Michael and I have lived in Colorado for almost three years now and Vail has become one of our FAVORITE places to visit for a weekend trip! We went about a week ago and had such an amazing time, so today I wanted to share a Vail travel guide with you all, in case you’re also thinking about planning a trip there!
How to get to Vail
Vail is about an hour and a half to two hour drive from Boulder, where we live (depending on traffic) so it’s a really easy drive! If you don’t live in Colorado, you can fly into Denver, rent a car, and drive to Vail (the drive would be about 2-3hrs, again depending on traffic and weather). Or you could also fly into Denver and take a shuttle to Vail, if you didn’t want to rent a car. Vail also has its own airport if you REALLY want the trip to be easy haha but it’s a small airport and I’m sure those flights are pretty pricy!
What to do in Vail
We love going to Vail in both the summer and winter! One of our favorite things to do in the winter is ski. The skiing in Vail is INCREDIBLE. There are SO many runs, whether you are a beginner or an expert skier. The mountain is HUGE. I snowboard and Michael does both skiing and snowboarding. We had a blast getting a babysitter and going out two days and hitting the slopes. You can find daycare options on the mountain, or you can also find a babysitter that will come to your hotel room through babysittingvail.com (they are all background checked, you can read reviews on them, etc!). We had a great experience with that!
Another reason we love Vail so much is because the TOWN is so adorable! There’s an ice skating rink, tons of amazing shops – lots of great local stores but also Lululemon, Patagonia, Burton, etc! And there’s also SO many great restaurants! But I’ll share more on that a little later! We love just walking around the town, checking out the shops, etc. The town was especially amazing around Christmas time – all of the lights at night were SO pretty, and I believe they keep it decorated like that all winter long! It’s just a really beautiful, quaint, romantic town with lots of shops and great places to eat.
Where to stay in Vail
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We stayed at The Arrabelle and absolutely LOVED it! The Arrabelle is actually in Lionshead but it’s in an amazing location. You literally walk out your door and can hop on the ski lifts! They also have a ski concierge that can keep your skis / boots so you don’t have to worry about keeping them in our room.
Our room was extremely spacious and cozy and complete with TONS of baby amenities. They had a crib in our room when we checked in, as well as baby wash and lotion, wipes, toys for Shiloh, and tons more. The bathroom had heated floors and our beds were super comfortable. We also loved the restaurant that’s attached to the Arrabelle and ate there twice! The staff at the Arrabelle is extremely friendly and they were all very helpful with anything we needed! We also utilized the rooftop hot tub which felt amazing after skiing all day!
Again, The Arrabelle is in Lionshead, but you can hop in the shuttle and get to Vail village in less than 5 minutes! The shuttle is free and super easy to use!
Where to eat in Vail
I mentioned this earlier but Vail has SO MANY amazing restaurants! Our all time favorite is Mountain Standard. We’ve been for lunch and dinner, multiple times, and have a 10 out of 10 experience every time! We LOVE their pimento cheese appetizer, but this past time we went, we branched out and tried the bone marrow appetizer and it was SO good. They have a great wine list and a really cozy but fun atmosphere. I highly recommend getting a reservation here if you’re planning a trip to Vail!
We also had dinner at Flame at the Four Seasons one night and loved it! We brought Shiloh with us, and even though it’s a more upscale restaurant, you could definitely bring kids as well. The food was SO good (I got chilean sea bass!) and seeing the Four Seasons in Vail was also alot of fun!
We got drinks at Tavern on the Square after we were done skiing – this is the restaurant that’s attached to the Arrabelle – and we loved it so much that we ended up coming back for lunch the next day! Anytime we were in there it was PACKED but the service was still great! I got some kind of warm cocktail with kahlua and it hit the SPOT after snowboarding! Michael got their chicken pot pie for lunch one day and loved it!
Other Vail restaurants we love, or have heard great things about:
- The Little Diner
- Westside Cafe (in West Vail)
- El Segundo
- Matsuhisa (amazing sushi!)
- Sweet Basil
- 10th Mountain Whiskey and Spirits
- Vail Brewing Company
- Blue Moose Pizza
Again, we love going to Vail in both summer and winter. I think winter is especially magical though because of all the holiday decor and lights, and because we love skiing! Have you been to Vail before?! Let me know if you have any other Vail musts that we need to try out in the comments below! Thanks for reading!