Rocky Mountain High: Vail, Colorado
Vail is a legendary ski town. Everything about the place is magical. When you are there, you feel like you are strolling through the Swiss Alps. The ski village is quaint and full of great restaurants, fun bars, and cute shops. I couldn’t ski this trip because of this little bebè in my belly. I thought that would make me feel disappointed the whole trip, however, it turned out to be a great opportunity to explore the town, sip hot chocolate, and just relax.
I was so lucky to spend one afternoon with my good friend/photographer Cali Frankovic Photography snapping photos in some of my favorite spots so I can share them with you here. So much of Vail’s beauty is found along the quaint streets and the open mountain land.
Most people fly into Denver International Aiport and rent a car. That’s what we did, it was about a 1.5 to 2 hour drive (without traffic) to Vail from the airport. I have heard traffic can be crazy, so try to travel during off-peak hours. There is also a shuttle from DIA to Vail or a smaller airport you can fly into closer to the resorts. Once you get to Vail, you can just park your car for the trip. Walking around Vail is quite simple, and they have a bus that runs the length of the valley…easy peasy.
WHERE TO STAY
I prefer Vail Village over Lionshead Village (both within a mile of each other), because of the classic architecture and great restaurants.
We stayed at the Sitzmark Lodge. Located right in the heart of Vail Village. The location could not have been better. All the hotels during their peak season are expensive. However, the Sitzmark came with a surprisingly reasonable cost. This hotel is not over the top beautiful, but for the location and the price, it was perfect.
To no surprise, the Four Season Vail is beautiful. It’s a great location, boasts a ski valet, mountainside pool, and a delicious bar/restaurant.
Another favorite is the Sonnelap Hotel. Also with a great location and more of an authentic vibe.
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK
Sweet Basil was our favorite. With great atmosphere, amazing Colorado lamb, and a beautiful wine list, this is definitely the hot spot in Vail. They also have a sister restaurant, Mountain Standard, a great place for lunch with a more casual dining experience. They are known for their raw bar, beautiful salads, and burgers. La Tour is my other recommendation, with delectable French fair, in a cozy atmosphere. The one place you must go when in the valley is Splendido. This restaurant is located in Beaver Creek, about a 15-minute drive from Vail. We had the most romantic and delicious dining experience. The rabbit dish was one of the best dishes I have ever had. Make this a must on your Vail trip. Also have lunch at the Four Seasons Bar, Remedy. Try the salmon burger, yum!!
Other fun spots; Yeti’s Grind for coffee is great, Crespelle for crepes, Root & Flower wine bar, Red Lion & Garfinkel’s for Après drinks. Oh, and don’t miss The Vintage for drinks or brunch!
WHERE TO SHOP
Since I was unable to ski this year, I indulged in my other favorite pastime…shopping. Vail has some great local shops. Gorsuch is the must-stop-shop in Vail, if for no other reason than to see what would be deemed “Vogue” mountain wear. Other great places…Perch for the ladies is so good, and their brother companies Gray Salt for guys and Skipper & Scout for kiddos are fantastic as well.
So long Vail…hope to see you next year.