“Why don’t we live here?” I literally uttered this phrase every single day we were in Vail. And now that I’m home and I look out the window and the only view I have is of our weird neighbor who vacuums her front lawn and plants fake flowers in her yard (I kid you not), I’m still questioning why on earth we’re not living in Vail. Or at least Colorado.
I already miss the mountains, the hiking, and the crisp morning air. I think the only thing I don’t miss are the exorbitant prices and the gas station chain called the Kum & Go. WHO the heck named it that?!!!!
So in case you’re an idiot like me and don’t live in Vail, you absolutely need to visit it sometime to understand what I’m talking about. It is magical. And there are like a thousand things to do there. But in case you don’t feel like doing all that annoying research and planning, I did it for you. You’re welcome!
So there are two amazing hikes we did while we were in Vail, and they were both INCREDIBLE.
It was like walking into a postcard! The most important thing I’m going to tell you about this hike is that you NEED RESERVATIONS and try to get a time slot that is early in the morning. Yes, I know you’re on vacation and you want to sleep in, but this hike is in Glenwood Springs where they have flash floods so they will literally evacuate the trail if it rains which tends to happen more in the afternoon. And you are required to drive a vehicle to the trail in case this happens.
This is a popular hike I found on the All Trails app, which is an awesome app if you don’t have it. It literally tells you how long and how hard hikes are with tons of reviews from real people. This was a gorgeous hike through woods and meadows with a decent incline. The falls are about 2+ miles in, and they are beautiful.
It’s not an easy hike, but kids can absolutely do it. Just go slow and be VERY careful when you get to the falls. You’re above them and you don’t want anyone to go kersplat. And if you can see the falls but not well enough, hike up the path a bit further. The view gets better!
P.S. You are not allowed to drive to this hike because there is literally zero parking. You must be dropped off for it.
P.P.S. If you need new hiking shoes, I just bought new ones and they were absolutely perfect in every way. I even rolled my ankle once and these totally protected it and it didn’t get hurt at all. And they came with pink shoelaces! (I am an Amazon Affiliate and can earn from qualifying purchases)
Holy crap, are electric bikes AWESOME!!! Not cheap at all, but an incredible way to travel long distances in Colorado where there are a crapload of hills. Ours were $125 each, but you get them for the entire day, so start early to get your money’s worth! Basically you still have to pedal, but like super easy pedaling, and the bikes can go over 20 mph!
We road our bikes from Vail all the way to Beaver Creek. AHH-MAYZING!!!! It was 13 miles of riding between the mountains along a gorgeous river. A short part of it is next to the road, but most of it was on a bike path. We went to Beaver Creek, had a little lunch at Blue Mosse Pizza, walked around a little, and then went home.
Don’t forget to bring something to pad your butt!!! That was my only complaint… for days. That seat was not made for lady parts.
I lovvvve kayaking, and this one did not disappoint. It was through Adventure Paddle Tours in Frisco, so a bit of a drive from Vail. At first I was annoyed they make you rent a double, but then I was like, oh wait, so I can just sit back and relax while my hubby paddles?! Again, go early in the morning before the wind picks up. The trip was verrrryyyyy lowkey. And Frisco is super cute, so we stuck around for lunch at a Highside Brewing and grabbed coffee at Abbey’s Coffee next door after and they were both GREAT!
Oh my Gawwwwd is the food delicious in Vail, but be prepared to spend a pretty penny in the top places. We’ll be eating ramen and Kraft mac & cheese for the next few months, which I don’t really consider to be a sacrifice. There are a few restaurants I HIGHLY recommend.
I’m giving this one my top vote. The bar is gorrrrgeous, the bartenders were super fun to chat with, and the food was beyond delicious. I went out on a limb and ordered the crispy duck and it was to die for. I also ordered the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu because I had a small heart attack when I saw the prices, and it was delicious.
Sweet Basil pretty much ties with Vintage for first place. Phenomenal meal. I had the pork chop and wished I had a bigger stomach to fit it all in. I couldn’t eat another bite. Oh wait, there’s sticky toffee pudding cake?!!!! I knew I wore an elastic waistband for a reason!! You guys, I have never had a better dessert in my life. That is not an exaggeration. Even my hubby who barely eats desserts was in heaven.
This place is the happening place to go. It’s right on the river and feels so dark and cozy. I highly recommend getting the pimento dip appetizer!
Sit outside on their gorgeous patio if you can. And their fried chicken sandwich was to die for. Clearly I was inhaling it too fast to remember to take any pictures.
Now most bloggers would include a crapload of pictures of their hotel with lots of pretty images of a white fluffy bed and multiple breakfast entrees ordered through room service. A. I am NOT “most bloggers,” and B. we couldn’t afford the room service where we stayed. I took one picture in the hotel. Just one. Here it is.
There are soooo many things to do in Vail, you will hardly spend any time in your hotel room, so all I recommend is that you stay somewhere comfortable and convenient. And they say you don’t need a car, but we liked having one. We used it to grab groceries at Safeway, to go to Hanging Lake, and to drive to Frisco. Can you do Vail without a car and just walk everywhere? Absolutely. But if you want to venture places, it’s nice to have one. FYI, we rented our car through Fox and it was a nightmare. NIGHT-MARE. But it was like half the price as the other places. I told my hubby never again, but we’ll see. Sometimes you get what you pay for and I’d rather save my money for margaritas and sticky toffee pudding cake.
Alrighty then, I’m sure you’re still wondering what the MAJOR problem is with Vail. The problem is that you will literally want to move there. Like my hubby and I have talked about it at least once a day since we left. So while you’re strolling around Vail, you have to do one VERY important thing. Stop by any of the realtors and take a peek at the listing sheets. It’ll quickly show you that a 96 square foot basement studio apartment with bars on the windows goes for 2.6 million. I’m exaggerating. But only a little.
If you liked this, please don’t forget to like and share it! And share it with your spouse so you can convince them to go to Vail on vacation. Thank you!!