With my deep knowledge and love for this picturesque mountain town, I have carefully reviewed and curated a list of the top activities and attractions that will ensure an unforgettable experience in Vail. Having personally explored the stunning slopes, hiked the breathtaking trails, and indulged in the finest dining establishments, I guarantee that these recommendations are unparalleled.

Whether you are seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures on the slopes, relaxation in luxurious spas, or a cultural immersion in Vail's vibrant arts scene, this guide will provide you with all the information you need. Get ready to discover the hidden gems and must-visit spots that make Vail the ultimate destination for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.


Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame

Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame
🗺️ 231 S Frontage Rd E, Vail, CO 81657
☎️ 970-476-1876
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10 AM–6 PM
Monday: 10 AM–6 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–6 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–6 PM
Thursday: 10 AM–6 PM
Friday: 10 AM–6 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–6 PM
Highlights
Artifact collection
Chronological display
Gift shop with souvenirs
Informative and educational
Free admission

Walking into the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame, I instantly felt a rush of excitement. The museum boasts a remarkable artifact collection that truly captures the essence of the snowsports industry. From vintage skis and snowboards to historic trophies and medals, every item in the collection offers a glimpse into the evolution of winter sports.

The museum's chronological display takes visitors on a journey through the rich history of skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. As I followed the timeline, I couldn't help but feel a sense of admiration for the pioneers who paved the way for the winter sports community.

What sets this museum apart is its commitment to education. Each exhibit is not only visually captivating but also informative. The museum provides detailed explanations and stories behind each artifact, making the experience both enriching and engaging.

I couldn't resist stopping by the gift shop before leaving. It offers a range of souvenirs and memorabilia, perfect for those looking to take a piece of snowsports history home with them.

And the best part? It's free admission! This makes it accessible to everyone, whether you're a skiing enthusiast or simply curious about the cultural significance of snowsports in Colorado.

After exploring the museum, I came to the conclusion that it is a must-visit for anyone in Vail. Its unique collection, educational displays, and affordability make it the perfect addition to any itinerary. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame and discover the fascinating world of winter sports!

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Vail Ski Resort

Vail Ski Resort
Highlights
Lovely Green Runs
Helpful Staff
Great Food
Beautiful Scenery
Fun Town

Let me start by saying that Vail Ski Resort is an absolute gem nestled right in the heart of the stunning Vail Valley. From the moment I arrived, I knew I was in for a treat.

One of the first things I noticed was the abundance of lovely green runs available for beginners like myself. As someone who's not the most graceful on skis, these gentle slopes were a perfect fit. The resort truly caters to skiers of all levels, with an impressive range of terrain to choose from.

The helpful staff at Vail Ski Resort truly went above and beyond to ensure my visit was nothing short of remarkable. From guiding me on the best trails to offering tips and tricks, their wealth of knowledge made each run that much more enjoyable.

Now, let's talk about the food. Oh boy, was it great! Whether it was a quick grab-and-go snack or a leisurely meal at one of the resort's fantastic restaurants, my taste buds were treated to an exceptional culinary experience.

But it wasn't just the skiing and food that impressed me; it was also the beautiful scenery. Towering mountains covered in a pristine blanket of snow, picturesque valleys dotted with charming chalets, and breathtaking vistas at every turn. It was like stepping into a winter wonderland!

And let's not forget about the fun town of Vail itself. With its vibrant atmosphere, diverse shopping options, and lively après-ski scene, there's never a dull moment off the slopes.

In conclusion, Vail Ski Resort truly delivers on its promise of providing an unforgettable experience. With its lovely green runs, helpful staff, great food, beautiful scenery, and fun town, it's no wonder why it's considered one of the best things to do in Vail. So pack your skis, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready for a winter escapade like no other at Vail Ski Resort!

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Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
🗺️ 522 S Frontage Rd E, Vail, CO 81657
☎️ 970-476-0103
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10 AM–4 PM
Monday: 10 AM–4 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–4 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–4 PM
Thursday: 10 AM–4 PM
Friday: 10 AM–4 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–4 PM
Highlights
Beautiful landscaping
Variety of plants
Kid-friendly gardens
Free admission

Let me tell you, it was an absolute delight! The beautiful landscaping immediately caught my eye as I entered the gardens. The attention to detail and the well-maintained grounds truly demonstrate the dedication of the staff.

One of the highlights of the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the variety of plants on display. From colorful wildflowers to exotic alpine species, there's something to please every nature enthusiast. I couldn't help but be in awe of the vibrant colors and unique shapes of the plants.

