3 Perfect Summer Days in Vail

Jul. 12, 2015

As the snow melts, Vail blooms with outdoor activities, events and more. Locals know that summer is steadily becoming one of Vail’s worst kept secrets, so come see for yourself why everyone is falling in love with Vail’s other best season: summer!

Whether you’re coming up with friends, family, or a romantic getaway, this guide spells out a variety of summertime activities in Vail to suit every traveller and budget. Looking for lodging? Click here for up to 45% off lodging when you book by August 1, 2015.

Friday: Kick back and relax, you’re in Vail!

2 p.m. Getting settled.

After dropping off your belongings at your accommodations, you’ll want to take a stroll around Vail Village and Lionshead as you acclimate to the altitude. Remember to lather up in sunscreen and drink plenty of water as you duck into the various shops and galleries.

If you have little ones, they’ll have a blast splashing around in the children’s fountains in both Lionshead and Vail Village. You’ll also find a playground near the Lionshead children’s fountain, as well as Pirate Ship Park at the top of Bridge Street in Vail Village.

Satisfy your afternoon sweet tooth with a deliciously complex macaroon from Mountain Cupcakes, a gelato at Rimini or deliZioso, or a bag of candy from every kid’s favorite spot in Vail: Fuzziwig’s.

5 p.m. Evening entertainment

Grab your Twilight Ride ticket up the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead for the family-friendly mountaintop party: Friday Afternoon Club, affectionately known as FAC. The $25 ticket includes $10 towards food once you reach the top. With live music, food and drink specials, and some of the best views in the valley, this is a great way to christen your first night in Vail.

ORVail Village Dusk

Check the Vail event calendar to see what events are happening during your stay! With options like the much celebrated Bravo! Vail Classical Music Festival, the New York Times heralded International Dance Festival, Vail Jazz, Vail Bluegrass Festival, and many more, you’ll have a tough time deciding which event to attend.

8 p.m. Evening stroll

Not quite ready to turn in? Wander through the the twinkling lights of Lionshead and Vail Village. While we are all for ducking into Frost, Mountain Standard or Matsuhisa for a cocktail, don’t get too crazy just yet. You’ve got to save up your energy for an action-packed day tomorrow!


Saturday: Active Adventures

8 a.m. Wakey-wakey

Enjoy watching the town wake up with a coffee or tea and a quick bite from local favorites: Yeti’s Grind or Loaded Joe’s. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, The Little Diner in Lionshead is a greasy spoon Vail institution. For breakfast buffets, check out the delicious fare at La Cucina, or head to Ludwig’s at the Sonnenalp for a delightfully European setting.

9:30 a.m. Hiking/Biking

Get your heart rate up with a hike or bike ride on Vail Mountain or on one of the many trails throughout Vail – you’ll find a guide to some of our favorite walks and hikes here.

If you’d like a guide to show you the way, Vail Mountain offers daily guided hiking and biking tours that are led by friendly, knowledgeable staff that will help you navigate the mountain like a local. Just go to the ticket offices at the base of Gondola One in Vail Village or the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead to schedule a guide. Prices are based on your needs.

hiking in the colorado rockies
12:30 p.m. Lunch time!

If you’re on mountain exploring and don’t want to come down for lunch, or you’re just in the mood to enjoy the gorgeous mountain views while you refuel, your have a variety of great on mountain dining options: for fast-casual, head to Talon’s Deck at Eagle’s Nest or Sarge’s BBQ & Deck at Mid-Vail. If table-service is what you have in mind, Bistro Fourteen is a casual, family-friendly experience or try The 10th for an elevated mountain lunch experience.

If you’d rather head back down into town, you’ve got an array of great options. Restaurants like Alpenrose, La Bottega, Vendetta’s, Pepi’s and Red Lion are known for their beautiful decks, lunch specials and great vibe. If you’d prefer a picnic lunch, Big Bear Bistro and Joe’s Deli have great sandwiches while Blü Cow – a Vail favorite since 1967 – serves up Swiss hot dogs.

2 p.m. Thrills at the top of Vail Mountain

Ropes course in coloradoOnce you’ve fully digested, get ready to hit Adventure Ridge, Vail’s hub of summer activity and future site of Epic Discovery, which is planned to launch summer of 2016. Test your strength and balance on one of Vail’s aerial challenge courses where you can conquer multiple levels of elements including ladders, rope bridges, swinging logs, cargo nets and more. Follow it up with a high-flying adventure on the Zip Flyer, a four-line 1,200-foot long zip line that sends you soaring through the sky amongst magnificent views of the Gore Range.

5 p.m. Rest and recovery

Head back to your lodging to wash up. You might be tired from a long day of adventures, but you’ll want to rally for the incredible dinner and late-night options in Lionshead and Vail Village.

7 p.m. Dinner

If you want to really treat yourself, Vail has plenty of foodie-favorite fine-dining options like Sweet Basil, Terra Bistro, Matsuhisa, Elway’s, Flame, Kelly Liken, La Tour, and much more.

If you’re looking for something more low-key, Moe’s BBQ, La CantinaVendetta’s and Pazzo’s definitely hit the spot.

You can also kick the evening’s entertainment off with gourmet dinner service at the Cinebistro movie theater or grab a bite in Bol’s mod lounge before a night of bowling.

10 p.m. A night on the town

Ready for a little late night action? Vail Village’s Bridge Street shimmers with late-night club options like Shakedown Bar and Vail Underground, while you’ll find a more laid back feel at Bart & Yeti’s and Garfinkel’s in Lionshead or The George, right by the Covered Bridge.


Sunday: Brunch with a view

Three little words are all you need to know for a summer Sunday morning in Vail – Game. Creek. Brunch.

Game Creek Brunch
9:00 a.m. Hike to brunch in Game Creek Bowl

If you’re looking to get in a morning workout, start your day early and hike to brunch via Vail’s popular Berrypicker trail. Start in Vail Village or Lionshead and make the steep, four mile climb through peaceful aspen trees and wildflowers up to Eagle’s Nest and over to Game Creek Restaurant (allow 2+ hours). The challenging climb is a great way to work up an appetite for all the delicious food you will devour at Game Creek Restaurant’s sumptuous brunch.


10:30 a.m. Gondola ride to brunch in Game Creek Bowl

If you would prefer not to work up a sweat, opt to take a scenic ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola, then either walk or ride the shuttle over to the restaurant. Once you’ve arrived at Game Creek Restaurant, enjoy a feast for all the senses at Sunday brunch and take in the scenic mountain views and wildlife, the sounds of nature, and the fragrant smells and delectable tastes of a decadent buffet spread.

1 p.m. Vail Farmer’s Market

Before leaving town, be sure to pay a visit to the Vail Farmer’s Market and Arts Festival in Vail Village where you’ll find Colorado’s finest locally grown produce, baked goods and wines, plus clothing, jewelry, art and handmade home items. If you’re not too stuffed from brunch, you can pick up a delicious crepe, turkey leg, or other Farmer’s Market delight from one of the many food tents.

2015 Farmers Market 960x330

What are your recommendations for an incredible summer getaway in Vail? Add them in the comments below!