Vail Mountian Colorado is a world class ski resort that offers endless terrain for all skill levels. Whether you want to ski, snowboard, or ice climb, there is something for everyone at Vail Mountain!
Located 97 miles west of Denver, Vail is an idyllic place to visit year-round. Summertime activities include golf, biking, hiking, and rafting.
A sibling of the lauded Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard is a rustic, laid back tavern showcasing the best of the Colorado high country. You’ll find a bevy of well crafted dishes including a rotisserie-roasted cauliflower, smoky pork belly and a swoon-worthy raw bar. The drinks menu is equally impressive, with a solid assortment of bourbon and beer.
In a town with a plethora of restaurants, Mountain Standard stands out as a modern day gem that combines the modern aesthetics of Vail with its namesake mountain. The 95-seat spot, which is located on the fabled Gore Creek, is one of those places you’ll want to return to time and again.
The most important part of this establishment is its staff, a stalwart bunch of oenophiles that seem to enjoy their jobs and take pride in their work. From the bartenders to the waiters and waitresses, the team behind this tavern is a seasoned veteran in the industry.
As a matter of fact, you’ll probably find yourself back at this establishment at least once during your stay in Vail. It’s also a good place to pick up a souvenir or two. The small town also has several quaint little shops and boutiques to browse through, as well as numerous eateries to choose from.
For over 40 years, Sweet Basil has been one of the top restaurants in Vail and is still going strong. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, a great place to watch the sunset, or a relaxing night out with friends and family, there’s something for everyone here.
The food at Sweet Basil is driven by a drive for excellence, and the restaurant is known for its contemporary American cuisine. The menu is constantly changing, reflecting the freshest seasonal ingredients.
You’ll find a variety of appetizers and main dishes on the menu including King crab spring rolls with dashi lime aioli, sweet corn chowder with poached shrimp, cotija cheese, and green chili relish, Angus beef tenderloin, and Seafood Tagliolini. For dessert, try Chocolate & Hazelnut made with dark chocolate ganache or Lemon and Fennel with lemon curd and fennel and brown sugar crumble.
In addition to being a great dining spot, Sweet Basil also features an extensive wine list and great cocktails. The bar is a popular place to relax with friends and enjoy live music or a game of pool.
Another restaurant worth checking out is Mountain Standard, which is owned by the same team as Sweet Basil and opened in 2012. The new eatery serves rustic American dishes cooked primarily over an open flame.
Its 95-seat space is situated along Gore Creek and features a rustic tavern vibe with craft cocktails, local beer and delicious food. It’s a great place to catch the sunset and relax after an adventurous day of skiing or hiking.
There are also plenty of other great places to eat in Vail, so be sure to check them out too! Some of the best choices include Pepi’s Restaurant & Bar, Los Amigos Mexican Grill, and Vendetta’s Pizza.
If you want to grab a quick meal in a more casual atmosphere, try Joe’s Deli. It’s a favorite among locals and has a great breakfast and lunch menu as well.
For a more refined experience, head to Vail Chophouse. It’s a short walk, bike or bus ride from Vail Village and offers both lunch and dinner. The restaurant’s charcuterie board, yellowfin tuna poke, and crispy pork belly sliders are sure to please!
The North Trail
The mountain town of Vail, set within the White River National Forest between Denver and Glenwood Springs, has a special vibe all its own. It’s one of Colorado’s most exciting cities, full of outdoor activities, world-class ski slopes, cute resort villages and scenic hiking trails that are perfect for a day out.
Vail is a great place to enjoy some serious outdoor activities, but the city also has a lot to offer for those who are looking for a little relaxation, too. This is especially true if you’re planning a vacation to Vail in the fall, when the mountains are in full bloom and the weather is warm.
A great trail to check out if you’re looking for some relaxation is The North Trail, which runs north of Vail Mountian Colorado and offers views of the Gore Range, plus several entry points that are less than five minutes from I-70. This 11.2 miles long trail is a great way to stretch your legs and take in the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains.
There are several sections to The North Trail, including the Middle Section and Western Section that both have a lot to offer. The middle section is a gradual climb that starts off with a wide aspen tree canopy and plenty of wildflowers.
This section of The North Trail is a nice option for beginner hikers and runners. It offers a steady pace and the ability to hear the forest instead of the highways, which is a nice change from some of the other trails in the area.
Another trail that is popular among locals is Berry Picker, which is a challenging but beautiful hike that will take you up to the top of Vail Ski Resort and back down again. You can start at Lionshead Village and cross over the ski bridge before continuing on the trail.
You can easily spend a full day hiking this trail, and if you’re feeling tired, there are plenty of spots to stop along the route where you can eat or drink your lunch. You can even take a gondola ride back down if you’re feeling too tired to continue on the trail.
Gore Creek Recreation Trail
The sandstone cliffs and meadows of Gore Creek are a delight to stroll along. The easy path runs alongside a vibrant red sandstone cliff band and leads to a variety of beautiful meadows and aspen groves. This shared trail is a great option for families, couples or anyone looking for an enjoyable walk in the woods.
The Vail Nature Center is a seven-acre facility perched between a mountain meadow and the forested bank of Gore Creek. The center offers a wide array of programs and exhibits to learn about the environment, wildlife and natural history that surround us.
Hiking trails are a major draw for visitors to Vail Mountian Colorado and there are plenty of options to choose from. Many of the trails are short and are best suited for beginners or less experienced hikers.
Another popular hike is the Shrine Ridge Trail which climbs to a ridgeline with 360-degree views. The path begins with a mild ascent through meadows that are often dotted with wildflowers in the summer, offering a chance to take in a gorgeous view of Copper Mountain ski area, Mount of the Holy Cross and the Gore Range.
Next, the trail enters dense lodgepole timber with a gradual ascent to a major clearing in the forest. Continuing up the valley wall, travel moderates to a lazy oxbow in the creek (2.4 miles : 9,745′).
Finally, the trail enters a pristine spruce-fir swath with better fishing access and camping terrain. This segment is ideal for those who plan to spend the night, and offers a nice reward at the end of a challenging hike.
A little further up the trail, the trail reaches a waterfall, then heads off on a steep ascent through forest to Booth Lake. Throughout this route, there are several vantage points to take in stunning views of Vail’s Back Bowls and the Gore Range.
This scenic trail is a favorite among locals and is a great choice for an easy hike to the top of Vail Pass. The 8 3/4 mile paved trail partly follows the original Highway 6 route to the summit and connects with the Summit County Recreation Path System at the summit.