Things to do in Vail, CO

Your Vail travel guide for the perfect vacation
The town of Vail, Colorado surrounded by mountains
lion square lodge in colorado surrounded by a fresh snowfall

Ramp up your outdoor adventure with a vacation to Vail, Colorado. This sky-high city is world-renowned for its stunning mountains, fresh powder, and one of the biggest ski resorts in the country. However, skiing is just half of the fun and adventure Vail offers. With a rich culinary scene, networks of hiking trails, plenty of family-friendly activities, and a stunning natural landscape in every season, this mountain town is a perfect backdrop for any getaway.

We asked our team at Vacasa for their must-see spots when vacationing in Vail. Here are our recommendations for where to eat and stay, what to see, budget-friendly activities, and even fun things to do with kids. Book your stay, pack your bags, and get ready to relax—we’ve got your Vail travel plans on lock.

Places to eat

Greet the day with a breath of fresh mountain air and breakfast at Westside Cafe & Market, where you can brunch with Bloody Marys and bison eggs benedict in a cozy, down-home atmosphere. Following a day of adventure or après-ski, head to Pepi’s Bar & Restaurant for delicious warm bites and drinks while enjoying its Austrian flair and live music. Up for a fancier approach to end the evening? Elway’s, a swanky steakhouse near the slopes, offers an award-winning menu, cocktails, and an outdoor patio, so you can cut into a NY strip while savoring the mountain sunset.

What to see

Skiing and snowboarding at Vail Mountain holds an international draw to this alpine town, and one winter trip to the slopes will show you why. In the snowy season, you can take the gondola up to the trails, simply watch and cheer on friends and family, or take a step back in winter sports history with a tour through the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame.

The fun doesn’t stop there, though, so don’t miss out on all the things to do in Vail for summer. Once the snow melts, the mountains bloom with bustling farmers markets, green golf courses, abundant waters for fly fishing at Vail Valley Anglers. Take in the warmer weather’s pops of color and fragrant beauty at the world’s highest botanical garden, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Visit Vail’s wide blue skies and take advantage of outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking, shop for art pieces and outdoor gear, and kick back to enjoy the natural scenery.

Activities for kids

Vail is an ideal family-friendly vacation, whether you’re together for an outing on the slopes or soaking up the sun on a horseback ride up the hiking trails. Swing by Vail Stables, seek amusement park thrills with a day at Epic Discovery, or take on the legendary Forest Flyer, Vail’s very own mountain coaster. For a trip your kids will talk about all year, plan a stop by Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory for homemade fudge, cotton candy strips, ice cream, and other treats to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth.

Activities on a budget

Looking for winter and summer activities on a budget? Colorado has unbeatable outdoor adventure waiting around every corner. Hit the hiking trails for amazing views at Gore Creek, Shine Mountain Trail, and Booth Falls. The area is also perfect for snowshoeing, sledding, and year-round scenic drives through the mountains.

Where to stay

The fun all begins with a Vail vacation rental, whether it’s a family home or townhouse downtown. Stay at the heart of the skiing and snowboarding action and find yourself a cozy ski-in/ski-out condo at Beaver Creek Resort, Lion Square Lodge, and Vail Valley. Search vacation homes by amenities like mountain views, hot tubs, and fireplaces to make the most of your trip away.

Seek new peaks with a Vail vacation rental

Vail travel guide FAQ

Vail Mountain has two base ski villages, Vail Village and Lionshead Village, where you can head up to the slopes or stay close to the cobblestone streets for shopping, dining, and enjoying the scene.

While winter is Vail’s most popular season for its world-class snow and ski resorts, the city also offers a range of summer outdoor adventures when the snow melts. If you’re looking for the best time to hit the slopes, February is Vail’s snowiest month, and the mountain is usually at its busiest from December through January. For warm-weather outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting, visit Vail from June to September.

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