Top Things to Do in Vail, Colorado, A Summer Guide

Advisor - Amy Haefeli
Curated By

Amy Haefeli

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  • USA

  • Colorado

  • Vail

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Domestic Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Outdoors

  • Mountains

  • Summer

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Curator’s statement

There is a saying in Colorado, and you'll likely hear it with just one visit: “Come for the winter and stay for the summer”. In terms of hidden gems, a summer stay in Colorado is the gem itself. Believe it or not, there are even more things to do during the summer months in Vail, such as golfing, zip-lining, horseback riding and hiking.

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Where to stay in Vail, Colorado

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The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch

This swanky resort nestled in the mountains of Beaver Creek provides a cozy hideaway with stone fireplaces and a grand spa oasis.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel credit.

  • $75 breakfast credit.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort And Spa

High-end mountain resort with ski-in/ski-out access, an outdoor pool and tennis courts, making it the perfect destination for any season.

Fora Perks
  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Beaver Creek Lodge, Autograph Collection

Cozy ski lodge with plush suites at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain.

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Things to do in Vail, Colorado

green golf course with mountains in the background during daytime


Colorado has plenty of golfing to offer, if you’ve booked your stay with us at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor-Gulch, you’ll be pleased to know that it also gives you access to the private Red Sky Golf Club, where you’ll be able to enjoy your own clubhouse, and alternate play daily between the Tom Fazio and Greg Norman courses. As a guest, you will experience unparalleled service and attention to detail that will make you feel like a Member for a day. And if you’re not in the mood for a serious and by-the-book round of golf, head to Vail Valley Country Club, a golf & sports bar that offers a golf simulator, lessons and a mean happy hour!

Llama Hike

With 35 hiking trails around Vail, Colorado, this activity is already on the list, but if you want something unusual, fun & memorable, take a llama on your hike. Yes, you can even decide to take a llama for a lunch on your hike or go on a 5-day hiking trip between Aspen and Vail. Llamas are very popular with children due to their gentle nature & capacity to carry as much as 80 pounds.

Farmers Market & "Hot Summer Nights"

For 21 years now, Vail has hosted their annual Farmers Market & Art show from June to October. With almost 150 tents, the majority of vendors have made-in-Colorado artisan items & food. On Tuesday, head to Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail for an evening of fun and music with Vail’s annual Hot Summer Night hosted throughout the summer month, and bonus, it’s free.

Places to eat & drink in Vail, Colorado

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Places to eat & drink in Vail

Swiss Chalet: Colorado’s favorite fondue restaurant, located in the Sonnenalp hotel, The Swiss Chalet screams authenticity. It’s one of those, you must try it once in your life, type of restaurant. Every little detail in this has been thought of by the German family who owns the Sonnenalp, Rosana even decorated it herself.

Matsuhisa: Calling all sushi fanatics, Matsu is the restaurant to put on your bucket list if you ever visit Colorado. This acclaimed Japanese and seafood-tasting menu curated by Chef Nobu will blow your mind. Just make sure to book one month in advance, their reservation opens 30 days ahead of time and is always booked a month out.

Sweet Basil: Once considered an off-the-beaten-path restaurant, Sweet Basil is iconic since 1977 with trendy food items, a swanky dinning room and a buzzy bar. The menu is a creative contemporary fusion and will raise the bar.

Mountain Standard: After more than 40 years with Sweet Basil, the creators decided to open Mountain Standard in 2012 to give their customers a more rustic option. Bold & honest flavors focused on the purest local ingredients and most of the cook is done over an open and live wood fire.

Places to eat & drink in Beaver Creek

Splendido at the Chateau: Unbelievable food, service & ambiance in Beaver Creek. Splendido serves a simple but eclectic New American menu with live piano music in a posh lodge. For an elevated experience, dine under the stars in one of their Yurts.

Grouse Mountain Grill: My personal favorite, nested in the Pines Lodges, Grouse Mountain Grill is influenced by global cuisine but uses local produce. In the summer months, the ingredients include produce from their local garden plots. With an ever-changing menu, you’ll want to come back every time.

Sakaba: If you’re into sushi and would love to dine at Matsuhisa but couldn’t get a reservation with a 1-month waiting list, you’ll want to book a night at Sakaba. Most guests say the quality of the food is pretty similar and is the next best thing after Matsu.

Need to Know

Advisor - Amy Haefeli

Travel Advisor

Amy Haefeli

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Colorado.