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Top 5 winter activities to check out while you’re in Vail, Colorado!

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Cold weather, snow, mountain views, hot tubs, delicious food, and village shopping are all the things that make a snow bunnies’ dream come true. Ady and I recently visited Vail, Colorado to open our winter with a BANG and I must say it was one of the best trips of my life!

We had quite a few adventures on our bucket list which included skiing, tubing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, riding a roller coaster on top of Eagle’s Nest Mountain, and swimming in the snow! I had to do a lot of research to figure out what I wanted to do and where I wanted to do it. I will save you time and effort by narrowing down the best options!

Our top 5 winter activities to check out while you’re in Vail!

vail colorado ski travel blog city guide

1. Skiing

Of course this has to be the number one winter activity. Hitting the slopes is not only breathtaking, but a workout too. My favorite part is riding the ski lift and meeting the locals and hearing their slang terms for their hobby! My least favorite part is learning how to ski again after years of being captive in the flat planes of Alabama. The equipment and ski lift tickets are quite pricey so save up for this adventure. Remember to watch some youtube videos or take a class if it’s been awhile since you’ve skied.

Pro Tip: Check to make sure what slopes are open for the day before you get geared up

2. Snowmobiling

Riding on the snow on a machine, please, what could be more fun?! Be sure your resort has had plenty of snow before booking your trip thinking you will definitely get to go snowmobiling. That is something we didn’t think about, and it resulted in us only getting one opportunity at the last minute to be able to ride. Nova Guides is a great option to book this adventure with.

3. Dog Sledding:

Remember Paul Walker in Eight Below Zero? How could you not want the opportunity to get out in the wild and ride with a real wolf pack! Be sure to layer up and prepare for a bumpy but exhilarating ride that you will never forget. Be sure to check out Alpine Adventure Dogsledding, you can donate to their non-profit program B.A.R.K. and your money feeds the adopted dogs. It doesn’t get better than that for me, honestly.

vail colorado travel guide

4. Forest Flyer Alpine Coaster

Yes, you read that right. A one car roller coaster on top of Eagle’s Nest Mountain. It is an amazing ride which will get your adrenaline juices flowing. This isn’t a terrifying Six Flags thrill, but it is an incredible experience that made me want to stop time and remember the moment forever. We happened to ride this coaster during an artic storm which made it even more fun in my opinion. The wind and snow was whipping around us and I couldn’t be any colder, but also couldn’t imagine having any more fun. Seriously, this was the highlight of the trip for me as far as experiences go!

5. Tubing

Riding down a mountain in an inflatable tube is as fun as it sounds. And no matter how many times you ask…”No Ady, you can not bring your golden swan inflatable to ride down the mountain.”


Other than the activities listed above there are so many more things to do on your visit. My second favorite experience was swimming in the pool during a snow storm at our resort, and making night trips to the hot tub underneath the stars and snow covered trees. But let’s be honest, you could sit in your hotel room with the window open and feel the magic of this city.

Not into winter activities…maybe into more of the shopping scene? Let me help you out there. Vail is linked by three gorgeous base areas filled with endless restaurants, shopping and après ski hot spots.

Favorite Shopping Areas

vail colorado ski travel blog city guide

Lionshead Village

Located in Vail and right next to Vail Village, this Austrian inspired style area offers beautiful mountain views, ski shops, easy access to the Eagle Bahn Gondola and Born Free Express Lift. This village is completely closed off to cars and buses. It offers close walking access to restaurants, bars, bakeries, coffee shops, jewelry stores and anything else you can think of. From renting ski’s before you go up on the lift to shopping for souvenirs, it is the perfect mix of local and tourists one-stop shops. A bonus is the Arrabelle Square outdoor ice rink! I highly recommend grabbing a local mountain beer at the Tavern which is located at the bottom of Eagle Mountain. You can watch skiers and snowboarders end their run. If you know me at all, I love twinkle lights and Lionshead Village was lit up with them. Maybe this was because it was close to Christmas time, but it was what my dreams are made of!

vail colorado ski travel blog city guide

Vail Village

Much like Lionshead Village, but with a Poland inspired theme. This place is packed with restaurants, bars, shops, and coffee shops. It is very similar to Lionshead, but to me it seemed bigger and more like an actual village. We went at night and it was absolutely beautiful.

There is a complimentary transportation shuttle that runs all day to these villages and well into the night. This allows you to get from spot to spot without the hassle of driving a car around. If you aren’t familiar or comfortable with driving in the snow, this is a huge benefit. Fun fact: the streets are heated!


vail colorado ski travel blog city guide

Although I just went through the winter activities and shopping, you must know my favorite thing to do was to relax in the resort. We turned on the fire place, wore our coziest pajamas, and opened the windows and enjoyed the view. Snow covered mountains are truly my favorite landscape in the world and I could stare at them forever and be content and happy. My all time favorite memory was getting in the hot tub at night under the falling snow and just enjoying the moment with some friends that I call family. It was truly a magical place. I could feel my heart grow and I hope I never forget the happiness and the fullness of my heart in those moments.

Vail was truly breathtaking and one of my favorite trips of all time! I strongly recommend you look into traveling there and trying some of the fun activities it has to offer. Even without the activities, the scenery is enough to make the visit worth wild! I wish I could live there and it is my goal to at least get in a commuting distance to this little piece of Heaven on Earth. It allows you to relax your mind and rejuvenate your soul. Being able to experience it with Ady and her husband Mike, made the experience even better. Grab your best friend, save this post, and go to Vail! I promise, it will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made!

Read Next: 10 Travel + Packing Tips For Your Next Ski Trip!

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