Stay Outside: Perfect restaurant patios in Vail and what we’re sipping | VailDaily.com

Stay Outside: Perfect restaurant patios in Vail and what we’re sipping

Katie Coakley
Vail Lifestyle Magazine

There never was a more ambitious season than summer in Colorado. The short season creates a palpable sense of "must…do…more" within residents and visitors alike, leading to days that are scheduled from sunrise until the last hints of color slip from the sky — and often into the wee hours of the night. And though there's nothing wrong with trying to fit in a hike, a mountain bike ride, a round of golf, some paddling and a horseback ride into a single day, perhaps it's time to remind everyone of the power of pausing.

With all of the want-to-dos and need-to-dos in life, pausing lets us sit back and not only take stock of the pleasures that we've experienced, but also make plans for future passions. In the Vail Valley, the perfect location for pausing is on a patio, soaking up the sunshine while sipping on something special. There are plenty of places that subliminally invite guests to spend a leisurely hour or four, from bucolic garden settings to light and lively hot spots. Here are some of the places where we'll be pausing this summer — and what we'll be sipping.

photo -The Fitz Mountainside
Courtesy photo from The Fitz and White Bison
The patio at The Fitz is decked out with fire tables and umbrellas.

The Fitz Bar & Restaurant

Just far enough from the madding crowd, the patio at The Fitz at Manor Vail Lodge gives guests a stunning view of Vail Mountain in a relaxed environment. A favorite of those in the know heading to and from Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, The Fitz remains one of the best kept (almost) secret patios in Vail.

What we're drinking:
Since The Fitz works with local ingredients whenever possible (often using ingredients from
their own garden), opt for something fruity or floral and
fresh, like a lavender pisco sour.

photo- Fall Line restaurant Vail, CO
Photo by Daniel Joly
Fall Line is a prime spot for people watching on Bridge Street.

Fall Line

Located in a prime spot on Bridge Street, Fall Line's patio should be considered selective rather than small. Get there early to snag a seat and sip on one of their signature cocktails while you watch the folks stroll by. Bonus points if you make new friends after they spot what you're sipping and start a conversation.

What we're drinking:

The Bee Sting, which is comprised of fennel-pollen-infused tequila with Sancerre, lemon and honey, feels like summer in a glass but the Ring of Fire, with its sweet and spicy finish, will have you appreciating the cooler nights.

Sauce on the Creek

The newest restaurant in East Avon, Sauce on the Creek's patio offers up family fun along with its stellar views. Located near the bike path, it's a convenient spot to fuel up and rehydrate after a ride or anytime, really.

What we're drinking:

Whiskey. Sauce has an extensive selection of approximately 100 different whiskies and bourbons and some passionate folks to help you find your new favorite. Choose from a Colorado-crafted whiskey or bourbon or go international: the Japanese whiskey selection is the best in the valley.

Mirabelle

Best known as a fine-dining restaurant perfect for special occasions, Mirabelle has been holding court at the base of Beaver Creek for almost 20 years with Chef Daniel Joly at the helm. And while enjoying the cuisine in the historic farmhouse is always a treat, the back deck is perhaps one of the most bucolic settings in the valley.

What we're drinking:
Mirabelle's wine list is extensive but offers options by the glass, half bottle and full bottle to satisfy any appetite. Perhaps bubbly is the most appropriate to pay homage to the burbling of Beaver Creek that you can hear from the deck.

photo - cocktails at Harvest at the Sonnenalp Club
Photo by Kristin Anderson
Harvest at the Sonnenalp Club in Edwards has a terrific menu to complement the view.

Harvest

With views that stretch from Vail's Game Creek Bowl to Arrowhead in Edwards, Harvest's patio was made for socializing and sipping. Located at the Sonnenalp Club, this casual restaurant has an airy and spacious bar area that flows onto the patio, making it an ideal spot for sunset celebrations.

What we're drinking:
Harvest's specialty cocktail list is condensed, but compelling. Opt for the Midnight Oil made with two types of rum, amaretto and lime juice for some inspired imbibing.

Hovey & Harrison

Yes, Hovey & Harrison's patio has mostly been enjoyed by the coffee and lunch crowd thus far, but this summer marks a new chapter for the café/bakery/market with the advent of Friday Afternoon Club in June. Live music, food and drink specials and an expansion of the patio space means that Fridays just got a little livelier in Edwards.

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What we're drinking:
H&H's Kyoto Koolaid is not only a stellar reflection of the group's dedication to local farms, but this gin, sake, lemon, cucumber and basil concoction (the gin, veggies and basil are all local) is also a refreshing summer sipper.

So no matter where your adventure-scheduled days take you, be sure to schedule out a few moments in which to sit back, relax and soak it all in. Your psyche — and palate — will appreciate the pause.

Tried and True

Still searching for the perfect spot? Here are some classic patios that never go out of style.

The 10th
Located at the top of Gondola One in Mid-Vail, The 10th pairs expansive views from the patio with classic cocktails like Bloody Marys and margaritas. Pictured above.

Beaver Creek Chophouse and Vail Chophouse
There’s no doubt that the Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouses have some of the best real estate in the valley. Located at the base of Vail Mountain at Lionshead and Beaver Creek Mountain (respectively), these sister restaurants offer slope-side views and a beverage list sure to tantalize any tippler.

White Bison
For an elevated view of Gore Creek and all the action around the water, head to White Bison’s pleasant patio for one of the Bison’s carefully crafted cocktails.

Mountain Standard
For those who prefer an eye-level experience, Mountain Standard obliges with a sociable patio that lets you chat with pedestrians as you sip one of their Special Sauce concoctions.