Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Vail, Colorado is home to world-class skiing, snowboarding and general luxury vacationing. By day, this cozy mountain town is alive with myriad international tourists ducking into coffee shops or whooshing down the slopes. By night, helmets and boots are swapped for a beer or two at one of the many local hot spots.
Vail is fast becoming a forerunner in green living, offering a frequent cycle of electric hybrid buses that drop passengers within walking distance of almost any local destination. Here, our picks for things to do in Vail, Colorado.
Where to Eat
1. Gear up for a big day at Les Delices de France, a tiny French restaurant with a delectable breakfast and lunch menu and a pleasing array of fresh pastries. (532 East Lionshead Circle, Vail, (970) 476-1044)
2. Break for lunch—without ever leaving the mountain—at The 10th. The restaurant, near all the popular ski and snowboard runs, serves up stunning mountain views and reasonably-priced meals. (Mid-Vail on Vail Mountain, Vail, (970) 754-1010)
3. Finish the day off right with a classy meal at the always bustling Ore House Vail. Big appetites won’t be disappointed by Ore House’s hearty, expertly prepared steak and seafood entrees. (232 Bridge Street, Vail, orehousevail.com)
4. Drop by Elway’s for a light bite in an elegant environment. Their après ski menu (happy hour for skiers) has a yummy array of affordable appetizers that pair perfectly with a glass off their impressive wine list. (174 East Gore Creek Drive, Vail, elways.com)
Where to Stay
1. Relax in luxury at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. The Cascade offers the ideal remedy for tired muscles after a long day of skiing: a gorgeous outdoor hot tub and indulgent full service spa. The resort also offers free shuttles to and from town. (1300 Westhaven Drive, Vail, vailcascade.com, from $359 a night)
2. Wake up to spectacular mountain views at the Holiday Inn Apex Vail. This more affordable option boasts standard rooms with a cozy mountain cabin feel. (2211 North Frontage Road, Vail, apexvail.com, from $162 a night)
3. Save your money for the mountain at the Roost Lodge. The small, simple rooms are perfect for travelers who prefer to spend their time (and money) outside. (1783 North Frontage Road, Vail, roost-vail-lodging.com, from $99 a night)
5. Unwind in style at the Vail Marriot Resort and Spa. Designed with the elegance of a European Chalet, the Marriott offers all of the comforts of a high-end resort, including an on-site ski rental facility. (715 West Lionshead Circle, Vail, marriott.com, from $399 a night)
You can take an overnight Amtrak trip to the Vail station. Otherwise, fly into Eagle Airport (45 minutes away) or Denver International Airport (2 hours away). Once there, it’s easy to get around car-free. See our guide to getting around Vail for more information.
Photo: Connor Walberg