Vail, CO is known for its upscale amenities and massive ski resort, which is the largest in the state. The town is located on both sides of I-70, about two hours west of Denver.
The Austrian-modeled ski village has a lot of charm and is one of the nicest around. There are two villages: Vail Village and Lionshead Village. They are neighbors and easy to walk in-between. Nature is in all directions. The Vail Valley offers so much to do and see year-round.
During winter in addition to downhill skiing, cross country skiing, ice skating, and snow tubing are available. When the weather warms camping, rafting, hiking, and fishing are all extremely popular activities during summer.
There are several 4×4 trails around town, which are a great way to take in the beautiful Eagle County landscape. Year-round there are family-friendly festivals filled with music, food, and fun.
Vail Ski Resort – With over 5000 acres to ski on, there’s always a new run or powder stash to find. It’s the largest ski resort in the state. Biking and hiking are popular on the mountain in the summer, as well as the thrilling Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster.
Vail Village – The charming Disney World-like village is a picturesque place to meander. Window shop, check out the stunning architecture and grab a patio table for an afternoon glass of your choice. Continue your tour over to Lionshead Village. Between the two of them, there are hundreds of shops, restaurants, and hotels. Soak in the art at a myriad of galleries and on the street.
- Traverse across Vail’s epic back bowls on the Two Elk Trail. With two trailheads to start from, an East and West, this is one of the best mountain biking trails in Eagle County. It’s also a great hiking trail, though a bit long at 11.8 miles.
- Ride the paved 9-mile trail from near the summit of Vail Pass down to Copper Mountain. It’s called the Vail Pass Bike Path.
- Between Minturn and Red Cliff, take County Rd 707 to Halfmoon CG or primitive car camp anywhere on that road. It’s a bumpy road though.
- Take US 24 south of Vail just past Red Cliff, you’ll see Hornsilver Campground.
- Just after Hornsilver CG take a right on Homestake Rd to Gold Park CG or primitive car camp anywhere along that smooth road. It’s ten miles back to the reservoir.
- If you continue south on Hwy 24 past Hornsilver, you’ll pass Yoder Gulch Rd. Take a right and pull over at any spot on that road.
- Keep going on Hwy 24 and you’ll hit Camp Hale Memorial CG just before Tennessee Pass.
- There’s also primitive camping in the wilderness north of Vail. Take exit 173 onto North Frontage Rd. At the traffic circle, stay on N Frontage Rd. Turn left onto Davos Trail and a quick right on Cortina Ln. Follow that for 0.5 miles then take a slight right onto Buffehr. Follow that into the woods where camping is everywhere. Red and White Mountain is the area.
- Read about the camping near Vail, Avon, and Eagle.
- Gore Creek begins high above the town in Vail Pass and goes west past town. Although it’s not a big river, it does hold big fish.
- Eagle River flows through Minturn, south of town.
- Stroll through the two lovely interconnected villages in Vail. Or ride the summer chair lift up and hike along the peaks of the ski resort.
- Read about the hiking trails near Vail.
Hotels and Lodging:
- The Arrabelle at Vail Square – luxury 4 star
- Four Seasons Resort Vail – luxury 5 star
- The Sebastian – luxury 5 star
- Sonnenalp Hotel – luxury 5 star
- Read about the best hotels in Vail.
- Read about the top 4 and 5 star hotels in Vail.
Bars and restaurants:
- Read about the best bars in Vail.
Apr – Taste of Vail – Premiere upscale food and wine with all the flair of Vail, held in early April.
Jun – GoPro Mountain Games – High-intensity celebration of sports, arts, and music.
Jun-Aug – Bravo! Vail Music Festival – The best orchestras perform at various locations in the Vail Valley throughout the summer from late June to early August.
Jul-Aug – Vail Dance Festival – Witness eleven days of professional dance in the mountains held from late July to early August. See one performance or many.
Sep – Gourmet on Gore – A 3-day open-air festival in Vail Village centered around good food, wine, beer, and music.
Dec – Vail Snow Days – Free music concert weekend to kick off the ski season in mid-December.
Read about the best events in Vail.
Activities near Vail
Cross Country Skiing:
- Vail Valley Escape Room (10mi)
- Gilman (13mi)
- Fremont Pass (30mi)
- Shrine Pass (17mi)
- Tennessee Pass (33mi)
- Top of the Rockies Byway (16mi)
- Vail Pass (14mi)
- Roger’s Snowbike Rentals (37mi)
- Avon (10mi)
- Beaver Creek (11mi)
- Breckenridge (38mi)
- Copper Mountain (20mi)
- Dillon (32mi)
- Eagle (30mi)
- Eagle-Vail (8mi)
- Edwards (14mi)
- Frisco (26mi)
- Keystone (38mi)
- Minturn (8mi)
- Red Cliff (16mi)
- Silverthorne (30mi)
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