Visiting the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is typically a vacation most travelers wish to enjoy during the long winter months of ski season. Despite the attraction of hitting the powdery slopes during the peak of the season, some prefer to enjoy the beauty of hiking, camping, fishing and white water rafting during the warmer months of the summer. Texans normally prefer their Vitamin-D, sunlight and mild temperatures as we enjoy our outdoor adventures.
If you’re looking for a way to escape the brutal Texas summer heat wave but looking to embrace fun in the outdoors, Vail is the perfect destination to explore your hunger for amazing food and adventure with exciting activities and dining options.
Where to Stay
Manor Lodge boasts a convenient location secluded among the pine trees and away from the touristy spots of Vail, making it a true diamond in the rough. The lodge less than a mile from Vail’s Golden Peak base area lifts, making it an easy walk or shuttle ride to the Village’s lively nightlife and dining. The lodge features 1 – 3 bedroom condominiums also offering the amenities of a full service upscale hotel coupled with the privacy of an an apartment or condo, with a full kitchen, living room and fireplace.
At the foot of the Vail Mountain, the luxurious and legendary Four Seasons Resort shines above all offering top-notch amenities and views unparalleled anywhere else on the mountain. Each room boasts posh amenities like flat-screen TVs, gas fireplaces, minibars and free Wi-Fi. All rooms also feature separate lounging and dining areas with a furnished terrace perfect for soaking in the breathtaking views. Amenities include a refined restaurant with stone fireplaces and mountain views, plus a casual coffee shop and an outdoor bar by the pool.
Where to Play
Vail offers dozens of exciting outdoor adventures, from rafting, tubing, fly fishing, cycling and off-roading. The Summer weather is warm and comfortable but can be a bit dry at 8200 ft. elevation. No matter what outdoor adventures you get in to, be sure to drink a lot of water, pack your sunscreen and bring your appetite and your hiking shoes.
Enjoy the village and experience Vail on your own cruiser by renting a bike for the day. Cruise around the village or hit the mountain trails for a more challenging experience.
We couldn’t visit central Colorado without an adventure in the outdoors. Sage Outdoor Adventures is the area’s most outstanding host for nearly any outdoor adventures, from fly fishing, ATVs, horse riding, rafting, and clay shooting. We enjoyed an all-day outing with our guide who is a certified fly fishing instructor. After trying our luck at a few fishing holes, we managed to catch a few trout and released them back in to the river. It’s easily addictive, especially after you catch a few fish.
For those with a green thumb and a love of the environment, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is an internationally recognized botanical garden known for the cultivation of alpine horticulture and conservation. The Gardens are open year round but highlights its beauty in the late Spring and Summer months. The Garden is also the highest elevation botanical garden in the world situated at 8,200 ft. and attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year.
Vail Village offers hundreds of stores, boutique shops, coffee shops and galleries to entertain the most enthusiastic shopper, offering an outdoor shopping experience. You’ll find upscale shops offering the perfect pair of cowboy boots, and clothing items you’ll need look your most fashionable while visiting the mountain. Sunday’s farmers market is also an exciting way to enjoy a walk through the village featuring over 135 tent vendors with offerings from local small business owners, farmers and eateries. Yes, they even have kettle corn popcorn!
Where To Dine
Situated inside of the Manor Lodge, The Fitz features Colorado farm-to-table driven cuisine and local craft cocktails, making it an outstanding spot for appetizers, happy hour and dinner in an upscale dining experience paired with breathtaking views of the mountains. We enjoyed several delicious dishes prepared by Executive Chef Kenneth Butler who prepares his offerings by selecting the best possible ingredients from local farms and purveyors.
Matsuhisa is a new-style Japanese-Peruvian restaurant created by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The restaurant is conveniently located in Solaris Plaza, in the heart of Vail Village. My experience with most Japanese restaurants normally leaves me hungry and ready for take-out pizza, but if you leave on an empty stomach you’re doing something wrong. We enjoyed a fine selection of entrees like the Black Cod Lettuce Cups; Sea Bass with Truffle; Akashi Steak with Wasabi Pepper; and sushi selections like nigiri, sashimi and our servers favorite rolls paired with a few refreshing craft cocktails.
Vail Chophouse is a friendly and entertaining dining spot at Lionshead, that offers breathtaking mountain views of the Vail Valley and a delectable menu, featuring incredible oysters platters, steaks, burgers and seafood with some of the most refreshing cocktails in the village. Executive Chef Jose Espindola is a Texas native who brought his love for American contemporary cuisine to the restaurant. The food alone will keep your belly full but the music performances by local musicians and Chophouse owner and entertainer Phil Long, who you can always see entertaining patrons with his music throughout the week.
Every weekend, The Sebastian Resort aims to fill your belly with their famous Sunday Funday brunch, featuring unlimited food and beverages. The resort’s Sunday Funday Brunch includes bottomless bloody mary and prosecco bar, all day rose wine service, a charcuterie and cheese bar as well as several creative brunch entrees that can be prepared to order from the kitchen. Go for the Duck Carnitas and the Slow Roasted Pulled Pork Benedict.
Flame is an upscale and modern mountain steakhouse offering an extensive menu of fresh, seared steaks that are carved tableside and served with house-made sauces and spices. The vaulted ceiling and fireplace offers a comfortable and cozy atmosphere inside while the outdoor terrace overlooking the pool offers a signature elevated experience that Four Seasons has become known for. If you’re a serious carnivore and feeling flexible on your dining budget, go for the Wooden Block Presentation where 7x steaks are carved at your table, highlighting an excellent selection of their premium cuts of beef. The presentation alone is worth the experience.
Where To Drink
Vail Brewing Co. is a fun, small craft brewery and taproom located in the heart of Vail Village. Each brew features creative hoppy beers, blends, lagers and cask ales. All are brewed and handcrafted using the fresh local mountain river water mixed with the brewery’s rotating selection of ingredients that change each season.
10th Mountain is Vail’s go-to destination for moonshine, bourbon, whiskey, and vodka, which are all distilled in-house. Some are turned into fine barrel-aged drinks like Sazeracs and Manhattans. The tasting room boasts a sleek, stained-wood bar and a high-top pub table made from cask wood. The tasting room is always lively with many visitors enjoying tastings and shopping in the back space which is fully stocked with souvenirs, take home bottles and imported cigars.
Special thanks to our media partners at Visit Vail Valley. For more information on flights, lodging, events and additional travel guides to Vail anytime of the year, contact the Visit Vail Valley team for more details.