As Inspirato Members know, summer is prime vacation time: nearly half of American families take some type of summer vacation (or multiple), resulting in a staggering 657 million trips made between Memorial Day and Labor Day. And for good reason: kids are out of school, it’s the perfect mid-year break from routine, and in general, weather is beautiful and unlikely to derail plans.
Among the best destinations to visit in the summer is Vail, Colorado. While the mountain mecca is best known for its famously snowy slopes, Vail is just as enthralling during warmer months. The weather is warm but not scorching, vibrant green hillsides are decorated with wildflowers, and there are just as many activities happening as there are during winter.
We went to Vail last summer to escape the Houston heat for a little while and found we loved it there! There were so many adventures- from ATV-ing through the mountains, horseback riding, alpine slides, ropes courses, biking, etc. We were never at a loss for something to do. The team made it a fantastic trip for all of us. Our friends who met us in Vail were so blown away by all things Inspirato, they joined while we were there! Thank you to all who continue to make our travels so incredible!Mark H.Inspirato Member
Inspirato Members stay in the heart of Vail Village, which is bustling with excellent restaurants, shops, and entertainment all summer long. Elsewhere in the valley, the mountains teem with adventure and chances to explore. We’ve narrowed all of these options down to 10 of the best things to see, do, eat, and experience under Vail’s sunny blue skies this summer.
1. On-mountain adventure
Travelers don’t have to go deep into the mountains to find action (though we recommend that, too). Thrill-seekers of all ages can head to the top of Vail Mountain for a slew of activities, including zip lining, tubing, a mountain coaster, a bungee trampoline, and more.
2. GoPro Mountain Games
The GoPro Mountain Games kick off the summer season in Vail Valley. Locals and visitors alike come to watch world-class athletes battle for glory in nine thrilling sports and 25 events, including biking, rafting, kayaking, and more. There are also free outdoor concerts, films, art installations, gear demonstrations, and other mountain-themed activities for all ages to enjoy – all for free.
3. Stand-up paddleboarding
One of the fastest growing water sports in the Vail Valley, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun and active way to enjoy the great outdoors. Experience SUP with lessons on Nottingham Lake in Avon or paddling through the rapids on the upper Colorado River. For the fitness guru, try SUP yoga on the lake in Eagle, Vail or Avon.
4. Vail Craft Beer Classic
Colorado is at the center of the craft beer renaissance, and the inaugural Vail Craft Beer Classic is an ideal place to sample a range of creations. Breweries from all over the state – and beyond – will pour award-winning beers, alongside special events such as guided hikes and a free concert.
5. Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival
As one of the Top 10 “Can’t Miss” Classical Musical Festivals in the US, Bravo! Vail is the only festival in North America to host four of the world’s most elite orchestras: the Chamber Orchestra Vienna – Berlin (June 20-23), The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (June 28-July 4), The Philadelphia Orchestra (July 5-13), and the New York Philharmonic (July 17-24). The al fresco setting at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater makes the sounds all the sweeter.
Experience the valley’s most picturesque courses, some open as early as mid-April, depending on the conditions. The Club at Cordillera has four courses nestled by the Eagle River with beautiful holes carved into the mountainside; other popular spots include Vail Golf Club and EagleVail Golf Club. Golfers of all experience levels can test their skills while enjoying the gorgeous scenery.
7. Vail Farmers’ Market (June 16-October 6, 2019)
Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Vail Village, support more than 40 of the valley’s most talented vendors, from artisans to local farmers and bakers. Peruse the goods while live music entertains in the background. For an equally unique experience, try the farmers’ market in the quaint nearby town of Minturn (June 15-September 7, 2019).
On trails and roads, there is something for everyone. For beginners, start with a mountain bike tour down Vail Pass, past Black Lake and along the Gore Creek. For the more experienced biker, ride the single track of Meadow Mountain/Line Shack and Whiskey Creek. If you prefer road biking, park at the Wolcott Yacht Club and ride the rolling hills on the back roads toward Steamboat Springs. Member Care and concierge teams can rent bikes for members before they arrive.
9. Piney River Ranch
A local’s favorite getaway, Piney River Ranch – located 13 miles from Vail – is a one-stop shop for enjoying everything that makes summer in the mountains so incredible. Incredible views of the mountains surround visitors while hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, and much more.
10. Dining Experiences
Vail’s sunny summer weather attracts foodies from all over, drawn to the world-class restaurants and culinary festivals. For a truly unique and rustic dining experience, take the family to the base of Ski Cooper – located 28 miles from Vail – and hike a relaxing mile to the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse. It’s well worth the drive, but for something closer, the restaurants in Vail Village offer a wide range of cuisines; the Gourmet on Gore festival, taking place Labor Day weekend, is a perfect way to sample a little bit of everything.
Wherever Inspirato Members go this summer, they’re sure to find beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, and beautiful accommodations – all backed up by the expert care they expect. View the entire Inspirato Collection and start planning a summertime escape today.