While some people prefer escaping the cold come winter time, others relish in the beauty a fresh layer of powder can have on their spirits. Mountain towns are a perfect place to thrive this time of year, with residents and visitors alike gladly throwing on those extra layers just so they can walk about fairytale streets lined with dazzling lights, and zip down sparkling white slopes on their skis or snowboard.
Vail, Colorado is undoubtedly the crème de la crème of mountain towns, with its perfect mixture of laid-back and high-brow. You’ll find frolicking snow bunnies in their finest gear, simple mountain folk who just love a good beer, and a whole lot of people with one thing in common: a love for the brisk air, fresh snow, and picturesque villages.
Where to eat:
There are SO many options within walking distance of each other in the two small villages that make up Vail: Vail Village and Lionshead Village. Wake up and smell the crepes at Crespelle. Get the Rabbit Food crepe. It’s to die for. For shareable bites, go to Fall Line and order the trout and salmon rilletes and the steamed buns with pork belly. If you’re looking for swanky dining, go to Sweet Basil. The chefs create incredibly unique dishes like sashimi with popcorn. For a big bold bottle of red wine and lamb chops after a long day on the slopes, go to White Bison. For a beautiful bar setting, go to Tavern on the Square and ask one of the mixologists to surprise you with a delicious cocktail. As for the best lively après-ski scene? People race down the mountain to get a seat at The Remedy Bar at the Four Seasons. If you’re feeling adventurous, scoot over to Beaver Creek and hop on a sleigh that takes you up to Beano’s Cabin where a five-course menu awaits.
Shop Fireside Fashion
Where to play:
The first and foremost thing Vail is known for is being the largest ski mountain in Colorado. This has skiers and snowboarders flocking to the area from all over the world. In fact, you will likely find yourself on a chairlift with someone speaking a different language than you quite often! If you’re new to the slopes, take advantage of Vail Resorts’ Ski & Snowboard School. You might even have the opportunity to be instructed by a former pro! Need rentals? Black Tie Ski Rentals will come to your hotel room to fit you. When you’re not on the slopes or indulging in incredible food, enjoy the village’s various boutiques, art galleries, and other specialty shops. For late-night fun, check out the Phil Long Late Show at Vail Chophouse. Grab a table, order the poutine, and prepare for shots on the house (multiple times).
Shop Slope Style
Where to stay:
There’s really no better view than at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, which sits right in between Vail Village and Lionshead, making it a brief walk to the lifts on both sides. Each room has its own private terrace and fireplace. It’s hard to even want to leave the resort, with its incredible signature restaurant, Flame, two hot tubs, a Forbes Five-Star Spa, and heated pool. Antlers is another great option, especially if you are looking for something that can host a family. Situated on stunning Gore Creek, Antlers features condo-style lodging. You have the option of studio suites or multi-bedroom rentals, with all including a full kitchen, private balcony, daily housekeeping, complimentary WiFi, and much more.
Shop Chalet Chic
Pro Tip: If you’re flying into Vail, take advantage of the ground transportation shuttle service at Colorado Mountain Express, which will take you straight to your hotel with plenty of room for your bags and snow equipment should you have it. Dish out a few extra bucks for a private car, especially if you’re coming from the Denver airport.