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How to Spend a Perfect Summer Day in Vail

Posted at Jul 12, 2021 2:17:38 PM by Pat O'Connor

perfect summer day in vail

When Vail was developed 60 years ago, little did they know that summer tourism would eventually rival its winter counterpart.

With Bravo Vail now in full swing, a variety of free concerts, gondola rides, hiking, horseback riding, and rafting, just to name a few, the Vail Valley offers a tantalizing slate of outdoor activities. All this set against the picturesque backdrop of the Gore Range and the quaint Tyrolean-styled village of Vail makes for a truly memorable vacation.

There is no better time to venture up to Vail than right now. Escape the heat of the city and ponder your choices of how to best maximize your time. 

Usaj Realty associate broker Matt Wilson and a full-time resident of Vail offers some insight on some of the best activities and memorable locations to visit while in town. Don’t be surprised if you decide to extend your stay!

Learn More about  Matt Wilson

Early Morning Beginnings

Any day spent outside requires a hearty breakfast to give you the necessary energy for your chosen pursuits. Wilson suggests grabbing a No. 3 breakfast sandwich from DeliZioso, which includes egg, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and pesto.

DeliZioso is a delightful, family-owned neighborhood market located in the heart of Vail Village, featuring bread and decadent pastries, homemade gelato, specialty espresso drinks, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, gourmet Parmesan from Italy and foie gras from France, and Iberico hams from Spain. Throw in packaged snacks, bottled drinks, and convenience items like sunscreen and condiments, and you’ll have all your necessities for the day covered.

Enjoy a Gondola Ride

You can’t visit Vail in the summer without a gondola ride. Select from either Gondola One in main Vail Village or catch the bus or walk over to Lionshead and board the Eagle Bahn Gondola. The spectacular views and fresh mountain air will have your spirits soaring from top to bottom. Explore the hiking terrain and then grab lunch at Mid-Vail (The Coop) or at Eagle’s Nest (Talons Deck). 

Need a little more excitement? Bring your mountain bike or rent one and experience the downhill thrill without skis!  You may be lucky enough to spot a moose!

Sage Outdoor Adventures

Sage Outdoor Adventures knows how to put the sun and fun into summer with rafting, side x side guided ATV tours, fishing and horseback riding. Located in Wolcott, just 20 minutes from Vail, this top-rated tour company will show you the best of times in the great outdoors. 

This summer, they are offering class II and III rafting trips on the Colorado River. Choose from the Upper Colorado and Rancho to State Bridge (class II) or Shoshone (class III). 

If you want to get down and dirty, driving an ATV will give you good reason to hit the showers afterward. Drive your own side X side ATV! Venture around the most recently extinct volcano in Colorado and explore 6,000 acres of our private land in addition to 14,000 acres of public land near the Castle Peak Wilderness Study Area. 

Need a more relaxing outing? How about horseback riding? The Sage wranglers pride themselves on offering a truly unique ride every time they head out. They rarely stick to trails and avoid riding nose-to-tail like many other companies. Take in the breathtaking terrain and huge vistas of Castle Peak Mountain and the Vail Valley, set against gorgeous fields of sage, juniper, aspen and pine groves.  

Finally, for the fish fanatics, no trip to Colorado is complete without a great fly fishing experience. The Piney River is one of Colorado’s best-kept secrets. This freestone river begins in the rugged Gore Range and meanders through a wilderness canyon to the Piney Valley Ranch, where we have exclusive access to seven miles of pristine trout water. Sage fly fishing guests are the only anglers on this sprawling 30,000-acre ranch. This is Colorado trout fishing at its very finest.

Piney Lake/Piney Lake River Ranch

summer weekend in vail

The view of this idyllic lake is reason enough to make the 35-minute drive from Vail. Stunning views of the Gore Range, amazing hiking trails, and standup paddleboarding, canoeing, fishing, and horseback riding are all offered through Piney River Ranch. They also offer amazing accommodations from cabins to glamping. Our Lodge Restaurant & Bar features some of Vail’s finest barbecue fare. They offer a full-service menu including meats freshly smoked on the premises, along with salads and side dishes made daily. Pull up a chair in the lodge dining area or have a seat at one of the outdoor patio tables. Enjoy your meal with an unobstructed view of beautiful Piney Lake and the Gore Range.

Dinner at Sweet Basil or Mountain Standard

Regardless of how you spend your day, top off your Vail experience with dinner at Sweet Basil or their sister restaurant Mountain Standard, both in Vail Village. Offering exquisite cuisine and unparalleled service, these two Vail gems are consistently among the top choices of locals and visitors alike. 

Sweet Basil is a creative, modern American restaurant and features seasonal imaginative cuisine with an innovative array of diverse influences. It has been in operation since 1977 and is considered to be one of the most iconic restaurants in Vail, combining sophistication, fine food, and unmatched ambiance.

Mountain Standard offers a  rustic and relaxed tavern setting in the Vail Valley and uses an ancient form of cooking. The majority of Mountain Standard’s menu is prepared via the most primal cooking method: over an open and live wood fire. As a result, the food at this exciting eatery has rustic, bold, and honest flavors, focusing on the purest ingredients in the Rocky Mountain region.

Matt Wilson Vail Realtor-01If you are interested in learning more about the Vail Valley and Eagle County real estate market, please contact Matt Wilson at 970-471-9959. Whether you are looking for your first home or want to explore buying a vacation home, Matt is ready to assist with all your real estate needs.

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Posted by Pat O'Connor

Pat O’Connor has dual citizenship in both Wisconsin and Colorado, having been born and raised in Wisconsin Dells, but later adopted by the Centennial State. A graduate of the University of Colorado (B.S. Journalism, 1980), O’Connor began her career as a sportswriter at the Boulder Daily Camera under the tutelage of the venerable Dan Creedon. Her experience also includes stints in public relations at Aspen Highlands Ski Area, the Colorado Trial Lawyers and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. When she isn’t piecing together sentences, the self-proclaimed “Cheesehead” enjoys hanging out with her three kids and assortment of family pets, running, playing golf, hiking 14ers, horseback riding and skiing. As a mother to two (at one time three) competitive swimmers, her favorite fragrance is eau de chlorine. During football season, she can be found cheering for the Buffs on Saturdays and screaming when the Packers score on Sundays. She loves talking sports and giving recommendations on cheese curds.

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Topics: Vail Real Estate