Once the snow melts and the boarding bunnies ditch their snow boots for ones more seasonally appropriate, Vail presents families and outdoor enthusiasts with a more diversified itinerary of five-star dining, hiking and awe-inspiring adventures.
A major oversight upheld by the majority of vacationers is that Colorado is solely a winter destination. Locals certainly don't think so, which means you shouldn't either. In fact, if you speak to many natives of the beautiful alpine town, they will repeatedly tell you the same thing: Vail summertime is far superior to its colder seasons. With Llama Lunch hikes and carefully crafted local cuisine on the agenda, here is a list of the best kept secrets of the Rocky Mountains.
At the base of the slopes lies the distinctive Vail village, which comprises the pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets and postcard alpine village - a cultural and architectural nod to the exclusive European ski resorts in Switzerland and Austria, however, with a Colorado spin. Spectacular seems like an inadequate description of the scenery, with Vail's renowned luxury designer boutiques, five-star restaurants and beautiful public artwork located around the village for vacation-goers to enjoy at their leisure.
Vail village retains its peaceful and tranquil ambience, particularly during the summer seasons, where the hustle and bustle of the ski bums eager to chase the white powder is diluted incrementally - even with its world-class activities available at your command. Visitors can disconnect from their everyday life whilst experiencing a home-from-home style Vail Colorado rental, reconnecting with family and friends for an unforgettable vacation experience.
Hiking in Vail is far from a whimsical endeavour undertaken once or twice a year. True to their form, in Colorado, hiking is seen as a way of life, and it's easy to see why when the outdoors is so aesthetically pleasing. Indeed, in Vail, it's all about fourteeners (a mountain peak with an elevation of more than 14,000 feet), and with more than 54 of them here, the physical infrastructure of the Vail valleys provides the perfect opportunity to challenge yourself and be at one with nature in the summer seasons.
Conversely, if you're a hiking novice and prefer an adventure that is slightly more "skill-appropriate", Paragon Guides provides a more laid back llama hike through the picturesque Gore Creek valley trails. Easily enough, the guys pick you up from your hotel or Vail condo rental and take you to a local trailhead where you can start your adventure with the fluffy creatures. The llamas calm nature makes them highly suitable for young children, which allows for a fun family-day out in the Colorado mountains, opening your eyes to the beauty of wildlife like you have never seen it before.
Grab your sturdiest raft and paddle, because as soon as the white powder melts from the mountain tops and makes it way to the rivers, some of the best water rapids are available, and the best way to experience these impetuous waves is via white water rafting.
The Arkansas, Eagle and Colorado River provides the perfect juxtaposition of straightforward rapids with clear and wide channels, to those violent waves, congested chutes with complex and demanding routes, designed specifically for the rafting enthusiast whose precise maneuvering can keep up with the challenging demands of the water.
Vail also offers a wine tasting and rafting tour if that is more your style of play, intertwining outdoor adventure with local flavors. The tour is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts and wine connoisseurs, as the tour embarks on a journey in some "splashy" water rapids in the morning, before setting off to Eagle Ranch to taste the handcrafted, locally sourced vines at Vail Winery. Food selections are available for customers upon request, presenting the perfect setting to relax and recline under the beautiful Colorado skies.
Tantalize your taste buds and source the freshly made local flavours, with restaurants aplenty in the Vail Valleys.
Inspired by Parisian brasseries, the quaint French bistro 'Vintage' is a people's favourite. The restaurant dishes up classic french cuisine such as foie gras torchon, escargot and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, all of which can be swilled down with a signature bloody Mary or champagne flute to adequately clean the palate.
If you fancy something closer to home, topping the list as Colorado's most popular restaurant, 'Sweet Basil' is an innovative, modern American restaurant that features a world-class menu of seasonal, creative cuisines. Dishes such as the Loch Duart Salmon, served with sweet and sour beets, seared in red wine cabbage puree, pistachio gremolata and topped with fresh pomegranate will certainly leave your taste buds dancing with delight.
You can even go one step further and try your hand at crafting your own interpretation of Colorado's finest flavours at the luxury Four Seasons Residences & Resort. Under the watchful eye of coveted chef, Marcus Stewart, guests can learn how to make the perfect spice rub to take as a souvenir of Vail... but not before tasting your creation first on the hotel's finest fresh slabs of meat.
Rejuvenate your mind and body at the Sonnenalp Spa, where relaxation and luxury intertwine together to provide the perfect ambience for customers to unwind and refresh.
Located at the heart of the Vail Valley, Sonnenalp Spa dates back five generations, providing over 80 years of generous hospitality and service. With pampering massages, body treatments, skin care, manicures and pedicures - the spa provides five-star treatment for every guest fortunate enough to visit.
Customers can be treated to Sonnenalp's signature light to medium full body massage to relieve muscle tension, enhance circulation while promoting deep relaxation - perfect after a long day hiking the infamous fourteeners. Afterwards, guests can enjoy the state-of-the-art saunas, indoor and outdoor heated pools, and solariums overlooking the Gore creek. With three choices of sparkling wine to choose from, Sonnenalp Spa truly is the perfect pampering palace to lavishly luxuriate and bask in the fresh alpine air.
Book now through their website for the best treatment the Vail Valleys has to offer.
Eager for a visit to Vail yet? This stylish architectural paradise lures travellers seeking outdoor adventures and five-star lodging year-round. And you can see why Vail is a perfect summer destination. Book with Emerald Kite for your own privately owned and professionally managed Vail Colorado condo and rentals today to enjoy the amazing activities this magical place has to offer.