Travel + Leisure Staff
December 08, 2017

Planning a trip to Vail, Colorado? Considered one of the world’s most famous ski towns, Vail has plenty of fun things to do both on and off the mountain. And while it may be best known as a winter destination, Vail is an excellent year-round spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Of course, the Colorado city is well-loved by skiers and snowboarders who flock to Vail Mountain Resort’s 5,289 acres in search of powder-covered slopes, like Blue Sky Basin.

More advanced riders can also head to the iconic Back Bowls section of the mountain.

Learn a bit about Colorado’s surprisingly young ski resort history through a series of themed galleries at the Colorado Snowsports Museum. The exhibits feature early snowboard models, an old gondola, and even vintage ski fashions.

Travelers who visit Vail in the spring, summer, or fall can also head to the mountains. In the summertime, Vail Mountain Resort hosts an Epic Discovery program that lets guests tackle zip lines and ropes courses.

For sweeping mountain views of the Gorge Range Mountains, take one of Vail’s two scenic gondolas — Gondola One in Vail Village or the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead. The vistas are just as impressive when the mountain peaks are snow-covered as they are blanketed in fall hues.

What to do in Vail for a more low-key day? Pick up a map of the city’s public artworks at the Vail Village or Lionshead welcome centers. You can spend the day spotting nearly 50 pieces scattered around town on this DIY art walk.

Another fun, year-round activity is to end your day with a drink from one of the city’s boozier attractions. Bourbon hounds will love the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company distillery (though they also turn out excellent vodkas, whiskeys, and moonshine). Craft beer aficionados, on the other hand, should head straight to Vail Brewing Co. and see what’s on tap.

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