What to Do in Vail, Colorado

Hitting the slopes may be one of Vail’s main draws, but you’d be remiss if you didn’t explore the ski town’s amazing restaurants, cocktail spots and spas.

Photo courtesy of Jack Affleck.

Two hours west of Denver, Vail is the biggest ski resort in Colorado. It is iconic among skiers for its cruiser runs, challenging moguls and wide-open bowls that are routinely covered in light and plentiful snow. Beyond that, this blue sky-covered basin beckons with its idyllic meadows, glades and gullies, and three villages—Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead Village—built in the style of Bavarian mountain towns and linked by a free bus service. There are also children’s adventure parks to ensure every member of your family has fun.

9 a.m.


Photo courtesy of The Little Diner.

The Little Diner in Lionshead Village is a local favourite that dishes up breakfast staples all day—think crepes and eggs Benny. Grab a seat at the bar and watch the chefs prepare meals in the open kitchen.

3 p.m.


Kick it old-school at The Red Lion with nachos and a round of margaritas. This Vail Village mainstay has been the spot to toast the day’s wipeouts and listen to live music since it opened in 1963.  

4 p.m.

Retail therapy

Between the boutiques in Vail Village and Lionshead Village, you’ll find everything from clothing to ski gear to Vail- and Colorado-themed souvenirs. 

6 p.m.

Spa time

Dream Pod Float Tank, photo courtesy of The Lodge at Vail.

Gravity rules on the mountain, but you can achieve weightlessness in the salt water-filled Dream Pod Float Tank at The Lodge at Vail. The experience helps you achieve a meditative state.

8 p.m.


Rocky Mountain trout, photo courtesy of Mountain Standard.

Casual eatery Mountain Standard, located on Gore Creek Drive, takes Colorado specialties like Rocky Mountain trout and flat-iron steak, and cooks them over an open fire for a rustic take on haute cuisine.

[This story appears in the February 2020 edition of WestJet Magazine.]