Most people who visit Vail in the winter come for one thing and that is to shred down the mountain.  I mean that’s why I lived here for 2 seasons!  If you want more on your winter vacation than skiing or snowboarding, don’t worry there is plenty to do. 

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10 things to do in vail in the winter

Snowmobiling

If you want to see the mountains without a board strapped to your feet then snowmobiling is the activity for you!  The excursion will have you climb the magnificent vistas along the Continental Divide.  You’ll get a full view of the surrounding Rocky Mountains including some of Colorado’s tallest 14,000-foot summits.  There are a several snowmobile companies in Vail area, from guided to self guided tours.  Here are a few companies to check out.
 

Cross Country Skiing

If the calorie burn is your goal then cross country skiing is your game.  Burning over 1,000 calories an hour, you can push, pull, and glide yourself though the backcountry wilderness around Vail.  The Vail Nordic School offers beginner and intermediate classes and work under special permits to explore the area so all you have to do is show up and get ready to torch some calories.

Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster

If you’re looking for an activity that doesn’t require much effort but gives you the views and rush of a mountain sport, then this is it.  You fly through the forest on a raised alpine coaster, winding  down the mountain all while taking in the scenery.  This is located in Adventure Ridge.

Ice Skating

There are two small outdoor ice rinks, one in Vail Village and the other in Lionshead village. You can rent ice skates at a nearby store.  This is a  fun leisure activity that the whole family can enjoy.  If you’re looking for a bigger skating experience, the larger, indoor Dobson Ice Rink is open all year round.  The Dobson Rink offers public skating, private lessons, Yeti hockey games, and sometimes even concerts.

Snow Shoeing

Snowshoeing is great for a few reasons.  One, it is a great workout, you’re outside, you get to take in the view.  Two, compared to most winter sports its pretty cheap.  You can sign up for a guided tour with an expert naturalist to learn about your surroundings or rent a pair of snowshoes and go your own way. 

Ski Biking

A unique thing to do in vail in the winter is ski biking.  This takes place at night and you ride down the hill on a ski bike with a headlamp attached to your helmet.  A ski bike is a bike but instead of wheels there is one ski. This activity is for the more advanced/intermediate skier or snowboarded that is comfortable with blues and blacks.  But if you’re not apresing and want an adventure when the sun goes down opt for the ski biking.

Tubing

Located in Adventure Ridgea stadium sized snowpark up the Eagle Bahn Gondola is the snow tubing hill.  Enjoyable for all ages, riders ride inflated inner tubes down a snow packed lane with music playing.  Then they have a “magic carpet ride” to whisk them back to the top to rinse and repeat.

Dine at an on Mountain Restaurant

If you’re gonna treat yo’self to a nice dinner, I’d recommend getting the whole experience.  You ride a sleigh up from the base of the mountain to a restaurant.  You wine and dine yourself then return down the mountain in a sleigh.  There are several on mountain restaurants including Zach’s Cabin, Allies Cabin, Beanos,  and Game Creek (when you make reservations with one of the restaurants they organize the sleigh).  The food is nothing short of extraordinary and an its experience you can only have in a mountain town.

Catch Sunset on Top of a Mountain

If you’re exhausted from the extreme aprèsing day, take a ride up the Eagle Bahn Gondola around sunset to catch some epic views.  There’s no better way to end your week than to watch the sunset over the Rocky Mountains.

Pamper Yourself at the Spa

This is one of my favorite things to do in Vail in the winter that isn’t snowboarding.  An afternoon at one of the many spas always sounds inviting.  There are many to choose from depending on where you are staying.  Get a massage, sit in the steam room, and enjoy the hot tub with a glass of wine, after all you deserve it!

Vail Hotel Recommendations

Tivoli Lodge

Located in Vail Village is the Tivoli.  Beautiful rooms with big rustic furniture.  I stayed here for a few nights when I first moved to Vail.  It brings back a lot of memories and I enjoyed the hotel.  Walkable to all bars, restaurants and lifts. 

Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa

Great location directly in Vail Village.  It’s walkable to the ski lifts and is located above the Terra Bistro which serves excellent cuisine.  You also have use to the Vail Athletic Club which was the gym I belonged to when I lived here.  I absolutely loved this gym and stayed here once and never wanted to leave. 

The Arrabelle

Located in Lionshead Village (theres a free in town shuttle that connects them) is the Arrabelle.  This luxury resort is a 5 minute walk from the Eagel Bahn Gondola which is the one you take up for sunset.  This ski in ski out resort is worth the splurge.  Not to mention it has a rooftop hot tub!  Need I say more!??!

The Sebastian

This 5 star resort is close to everything you need.  Equipped with an outdoor heated pool and 4 hot tubs will be the perfect way to relax after you’re eventful day on the mountain.  

Four Seasons Resort Vail

Is it ever a bad stay if you’re at the Four Seasons.  This resort is located at the base of Vail Mountain and has all of the amenities.  Heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, restaurant and bars on sight.  You’ll never want to leave. 

All in all if you’re looking for variety in your ski vacation there are several things to do in Vail in the winter that will keep you satisfied and spice things up.  Happy trails, see you on the hill!

XX Jess

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