Most people would assume that Vail, Colorado is a ski town. Well, it is from November to April but in the summertime it is a picturesque gem that you will want to include in your summer travel plans as a couple or a family! We only had three days and 4 nights, but we managed to do a lot in a long weekend!
The scenery is out of a Hallmark movie. The views from the valley are as breathtaking as the views from the top of the mountains. The waterfall hikes will make you want to keep trekking up the mountain. All are just spectacular. The weather is perfect, usually around 78 to 80 degrees during the day and around a low of 65 at night, with very little humidity! Yipee! The altitude didn’t affect me although many are very sensitive to it so be sure to hydrate and bring electrolyte packs to put in your water.
If you fly into Denver International airport, I suggest renting a car or a Jeep; especially if you are wanting to go hiking, fishing, fly fishing or take in a rafting trip down the Colorado river. Vail is about a 90 minute drive from DEN.
We stayed at the Four Seasons Vail which was fabulous and I highly recommend it! The rooms were spacious, had walk-in closets, an enormous bathroom, and our room had a view of the mountains and the pool. The service was top notch along with the lounge and the restaurant. The pool was serene and the self-parking was convenient and easy. They also have an exceptional concierge team that booked all our dining reservations, our fly-fishing guide, and our white-water rafting adventure.
The village is walkable and is lined with coffee shops, clothing boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, a beautiful garden park, and trails that weave throughout. Spend a day exploring and walking through the village for sure.
Here are my recommendations…
~ Sweet Basil – no words just dine there!
~Matsuhisa – amazing sushi with outdoor seating and a view.
~The Craftsman – more casual but has a great vibe, outdoor music, and fun cocktails.
~Vintage Vail for lunch or brunch – it is a French brasserie style of dining. Delish!
~La Nonna for Italian – food was as authentic as you can get. Vibe was cool because the food was unbelievable and it was packed full, but the décor needed a little updating.
~Visit the town of Minturn which is about a 20 minute drive from Vail. It is darling! Go for lunch and day drinking at the Midturn Saloon which is named one of the “10 most Iconic & Historic Restaurants in Colorado”. Stay and shop the street market full of vendors from all across the USA, but check the local event calendar for the weekend market schedule.
~Go White Water Rafting (Class 3 & 4 rapids). We used Timberline Tours. They provide training, wet suits, helmets, paddles and lifejackets and footwear. I recommend the “Numbers/Arkansas Tour”. Lots of spinning and you get wet! Guides are incredibly knowledgeable, and I felt safe while having a blast!
~Enjoy the Hiking Trails. There are so many, but we only had a half day so we enjoyed one long hike before we had to get on a plane home. We hiked the Eagles Nest Wilderness trail (10 minute drive from the Four Seasons). It took about 3 hours depending on your skill level and you want to get all the way to the waterfalls (of course you do!)
~Fly Fishing. Ok, yes you can put on waders or just fly fish from the boat. I totally put on the overall waders, why not? It was new and fun and a great way to spend a chill day on the water surrounded by mountains, wildlife, and peace. We met up with a guide from Gore Creek Fly Fisherman tour. Amazing day and fabulous outfitter company.
Enjoy Vail in the summertime….it will not disappoint!