The Charm of Vail, Colorado - Summer 2018

My husband and I spent a few days in Vail, Colorado, at the end of June during the ValueX Vail investor conference. It was our first time to the conference and to Vail and we were pleasantly surprised with the natural charm of Western Colorado.

Western Colorado is a vision of alpine goodness. Thick pine forests dot the hills and the blue sky goes on forever. But you don't have to be a nature lover to enjoy Western Colorado. The cobblestoned Swiss Alp-inspired town of Vail also caters to luxury travelers looking for a little rest and relaxation. You can check in at a spa or lounge poolside and enjoy a few days of shopping, leisurely strolls, and fine dining. Of course, during the winter skiing is the name of the game and the snow-covered mountainous scene can also be a delightful getaway if you are into that sort of thing.

The Good

The views from the top of Vail Mountain are straight out of The Sound of Music movie: lush green rolling hills, snow peaked mountains and blue sky. To get there take Eagle Bahn Gondola up the mountain to Eagle's Nest where a world of beautiful views awaits. The gondolas are large and clean and you can even take a bicycle up to ride the trails down or simply explore. I imagine the Go Pro footage you can capture is epic!

For hikers, there is an easy and beautiful trail about a mile long from Eagle's Nest to the more modest gondola in Vail Village.

For more serious hikers, hiking up the mountain is an option and as a reward, you can catch the gondola down, free of charge. Going up and down the mountain could easily turn into a two-day plus adventure if you are the outdoorsy type.

Besides hiking and mountain biking, there are a few eateries and a bunch of activities for youngsters and the young at heart at the top of the mountain. You can zip line or go on one of those jungle gyms. Both seem to be very popular activities in Colorado because I observed more of them along interstate 70 and elsewhere.

If you are in town, you can wander on foot or on a bike from Vail Village to Lionshead Village marveling at the river, nature, and the uncanny resemblance of the manmade town to that of a real Swiss Alp town. While the town is picturesque the hard cobblestone streets can be taxing on one's feet so sensible footwear is highly recommended. You can explore the town in a day, or two, at a very leisurely pace.

Vail is very family friendly. Kids are commonly seen enjoying water fountains and other water features throughout town.

Parking during the summer is also free at the main town parking lots except overnight.

The Bad

Vail, even offseason, is a tad spendy. We opted to stay outside of Vail Village so I could have a kitchen on site. I am not a fan of eating out during travels because it tends to ruin my mood and energy levels. Regrettably, Colorado is not a foodie's paradise. We did, however, take lunch on top of Eagle's Nest. It looked great but tasted just ok.

We also observed an inordinate amount of families with young children. If kids are not your style, then this may not be the place for you. It is very family friendly.

Vail, just like the rest of Colorado, has an inordinate number of roundabouts. Suffice to say they are interesting for this Southern California girl.

The Ugly

I can't imagine most of the buildings being older than 20 or 30 years. Everything seems newish and artificial so if you prefer something with a bit more character then this may not be the town for you. 

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a quick getaway in an alpine setting Vail is great. It is a great alpine town that attracts a preppy sort of crowd with young kids in toll. 


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