Leave the Stress at Home
When planning your trip to Vail, pack a good attitude and sense of adventure, says Mark Dubovy, president and owner of Mountain Resort Concierge. Here are his tips for maximizing your experience.
- If you can, fly into Eagle. It sure beats the two-to three-hour drive from Denver (not to mention traffic and potential pass closures).
- Don’t rent a car. Winter driving is hazardous and I-70 is stressful, not to mention roundabouts galore. There are group shuttles, free buses, Uber, Lyft … even bike valets.
Food & Drink
- For lunch in Vail, try Buffalo’s Grill at the top of Chair 4. For a truly high-end experience, treat yourself to lunch at The 10th. Want to go spur of the moment without reservations? Then, walk straight to the back bar and secure “first come first serve” seating in the bar or lounge.
- Grab some local brews at Bonfire Brewery in Eagle or sip some local spirits in the middle of Vail Village at the tasting room for 10th Mtn Whiskey & Spirit Company.
- Make some dinner reservations up to a month before you arrive. The top spots fill up fast during the high season. However, bar seats are always first come first serve. Or splurge for a personal chef.
- Grab a breakfast burrito to go and eat it on the way up the gondola, especially if you are trying to catch first tracks.
- Check out an FAC (Friday Afternoon Club) in the summer: Maya at the Westin for an upscale scene or Eagle’s Nest at the top of Lionshead Gondola.
Clothing & Gear
- Pack comfortable après shoes or boots and invest in a ski locker for the week. There is vibrant après ski nightlife. You don’t want to be that person in ski boots at midnight.
- Renting skis? Book your reservations online before you arrive or set up an in-house ski fitting with a variety of ski delivery companies.
- Pack at least three pairs of ski socks and few pairs of base layers and back-up ski gloves.
- The dress code is always mountain casual so no need to bust out the tie and jacket or formal gown. A nice pair of jeans and a sweater or flannel should do the trick at most places.
- Bring lots of sunscreen and lip balm as well as a good pair of sunglasses.
- Buy your lift ticket at least a week in advance online for the best price.
- Shop deals: If you come in March or April, look around as ski shops start offloading their demo inventory and start reducing their prices on the past season’s gear. Great deals to be found all around town. The March Madness sale at Gorsuch is also a must see if in town.
- In the summer, check out Nottingham Lake in Avon. Paddleboarding, boat rentals, fishing, volleyball, a cool beach scene, live music, an emerging food scene and awesome views of Beaver Creek from the lake.
- Piney Lake is a must-do summer activity. If you don’t mind a drive, it’s worth the hiking, boating, food, great views.
- Be sure to drink lots of water, even when out on the town. Leave a glass by your bed at night and first thing in the morning. Pack some ibuprofen as well just in case.