Vail may be world-famous for its winter sports scene, but the stunning resort town offers many other unique activities throughout the year. Why jet off elsewhere when you can plan a one-of-a-kind staycation in the Vail Valley? Learn more about the area's major attractions and hidden gems and discover the best places to enjoy with friends or family.
Explore the local art scene
For the arts and culture enthusiast, Vail's Art in Public Places
offers a delightful opportunity to explore art within the community. This program was designed to bring unique art to the public, providing educational and aesthetic value to the town. The collection is made up of more than 55 works of art that include sculptures, paintings, murals, interesting playground components, and site-integrated art. Residents and guests can use a color map of the town's public art collection to aid their exploration. Residents are also encouraged to attend Vail Town Council Chambers meetings to discuss AIPP projects.
Take a horseback riding excursion
For the horseback riding enthusiast or the first-time rider, Vail Stables
offers horseback rides that range from one-hour to half-day excursions. While they offer private and adult-only rides, they can accommodate children as young as five. The scenic rides are appropriate for riders of all skill levels, and you'll have the opportunity to view wildlife and take in the beauty of the natural landscapes.
Experience both adventure and relaxation while reaping the benefits from knowledgeable guides. In addition to horseback riding through the mountains of Colorado, Vail Stables also offers GOGA (goat yoga), Happy Hour with live music events, Pony Time for children under five, and serves up snacks and drinks at the Crooked Cow Saloon.
Mountain bike through Vail in style
There are numerous ways to experience the beauty of Vail alone, with friends, or as a family. Mountain biking in Vail
offers adventure, exercise, and beautiful mountain views. Beginner mountain bikers, those with younger children in their group, or anyone wanting a leisurely ride to enjoy the scenery will enjoy flat paved trails. Hilly paved paths will offer more difficulty, while the bumpy unpaved trails provide advanced riders with a challenge in a beautiful setting.
Enjoy the wonders of science and nature
Knowledge seekers of all ages will enjoy the Walking Mountains Science Center
, which allows visitors to explore nature and science, develop their scientific understanding, and learn about the local environment through natural science, immersive experiences, and sustainability programs. Free and open to the public, this innovative natural science learning center provides a variety of learning experiences. From summer camps to STEM programs, children have unique opportunities to engage with science. Workshops and lectures include a sustainable film series, free recycling tours, guided nature walks, and backcountry hikes.
Get your adrenaline rush at Epic Discovery
While Vail is known for its skiing, the mountain town also offers a summer of adrenaline at Epic Mountain
. Family and friends can enjoy a wide range of activities for all ages and skill levels, including:
- Mountain coaster that winds 3,400 feet around the mountain
- 35-foot realistic rock climbing wall
- Bungee trampoline with excellent views of Gore Range and Mount of The Holy Cross
- Scenic gondola rides
- 550-foot tubing hill and kid's tubing
- Miniature golf
- Nature discovery center and nature hikes
Learn more about winter sports at the Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame
Colorado is known as a world-class destination for winter sports, and it's no wonder we want to celebrate and honor those that put us on the map. The Colorado Snowsports Museum & Hall of Fame
presents the rise of skiing and snowboarding in the state through a collection of priceless artifacts. They tell the stories of the people and sports that have helped to make Vail so unique.
Learn about the history of skiing and its changing fashions, winter competitions in Colorado, inspirational athletes and coaches, and so much more through interactive and specially curated displays. Vail History Walking Tours are also available and start at the museum. Sports and history buffs will enjoy everything this museum has to offer.
Explore local landscapes and exercise while hiking
The Vail Valley has stunning scenery and landscapes that are best appreciated while fully immersed. Beautiful regional routes offer hikers of all skill levels fantastic opportunities to explore. If you want to explore local history, the Holy Cross City Ghost Town Hike will take you through the ruins of Holy Cross City, an old miners' town. To view Vail's most popular and dramatic waterfall, consider the Booth Falls & Booth Lake Hike, a day-long hike that takes you past sandstone rock formations, through aspen groves, and up to Booth Lake. Check out more Vail Hikes
to find the best hiking opportunities.
Discover rare alpine plants at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
, a hidden gem at 8,250 feet above sea level, is the highest botanical garden in the United States. As the home to various rare and exotic alpine plants and wildflowers, rock gardens, and waterfalls, the garden, much like Vail, is internationally acclaimed. Named after former first lady Betty Ford, it is known for its horticultural and educational endeavors. Stunning scenery and dramatic displays offer Instagram-worthy photos while promoting the conservation of fragile mountain environments.
The garden also hosts a variety of special events, art shows, and family-friendly activities throughout the year. Self-guided, public, and private tours are available, so you can profit fully from your visit by deepening your understanding of alpine flora, sharpening your identification skills, and learning more about the history of Vail and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.
Hit the Colorado River for water sports
Winter is one of many seasons to enjoy outdoor sports in Vail. With the numerous rivers, lakes, and waterfalls throughout the area, water adventures are around every corner. Whether you want to enjoy your favorite sport or try something new, there are a multitude of ways to enjoy the water:
- Whitewater rafting
- Stand-up paddleboarding
- Private fishing
With a variety of tour options and Class I to Class V river trips, there's undoubtedly something for everyone.
Living in Vail offers adventure all year round
Whether you want to explore nature casually or are an outdoor recreational enthusiast, Vail offers a range of unique, engaging, and fun opportunities every season. If you want to explore Vail Valley or find the best Cascade homes for sale, Ron Byrne & Associates
is Vail Valley's premier real estate broker.
Bringing decades of experience, a deep knowledge of Cascade real estate
, and the drive to help clients achieve their real estate goals, you'll find honest, superior service when you choose Ron Byrne & Associates.
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash