Destination: Vail, Colorado
About: Located in the Eagle Valley surrounded by The White River National Forrest and Gore Range
Route: I-70 West
Distance: 98 Miles
Time: 1h 30 mins
Trip Length: Overnight or Day Trip
Sleeping: Airbnb or Hotel
Vail VillageThe heart and soul of Vail! The village was founded when the ski lifts opened in 1962. Model to resemble the European village of the Swiss Alps Vail Village is adorable! The village is pedestrian only with cobblestone streets and little shops and bars on everywhere.
Lyons’ head is the next village over from Vail Village (heading west). I always make a stop in Lyons’ head when skiing for lunch at Moes BBQ. I have never stayed in Lyons Head but I think the nightlife is a little tamer then Vail Village.
West Vail is where you will find the grocery store & liquor store and any other conveniences you may need. Plus some pretty tasty restaurants. Most residence and Airbnbs at a lower price point will be in this part of town.
Like most mountain towns public transportation makes it super easy to get around. Is your goal to be next to the Slopes/Village or are you okay a little further from the action?
If you can ($$$) I would stay in Vail Village, once in the village, you will only need your car to go to the grocery store. So if you plan to shuttle to the mountain staying in the village is a great choice. Staying almost anywhere Vail Village or Lions Head will give you easy access to the mountain as well.
Vail Village is mostly hotels and condos so if you looking for large house those will be outside of the Villages but still super close to everything.
Another thing to consider if you plan to stay a ride away from the slopes you don’t have to lug your stuff around there are plenty of ski valets and lockers to store your gear!
Where to Eat & Drink
Northside Cafe – Further west of Vail in Edwards this spot is great for grabbing something to go but your gonna wanna sit down and dig in. Everything on the menu is delicious and once you see all those pastries your gonna have a hard time deciding what to get.
Westside Cafe – Claiming to have the worlds best Benedict this is a hot spot for breakfast in Vail.
The Little Dinner – All day breakfast yes, please!
Loaded Joes – once you are in Vail Village and need something to eat this is the spot
Moe’s BBQ – If you just gotta get out of those boots then head to this southern BBQ joint straight from Alabama. I have a full on obsession with their pork nachos, the cheese is WHITE so is freaking incredible. And they have sweet tea
Grill Out – Pack a bag and head to Blue Sky Basin to grill out on the Mountain.
Los Amigos – Head to Los Amigos for margs and chips and salsa the bacon open up to the mountain so great for a lunch then head back up the hill. Done skiing for the day kick back relax and watch the skiers come down the mountain at the end of the day
The Red Lion – This Vail staple has been the acres skies watering hole of choice for years. Count yourself lucky to snag a spot at this Vail favorite.
Vendettas – Grab a slice and cold one or a pitcher at Vendettas. This is my go-to spot for apres ski and dinner. Upstairs is a little more bar casual and downstairs a little more dressed up – great for group dinners.
Pepi’s Looking for that quintessential European feel – Pepi’s is your spot. Great happy hour and great food too!
The George – The furthest from the Mountain this underground spot is great for watching a game, shooting pool or lounging on their big couches. Food and drinks are cheep! But the service and food is great!
Vail has a great nightlife scene. With a large international tourist population, you will find all flavors of nightlife here. From lounges to live music and “clubs”, Vail has a spot for everyone.
Shakedown Street – This downstairs live music venue features great band almost every night of the week. The dance floor will be hopping!
Bridge Street Bar (or whatever new name this bar might have when you visit) – Just past Red Lion is another underground spot. One side of the bar has a little stage for a one-man band and the other side is a “bumping club” with a DJ.
Bol – this swanky bowling alley is like a Vegas nightclub but in the middle of Colorado. Great for groups and the food is on point too.
Vail is the largest ski resort in Colorado so there is a run for all ski levels here. Vail is best known for there back bowls. Bowls are wide open often steep “runs”, some areas may be groomed and others its a total free for all to make your own lines.
The Front Side
On the front side of the mountain, I like doing laps around Northwoods and if it’s not too crowded Avanti. Game Creek Bowl is also great for the Blue/Black Skiier.
I would avoid skiing all the way to down to the bottom as Gondola lines can be very long. I try to Avoid Mid Vail if possible on busy days as well.
Start off with the Blues on China Bowl to get your legs under you then go go go! The runs can be steep but oh so fun once you get that first turn in! I recently skied Sun Down Bowl for the first time and I can’t wait to go back.
Blue Sky Basin on the far side of the resort is one of my favorite areas to ski ever. These easy blues take you through a patch of trees with rolling hills. A typically run looks like clear-cut swimlanes, blue sky basin is like a natural ski run where you pick your own adventure down. For some reason, it reminds me of the game Snowboard Kids. Cloud 9, Big Rock and The Star are great for everyone. Lapping Petes Express all day – is a great day skiing!
Eating on the Mountain
If you gotta go all the way down and kick off your boots – Moe’s BBQ, Vendettas, Los Amigos. On the Mountain – all the restaurants will serve something warm to fill you up. on the Back Side, you will find Dawg Haus serving up hot dogs, sausages beers and snacks. At the top of blue sky basin are grills and fantastic views. Some of my favorite days are grilling out here with friends.
Parking & Getting Around
Bus: The buses can take you almost anywhere you want to go and every resort in the valley will be running their own shuttle as well
Parking: Vail is set up like a little European village and mostly accessible my walking so you will mostly be parking and walk. In the winter, covered parking over 1.5 hours is paid. The lots are nice and heated and if you’re with a group it’s totally worth it. You can also try and find free parking on the road (either side of 70 and walk). Read more about parking here.
Taxi’s/Uber: You will find a few taxies and Uber/Lyft around Vail! So go have a few drinks and enjoy your night with no driving!
I fell in love with Vail after visiting in college and it’s still my number one place to ski in Colorado. I haven’t spent much time in the area during the summer but plan to more this year and will update with details! DM me on Instagram or comment any questions!
Check out more of my Colorado travel guides here