Vail, Colorado Travel Guide

Home of the world's foremost ski resort, Vail, Colorado offers entertainment year-round, from outdoor adventuring (skiing, snowboarding, and backcountry exploring) to great shopping and exquisite dining. The resort town finds reasons to celebrate every season, too, so if you plan your trip right, you can catch a film festival, a concert, or even the great family-friendly CarniVail. Enjoy it all from the comfort of a Vail, Colorado vacation rental home. If you have ideas on how we can update our Vail travel guide, please send us your tips.

What to Do in Vail, Colorado

vail colorado family friendly skiingVail will keep even the most active families busy. A popular winter ski destination, Vail boasts more than just skiing (although there's plenty of that, too) once you set out from your Vail ski vacation condo. The resort's Adventure Ridge offers active fun for the whole family: tubing, which is especially friendly for all ages; ski biking, including nighttime guided adventures that let you explore the magic of the mountain; a rebound trampoline with harnesses so that kids can practice flips and acrobatics; and, just for the kids, mini-snowmobiles to drive around.

Vail's also home to countless festivals and events. Time your vacation right and you can see the best of what Vail has to offer. You may have to squeeze your way around crowds of other merrymakers, but everyone who comes to Vail is looking to enjoy themselves, so you're bound to meet with smiles and laughs everywhere you go. If the crowds get to be a little much, retreat to your Vail cheap ski condo and relax.

In April, check out the Vail Film Festival. You can view amateur and professional entries alike, whether they're animated shorts or full-length films. There's even a special category for action sports, which is appropriate considering the location!

The Taste of Vail, "the nation's premier spring food and wine festival," is a four-day event sampling food from world-class restaurants. For foodies or families with a taste for luxury, this is a can't-miss event that will send your taste buds singing. Vail's restaurants run from fun reinterpretations of American classics to more adventurous foods from around the world, so there's something for everyone. Save money on the rest of your meals by cooking in the kitchen of your very own Vail family vacation rental home rentals.

The mountain version of Mardi Gras, CarniVail offers tons of winter fun with a crawfish boil for everybody and merrymaking and festivity everywhere. You can find everything here you'd expect from Mardi Gras: dancing in the streets, lots of music, brightly-colored beads and over-the-top celebrations.

Spring Back to Vail is the end-of-season party with free concerts, contests, and great deals.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Vail

Vail's many gourmet restaurants deliver the true luxury ski resort experience. Pamper your taste buds by indulging in gourmet dishes; many of Vail's specialties are reinvented favorites that you won't find anywhere else. After all, if you're going to enjoy all that Vail has to offer, leave the ordinary world behind you.

To truly indulge in the best Vail has to offer, put in a reservation for a multi-course meal at Game Creek Restaurant, a fixed-price banquet that makes an experience you'll never forget. If you want to get away for a fancy date night, the Larkspur serves exquisite, seasonal American cuisine against a magnificent mountain backdrop, complementing it with an amazing wine selection. There's also Sweet Basil, which Zagat rated as the most popular restaurant in Colorado – familiar fare with an elegant twist. Of course, if you're trying to stay within your budget, or if your kids are picky eaters with simpler tastes, Vail has the fast food staples you would expect, along with child-friendly bistros and burger joints.

Vail's shopping centers around the luxury experience. You can find rustic goods here, as well as skiing essentials and souvenir knicknacks, but Vail really shines in its luxury boutiques. Shoppers with demanding tastes will find everything from trendy clothes and hip shoes to elegant furs. Before you leave for the slopes again, store your finds in your Vail cheap ski condo (a great way to stay in Vail and save money for your splurging!).

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When to Visit Vail

Vail's ski season runs from November through April. If you come during the earliest part of the season, you'll find better deals – but most of the events, like the film festival and food festival, take place during the late winter and early spring. During the springtime, with its relatively pleasant weather, you'll find that locals and tourists alike spend more of their time outdoors, socializing or walking through the streets. Rent a conveniently-located Vail, Colorado vacation rental and you'll be in on the action, no matter what season you visit.

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What to Bring to Your Vail Vacation Rental

vail family ski vacationWhenever you visit a high-elevation climate where you'll be dealing with the outdoors, pay close attention to the clothes you pack. Avoid cotton clothes that retain moisture and will keep you cold instead of warm; layer warm clothes like fleece over a non-cotton bottom layer, and bring waterproof clothes to be your outermost layer. Invest in several good pairs of ski socks, thin socks especially made to fit snugly under your boots and wick water away from your skin, and bring regular wool socks for those times you're walking around town exploring everything else Vail has to offer. When you're done adventuring for the day, come home to your Vail cheap ski condo to change into casual wear. You may be relieved to hear that Vail is a casual, relaxed setting off the slopes. Even the classiest restaurants will welcome you in your comfortable casual wear, so don't worry about dressing to impress.

Don't underestimate the sun and wind at Vail's high elevation, especially if you'll be skiing or snowboarding, which puts you at risk for painful chapped skin. Protect your whole family with gloves or mittens, hats, scarves, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Since it never hurts to be prepared, remember to bring lotion and lip balm to soothe burned or chapped skin. Although you can rent or purchase ski gear in Vail itself, if you are planning on bringing your own gear (whether you buy it or borrow it from a friend), make sure you inspect it before packing. This may sound like a whole lot, but once you've stored it in all the space of a Vail vacation home rental, you won't feel crowded at all.

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What to Know About Vail

Vail is an environmentally aware town, from the resort's efforts to offset its carbon footprint to the town's mass transit system. Vail is nearly car-free and has the largest free shuttle bus system in the US, as well as one hybrid-electric bus. If you take a shuttle from the airport to Vail, you'll be able to get by without renting a car – a great opportunity to save money and be environmentally conscious too!

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Getting to Vail, Colorado

Fly to Eagle County Airport and you'll be an easy drive away. Though this airport is small, it features daily flights on major airlines from around the country. Catch a shuttle or rent a car and it's about half an hour to reach Vail. If you aren't lucky enough to be able to fly straight into Eagle County, Denver International Airport is only two hours away, and it features daily flights from all over the world. Take the shuttle to your Vail cheap ski condo in town and you won't need a car at all to get around.

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Vail's Local Services

Vail has its very own team of skilled photographers who are specially trained to take great ski photographs, whether you need a family portrait or a wild action shot. Also, many locations on the mountain (and Vail Sports in the village itself) will store your gear for about $10/night, although be aware that gear-rental places may only be willing to store the gear they've rented to you. Vail offers on-mountain childcare for children from 2 months to 6 years old, and you can find sitters and childcare services in the village and the surrounding area if you want to leave the kids at the Vail mountain rental and enjoy a romantic night out. Vail's incredible shuttle bus system means you'll probably be able to get everywhere you need without renting a car – totally free. Order your groceries online and have them delivered to your Vail vacation rental and you won't even need to go out to eat!

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Why Choose a Vail, Colorado Vacation Rental?

If you stay in a Vail cheap ski condo, you'll save money by fitting the whole family into a single condo with room to spare. Larger groups can find even more savings if they share a spacious Vail vacation rental home. Even better, Vail ski in ski out condos put you as close to the slopes as you want, whether you're a skier, a snowboarder, or looking for any of the countless other activities you'll find in Vail. If budget, space, and convenience aren't enough for you, Vail vacation rentals are often comfortable and especially arranged to be as child-friendly as they are budget-friendly.

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