Vail in the summer
Sure, ski resorts are great for, well, skiing. But in the summer, ski resorts are a great place to escape the heat of lower elevations and enjoy a vast amount of summer activities for a fraction of the cost of a winter vacation.
Sounds like a deal, so we headed over to Vail this week for a bit of fun and relaxation.
Vail in the summer: Lots to do
With over 300 days of sunshine a year, an average daytime summer temperature of 75 degrees, countless activities to enjoy, great restaurant deals and luxury hotel prices dipping to bargain levels – Vail is a great summer destination.
Hiking in Vail
There are numerous 1 or 2 mile hikes on Vail Mountain starting from base village or simply set off on a stroll through nature with a walk down Gore Creek path on a beautiful sunny afternoon.
In addition to hiking on Vail Mountain, there are many hiking trails in the surrounding White River National Forest or if, you are up to bagging a 14er, Mt of the Holy Cross (14,005, Sawatch range) is about 15 miles southwest of Vail.
Biking in Vail
If you’ve ever driven through Vail on I-70 (winter or summer, hey – it’s Colorado), you most likely have seen road cyclists riding on the paths that stretch throughout the Vail Valley next to the highway. Eagle County boasts 58 miles of paved bike paths that range from an easy scenic ride along Gore Creek to the heart-pounding, legs-screaming climb from East Vail up to Vail Pass - an 8.7 mile trail with an elevation gain of 1,831 feet.
If mountain biking is more your style, Vail Mountain has numerous on-mountain trails or mountain bike trails can be found elsewhere throughout the Vail Valley.
Have fun without hauling the gear by renting from one of the numerous bike rental shops throughout Vail – with plenty of rental choices for mountain, road and even electric bikes.
And then there’s..
Golfing, trail running, rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, tennis, fishing, and more.
Throw in some shopping and a bit of patio time people-watching and you quickly discover there’s no lacking of activities – just a challenge on how to fit them all in during a stay in Vail.
Vail in the summer: Affordable luxury at the Four Seasons
While there are numerous high-end resorts in Vail and the Vail valley, the Four Seasons Vail is outstanding and was our choice for our most recent visit.
We have stayed at a number of Four Seasons and love the level of luxury without snobiness that seems to be the culture instilled at all the locations.
Located within Vail Village, Four Seasons Vail is perfectly located just steps away from all that Vail Mountain and the Vail Village has to offer.
Standout features of the Fours Seasons Vail: super dog-friendly, large rooms with beautiful views, gorgeous bath, friendly & helpful staff and a fabulous pool.
Vail in the summer: Vail eats
Vail offers a wide variety of choices and many restaurants have off-season dining specials.
A day of our favorites..
Breakfast at Yeti’s Grind
Lunch from Pazzo’s
|A great coffee shop in the heart of Solaris,
Yeti’s Grind is a good place to grab a coffee or tea, breakfast pastry or snack & just hang out.They also make a great chai latte and the chocolate croissants are made on site and are heavenly.
|We’ve been known to stop enroute to Denver just to get a calzone at Pazzo’s. Good pizza too, but the calzones are great. We got ours take out, found a bench over Gore Creek and had a great picnic lunch in the sun.|
Dinner at La Tour
Towards the end of our dinner at La Tour, our son said,
“You know you can tell a great meal when you’ve had every course and wish there were still more.”
To begin..We started with oysters and a bottle of Ca’ del Bosco sparkling wine. The oysters come with a 30-year old sherry mignonette dipping sauce. Very nice. La Tour has a great wine selection & our son, who is a certified sommelier, found some interesting selections that were a delight.
For the entrees..
- The Rainbow Trout Fumé Sous Verre with crispy potatoes, bacon chili aioli, pea shoots and heirloom tomato vinaigrette
- The Grilled Pork Tenderloin with crisp pork belly, roasted cauliflower, raisins, toasted pine nuts, grilled endive and bacon jam
- The Braised Colorado Lamb Ravioli with organic ricotta, trumpet mushrooms, wild ramps, lamb bacon and watercress
Two of us had the trout. It smells so wonderful when they bring it out that you hope the other people in the restaurant will order it so you can just smell it again. The pork tenderloin was amazing – such a fabulous mix of flavors and the lamb ravioli were rich and delightful.
We had a bottle of Cerasuolo di Vittoria to accompany the entrees - a wonderful wine!
And to finish...
Crème brulée flambée, a bottle of Sauternes, and espressos.
Article by Kim Hull
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