Vail Travel Guide- Summer Edition
Vail has been what we lovingly refer to as our, “happy place” for years. Trey used to live there after college, and we frequent it a few times a year. It’s as if you are walking through an Austrian village without having to cross the ocean. The Bavarian culture is evident in the food and architecture.
It’s the perfect place to “reset.” Breathe in that mountain air, stroll through the adorable village, eat wonderful food with a view and come back rejuvenated. We took the kids with us this time and it was truly magical to see them respond to the place that is so special to us.
There is plenty to do for kids and it is a great couple getaway as well.
One of the interesting things about Vail is the itinerary changes with the seasons. Most people think of Vail as a ski town, but there are so many incredible things to do in the summer as well.
Summer in Vail is especially beautiful. Flowers are everywhere you look. Posted in wooden planters of every window, hanging baskets on lamp posts, ivy flowing down rooftops. It’s breathtaking!
HOW TO GET THERE
There is a local airport, Eagle County Regional Airport. However, there are limited options in the summer. We fly into Denver International Airport and rent a car. It’s a very scenic drive and we love to stop in Breckenride on the way. (Pro tip… stop and get a Crepe at the Crepe truck!)
You can also take the Colorado Mountain Express ride shuttle.
Once you arrive in Vail everything is easily walkable. They also offer a free bus transportation service which can take you between Lionshead and Vail Village.
If you are staying at the Four Seasons (where we always chose to stay) they will give you rides anywhere throughout Vail at your request.
WHERE TO STAY
Without a doubt the best place to stay in Vail is the Four Seasons Vail . The location is walkable to the gondola, bars, restaurants, streams, etc. We have tried out everywhere, but this is simply the best. The staff is so friendly and they make every possible accommodation for you. They greeted our boys with a stuffed bear and set them up a tent in the room. The bar, pool, Flame restaurant, etc. are impeccable. One of our favorite things to do is get the “haute chocolate.” They slow pour the most decadent hot chocolate over a chocolate grid on top of an oversized mug. It melts in and is then topped with a homemade marshmallow. Drooling thinking about it. If you are not a guest of the hotel… still go get that hot chocolate!
WHAT TO DO
Ride The Gondola Up The Mountain- Our kids thought this was fun and once you get to the top the view is breathtaking!
Epic Discovery is also at the top of the mountain. It offers tubing, zip lining, a ropes course, a coaster, an animal discovery center, hiking trails, zip lining, mini golf, a climbing wall and more. Plenty to do for a full day on the mountain!
Vail Stables- They offer tons of horse riding options, but we loved that they also offer a pony ride for toddlers. It’s parent led, and not a typical around a dirt circle type either. Such a cool experience in the mountains!
Shop- There are tons of local boutiques, art, jewelry shops and more. Everything is so walkable that you can pop in and out of each one. The boys loved the toy store and the candy shop. (Shocking, I know. HA!)
Spa- The Four Seasons Five-Star Spa can’t be beat.
Visit the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens- The highest botanical gardens in the world! So beautiful and serene.
Streams- The boys loved playing in the streams. There is something healing about taking your shoes off and feeling the cool fresh water. They are looped all around the village.
Bike- We saw so many mountain bikers! The boys aren’t quite old enough for this one, but we will add it to the list in years to come.
WHERE TO EAT
It’s always fun to ride the gondola up the mountain and have lunch at the top. You just can’t beat the view! (It’s very casual.)
The Remedy Bar- Located Inside the Four Seasons. Think really upscale “bar food.” They just hired a new chef and the food did NOT disappoint.
Garfinkles- You can sit outside and have a great view of the gondola and mountain.
Mountain Standard- The Colorado River Trout is insanely good. A local favorite.
Sweet Basil- We first found this gem during Taste of Vail. It’s a farm to table place with really fresh ingredients. Ask to sit out on the patio.
Almresi- The owners started this in Germany and it’s very authentic and unique. There are authentic Austrian dishes on the menu and it truly makes you feel like you are in another country.
Matsuhisa- This place is incredible! It’s a great sushi spot, but the 72 hour marinated miso cod is where it’s at!!
Flame- Located inside the Four Seasons. You can also sit outdoors and overlook the beautiful pool. It’s a really great steakhouse. I highly recommend asking for “all the sauces.” They make several different styles of steak sauces in house. All incredible!
WHERE TO DRINK
Vail Brewing Co.- It’s always fun to find a local brewery and this one has a laid back casual vibe.
The George- Fun fact… Trey worked here 20 years ago checking ID’s. HA! It’s the local hang out.
Bully’s Ranch- We have made it a tradition to grab a mudslide at the bar here. It’s got the true mountain decor and is always festive.
Root & Flower- They offer over 50 by the glass pours of wine, an extensive bottle selection, and lots of fun craft cocktails.
WHAT TO PACK