What impressed me even more was the kid-friendly gardens. It's not easy to find attractions that cater to both adults and children, but Betty Ford Alpine Gardens manages to strike the perfect balance. The interactive exhibits and educational activities kept the little ones entertained while providing an opportunity for them to learn about nature.

And here's the cherry on top – admission is free! Yes, you read that right. This incredible experience won't cost you a dime, making it a must-visit destination for families and budget-conscious travelers.

In conclusion, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is a true gem in Vail. Its beautiful landscaping, impressive variety of plants, and family-friendly atmosphere make it one of the best things to do in Vail. Whether you're a nature lover or simply looking for a peaceful and enriching experience, be sure to add this garden to your Vail itinerary.

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Pirate Ship Playground

Pirate Ship Playground
🗺️ 9 Hanson Ranch Rd, Vail, CO 81657
Sunday: Open 24 hours
Monday: Open 24 hours
Tuesday: Open 24 hours
Wednesday: Open 24 hours
Thursday: Open 24 hours
Friday: Open 24 hours
Saturday: Open 24 hours
Highlights
Long and winding slide
Climbing structures
Pretending to be pirates
Nearby creek adds ambiance
Well-maintained and clean

Stepping into the Pirate Ship Playground in Vail is like embarking on a grand adventure on the high seas. With its long and winding slide, climbing structures, and playful design, this playground is a treasure trove of entertainment for children of all ages.

As soon as I set foot on the playground, I couldn't help but join in the fun myself. Pretending to be a pirate, I climbed up the ropes, steered the imaginary ship's wheel, and let my imagination run wild. The enthusiasm of the children around me was infectious, and I reveled in the joyful energy that filled the air.

What sets the Pirate Ship Playground apart from others in Vail is its idyllic setting. Nestled near a creek, the sound of running water adds a soothing ambiance to the playful atmosphere. As I watched children frolic under the shade of towering trees, I couldn't help but feel like the world beyond the playground had faded away.

One aspect that particularly impressed me was how well-maintained and clean the playground was. It was evident that the staff takes great pride in ensuring the playground remains safe and inviting for visitors. Everything was in excellent condition, and I felt at ease knowing that the little pirates in my life would be playing in a secure environment.

Overall, the Pirate Ship Playground in Vail is a gem that truly lives up to its reputation. Whether you're a local or a visitor, this playground offers a delightful escape into a world of imagination and adventure. So grab your pirate hat and come sail the seas of fun at the Pirate Ship Playground!

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Bighorn Park

Bighorn Park
🗺️ 4800 Juniper Ln, Vail, CO 81657
Sunday: 6 AM–9 PM
Monday: 6 AM–9 PM
Tuesday: 6 AM–9 PM
Wednesday: 6 AM–9 PM
Thursday: 6 AM–9 PM
Friday: 6 AM–9 PM
Saturday: 6 AM–9 PM
Highlights
Beautiful scenery
Dog and child friendly
Walking story for kids
Clean facilities
Informative signage

Let me tell you, this park is the epitome of beautiful scenery! From the moment you arrive, you'll be greeted by breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and lush greenery. It's truly a sight to behold.

One of the best things about Bighorn Park is that it's both dog and child friendly. So whether you're out for a leisurely stroll with your furry friend or spending quality time with your little ones, this park has got you covered. Not only that, but they even have a special walking story for kids where they can follow along and discover hidden treasures along the way. It's a fantastic way to keep them entertained and engaged during your visit.

I was also impressed by the clean facilities at Bighorn Park. The restrooms were well-maintained and easily accessible, making it all the more convenient for visitors. Additionally, the park boasts informative signage throughout, providing interesting facts and tidbits about the area and its wildlife.

Overall, my visit to Bighorn Park was a delight. It offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, surrounded by natural beauty. Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a family-friendly outing, this park is a must-visit in Vail.

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Vail Nature Center

Vail Nature Center
🗺️ 601 Vail Valley Dr, Vail, CO 81657
☎️ 970-479-2291
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 9 AM–5 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM–5 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM–5 PM
Thursday: 9 AM–5 PM
Friday: 9 AM–5 PM
Saturday: 9 AM–5 PM
Highlights
Wonderful nature trail
Engaging scavenger hunt
Guided wildflower walk
Knowledgeable staff

Vail Nature Center is an absolute gem nestled in the heart of Vail. As soon as I stepped onto the trail, I was transported to a wonderland of natural beauty. The wonderful nature trail winds its way through lush forests and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

One of the highlights of my visit was the engaging scavenger hunt that the center offers. It was like going on a thrilling adventure, searching for hidden treasures and discovering the secrets of the forest. The clues were cleverly crafted, ensuring that both kids and adults would have a blast.

