A world-class skiing destination and hangout for the rich and famous, Vail is a picturesque mountain town nestled in a narrow, aspen lined valley complete with chalet style architecture and lots of out of town visitors.
WHAT TO DO
With over 7,000 acres of skiing, including the unforgettable Vail back bowls, skiing is of course one of the main attractions in Vail. With world famous and challenging terrain and Colorado famous "champagne powder," Vail’s skiing is surely not to be missed in the winter months.
There are a ton of great dining options in Vail. With the heavy traffic of out of town (and wealthy) visitors that come streaming through Vail, there is no lack of romantic and intimate dining spots. Some are hidden away and only reachable by ski or gondola and others are tucked away in the faux-Tyrolean village. Horse drawn sleigh rides can also add to the romance of Vail.
If you are coming to Vail in the summertime, there are a plethora of great hiking and biking trails in the area. Visitors can take the gondola up the mountain, and hike or bike down, enjoying the stunning Rocky Mountain vistas along the way. Golfing is another popular summertime activity, and with more than a dozen golf courses in the Vail Valley, visitors will not be lacking options of courses to chose from. The high altitude will also add so many yards to your drive you may never want to golf at sea level again.
While there is a small airstrip in Vail for those who have enough money to shell out for a private plane (and many visitors to Vail do), the easiest way to get to Vail is probably by getting a flight to Denver. Because Denver International Airport (airport code DEN) is a major hub for several airlines and a major stop over city for flights traveling between the east and west coast, it should not be difficult to get a cheap flight to Denver.
While Vail is located about 2-2.5 hours from the Denver airport, there are a few Denver airport shuttles that cater especially to those guests headed straight for the mountain towns. Renting a car may also be a good idea, especially if you have any inclination to explore the surrounding areas. If you are driving to the airport, a good way to save both time ad money can be by arranging your Denver airport parking in advance.
WHERE TO STAY
There are many hotels in Vail and neighboring Beaver Creek to chose from. Guests can also find larger cabins to rent for bigger groups. While ski-in ski-out lodging will not be cheap, if you are going to Vail for the skiing, being right on the slopes cannot be beat. If you are wanting to save a few bucks, you can get slightly cheaper lodging in the Vail valley in neighboring Eagle, though you’ll have to then drive and pay for parking at the slopes if you want to ski. While there are no hostels in Vail, there are hostels in nearby Silverton, which can be a good option for those on a tight budget.