those looking to hike, there are plenty of trails and a variety of scenic routes to choose from. For a truly unique experience, you can also take a guided snowshoe tour through the mountain’s terrain.