I also had the opportunity to join a guided wildflower walk, led by one of the center's knowledgeable staff members. They shared fascinating information about the local plant life, from the vibrant columbines to the delicate forget-me-nots. It was truly a feast for the eyes.

Throughout my time at Vail Nature Center, I was impressed by the passion and expertise of the staff. They were not only friendly and welcoming, but also eager to share their wealth of knowledge about the area's flora and fauna. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and it made me appreciate the natural world even more.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, a visit to Vail Nature Center is an absolute must. Trust me when I say, you won't be disappointed.

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Nature Discovery Center

Nature Discovery Center
Highlights
Knowledgeable staff
Interactive puzzles
Incredible animal exhibit

When I first stepped into the Nature Discovery Center, I was immediately greeted by the warm and welcoming staff. Their knowledge of the surrounding nature and wildlife was truly impressive, making me feel like I had entered my own personal nature encyclopedia.

What sets this place apart from other attractions in Vail is the abundance of interactive puzzles. From deciphering animal tracks to identifying various species of birds, there was never a dull moment. Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply curious about the world around you, these puzzles are sure to engage and challenge your mind.

But the true highlight of the Nature Discovery Center is the incredible animal exhibit. From majestic raptors to elusive mountain lions, the exhibit showcases the diverse wildlife found in the Vail area. Each enclosure is thoughtfully designed to resemble the natural habitat of the animals, allowing them to roam and thrive in a comfortable environment.

As I wandered through the center, I couldn't help but feel a sense of wonder and appreciation for the beauty of nature. It's a captivating experience that both children and adults can enjoy, providing a unique opportunity to learn and connect with the natural world.

In conclusion, if you're looking for a fun and educational activity in Vail, the Nature Discovery Center should be at the top of your list. With its knowledgeable staff, interactive puzzles, and incredible animal exhibit, this attraction offers an enriching experience that will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of nature.

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Vail Village

Vail Village
Highlights
Lively resort town
Eclectic stores
Ski village
Gondolas
Transportation hub

Vail Village is a lively resort town nestled amidst the snow-capped peaks of the majestic Colorado Rockies. As soon as I stepped foot in this charming enclave, I knew I was in for a treat. With its picturesque streets lined with eclectic stores and quaint alpine architecture, Vail Village exudes a unique charm that is hard to resist.

One of the highlights of Vail Village is its status as a ski village. As an avid skier, I was thrilled to explore the powdery slopes and world-class trails that Vail is famous for. The village is conveniently located near the base of the mountain, making it the perfect place to start your skiing adventure. Plus, with a network of gondolas whisking skiers and snowboarders up to the peaks, getting around couldn't be easier.

But Vail Village offers more than just skiing. It serves as a transportation hub, connecting visitors to the wider Vail Valley area. Whether you're looking to explore the nearby Beaver Creek Resort or embark on a scenic drive through the stunning Colorado landscape, Vail Village is the perfect starting point.

After a day of adventuring, I found myself strolling through the village's charming streets, browsing the eclectic stores that cater to every taste. From high-end fashion boutiques to unique art galleries, Vail Village has something for everyone.

In conclusion, Vail Village is a hidden gem in the heart of the Rockies. With its lively atmosphere, stunning scenery, and abundance of activities, it truly is a destination that should not be missed. So grab your skis, hop on a gondola, and get ready to experience the best that Vail has to offer.

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East Vail Falls

East Vail Falls
Highlights
Challenging climb
Stunning waterfall
Need ropes for safety
Trail unmarked
Slippery after rain

Let me start by saying that East Vail Falls is not for the faint of heart. This exhilarating adventure begins with a challenging climb through rugged terrain. As I navigated the rocky path, I could feel my adrenaline pumping and my excitement growing.

Once I reached the top, I was greeted by a sight that took my breath away - the stunning waterfall. The cascading water shimmered in the sunlight, creating a mesmerizing display of nature's beauty. It was a moment of pure serenity amidst the wild.

But let me give you a word of caution, my fellow explorers - safety is paramount. As the trail is unmarked and the terrain can be slippery, I highly recommend bringing ropes or seeking guidance from experienced hikers. It's better to be safe than sorry, after all.

After a rain shower, the trail becomes even more treacherous, with the rocks becoming slippery. So, be sure to check the weather forecast before embarking on this adventure.

