Facts About Vail, Colorado
Miles From Denver: 97
Adventures In Vail
As one of the top travel destinations in the United States, there can be little doubt that 2020 will be a great time to explore all that Vail has to offer. Here are just two great things to do in Vail Colorado, and why visitors to this remarkable region are in for a real treat this year.
Take a Scenic Gondola Ride, 699 I-70 Frontage Rd, Vail, CO 81657
Undoubtedly, one of the best (and most scenic) ways to take in the natural beauty of Vail is by taking a gondola ride. Fans of the outdoors will also love hiking to the top of this beautiful area and enjoying the comfortable ride down. When it comes to exploring Vail, it doesn’t get much better than this. Take a Vail Village Walking Tour and Grab a Bite to Eat With Vail Valley Food Tours
It’s a well-known fact in Vail that many food connoisseurs hold the village’s restaurant scene in very high regard. To find out why the foodie scene is so celebrated here, try signing up for a restaurant and walking tour with this charming company. It’s hard to go wrong with the fabulous meals you’ll experience on this one-of-a-kind outing. Undoubtedly, a trip to Vail can be a life-changing experience for the better. For fun and exciting things to do in Vail Colorado, look no further than these wonderful activities!
Hotels In Vail
- The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa
- The Arrabelle at Vail Square
- The Lodge at Vail
- Tivoli Lodge
Food & Drink In Vail
- La Nonna Ristorante
- Vendettas Restaurant
- Lancelot Restaurant
- La Bottege
Famous resort town Vail, Colorado, lies tucked away in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Recognized for its breathtaking mountain landscape, world-class skiing and snowboarding, and thriving arts and culture, Vail is a top vacation and outdoor destination. Here’s a detailed summary of Vail:
Location & Geography: Vail is situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Eagle County, Colorado. Traveling west on Interstate 70, it’s about 100 miles from Denver. The White River National Forest, where the town is located, provides an immaculate natural environment.
World-class skiing and snowboarding are closely associated with Vail. One of the biggest ski resorts in North America, Vail Mountain, has more than 5,000 acres of skiable land, including terrain parks, groomed slopes, and backcountry regions. Generally speaking, the ski season lasts from late November until early April.
Outdoor Activities: Vail has a year-round array of outdoor activities in addition to skiing. During the summer, tourists can do fly-fishing, golfing, rafting, hiking, and mountain biking. There are numerous paths for exploration in the nearby mountains.
Vail Village: The town’s charming, pedestrian-only hub is called Vail Village. It is well known for its quaint cobblestone streets, buildings in the alpine style, and abundance of eateries, boutiques, art galleries, and stores.
Vail boasts a thriving cultural scene that is highlighted by a number of annual festivals and events. Highlights include the Vail International Dance Festival, Bravo! Vail Music Festival, and the Vail Film Festival.
Vail Village, Lionshead, and Golden Peak are just a few of the basic locations that make up the Vail Mountain Resort. Every one has its own distinct personality and features, such as stores, eateries, and accommodations.
Accommodations & Lodging: Vail has a variety of lodging choices, ranging from opulent hotels and condominiums to quaint bed & breakfasts and mountain cottages.
Transportation: The closest major airport, Denver International Airport (DEN), offers easy access to Vail. There are many of ground transportation alternatives for the two-hour trip from the airport, including shuttles and private car services.
Healthcare Services: Both locals and visitors can receive healthcare services from Vail’s medical facilities, which include the Vail Health Hospital.
Recreation Centers: There are recreation centers in the Vail area, such as the Vail Recreation District, which provides residents and visitors with fitness centers, swimming pools, and recreational programs.
Education: Schools in the Vail region are part of the Eagle County School District, which serves the municipality.
Although Vail is best known for its winter activities, it is now a year-round destination that draws tourists for summertime mountain biking, hiking, and cultural events. Another famous attraction in the area is the fall foliage.
Vail, Colorado, provides a fusion of sophisticated culture and thrilling mountain adventures. One of Colorado’s most famous tourist destinations, this mountain paradise has plenty to offer every kind of traveler, whether you’re tearing up the slopes in the winter, exploring mountain trails in the summer, or enjoying excellent cuisine in Vail Village.
Vail Valley is synonymous with multi-million-dollar mansions, exclusive alpine clubs and elegant hotels. But don’t cross it off your list as an affordable vacation spot. This area, with beautiful mountain vistas, comfortable summer and fall temperatures, world-class skiing and a wide variety of shopping, art galleries and restaurants, is a destination that really shouldn’t be missed.
So, to offset some of the other costs of your Rocky Mountain vacation, here are seven places you can entertain yourself for free — or at least cheaply. Some activities will have to wait until summer.
Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
The late President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, were regular fixtures in the Vail Valley. They left their mark through various charities, as well as the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, which are said to be the highest botanic gardens in the United States.
This well-tended display has thoughtfully placed benches where you can take in the soothing splashes of the waterfalls, the light breezes that stir the surface of the ponds and the kaleidoscope of colors from the alpine flowers and plants. These unique flowers from every far-flung part of the world thrive at this altitude and in weather conditions that would quickly kill most plants. Keep an eye out for blue-eyed grass, a perennial that looks like it has a blue “eye” growing in the middle of the blade of grass.
Cost: A donation is requested in the box outside the main gate.
