Vail’s a popular place.
Visitors flock there in droves every single year.
In fact, more than 1.3 million people head to the area on an annual basis. That’s not bad considering that, according to the same source, the local population hovers at just over 5,300 residents!
It isn’t hard to explain its popularity. Vail offers something for almost everyone, practically all year round- especially if you’re into your outdoor pursuits. This stunning part of the country is host to all manner of top activities and attractions.
Are you planning a trip to Vail sometime soon? Looking for ideas on how to spend your time?
Look no further! Keep reading to discover 8 of the best things to do in Vail, Colorado.
Table of Contents
1. Skiing and Snowboarding
You can’t write a list of top Vail attractions and not talk about skiing.
After all, the winter season is one of the most popular times of the year for tourists. With 31 ski lifts and over 5,000 acres of skiing opportunities, we aren’t surprised!
One reason for its popularity is that the skiing is isolated to one location: it’s literally one enormous mountain full of snow.
That makes it a delight for anyone fond of snow sports. Equally, there are runs suitable for all abilities. Beginners and experts alike will love spending their time on the slopes.
2. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
If you like botanical gardens, then you’re in for a treat.
Vail boasts the highest altitude gardens in the whole of North America!
There’s a tonne of snowfall here every year, lending a fairy-tale feel to the space. It’s open throughout the year nonetheless, which makes it a perennial attraction in the area.
That said, summer is said to be the best time to visit.
There are 5 gardens that all ages will enjoy, as well as a museum, an education center, and amphitheater too. Garden-lovers unite! You don’t want to miss out on everything there is available in this wonderful place. Even better, it’s free to the public!
3. Hike & Bike Your Way Around
As you might expect, hiking and biking enthusiasts have a field day in Vail.
There is a huge array of trails to choose from. Particularly noteworthy inclusions are Booth Falls Trail, Piney River Trail, and the Shrine Mountain Trail.
In truth, though, you’re spoiled for choice. Head to Vail, pick a spot, and you’ll have more than enough outdoor opportunities.
Don’t think your chance to explore by foot is flawed in the winter months either. If skiing isn’t your thing, then slap on some snowshoes and get out into the action. A great selection of trails and spaces are open for exploring.
If biking is more your thing, then this bike tour company will be sure to help you out.
4. Go to the Museum
Fancy a break from the outdoors for an afternoon?
Why not wile away your time in the epic Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame? It’s a bit of a tongue twister to say, but the venue itself is well worth a visit.
Step through the doors into a celebration of local skiing throughout time. You’ll gain valuable insight into the area’s history. From the ski troopers of the war to the great American Olympic skiers, and more.
There are 9 exhibits in total, detailing the history of Colorado skiing for all who stop by. Don’t miss out on the wealth of information within these walls.
5. Do a Food Tour
Foodies will have a field day in Vail too.
The large number of restaurants that cater to the crowds of visitors means that everyone’s tastes are accounted for. You’ll certainly find fine dining opportunities to suit your needs.
Want something a little different?
Then consider taking Vail Valley Food Tours up on their offer. They run a whole bunch of culinary experiences to delight the taste buds of anyone who stops by. It’s Vail food at its finest! You can wash it down with local spirits and beers too.
This makes a great activity for anyone who loves their gastronomical experiences.
6. Head to a Festival
The sheer number of Vail visitors makes it the perfect place for a festival.
All throughout the calendar year, you’ll find festivals to frequent. From the Vail Film Festival (with premieres, parties and celebrity appearances) to the International Dance Festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Likewise, the summer sees regular free concerts to entertain anyone who’s around. The streets come alive, with a party atmosphere. Music and dancing are mandatory.
7. Get Adventurous on a High Ropes Course
The adventure rope courses on Vail Mountain are another epic bit of excitement.
Kids and families with a head for heights will love the challenge.
Get to the top and enjoy unrivaled views of the area. Be sure to look around as you navigate the obstacles (think rope swings, log bridges and so on). The stunning surroundings may be a necessary distraction from the heady height.
This is a great option for kids of all ages. Younger children may be unable to utilize the main course. However, there’s a kiddie course for those starting at 3 years of age. No-one has to feel left out of the fun!
8. Go Ice-Skating
A final attraction we have to mention is the ice skating opportunities.
Winter, in particular, is a special time to do it. Starting on the Day of Thanksgiving, you can strap on your skates and head down to the Vail Square outdoor rink. Likewise, you can skate all-year-round at Dobson Ice Arena. Rent skates or take your own.
This is an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.
Final Thoughts on Things to Do in Vail
There you have it: 8 of the very best things to do in Vail, Colorado.
Vail attracts huge numbers of visitors every year.
People come in droves to enjoy the outdoor opportunities that abound. This stunning part of Colorado has something for everyone. In fact, there’s so much on offer it can be hard to know how to prioritize your time!
Hopefully, this post has highlighted the top attractions for you to enjoy.
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