Vail was never really on my radar as a place to visit. However, an advertising conference recently brought me to the resort destination for 4 days, and I was genuinely blown away by the nature and beauty of it all.
I landed in Denver, which is about a 2 hour drive away from Vail. The drive is a straight shot on I-70, and I recommend making a quick stop in Idaho Springs to check out “where the gold rush began in Colorado” and grab a coffee if you want to take a quick break. The awesome scenery makes the drive go quickly, and before I knew it, I was in Vail.
Luckily the conference I attended also built in some free time, so I was able to really feel out the town and see what it had to offer. Here are my favorite picks:
Hiking: Booth Falls Trail was a totally awesome hike, which was moderately challenging due to the altitude and steep inclines. I’m pretty into hiking, so it was fine for me, but probably would be difficult for someone who doesn’t hike/workout regularly. I went up to the main waterfall, which was about 2.5 hours round trip. The view throughout the hike was amazing, and this is probably one of the favorite hikes I’ve ever done.
Cheap breakfast: I honestly wasn’t that impressed with the food options over the week. However, being a pescatarian in a state that has elk and bison featured on many menus, I shouldn’t have been that surprised. It also could have been the conference. However, I did have a really great breakfast burrito at El Sabor. The price was right ($5), it tasted fresh, and the view from the outdoor patio was awesome. Recommend getting a bloody mary with it.
Nightlife: Bol was a pretty modern bowling alley, with a NY feel and fun vibe. More of a posh/upscale place, with a good menu and scene. Red Lion is a more chill bar with live music, for something local and low key.
Best view: The Eagle Bahn Gondola ride took me to the top of Vail and had breathtaking views. Even though the hike provided great views, the gondola ride had views of all of Vail and snow capped mountains that couldn’t be seen from the ground. I did this before leaving, and it was the best way to end the trip.
Such a great experience, and I’m dying to go back and try some more local activities – probably will return in the winter to see how it is, but would definitely do another summer trip as well. Hopefully will have a chance to get in some more hiking, do a bike ride (maybe mountain bike!?), tube, white water raft, check out the Farmer’s Market….the list is really endless.
As a city girl who loves getting her nature fix, Vail was an ideal place for a short getaway.