11 May, 2022
10 unmissable winter experiences
13 September, 2022
27 December, 2022
Set at the base of the mighty Vail Mountain, the village of Vail acts as a gateway to the second biggest ski resort in the United States. Boasting over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain and 195 runs for all levels, as well as 166 miles of hiking trails, 343 miles of mountain biking trails, and 86 miles of rolling river, it’s an absolute haven for those who can’t get enough of the great outdoors. There’s much to do après-ski too - with an array of stores, bars, and restaurants in the just-as-lovely neighbouring village of Beaver Creek.
The alpine wonderlands of Vail and Beaver Creek are a delight to stroll through, both day and night. Swiss-inspired buildings are bathed in the golden glow of the streetlights, while traditional cobblestone paths lead you to cosy eateries and bustling bars–with something to suit all kinds of visitors. Wake up early enough and you’ll have the opportunity to see the surrounding mountain peaks basked in the reddish hues of alpenglow - the quintessential backdrop to these quaint yet lively ski villages.
While many resorts close their doors during the warmer seasons, come summer, Vail transforms into a hub for hiking, biking, fishing and golfing. Temperatures easily reach up to 76°F/25°C during late summer, meaning you’ll have plenty of time to get out and enjoy the sunshine and your beautiful surroundings.
If you’re visiting for the slopes we’d recommend visiting between late November to March when the snowfall is at its heaviest. Prefer to get there first and make the most of the fresh powder? The months of January and February are your best bet for finding that elusive, light-as-air snow.
While the hustle and bustle of Vail attracts plenty of visitors, the neighbouring village of Lionshead also offers plenty to see and do. The perfect choice for those who like to escape the crowds and enjoy a slower pace, you’ll still find ample opportunities for shopping, dining and even ice skating among its pretty European-inspired streets.
It’s also worth heading a little further afield to Bachelors Gulch for a pampering day out. Just 12 miles west of Vail, this peaceful village offers fine dining and sumptuous spa experiences at The Ritz-Carlton.
Not a fan of competing for space on the slopes? A stay at Beaver Creek is a must. Here, you can enjoy world-class skiing at your own pace without feeling hurried. It’s also an excellent base for keen hikers–a multitude of scenic walking routes start right from the centre of the village.
At just over ten kilometres, the Beaver Lake Trail can be completed in an afternoon, but it’s worth taking your time and really appreciating the stunning scenery along the way. The route is relatively steep and sure to give you a challenging workout in parts, but don’t let that put you off - the lakeside vistas are more than worth it.
Despite its tiny size, the village of Beaver Creek is home to a whole host of art galleries including the Tony Newlin Gallery, Paderewski Fine Art, and the Knox Galleries. There’s a nice mix of modern and fine art among the galleries, and they can all be found within easy reach of one another along the Beaver Creek Plaza.
For a fun, family-friendly day out, head over to McCoy Park in Beaver Creek and don your snowshoes. A little more relaxed than a usual day on the slopes, it’s a great way for both children and ski novices to find their footing amid the snowy terrains of the Rockies. With over 20km of trails to explore, you can easily spend a whole afternoon here.
Time to lace those boots up and explore outside of the town - there’s just as much to see outside the alpine charms of Vail’s snow-scattered streets. And for those stopping in the quieter village of Beaver Creek, the White River National Forest is just as easy to reach.
For a full days hike, take the Gore Lake Trail through beautiful aspen groves and vibrant meadows before emerging out onto the lakeside. It’s somewhat of a steep trail, but the views from the top make the journey worth it. Other popular trails in the area include the Pitkin Lake Trail and the Bighorn Creek Trail–both winding through diverse landscapes before rewarding hikers with sublime views across the park.
Hiking holidays in Vail are best enjoyed during the late spring and summer months. As the snow begins to melt, the achromous winter landscape is replaced with verdant valleys carpeted with colourful wildflowers. The White River National Forest spans a vast 2.3 million acres, giving hikers endless opportunities for adventure.
You’ll find an eclectic variety of bars and restaurants in the villages of Vail and Beaver Creek. From upmarket gastropubs to authentic sushi bars, there’s something to please all palates.
If you’re in the mood for a juicy steak or mouthwatering burger after a hectic day on the slopes, a visit to Mountain Standard is in order. Set in a chic, yet rustic tavern, this laidback eatery serves up quality, local produce, while also boasting an excellent wine list. There’s even the option to dine alfresco and soak up the bustling atmosphere of Vail’s scenic streets.
For contemporary cuisine and beautiful presentation, look no further than Fall Line Kitchen. Serving up New American dishes, this popular eatery is the perfect spot for a date night with its cosy and relaxed ski-lodge setting. From flavour-packed lamb gyros and ahi tuna poke bowls to comforting classics like steak frites and juicy burgers, there’s so much to choose from on their delightfully varied menu.
Another contemporary eatery is the elegant Sweet Basil. With a slightly more ritzy, cocktail bar vibe, it feels especially intimate once the sun goes down. Wagyu steak tartare, Spanish octopus, and whipped feta with kalamata olive honey are just a few of the light bites on offer - wonderful paired with a zesty cocktail or a rich red from their extensive wine list, carefully curated by the restaurant’s lead sommelier.
If you’d like dinner with a view, be sure to book a table at Matsuhisa. Set in the heart of the village, diners can enjoy authentic Japanese flavours while overlooking the spectacular Vail Mountain. Choose from classic sushi and sashimi dishes, among many others–all carefully curated by celebrity chef, Nobu Matsuhisa.
If you’ve still got plenty of energy left over after dinner, the many bars and venues in Vail and Beaver Creek are sure to welcome you with open arms - and a good selection of cocktails at the ready.
After a hearty meal, make your way to the Root & Flower. This classy wine bar serves up a comprehensive menu of over 50 handpicked vinos from around the world. Even if you don’t consider yourself a wine connoisseur, there’s a great selection of cocktails and draft beers to choose from.
In the mood for some live music? Head to the lively Shakedown Bar for great acts and an excellent choice of beers and cocktails–one of the best places to sing and dance the night away, well into the early hours. This energetic venue is an absolute must for fans of the country genre, boasting its very own Shakedown Family Band with an impressive roster of musicians.
Enjoy a true Alpine experience at Pepi's Bar, a buzzy bar and eatery just moments from Gondola One. Here, you can sample some of the best Austrian beers around, as well as a unique selection of speciality drinks. If you’re a skiing fanatic, the name might sound familiar - the venue was founded by Pepi Gramshammer back in 1964 - an internationally renowned ski racer for the Austrian National Team.
A few paces from the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead Village, the Tavern On The Square is a lovely spot to grab a few drinks in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. If you can, be sure to grab a table on the outside patio - the mountain views from here are absolutely mesmerising in every season.
Here at onefinestay, we specialise in bespoke vacations. Whether you’re a keen skier or simply looking to discover the awe-inspiring beauty of the Colorado Rockies, we’ve prepared a selection of exclusive concierge services to ensure that your break is as memorable as it should be. Make the most of your incredible surroundings while we take care of all the small details. From private chef hire to at-home spa experiences, you’ll be given these options when you book your stay with one of our Travel Advisors. Everything is taken care of before you touch down at Denver or Eagle County, so you can simply turn up and unwind!
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