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Lifestyle 2 weeks ago

vail, colorado: recap + travel guide!

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Last week, Michael Shiloh and I had the most magical trip ever to Vail, Colorado and I got SO many DM’s from you guys asking about where we stayed, restaurant recs etc! So today I’m going to recap our trip for you and share some of our favorite things to do on vacation in Vail (specifically in the summer)!

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where to stay

You guys know how much we love staying at Vacasa properties when we travel! They are vacation rental homes / condos that are always SO well-kept and make for the most seamless travel experience. We stayed at this Vacasa property in Lionshead and LOVED IT. It’s a part of Lion Square Lodge which was so conveniently located, spacious, and cozy! If we go back to Vail I would 100% stay here again! We were literally steps away from the gondola, from restaurants, live music, the gore creek path and more. This property also gave you access to a pool and fitness center.

The condo we stayed in had two bedrooms so Shiloh had her own place to sleep, as well as a full kitchen and living room. So we were able to grocery shop and make lots of our meals in our condo! It was spacious and cozy and even had housekeeping included! Lionshead is just a short walk from Vail village (took us about 12 minutes to walk to Vail or you could hop on the shuttle for free).

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things to do + favorite hikes

Y’all Vail is KID HEAVEN in the summer! Shiloh seriously had the vacation of her life! We rented bikes and road along gore creek path (rented a buggy for Shiloh) and all along the way we stopped at different playgrounds for her to play on (like huge, amazing playgrounds). There were also gorgeous gardens along the path that we got out and walked around. So we rode our bikes along the gore creek path, stopped at a few playgrounds, gardens, and then road back through town and stopped for ice cream (at Sundae in vail! so good!).

We also took the gondola in Lionshead up to the top of the mountain and there were SO MANY activities for kid’s up there! Heads up…it wasn’t cheap. We had to pay for the gondola ride as well as the ‘activity pass’ for Shiloh to do all the things but it was worth it. She had so much fun and we made a whole day out of it. She zip lined, tubed, did the trampoline, and something called an ‘alpine slide’ which is basically a little roller coaster on a mountain. We couldn’t believe how brave she was! She had such a blast.

 

 

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There are also countless outdoorsy activities to do in Vail – from mountain biking to hiking to just sitting outside and listening to the live music. Shiloh and Michael also put their swimsuits on and got in the creek a few times! The water was way too cold for me haha but they loved it. We could have stayed for a whole other week and not gotten bored!

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As far as hikes go – we were only there for 4 days and had Shiloh with us so we didn’t do a ton of hiking on this trip. However – we did two hikes that I loved and would highly recommend.

I did Berry Picker Trail by myself one day when Michael and Shiloh were napping (because the trailhead was actually right outside our front door!). It was a challenging but doable hike and what I loved about it is that you can climb the 4ish miles up the mountain and then ride the gondola back down if you want to! (which, I did lol). It was a beautiful hike, mostly shaded, a decent incline but nothing too challenging!

Michael and I hiked Booth Lake together (10 miles roundtrip) and we both LOVED it. There is another hike called Booth Falls which is about 4.5 round trip…but we got to the falls and felt good enough to keep going & make it all the way to the lake. And it was worth it! I’d say it was a fairly challenging hike (like a 7 on a scale of 1-10) but again, nothing too challenging! And it was mostly shaded and the views were absolutely beautiful.

 

 

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restaurants

okay now the fun part: the food! haha there are SO MANY good restaurants in Vail y’all. we needed another month here just to try them all out! here are a few of our favorites:

  • Mountain Standard – get the pimento cheese appetizer! SO GOOD. this place is great for lunch or dinner – casual vibe but really great american food!
  • Sweet Basil – my mouth is watering just thinking about it lol michael and i did a date night dinner here one night and everything was 10/10. We got a steak tartare appetizer, I got duck (pictured above) and we got two desserts that we both left DREAMING about because they were so amazing. It’s on the pricier / more high end side but worth it because everything here is so delicious!
  • Matsuhisa – if you like sushi (or even if you don’t) you MUST make a reservation here. We weren’t able to eat here while we were in Vail but we’ve eaten at the Aspen location and it was probably the best sushi we have EVER had! Again it’s pretty pricy but if you really love sushi, you will think its more than worth it.
  • Flame @ Four Seasons – we have dinner here every time we visit Vail and it NEVER disappoints! The service is always incredible and we leave with very full bellies and full hearts. The tuna roll appetizer will change your life haha and then we usually split some type of steak with sides! We brought Shiloh with us too and they were very accommodating for kids!
  • Montauk Seafood Grill – we had reservations here for our last night but ended up just doing frozen pizza in our room because we were wiped haha. But tons of you guys recommended this place to us and the menu & reviews both looked incredible! We will definitely have dinner here the next time we visit Vail!

Sorry my recommendations are only for dinner! We did breakfast and lunch in our room each day so just went out for dinner!

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getting to vail

We flew direct from Dallas into DIA (denver national airport), rented a car and drove about two hours to get to Vail! The drive wasn’t bad at all. You can also fly directly into eagle vail which is super convenient but the flights are definitely more expensive.

remember to bring

if you are going to Vail in the summer, definitely remember to bring bug spray (the bugs on the mountain showed NO mercy haha) and sunscreen! The sun is very intense on the mountain. If you plan on hiking, these are my favorite hiking shoes. And I’m also so glad i brought some electrolyte drinks for us to stay hydrated (use code LAURENKAY for 20% off Cure!).

Thanks to everyone who sent in recommendations! If you haven’t been to Vail yet…this is your sign to book a trip! We had such a sweet family time together and I already want to go back!

xo Lauren

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