Vail is known as one of the top places in the country to go skiing/snowboarding. They do have some incredible slopes and when the village is covered in snow it’s quite magical, but it’s also an absolutely amazing place to be in the summer and fall too. There are so many outdoor activities and lots of delicious places to go for food and drinks. We live about an hour and a half away, so we jumped in the car and headed there for a long weekend getaway.
PS- in the Fall the aspen trees change to bright yellow so if you’re trying to go for that shoot for mid-September to Mid-October! It’s spectacular.
WHERE TO STAY
We brought Leon along for the trip and stayed at the most incredible dog-friendly hotel, Hotel Talisa. It was so nice, felt swanky, and every person we interacted with was so kind. They have lots of daily activities going on at the hotel like live music in the evenings, complimentary champagne and macaroons every afternoon (!!!), fireside s’mores, and there was a really nice pool and hot tubs. The location is absolutely perfect too – the hotel sits right next to Gore Creek near the base of the mountains so you have incredible views just right outside your window to wake up to. There’s a walking/biking path that runs alongside Gore Creek as well so you can go for a stroll anytime or take the free shuttle into Vail Village (5 min ride). Could I possibly talk this hotel up more?! It just really was that amazing, y’all.
BIKE VAIL PASS SUMMIT
We rented bikes from Venture, which was connected to Hotel Talisa, and biked the paved trail of Vail Pass Summit. It was 16 miles of breathtaking mountain views the entire ride and was mostly downhill. We stopped often to take photos and just take in the scenery. I highly recommend doing this ride. If you’re wanting to bike, but looking for something a bit more hardcore, you can mountain bike down the mountain. The ski runs turn into mountain bike trails in the summer. You’ll need to get a day pass for the gondola so you can your bike up the mountain then ride down. You can find out more about that here and even rent a bike through them. Of course, there are many other bike trails around the area too, so if neither of those options work for you, search for some trails on alltrails.com.
There are hiking trails everywhere around here. We hiked the Davos Trail which is a moderate 5.4 miles and it’s one that I’d recommend. There are aspen trees lining much of the trail and I’d love to come back in the Fall to see when they’ve turned bright yellow. You can find lots of trails when searching on AllTrails.com.
FLY FISHING ON GORE CREEK
This isn’t something we did since we didn’t have time, but we saw lots of others fly fishing and it looked like a lot of fun. Gore Creek is also one of the top places for fly fishing due to the clarity of the water. The hotel can hook you up with rental gear if you need it.
ENJOY SOME DOWNTIME
Part of a weekend getaway in the mountains should involve some downtime to relax and take in the scenery. As I mentioned above, Hotel Talisa has some awesome daily activities, so here are some examples of how to thoroughly enjoy mountain downtime:
- Relax by the pool or hot tub with a fun cocktail in hand – Après flutes and frites (champagne and fries ☺)
- Fireside s’mores and rocking chairs with the mountain views – Go to the spa (massage, pedicure, facials…)
- Grab some champagne and macaroons and sit outside watching the sunset behind the mountains
EXPLORE VAIL RESORT VILLAGE
The town of Vail is pretty large with 2 main sections – Lionshead and Vail Village. Spend some time walking around both because it’s real cute and there are plenty of shops and restaurants to check out.
EAT AND DRINK
There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from. These were my favorites.
- Bart & Yeti’s – A classic Vail watering hole that allows dogs and often has live music.
- Red Lion – Live music and good pub food. I’m kind of a ranch fanatic and this place has some great ranch. ☺
- El Sabor – Get that queso!
- La Tour – A French bistro with excellent wine. We went here and actually just did a wine tasting. It was fantastic and is pretty affordable at $25 per person for the amount you get… I’m talking like half-glass pours.
- 10th Mountain Whiskey – They have super creative and unique whiskey. Try the Alpenglow Cordial!
- Gessner (inside Hotel Talisa) – Some of my favorite things from here: the burger with the truffle cheese spread (seriously get this), roasted brussels sprouts, and the cheesecake!
- The Little Diner – A staple breakfast spot.
- Vendetta’s – Go for the pizza. You can’t go wrong with anything, but the ‘Jack Attack’ and ‘Snow Pig’ were our favorites.