What to Do, Where to Eat & Where to Stay in Vail, Colorado this Summer

Vail has become one of my favorite places to visit, and I’ll be honest, a lot of this has to do with the food. Vail is tops when it comes to amazing food and I’m fairly sure I gain 10 pounds on every visit (and I don’t care). Seriously though, there are other reasons to visit Vail this summer and one reason is that it’s a true escape from everyday life.

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The summer landscaping around Vail Village and Lionshead is stunning.
What to Do in Vail this Summer
Shop Til’ You Drop

Shoppers have long delighted in the offerings at Vail Village and Lionshead. Whether you’re looking for gear (bikes, skies, climbing equipment, etc.) or high-end jewelry or even something for the dog, Vail’s got it.

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If this photo looks a bit crooked that’s because I think the store is actually crooked!

On our last visit, during Taste of Vail, I discovered Wild Bill’s Emporium. This is my kind of shop. There’s so much to look at that we lingered here for quite some time. They have everything from Native American jewelry to cowboy hats decorated with beer bottle caps. This Vail store is a feast for the eyes and has been since 1968. I’m not sure how I missed it all of these years.

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Other favorite shops include Mary Jane and The Pet Boutique of Vail. And if you’ve forgotten to pack anything, The Lionshead General Market has got it—it will be pricey, but they’ll have it. We often stay in Lionshead so we’ve popped in here for everything from ice cream to Tums.

Adventure a Little (or a Lot)

Recently, Vail has created infrastructure on their mountain that allows for year-round entertainment. The addition of Epic Discovery to Vail’s summer offerings allow visitors a chance to get some thrills during their stay in Vail.

A group of friends enjoys the brand new Epic Discovery canopy tour at Vail.
A group of friends enjoys the brand new Epic Discovery canopy tour at Vail. Photo Credit: Jack Affleck

Epic Discovery is the ultimate mountain playground for adventure seekers who love testing their limits and activities include summer tubing, adventure rope courses, a scenic gondola ride, 4×4 tours and more. Guests can choose from less heart-pumping activities such as disc golf to crazier experiences such as flying through a forest on a mountain coaster.

What to Eat in Vail

The short answer to “What to Eat in Vail” is everything, but since that’s not possible I’ll narrow it down for you. Dining in Vail isn’t cheap, but I wholeheartedly urge you to splurge on at least one dinner while you’re in town.

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Banh Mi from Flame/The Remedy booth at Taste of Vail Lamb Cook-off. This was my favorite bite at the lamb event.

The Taste of Vail is a wonderful way to taste things from lots of different Vail Valley restaurants and a good way to organize your dining out on future trips. For instance, I’m doing a girls’ trip to Four Seasons Vail this summer and because of the bites I tasted at Taste of Vail, I will not miss eating a meal at their restaurant, Flame. They crafted two of my favorite dishes at Taste of Vail.

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Also, Ryan and I are going to have to make an effort to eat at Bistro Fourteen, located at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead, on our next visit because they were Ryan’s favorite restaurant at Taste of Vail.

Salmon at Terra Bistro.

Dinner restaurant recommendations include our longtime favorite, Terra Bistro and a more recent favorite, Sweet Basil. The latter won first place in this year’s American Lamb Cook-Off during Taste of Vail. 

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Moe’s – yum!

For breakfast, you have to eat at The Little Diner. We ate there twice on the last trip and twice on the visit before that because it’s just so good (and worth the wait). Also, for a good meal that won’t break your bank, Moe’s Original Bar B Que is actually located next to The Little Diner in Lionshead. It’s a great affordable dining option in Vail and they also have a fabulous happy hour.

Where to Stay in Vail this Summer

Antlers at Vail is a fantastic property that I highly recommend for couples, families and dog lovers. It’s located in a quiet corner of Lionshead next to Gore Creek. Despite its tranquil locale, it’s mere footsteps to everywhere you want to be in Lionshead and a two-minute walk to catch the free bus into Vail Village. I tend to think that a stay in Vail’s Lionshead provides the best of both worlds: a little peace and quiet but an easy jaunt to the bustling village.

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Our one-bedroom condo at Antlers at Vail.
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During our stay in Vail this last April, Antlers hosted us in a one-bedroom condo overlooking the river and pool area. This place has one of the best pool/hot tub combos in Vail. A soak here is accompanied by the sounds of the river and that’s a terrific way to spend a summer evening. The pool is large and perfect for the kids, and with easy access to the footpath along Gore Creek, Antlers at Vail is ideal for people traveling with their dog.

Antlers at Vail Photo from their Facebook page.

This Vail property has various sizes of condos and one of the nicest group of staff members that I’ve encountered during my travels. You’ll be treated well here and they even provide daily housekeeping services, something many condo-style resorts have done away with. We have found that coming back to a clean condo each evening is a small luxury we love. And as a bonus, The Little Diner is just a five-minute walk from Antlers at Vail.

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