In conclusion, East Vail Falls offers an exhilarating experience filled with adrenaline, natural beauty, and an opportunity to challenge yourself. Just remember to come prepared and be aware of the trail conditions. Happy exploring!

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Vail Epic Discovery

Vail Epic Discovery
Highlights
Kids ride free
Pay at the top
Tubing for $25
Pass for activities
Avoid crowds

Vail Epic Discovery is an absolute must-do when you're in Vail! As an avid adventurer, I was blown away by the wide range of activities available here. The best part? Kids ride free! That's right, parents can now enjoy a day of excitement without worrying about breaking the bank.

One of the unique things about Vail Epic Discovery is that you pay at the top of the mountain, so you don't have to worry about long lines and crowds at the base. You can simply hop on the gondola and make your way up to the top to start your adventure.

One activity that shouldn't be missed is the tubing. For just $25, you can slide down the mountain on specially designed tubes. It's an exhilarating experience that will leave you laughing and begging for another round.

For those looking to make the most of their day, I highly recommend getting the pass for activities. This pass grants you access to a variety of thrilling attractions, including ziplining, a mountain coaster, and even a ropes course. With so much to choose from, you'll never have a dull moment.

What sets Vail Epic Discovery apart from other attractions is their commitment to ensuring an enjoyable experience for everyone. By offering activities at the top of the mountain, they help avoid crowds and create a more intimate and personalized adventure.

All in all, Vail Epic Discovery truly lives up to its name. With its wide array of activities, affordable pricing, and picturesque mountain views, it's no wonder this gem is a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike. So, grab your sense of adventure and prepare for an unforgettable day at Vail Epic Discovery!

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Gore Valley Trail

Gore Valley Trail
Highlights
Accessible for all ages
Paved trail
Beautiful solitude
Follows Gore river
Kid-friendly

Let me tell you, the Gore Valley Trail is a hidden gem that should not be missed when visiting Vail. This beautiful, paved trail is not only accessible for all ages, but it also offers a sense of serene solitude that is hard to find in other popular areas of town.

As I strolled along the trail, I was captivated by the scenic views of the majestic Gore River, which follows alongside the entire path. The sound of the rushing water and the chirping birds created a symphony of nature that melted away any stress or worries I had.

What makes this trail even more special is its kid-friendly atmosphere. Families can bring their little explorers along without worry, as the trail offers a safe and easy adventure for children of all ages. As a parent myself, it was a relief to find an activity that entertained my little ones while still allowing me to indulge in the beauty of Vail.

Whether you're a nature enthusiast, a fitness junkie, or just someone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of town, the Gore Valley Trail is a must-visit destination in Vail. So lace up your hiking boots or grab your bike – it's time to discover the hidden paradise that awaits along this picturesque trail!

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Stephens Park

Stephens Park
🗺️ Vail, CO 81657
Sunday: 6 AM–9:30 PM
Monday: 6 AM–9:30 PM
Tuesday: 6 AM–9:30 PM
Wednesday: 6 AM–9:30 PM
Thursday: 6 AM–9:30 PM
Friday: 6 AM–9:30 PM
Saturday: 6 AM–10 PM
Highlights
Dogs can run freely
Dogs can swim in water
Beautiful surroundings
Great for hiking

Stephens Park in Vail is an absolute haven for dog owners and outdoor enthusiasts alike. As soon as I stepped foot into the park, I was greeted by a sense of freedom and tranquility. The park offers a spacious area where dogs can run freely off-leash, which is particularly refreshing for dog owners who know the struggle of keeping our furry companions cooped up.

One of the major highlights of Stephens Park is the water feature available for dogs. Yes, you read that right! Dogs can frolic and swim to their hearts' content in the refreshing waters. Watching them splash around with pure joy in their eyes was a sight that warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face.

Not only is Stephens Park a perfect spot for dogs, but the park itself is nestled in beautiful surroundings. Lush greenery, towering trees, and a gentle breeze make it an idyllic location for a leisurely hike. As I strolled through the park, I couldn't help but feel a deep connection with nature.

Whether you're seeking a bonding experience with your four-legged friend, or simply want to enjoy the great outdoors, Stephens Park is a must-visit destination in Vail. It offers a combination of freedom, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities that are hard to come by. So pack up your snacks, leash up your pup, and head over to Stephens Park. You won't be disappointed!

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Matthew Johnson

Matt is a knowledgeable writer with a passion for all things Denver. His insightful articles on the city's attractions, culture, and hidden gems provide readers with an engaging glimpse into the Mile High City.