Where to Ski and Be in Vail, Co

IN TOWN…

1. Solaris - This building is located in Vail Village near the Vail Transportation Center.

Click above image to experience the complete Vail vacation!

Here you will find luxury vacation rentals, an ice skating rink that is surrounded by shopping, a movie theater, and food/dining options. The free in-town bus will stop directly in front of this plaza.

Popular establishments found next to the ice skating rink include Bol; a new bowling alley and bar/lounge, and Cinebistro; a movie theater where great food is served to you in your seat during the movie. Another recent addition to this plaza is Matsuhisa; a sushi restaurant and cocktail lounge.

2. Bridge Street - This street is located at the center of the Vail Village pedestrian mall. Bridge Street is identifiable by the covered bridge which leads skiers from the parking garage to the ski slopes. There is a wide variety of luxury gift shops and fine dining restaurants in this area of town. Bridge Street is most notable for being the center of Vail’s nightlife scene. This is where you will find local clubs like The Samana Lounge, The Tap Room, and Whiskey Jack’s. There are also several bars where the locals like to hang out like The George, The Red Lion, and Vendetta’s.

3. Restaurant Kelly Liken - This restaurant should be on everyone’s list of restaurants to eat at while visiting Vail. Kelly Liken has been on a long list of TV programs including Top Chef, Iron Chef America, and Good Morning America. Notable guests that have eaten here in the last year include First Lady Michelle Obama. Restaurant Kelly Liken is located on the edge of Vail Village – next to the Sebastian Hotel and adjacent to the Four Seasons. Restaurant Kelly Liken is a recipient of the 4-Diamond Award from AAA, and has been awarded 3 stars by the Forbes Travel Guide.

4. Elway’s - This high-end steakhouse is one of the newest additions to the Vail Valley (Opened Nov. 2011). Elway’s is owned by hall of fame Denver Broncos quarterback; John Elway. There are already two Elway’s locations in Denver, one of which has been awarded 3 stars from the Forbes Travel Guide, and has also received the 3-Diamond Award from AAA. Elway’s is located inside of the Lodge at Vail.

5. Colorado Ski Museum - This ski museum can be found inside of the Vail Village parking garage. The Colorado Ski Museum features exhibits paying homage to Carl Howelson and the Nordic ski jumpers that helped to spark the CO ski industry. There is even an exhibit that documents the debacle that surrounded Colorado’s decision to decline the winning bid for the 1976 Olympics; which had already been awarded to Denver.

The museum is open daily during the winter months from 10 am to 7:30 pm. Visitor admission is free.

ON THE MOUNTAIN…

1. Golden Peak Terrain Park - Vail’s main terrain park is located on Golden Peak. The top section of this terrain park will usually consist of a halfpipe, small jump line, and medium jump line. The top section is followed by the rail yard; this is where you will find all of the rails, jibs, and bonks that the park crew created.

The lower section of the Golden Peak terrain park is where you can find the large jump line. These jumps tower over the beginner slopes that lie below the terrain park. There are usually three large jumps here for skiers and snowboarders to hit in progression.  The Vail terrain park crew also maintains a “Landing Pad” jump. This is a regular jump that is made out of snow, but the landing has a large airbag that is embedded into the landing area. This provides a great training ground for skiers and riders in the park because this pad is able to cushion an athlete’s fall.

2. Blue Sky Basin- This area of the ski resort is the farthest area from the base of the mountain; located beyond the back bowls. The terrain in Blue Sky Basin has been left nearly untouched by construction crews. Blue Sky Basin is an area that is filled with boulders, cliffs, glade skiing, and natural terrain features. This area is not recommended for beginners, but there is plenty of mild terrain for intermediate skiers to enjoy here in addition to all of the extreme terrain.

Lover's Leap; Blue Sky Basin taken from www.coloradoskiauthority.com

At the top of Blue Sky Basin you will find Belle’s Camp. This is an outpost-style warming hut that usually has a small selection of snacks and drinks for sale. There are several grills outside of the building that skiers and snowboarders can use to cook a packed lunch. This can be a popular spot on beautiful spring skiing days. Belle’s Camp can be just as popular on a cold and windy day with temperatures falling below zero. Many vacationers are caught off-guard by the increased winds and colder temperatures of this high-altitude environment, so this cabin is frequented by skiers who are suffering from exposure to the cold.

3. Back Bowls - The back bowls of Vail are vast and plentiful, serving as one of the best places to ski on a powder day. There are 7 separate bowls that are located on the backside of Vail Mountain. These bowls are mostly filled with open space; covering the full spectrum of terrain features.

The China Bowl is one of the most popular bowls at Vail. This is because of its location, accessibility, and wide variety of terrain. At the top of the bowl you will see the Dragon’s Teeth cliffs. These cliffs range in size from 2 feet up to about 20 feet. On the slopes next to the Dragon’s Teeth, you will find terrain that is mild enough in pitch for almost anyone to easily ski down. There are no green/easy ski trails here, but this pitch is shallow enough that it actually can become unskiable on a very deep powder day. Beginners can judge this for themselves from the safety of the Two Elk Lodge; located at the top of the china Bowl.

4. Adventure Ridge - Adventure Ridge is a recreational area that is located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Activities that can be found here include snow tubing, kids snowmobiling, snowbiking, and dining. This area is open and accessible via the gondola until 7pm on Tuesdays – Saturdays, and open until 4:30pm on Sundays and Mondays.

The Eagle’s Nest Lodge is located adjacent to Adventure Ridge and the top of the gondola. Eagle’s Nest is home to Bistro 14; a casual lunch and dining restaurant. This is a great place to relax and dine while your kids enjoy themselves on the tubing hill.

Content and Photos provided by the Colorado Ski Authority. This website provides travel information to skiers and snowboarders who are visiting Vail and the State of Colorado. You can find more Vail travel information in these pages; Vail  Ski Lodging, Vail Transportation, or you can view the entire Vail Ski Vacation Guide.

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