Things to do in Vail

Things to do in  Vail

To ski, or not to ski?

Boasting Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail draws snow worshippers from around the world to more than 5,000 acres (2,025 hectares) of expertly groomed trails. At the base, Vail Village and Lionshead Village echo the Old World charm of the Austrian alps, with an added upscale flair to abundant dining and shopping options. There are still plenty of things do in Vail outside of ski and snowboard season though, from hiking Booth Falls Trail to tacking the Vail Pass Bike Path on two wheels or fishing in Gore Creek.

All about Vail

When to visit

The slopes at Vail Ski Resort and Beaver Creek Resort are snowy from November through April, with peak conditions generally kicking off in December. For outdoorsy travelers, Vail’s other prime travel season runs between June and September, when the area invites visitors to hike its aspen forests, mountain bike, and go fly fishing. While nights turn cold in September and October, this is a great time of year for leaf-peeping, as summer’s pale-green aspen forests turn brilliant gold in the fall.

Getting around

The two ski resorts’ chairlifts and gondolas deliver skiers right to the restaurants, bars, and shops in Vail’s car-free town center. Between that walkable downtown, ample bike paths, and a year-round network of free local buses, it’s easy to get around Vail without your own vehicle. If you do have a car—which can be helpful for accessing further-flung trailheads—you’ll find paid overnight parking at many hotels and at two city-run parking structures in Vail Village and Lionshead.

Traveler tips

Don’t procrastinate when it comes to buying lift tickets for Vail Ski Resort and Beaver Creek Resort. Prices fluctuate over time, and the best deals are generally available when you book at least a week in advance. Another money-saving strategy is to make the most of Vail’s booming après-ski scene: While dining can be expensive at dinner time, many bars offer happy-hour specials on appetizers and drinks.

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People Also Ask

What is there to do in Vail if you don't ski?

Vail offers plenty of fun for non-skiers. You can bundle up for sleigh rides, ice skating, snowshoeing, fat biking, or snowmobiling through the scenic Vail Valley. In pedestrian-friendly Vail Village, there are microbreweries to visit, browsable boutiques and galleries, and an après-ski scene featuring plenty of cozy, fireside socializing.

How do you spend a day in Vail, Colorado?

Vail’s an outdoorsy favorite because the beautiful resort town offers year-round adventure. In winter, head to Vail Resort or Beaver Creek Resort, the town’s two main ski areas. In the summer and fall, hike or mountain bike an East Vail trail such as Booth Falls, Gore Creek, or Deluge Lake Trail.

Is Vail nicer than Aspen?

Both Aspen and Vail are gorgeous towns with great skiing. In Aspen, which has four ski mountains, you’ll find a bit more history and culture and a chic, international set of travelers. Vail is slightly more family-friendly, and its lone ski mountain dwarfs Aspen when it comes to skiable acreage.

Which is cheaper, Aspen or Vail?

Both Aspen and Vail can be pricy, but high-end accommodations make Aspen the more expensive town. While you can still find deals, the resort has some of Colorado’s most luxurious hotels and spas. Lift tickets at Aspen’s four ski resorts also tend to be more expensive than Vail Resort passes.

Why is Vail so popular?

Vail Ski Resort is among the world’s biggest ski resorts, with more than 5,200 acres (2,104 hectares) of skiable terrain. Snow is the original draw, but Vail has since become a year-round resort with hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities. From breweries to wine bars, the nightlife is great, too.

What is the richest ski town in America?

If you’re going by real estate value, Aspen is America’s richest ski town. A pricey place to live and visit, Aspen’s year-round scenic beauty draws a high-end set of chic travelers from around the world. Other top contenders include Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Vail, Colorado; Park City, Utah; and Telluride, Colorado.

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