When you first step foot in Vail, setting your sights on the majestic mountains and charming village, it’ll start to sink in. You’re in a place truly like nothing on earth. You’ll feel the tingle of anticipation as your family starts talking about the day, with endless opportunities at your feet and memories waiting to be made.
A day in Vail is unlike any other, filled with special moments on and off the mountain. Starting your day on the mountain, you and your family won’t waste any time once you see the new snowfall and feel the cool mountain air. With 5,289 acres of skiable terrain, Vail boasts some of the most renowned runs in the world. And that’s not to mention the incomparable Back Bowls, with wide-open swaths of fresh powder for you and your family to explore.
Off the mountain, the first stop for any ski family is après. While the kids sip on homemade hot chocolate, you can enjoy a delicious cocktail from one of Vail’s many esteemed après spots, while watching the sun set over the last few runs of the day.
Endless family fun awaits in the villages. With abundant shopping and a variety of entertainment options, you can feel a certain energy in the air in town. It feels likeanother world, yet like you’re right at home, all at once. It ignites your curiosity and fuels your sense of adventure.
Just as the atmosphere inspires you, so will the world-class dining scene. Whether you’re a pizza purveyor or fine-dining aficionado, dining in Vail is second to none, with options for every palate. To put a cap on an already incredible day, stroll the heated, cobblestone streets and make your way to one of the ice rinks in town to skate under the stars. It’s the perfect finish to a day that’ll undoubtedly inspire a family tradition.
For a more detailed family itinerary, check out this article on the Vail blog.
10 Things You Need to Experience in Vail
Vail’s expansive mountain and unique, alpine-inspired village are enough to make your visit here a one-of-a-kind experience. But these exceptional highlights will make your family’s vacation in Vail something extra special.
1. Enjoy dinner at Game Creek Restaurant
There isn’t a bad view anywhere in Vail, but views just get better the higher up the mountain you go. Take your family to Game Creek Restaurant for a truly remarkable experience and one-of-a-kind views. Your trip to the top starts with a snowcat ride, where you’ll experience the beautiful calm of the mountain after
dark. Warm up with gourmet cuisine and sweeping views of the Game Creek Bowl in this European chalet-inspired restaurant.
2. Ride Gondola One
Gondola One lifts you up 2,000 vertical feet in only 7.5 minutes. But with heated seats and free WiFi, we bet you'll wish it took longer.
3. Meet Jake, the Ski Patrol Dog
You’ve seen his viral videos and dreamed about frolicking with him in the snow. Now is your chance to make those dreams come true. Jake the Ski Patrol Dog is
the newest addition to the Vail Ski Patrol, but more importantly he’s a viral sensation, thanks to this video. Meet him and our other hard-working patrol pups
at the top of Lift 4. The dogs and their handlers will be happy to let you see some tricks, take a few pics—and probably share a few licks (with the dogs, not the
4. Revel in Vail’s après scene
Vail is just as renowned for its après scene as it is for its unique terrain and beautiful weather. There’s no better way to unwind after a long day on the slopes than with a delicious cocktail, local music, and beautiful mountain views. Warm up by outdoor fire pits at The Remedy or watch people come down the mountain
at Garfinkel’s. Our wide-ranging après scene has something for everyone, including the kids.
5. Experience Adventure Ridge
Need a break from your skis or snowboard for a day? Head to Adventure Ridge with the kids for a different kind of on-mountain fun. From ski biking to tubing to snowmobiling, you and your family can play all day and well into the night. Located at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola, stay for dinner at Bistro Fourteen and a
sunset like nothing on earth.
6. Discover Vail’s Back Bowls
Spanning nearly seven miles, Vail’s expansive Back Bowls are truly unparalleled and a bucket list must. Make a day of it, or pepper in some Bowl runs while discovering other aspects of the mountain, but just be sure you don't miss them.
7. Skate under the stars
Located right in the heart of Vail Square, Alderhof Ice Rink is the perfect way to spend an evening under the stars. Take a spin, grab a hot chocolate, and revel in
the beautiful Village views while enjoying another crisp, Winter evening in Vail.
8. Enjoy lunch at an on-mountain deck
With 300 days of sun and ample bluebird days, you’ll want to spend as much timeoutside as possible. Opt for one of Vail’s on-mountain decks when you pause for
a lunch break, where you can relax and refuel while taking in the beautiful scenery. Pack a picnic, bring something to cook up on one of the many open grills, or stop by Windows Deck and enjoy the famous barbecue from Wildwood Smokehouse.
9. Challenge each other with EpicMix
There’s nothing better than having bragging rights in the family. EpicMix App keeps track of the vertical feet you rack up, and lets you compete with family and friends in special Epic Challenges, like the Mile High Challenge (you earn a badge once you ski 5,280 vertical feet). Plus, the EpicMix App keeps you updated on lift lines, and allows you to plan a mountain guide for the day.
10. Get lost in the charm of Vail Village
There’s something special about Vail Village. From the heated, cobblestone streets to twinkly lights everywhere you look, it feels like you’re in another world and at home, all at once. Stroll the streets with your kids, pop in and out of your favorite shops, and revel in the charm of Vail.