I am not usually at a loss for words – speaking them or writing them. I typically sit down and they just flow from me. However, when I sat down to write this post, about skiing and my time in Vail, Colorado, maybe for the first time ever, I was speechless. The words didn’t come, but it’s not because I didn’t have anything to say, it’s because I had too much to say! While most people think of skiing as just physical fitness or a good outdoor workout, I see it as so much more. It’s the one place, and the one activity I find truly calms the mind, especially in Vail. Think about it – you are strapped onto skinny sheets of metal, speeding down a mountain. You have no choice but to set aside all other thoughts and just let yourself focus on the task at hand, all while enjoying beautiful scenery (and not falling off said mountain). It’s a great mental escape. Lots of fresh air time, a chance to be one with nature, no time to dwell on all of life’s happenings, and to truly just be in the moment. Skiing, to me, is incredibly freeing!
If you’re going to have a moment of utter peacefulness, there probably aren’t many places better than Colorado. From the people, to the landscapes to the activities, it’s an incredible state. And Vail is at the top of the list of amazing cities to visit in Colorado. It’s a community so picturesque and remote, it’s basically what winter dreams are made of.
The town of Vail, and its surrounding villages are oozing with charm. Luxurious shops, delicious restaurants, gorgeous scenery and mountains as far and high as the eye can see. Whether you are a beginner or advanced skier, it’s a great spot to plow through the powder in the west. I hope you have as warm a welcome as I did, when I met Bill Current – the cutest elderly man who greeted me when I picked up my ski pass at Guest Services. He told me he is a longtime resident, and Vail staffer, who knows the slopes like the back of his hand. He was there to provide a map, but provided much more. His smile and enthusiasm got me excited about my day on the mountain. His knowledge gave me confidence in planning the routes I would take. And his spirit, well, it set the tone for peacefulness that would ensue on each run.
Vail Mountain Stats:
- The resort opened in 1962
- Vail Mountain Resort is double the size of all the other Vail properties (according to my new friend Bill)
- The town of Vail consists of 3 villages – Vail Village, Lionshead and Golden Peak
- Vail Mountain has 5,317 acres of ski-able terrain
- The mountain offers Green, Blue and Black ski trails (for beginners to extremely advanced skiers)
- Vail has more than 300 days of sunshine each year and equally as many inches of snow -on average
- The town of Vail is inspired by Alpine architecture and truly makes you feel like you’re in a Swiss village
- There is a lot of culture in Vail, outside of snow activities – culinary events, festivals, concerts, hiking, biking, etc.
Where to Stay & Visitor Tips:
- I recommend staying in either Lionshead or Vail Village. They are within walking distance to one another, and also easy to get to via the free bus system. Staying here puts you in the middle of the action, and gets you on the mountain early, just by walking to the chair lift.
- I have loved staying at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort. They have rooms that I would deem “luxuriously rustic,” are walking distance to the slopes, offer nightly entertainment and even have s’mores around the bonfire. (More on Vail and the Marriott here.)
- I also enjoyed a wonderful stay at the Hotel Talisa. It’s a luxury property, that isn’t as close to the ski lifts, but is nestled in the woods and loaded with charisma. (More on Hotel Talisa here.)
- Other accommodations can be found here.
- A beginner slope in Colorado is not equivalent to a beginner slope in the Midwest. Practice caution! Start with the bunny hill, even if you are a good Midwest skier. This will help you get comfortable with the elevation and drastic drop-offs. From there get recommendations from the staff on the easiest, longest Green runs.
- The mountain is HUGE, so even on a very crowded day, you will get to have the experience of skiing on your own. Sure, the tops and bottoms of the runs are more crowded, but you can find peace and tranquility on your own in the middle. Especially on the Greens. My favorite Green runs at Vail are Game Trail and Gitalong road.
- The first snowfall isn’t the best time to visit. As the season goes on, and more snow arrives, more runs and chair lifts are opened.
- The locals are incredibly friendly. This is true of the staff as well, who are always willing to chat and share insight on the best ski spots, where to eat and the history of the mountain. I find the best time to pick their brains is getting placed on a chair lift with someone from ski patrol or a local resident. It happens by chance, but makes for an informative ride to the top of the mountain.
- Make reservations. Whether it’s a nice dinner you want to enjoy in one of the villages or a meal with a view from the top of the mountain, during busy times, a reservation is recommended.
- The best sky-high meal can be found at The 10th. They have an amazing burger and make a mean cherry coke. The perfect mid-day pick-me-up.
- Purchase your ski passes here. (Unfortunately due to COVID-19 the resort, and all of their Vail properties, are closed for the season. But, it’s never to early to start planning ahead for next year, or a summer visit.)
To see more of my posts on Colorado click below…
Signed with Style,