When you think of Vail, you’re probably picturing snow-covered ski slopes, but Vail’s mountain peaks are even more beautiful during the summer. High alpine summer air is much more pleasant than the oppressive East Coast humidity, and the vibrancy of Vail’s summer colors — the lush greenery, rainbows of wildflowers, and clear blue skies — will blow you away.
You’re not coming to Vail solely for the scenery, though. What you really want to know is, “What is there to do in Vail during the summer? Is Vail worth visiting in the summer?” And we’re about to answer these questions by listing our favorite Vail summer events.
Vail’s Epic Discovery
While not a time-bound Vail event, you’ll agree that any visit to Epic Discovery is, indeed, an event to remember. From all-ages adventure courses to the Alpine Coaster to snow-free tubing, your adrenaline will be rushing. Epic Discovery also offers the Game Creek Aerial Adventure, a 2.5-hour adventure course with an aerial bridge and seven zip lines.
Vail Summer Art Walks
Every Wednesday during Vail summers, you can attend a free Art Walk and view over 55 public art exhibits around town. You’ll enjoy experiencing the creativity in Vail’s murals, paintings, sculptures, and even playground art. If you’d like to tour the art installations but can’t make it on a Wednesday, you’ll find free maps of Vail’s public art collection at either of the local Welcome Centers.
Vail Pass Bike Tours
Beginning at the end of May each year, Vail visitors can opt to coast 3,000 vertical feet down the Vail Pass paved bike path, via local company Charter Sports. Morning, noon, and afternoon trips are available each day throughout the summer. Enjoy a relaxing cruise past snow-capped peaks and alpine waterfalls while enjoying Vail’s summertime mountain air.
Vail’s Summer Farmers Market
The Vail Farmers Market takes place every Sunday for 16 weeks, beginning in late June. You’ll find local treats at over 140 different tents, spread out along East Meadow Drive (park at Vail Village or at the Lionshead lot). Enjoy music, local produce, art, and delicious street food on a summer Sunday in Vail.
Free Hot Summer Nights Concerts in Vail
Every Tuesday at 5:30pm throughout Vail’s summer season, Moe’s Original Bar B Que hosts a free concert at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Bring yourself or the entire family; these concerts are kid-friendly. Be sure to bring a blanket and food (and maybe even some wine) for full enjoyment of the show while watching the colorful Colorado sunset.
Vail’s GoPro Mountain Games
The annual GoPro Games — a free event which takes place in Vail in late June — are the “most celebrated festival of adventure sports, art and music” in the United States. Athletes of all levels compete in adventure events like running, rock climbing, and biking — and there are even events for the canines!
Vail Bravo! Summer Music Festival
Bravo! Vail has become one of the world’s premier music festivals, hosting world-renowned orchestras and soloists at the Vail’s Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Every week from late June through August, you’ll be able to hear powerful classical pieces, soulful jazz, and peppy pops in the majestic Rocky Mountains.
Vail Summer Jazz Festival
Annually from July through September, Vail hosts an 8-week jazz music festival with performances by the biggest names on the jazz scene. Every Thursday evening, you’ll find high-energy (and family-friendly) live outdoor performances at the Jazz Tent at Vail Square. Over Labor Day weekend, the Jazz Festival closes out summer with the weekend-long Vail Jazz Party.
Vail’s Summer Dance Festival
Near the end of summer — from late July through early August — each year, Vail hosts a two-week celebration of dance through artistic performances. Spend your summer nights under the stars, watching everything from tap dancing performances to contemporary modern choreography to classical ballet.
Vail Family Fun Fest
Every Saturday from late June through early August, the entire family can enjoy free arts, crafts, science, and nature activities in downtown Vail. Stop by the “Creation Station” Zone, or interact with various STEM-related exhibits. Don’t miss the hula hoops, giant Jenga, and the Bounce House of Fun in Play Town. The Kids’ Stage also hosts free weekly summer performances by regional family and children’s performers during Fun Fest.
Kids Adventure Games: Vail Mountain Edition
Every summer in early- to mid-August, 15 unique, man-made, natural obstacles are inspired by and built into Vail’s landscape. Kids ages 6 to 14 pair up for a multi-disciplined obstacle race designed exclusively for them. Register your kids for the race, or stop by to watch them building team spirit while surrounded by the natural beauty of Vail’s summertime environment.
Summer Events in Vail: Tips from Locals
If this list has piqued your interest and you’d like some more personalized recommendations for Vail summer events — or Vail real estate, feel free to reach out to our knowledgeable team at Ron Byrne & Associates. We’re happy to pass along our favorite tips!