Vail Resorts is one of the most famous resorts in the world, and for good reason. With the Epic Pass seemingly expanding its number of locations every season it does look like it’s the best bang for your buck. While there are ski resorts all around the world you can visit with this pass, don’t underestimate the resort where it all started. Vail has got the ski vacation destination down with picturesque ski villages, incredible lodging, and of course the legendary terrain. Even though skiing is obviously the main reason you should come to Vail, there are still plenty of exciting things to do off the mountain as well. Below are a few of our favorite things to do while taking a break from the slopes.
Scenic Gondola Rides
This seems like a given, but no matter if you’re skiing or just wanting to take in the views, a scenic gondola ride is a must. Vail offers free gondola rides after 3:30 PM on the Eagle Bahn Gondola that overlook breathtaking views of the Gore Range and Mount of the Holy Cross. Once you’ve reached the top make sure to check out the Adventure Ridge activities that include tubing and snow biking. After tiring yourself out with all that snow sliding, stop by Bistro Fourteen, a cozy restaurant with a full bar that gets its name for it’s view of fourteen-thousand foot Mount of the Holy Cross. Relax and out your feet up as you gaze across the Rocky Mountains.
No ski trip is complete without checking out the local breweries and for some reason ski towns always seem to be close to the best. Vail is no exception with several great Breweries to discover nearby. Looking for a crisp craft beer right as you get off the mountain? Vail Brewing Co. has a tasting room right in Vail Village, walking distance from the lifts. Come try some of their award winning beers like Gore Creek IPA while listening to some live music on their outdoor patio. 7 Hermits Brewing also recently opened up a new tap room right in Vail Village serving seven beers on tap with plans to expand that to 12. With this tap room being about 60 feet from the bottom of Gondola One, there’s no quicker way to grab a beer before or after the lifts. If you’re ok with driving a bit you can head over to Gore Range Brewery in Edwards for some great food and craft beer.
Burton US Open
The Burton US Open Snowboarding Championship is the oldest snowboard event in the world and takes place at Vail every year. If you’re planning on visiting Vail, you have to make sure you plan your trip around this event. The dates vary depending on the year but events take place over the course of a week with competitions for all ages of riders. Take a break from the slopes and instead watch as amateurs and professionals alike compete in halfpipe and slopestyle events. Once those wrap up be sure to check out one of the free concerts that occur throughout the week of the event.
Explore the Ice Caves
Just half an hour’s drive outside of Vail, sits the town Dillion, home of the annual ice castles. These castles are constructed every year by professional ice artists using hundreds of thousands of icicles. These caves and sculptures are usually lit up with tons of LED lights to help you explore the tunnels, thrones and slides that are chipped into the ice. Make sure to dress warm and go when it starts to get dark out to really capture how insane these ice sculptures can be.
Planning on heading to Vail this winter? Don’t deal with the stress of renting skis, let Ski Butlers do it for you. Want to see what others have had to say about Ski Butlers? Check out some reviews. We can’t wait to see you this Winter!