Location: Vail, CO
Distance from Denver: ~97 miles (1.5 hours - 2 hours depending on traffic) ♡ ♡
Parking Situation: Large public lot; it is free during the day, $25 per night for overnight parking ♡ ♡ ♡
Where We Ate: Loaded Joe's (Coffee), Sweet Basil (Lunch) , Garf's (Lunch), Joe's Deli (Lunch), Pepi's (Happy Hour), Sundae
Sights We Saw: Vail Mountain
We ♡ Vail! It is our happy place :) It is situated right along I-70 and depending on traffic, we can drive up there in a quick 1.5 hours. We prefer Vail over Aspen because it is more down to earth and has just as many things to do!
This was the first time we went up there this year - it has been such a wild mix of rain, snow, and hail this year that a nice sunny weekend has been hard to come by! So when it was sunny last weekend, we JUMPED at the chance to go to our most favorite city.
I talked about my outfit in this post & absolutely loved lounging around town in it! We started out by parking in the free (during the day) parking lot near Vail Village. We were welcomed by this bridge and the gorgeous view along the Gore River. What a perfect place to stop by and grab a cup of coffee and treats from Loaded Joe's!
This part of Vail is known as "Vail Village" where all of the stores and restaurants are located (versus Lionshead where a lot of the hotels are). Its a relatively quick loop and we love how so many of the restaurants are located along the river! The whole village was modeled after European villages where the founders served during World War II. Vail is a relatively young town, founded in the 1960s - I found this out because Brandon's uncle said he visited the area when he was young and saw it being built. Wild right!?
We stuck around Vail Village for lunch and ate at Sweet Basil. It is a little more upscale but the food was abundant and delicious! Brandon ordered the shrimp tacos and I ordered the zucchini sandwich (served with homemade fries) which really was sized more like a burger! Call ahead and ask for a patio table along the water - definitely worth it!
We then changed really quickly into our hiking gear, and grabbed the free shuttle that runs around town to Lionshead Village.
The weekend we were in town was the Arts Fest so it was great to see the local artisans set up around Lionshead. Everyone is so talented!! We love the Eagle Bahn gondola ride on this side of town (pricing shown here) which you will generally share with mountain bikers during the summer. This year, we chose to hike up Vail Mountain (post here!) and rode the gondola back down for free.
The top of the mountain has a viewing deck, a wedding deck, restaurant, and plenty of kids activities. We actually considered having our wedding at the wedding deck, but ultimately decided against it because of how busy (& windy!) it was at the top.
We then took the shuttle back across town to grab a scoop of ice cream & a sundae at Sundae! Honestly we absolutely loved the ice cream and waffle cone here and think it is one of the best we have ever had! What a perfect day at the perfect mountain town! ♡
Disclosure: the styles below contain affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you click a link or make a purchase. While clicking these links won't cost you any money, it will help keep this blog running and free of pesky ads! As always, all opinions are our own. Thank you for your support!