Gore Range Brewery Tour
Settle in for a slow-roasted pulled pork sandwich and a microbrew beer for lunch at this restaurant and brewery. Ask if the brewmaster is in. If he is — and this can be dicey because he makes his own schedule — ask for a tour of the brewery. The tour can be as short or as long as you want, depending on your level of interest. The best times to catch him are between 10 a.m. and noon or in the evening, or call for appointment.
Vail Valley Cares Thrift Shoppe
Clear out the back seat of your car and grab your eagle-eyed shopping buddy. This thrift shop is crammed with cast-offs of the well heeled. Expect to find clothes, golf clubs, furniture and accessories for the home. As with most thrift shops, some items are worn, but most are in excellent condition.
Cost: Looking is free — but you’ll find some exciting deals priced very cheaply.
Beaver Creek Village
Stop by the Beaver Creek Hiking Center in summer and take a guided hike or bike tour — a free tour is scheduled every day. At least two adults must be signed up for a tour and a 24-hour reservation is required. If you don’t want to bother with reservations or minimums, the Spruce Saddle Loop is an easy, free, guided hike from 11 a.m. to noon every day. You can also venture out on your own for free. Detailed maps are available at the hiking center.
Sling around a Frisbee while surrounded by alpine beauty. Just make sure your well-placed shots don’t hit the deer. Save money and hoof it to the top of Beaver Creek Mountain or spend $18 and ride the Centennial Express high-speed lift. You can upgrade to a $25 ticket, which will get you a $15 lunch credit at the Spruce Saddle Restaurant at the end of your ride up the mountain. There is no cost for children ages 5 to 12.
If Frisbee golf isn’t your thing, just the ride on this quiet Centennial Express lift is an ethereal experience. You’re whisked quickly through the crowns of the aspen and pine trees up the side of the mountain. Views of the European-style village below and the jagged mountain ranges all around will make you want to whip out your camera and start clicking away.
Cost: Free to $25
Antsy kids will appreciate the ability to run wild for a few hours at Freedom Park. This spacious playground has two separate, age-appropriate areas, so little kids won’t get scared off by rambunctious older kids. Older kids will also appreciate the top-notch skate park, which welcomes rollerbladers and skateboarders to skate the variety of concrete benches, rims and half pipes. Sit and watch the aerobatics while you take in your daily dose of sunshine. A dog park on the west edge of the park features a very tempting, deep, green lake for pooches to cool off in when the temperature is hot. Several well-kept grassy athletic fields are also available for walkers and runners who don’t want to work out on hard surfaces.
Location: 450 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards
Avon Recreation Center & Nottingham Park
Open year-around, the variety of activities available can keep you busy all day long. On Thursdays in July and August, you can watch a classic movie for free while stretched out on a blanket with a picnic under the stars.
In winter, go for a whirl across Nottingham Lake for a $7 skate-rental fee. There’s no charge if you have your own skates. Work out those quads on the same lake in summer in a paddleboat ($10 for a half-hour or $15 for an hour). Check out the free publication Parent’s Handbook to the Vail Valley for a half-off coupon that’s good Monday through Thursday.
Play a pick-up game of football, Frisbee or croquet on the lawn for just a $2 rental fee or free with your own equipment. Get splashed at the indoor 15,000-square-foot aquatic area for $14 a day for adults and $10 for kids. Long-term rates are available. Don’t let your workouts go to the wayside while you’re on vacation. A full roster of fitness programs and equipment are also available.
Cost: Free to $15
Wildflower Walk at Vail Nature Center
Visit the Vail Nature Center during June and July for Wildflower Walk. Guided easy walks take place from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday during those months, when bursts of color from dozens of species of wildflowers are at their height.
And, as a bonus, here are four places where you can grab a bite without breaking the bank:
Avon Bakery and Deli
Step in and inhale the intoxicating aroma of bread baking. A freshly baked bagel for breakfast will set you back 89 cents, while most hot, made-to-order sandwiches are only $7.99. Pick up artisan bread to go with soup for a hearty dinner. This spot is swarming with locals, which tells you you’re in the right place. The lunch line is out the door, so be sure to call ahead and place your order for pickup.
Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub
Go for the traditional Irish fare at this pub, which features dark, authentic décor, including a massive carved bar imported from Ireland. The fish and chips are a perfect balance of fluffy batter, moist and flaky fish and good chips just made for a squirt of malt vinegar. Or go authentic with the highly recommended classic corned beef and cabbage or Celtic chicken pot pie. Most entrees are between $9 and $12. www.finneganswakeavon.com
If the idea of a chewy, soft pizza crust that is still crispy intrigues you, you’ll want to give Markos a try. (I don’t know how they do it, but this is easily the best pizza crust I’ve ever had.) With choices ranging from New York-style pizza to calzones to old-school pasta with fat-butt sauce, you can’t go wrong. The top–notch service doesn’t disappoint, either. From a cheese pizza for two at $5.99 to an 18-inch, fully-loaded Greek pizza for $19.99, this local favorite will go easy on the wallet, too. www.markospizza.com
Smiling Moose Deli
Every item makes you want to return to try another creative combination, from a hot, oven-toasted Parisian sandwich with grilled chicken, melted brie, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto for $5.75 to $7.75, to a Mountain Sunrise breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, sausage, seared spinach, roasted red pepper and melted pepper jack cheese snuggled in a tortilla for $4.75. This place is jammed for lunch, but is well worth the wait. www.smilingmoosedeli.com