72 Hour Guide to Vail

A Full Vail Travel Guide for Winter

Experience this iconic alpine village retreat

Only have 72 hours in Vail? Check out our 3-day Vail itinerary and get inspired for a short but sweet visit.

Nestled in the Rocky Mountain of Colorado, Vail is made of up two villages, Vail Village and Lionshead. Modeled after Switzerland’s Zermatt and exuding Swiss charm, the architecture, friendly service, and world-class skiing will keep you coming back again and again. And it’s only 100 miles from Denver International Airport.

Best food in Vail

Most restaurants are open for lunch, après, and dinner service in the busy months, but check with your concierge before making plans. The beautiful thing about our small-town restaurants is that they are independently owned and make their own rules.

Yeti’s Grind | Quick breakfast before hitting the slopes? Visit Yeti’s Grind in Vail Village for fast breakfast burritos and specialty coffee.
Vintage | If having a slower morning is more your speed, visit Vintage for a classic brunch spot.
Mountain Standard | Owned by the same people who created Sweet Basil, both have delicious food that is worth the price. Mountain Standard is their newer, younger concept with louder music and an open-flame kitchen. Both places are perfect for lunch, après or dinner.
Los Amigos | You can’t beat the views of the skiers coming down Pepi’s Face from their back deck. The après service is fast, and the location is fun.
The Left Bank | Named after the location in France, find authentic French food with a white tablecloth atmosphere for dinner. And make sure to alert your server when you order the main courses that you’re going to want the souffle for dessert.
Vendettas | Lunch, après, dinner, and late night. Walk into the pizza bar upstairs anytime or make a dinner reservation for their downstairs section, which features an entirely different menu.
Deca + Bol | Vail’s only bowling alley where you can also grab artisan cocktails and gourmet flatbreads. It gets booked up because there are only a few lanes so make your bowling reservations well in advance.

What to do in Vail

Explore | There is so much to explore in Vail. Stroll through the art galleries or find the kids play areas scattered around town to channel all that energy. The villages are connected by the Gore Creek path, which is a 15-minute walk, or hop on the in-town shuttle bus with many stops along the way. There is so much to do besides skiing and there are fun surprises around every corner.

Relax | Most people come to Vail Ski Resort to ski or snowboard and explore over 5500 acres of terrain for all skill levels. If you are a fair-weather skier, or too sore from your first day on the mountain, there are many spas to relax and recharge. Stay at Lodge Tower, access the Rock Resorts spa and treat yourself with a Sports Recovery Massage.

Ski | Wake up early to get to the freshly groomed runs, which are plentiful on the front side of Vail Mountain. If you are lucky enough to be here during a snowstorm, head to Northwoods for fresh powder, or straight to the Back Bowls if you prefer more challenging terrain. Speed up your time spent en route and book your skis and luggage to travel before you even arrive. Our favorite part about Skip Skis is the reduced time spent at the airport and potential car rental savings by traveling lighter.

Where to Stay in Vail

Vail Village

Solaris Residences | Located in the heart of Vail Village, these ultra-luxe residences are for the most discerning traveler. Featuring a private spa and fitness center, you don’t have to go anywhere to feel relaxed and recharged.
Lodge Tower | A very short walk from Gondola One, find yourself very close to all of the energy of Bridge Street, but far enough away to enjoy the retreat when you need it.

Arrabelle Ice Rink


The Lion | This private and quiet location offers exclusive luxury for families large and small. And ask for a ride to the Eagle Bahn Gondola on The Toboggan, the on-demand skier shuttle that looks a lot like a golf cart.
Lodge at Lionshead | The perfect basecamp for outdoor adventure. Finish your day at the outdoor heated pool and hot tubs.
Vail Spa | In Lionshead, but secluded from the beaten path, Vail Spa vacation rentals offer both indoor and outdoor heated pools and hot tubs, and complimentary ski storage near the gondola.

Golden Peak

Altus | Located near Golden Peak east of Vail Village, find the newest luxury residences and walk to Gondola One or the Golden Peak lifts. You will love the unobstructed views of Vail Mountain and the gorgeous modern interiors.
The Wren | Convenient, central location offers affordable and reasonable nightly rates for Vail Village. After skiing, enjoy the heated outdoor pool and 2 hot tubs.
Fallridge | Only 1.25 miles from the center of Vail Village, these comfortable condos offer a warm and cozy place to call home.

Whether you have been coming to Vail for years, decades, or it’s your first time here, we hope to see you soon in our little corner of paradise in the Rocky Mountains.

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