8 Fun Things to Do in Vail Village

Find out what to do in Vail Village while visiting the Rocky Mountains and plan your trip with fun things to see and do in the Village.

Posted November 16, 2023

Arrabelle Plaza ice rink in the evening in Vail, CO.

When you aren't busy on the slopes during your next trip to the Rocky Mountains, you will want to know what to do in Vail Village to maximize what you get from your visit. From relaxing indoors to staying active outside, there is something for everyone.  

What to Do in Vail Village?  

If you are visiting with your family, solo, or as part of a larger group, you can rest assured that the days you spend off the slopes will be just as fun as the days on them. Designed with pedestrian-friendly streets and walkways, the Village is easy to wander at a leisurely pace. Explore the cobblestone streets, visit shops, dine at restaurants, and take in the beautiful mountain surroundings of this charming Alpine destination. The following eight activities are some of the top ones that will make your visit one that you'll never forget. 

Enjoy an Alpine Shopping Experience 

If you are at a loose end and searching for what to do in Vail Village, prepare for an unforgettable alpine retail journey as you flip in and out of the many different stores in Vail Village.   

You'll be able to explore many clothing and gear stores, including Vail Sports, True North, The North Face, Patagonia, and Oakley. For alpine treasures, gifts, and crafts, including candles and home décor, pop into the Betty Ford Alpine Garden Village Gift Shop. For up-market clothing, visit Lady Jones. If you have a sweet tooth, then a visit to Fuzziwig's Candy Factory should also be on the list.  

Hit the Spa  

Vail Village has a full variety of spa options perfect for relaxing and turning tense muscles into butter. Here, you will find two separate RockResort spas.  

At the Arrabelle Spa, you might choose the 80-minute Athlete at Altitude Recovery body therapy, which includes dry brushing and cupping integrated into a full-body massage. Or, why not head to The Lodge at Vail's spa, where you can experience a relaxing honey Avocado Scrub & Wrap to give your body a full moisturizing experience using wild-crafted honey, avocado butter, cardamom, and vanilla essential oils? 

There are luxurious couples' treatment rooms at both spas, and each location has fully equipped fitness areas for weightlifting, Pilates, and more.  

Visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame 

The Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame preserves many of the defining historical moments for Vail and the surrounding area. From the famous 10th Mountain Division that trained on the mountain before fighting in World War II to the history and evolution of snowboarding throughout the USA, you will discover many exhibits, stories, and more to become engrossed in, heightening your connection to and appreciation of Vail. 

You will find the Colorado Snowsports Museum located right beside the Vail Village parking lot off Frontage Road.  

Take a Ride on a Gondola  

Gondola rides are relaxing and exciting at the same time, making them perfect for both families with young children and groups of older adults. 

The two Vail gondolas are both accessible from the village, making this a prime village activity that takes you out over the mountain without any trouble.  

You can find the gondola rides at the Eagle Bahn Gondola and Gondola 1, both inside the village. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountain from a great vantage point, and use it as an opportunity to get ideas of where you'd like to ski if you are unfamiliar with these parts of the mountain.  

Enjoy On-Mountain and In-Village Dining Experiences  

Vail Village offers a wide range of culinary experiences that cater to every taste. If you are looking for a quick lunch that doesn't interrupt your skiing schedule, then you will love the Dawg House at the base of Pete's Express lift. If you visit The 10th, you'll experience one of Vail's best full-service restaurants, although reservations are required. 

There are also many world-class restaurants situated within Vail Village, and with 15 amazing options, there's bound to be the perfect restaurant for you. At the base of gondola 1 is Los Amigos, a great Mexican eatery for those who prefer spice. Yama Sushi provides traditional Japanese cuisine with a great range of sake, while the Left Bank Restaurant is one of the best high-end French dining options around.   

Experience Annual Events and Celebrations  

Looking for what to do in Vail Village? Well, there's a good chance you'll get to witness some of the local annual events and celebrations that show off the soul of Vail. Try out the event search tool to see what exactly is going on in the village during your stay, and then join in the festivities when you arrive. From Vail's annual birthday party to Christmas and New Year's parties, unique expeditions, music, fireworks, and more, there is always something going on throughout the year.  

Explore Vail's Very Own Nature Center  

The Vail Nature Center is just a short distance East from the Center of Vail Village along Vail Valley Drive, past the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Walking Mountains Science Center operates the nature center, and the pristine scenery of alpine meadows, matched with the 1940s homestead, makes this a great place to appreciate the local nature. The nature center is spread out over seven acres, and visitors can enjoy free guided snowshoe walks while observing local wildlife or take a paid evening tour and enjoy snowshoeing under the stars. 

Whether you are traveling with family, as a couple, or in a group of friends, you can access plenty of activities right from Vail Village without going far. Shopping, spa treatments, bars, restaurants, and much more await you on your next visit to the idyllic Rocky Mountains here in Colorado.  

Discover the Magic of Vail Village this Season 

Come for a visit and fully immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere, picturesque architecture and natural beauty that this mountain town has to offer. Skiers and riders will want to be sure to prepare by exploring the range of lift passes, as well as ski and snowboarding lessons. And remember that booking your lodging earlier rather than later increases the chances of securing your dream accommodation.