At 8,150 feet, Vail is famously known for its steep ski slopes. In the summer, our mountains come alive. We recommend visiting Vail Village on your first day to explore the iconic Bavarian inspired village. Explore local shops, quaint restaurants, and walking paths. If you’re not staying in the Village or Lionshead, take a free public bus into town.
Spend time on an outdoor patio. We recommend Vendetta’s or The Red Lion for people watching and friendly service. For an upscale experience, visit Mountain Standard, where the 2021 Colorado chef of the year, Maria Busato, whips up her magic in a charming setting on Gore Creek, or try the beautiful deck and tequila bar at El Segundo. If you head west to Lionshead, Blue Moose Pizza is centrally located and gives you a full view of the plaza.
Consider booking a tour with Vail Segway to hit all of the Vail hot spots and get a lay of the land.
Day 2: Enjoy Our Waters
If the skies are a clear Colorado blue, try spending the day on the water. Book a reel fishing or fly-fishing trip with a guide at one of our local shops. If you’re already a seasoned pro, stop by for gear, river pointers, and your fishing license and then get to casting your line. If you’re just starting out, ask about lessons or guided trips.
Whether it’s early in the summer when the rivers and creeks are running high, or later in the summer when the waters are calmer, you’ll want to consider whitewater rafting or tubing. See our recommended outdoor adventure companies to find a rapids-filled experience that meets your needs. Not quite up for a big rafting adventure, try Turtle Tubing for a leisurely float down the Colorado River. We recommend packing some canned beverages, snacks, or a lunch and making it a half-day trip. They have options that include rides to and from their launch sites, so you may not need to drive yourself.
Day 3: Hit the Trails
Now that you’re acclimated to the altitude, it’s time to hit the trails. Talk to any local and they’ll tell you that hiking in the Valley is an essential activity for your visit. With trails for all skill levels, we recommend picking up a local hiking guide at The Bookworm of Edwards or visiting the Vail Valley Trails Alliance website to find a trail (or many) that is right for you and your group.
For an easier hike, check out options for riding the gondola to the top of one of the mountains and hiking across the peaks or back down to the bottom. The views of Mount of the Holy Cross from the top of Vail can’t be matched!
Tired of hiking? Rent a bike from a local shop. There are plenty to choose from, from road bikes to electric bikes (e-bikes), to mountain bikes. Did you know you can take mountain bikes up and down the gondola? Load up and ride along trails at the top of our mountains, or bike down to visit our mountain towns. We recommend checking out the Gore Creek Trail that takes you through Vail and Lionshead for a smooth and easy ride that’s great for beginners and families.
Day 5: Feel a Rush
If you’ve had enough hiking, you may want to try something with more power. For all things rough and tumble, get a taste of adventure with any of our outdoor experience companies. Jeep and ATV tours provide access to the wilderness in a new way. Call ahead to book your reservation and make sure you have enough seats for everyone.
After hiking, biking, and climbing, it’s time to experience the cowboy side of the Valley. Beaver Creek Stables, 4 Eagle Ranch, and Piney River Ranch offer horseback riding trips and trails for all ages and abilities. Call ahead to make a reservation. Even if you don’t book a trail ride, the visit to 4 Eagle Ranch or Piney River Ranch will give you a taste of what it’s like to be a rancher or farmer in the Valley.
Day 7: Rest and Rejuvenate
By day 7, you’ll be ready for some rest and relaxation. Treat yourself to a treatment from one of the Valley’s many spas. From pampering massages and luxurious facials with the most advanced wellness technology available, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and reenergized, both inside and out.
This blog was made possible through a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office.