Things to Do in Vail
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31 Fun Summertime Things to Do in Vail – Tips from a Local

Last Updated on April 24, 2024 by Molly Egan

Is Vail Fun If You Don’t Ski?

Yes! Summer is full of things to do in Vail – a beautiful time full of adventures, wildflowers, music, hiking trails, biking trails, Yoga, farmers markets, festivals, and No Skiing!

The Colorado ski resort has skiable terrain that rivals worldwide ski resorts. There is snowboarding, skiing, ski biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and snowmobiling in the winter wonderland.

What is Vail Most Known For?

The majestic rocky mountains, gore mountain range views, alpine lakes, scenic vistas, and is a premier ski destination. This well-known winter wonderland is a real treat during all Seasons – visit Vail in Summer and find out!

So many more summer outdoor adventures – keep reading and find the best Vail Summer activities for yourself. This area is known for the White River National Forest hiking trails and the Upper Colorado River in the Summer.

How Do You Get to Vail?

There are a few options. To decide which is best, pick money or time! The cheapest way to arrive is through the Denver international airport – a two-hour drive by rental car or a bit more by shuttle van. The two most popular shuttle vans to Vail Valley are Peak 1 and Epic Shuttle – they offer pickup and drop off at your hotel, Airbnb, or the Transportation Center.

The Fastest way is to fly to Eagle Airport located in Gypsum. You can rent a car, take a limo, ride-share, or shuttle van (only, Epic shuttle is offered). American Airlines, United, and Delta all fly to this airport.

Insiders Tip: If staying in Vail Village or via Intown bus, you can save a few dollars and get dropped off at Vail Transportation Center in town and take the FREE Intown bus closest to your hotel or accommodations.

Are you looking for the best places to stay in Vail? Refer to the top Vail hotels here.

The Best 31 Things To Do In Vail During the Summer

  1. Minturn Anglers Fly Fishing

  2. Take a ride on the Eagle Bahn Gondola (or hike up Vail Mountain)

  3. Jeep Tours

  4. Stay at Piney Lake Cabins and Visit Trails

  5. Vail Pass Bike Tour

  6. Check out the Colorado Snowsports Museum

  7. Ride the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster at Vail Adventure Ridge

  8. Visit the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

  9. Live Music at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

  10. Trek Booth Falls Trail, Berry Picker Trail, or Shrine Ridge Hiking Trails

  11. Learn About Local Vegetation at Vail Nature Center

  12. Attend Vail Dance Festival

  13. Enjoy Fancy Hot Chocolate at the Four Seasons

  14. Take a Goat Yoga (aka GOGA) Class at Vail Stable

  15. Do Yoga on Top of Vail Mountain

  16. Ride Mountain Biking Trails

  17. Stroll Around the Vail Farmers Market

  18. Tour Vail Brewing Company

  19. Taste and Tour the 10th Mountain Whiskey

  20. Hike to the Top of Vail Mountain

  21. Go Road Biking

  22. Visit Spas

  23. Enjoy the Festivals!

  24. Town of Vail Public Art Walk

  25. Horseback riding

  26. Golfing

  27. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

  28. Trifecta of Salon, Horseback Riding, Live Music, and Yoga!

  29. Pickleball

  30. Go Pro Mountain Games
  31. Vail Wine Classic

Minturn Anglers Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a popular Colorado Summer Outdoor adventure and activity. The Minturn Anglers have a great spot in Minturn, and the guides are the best in the Vail Valley!

Ride on the Eagle Bahn Gondola (or Hike up Vail Mountain)

Whether you have an epic ski pass or not, you can take a gondola ride up the mountain and hike down, or take a hiking trail up and then a gondola ride down.

Depending on your fitness ability – remember you are 8,000 feet above sea level – hiking a trail at the top of Vail mountain and taking a gondola ride down and up may be the best choice.

Treat yourself to a well-deserved treat whether you hike or not! The restaurant Mid Vail Grill is located at the top of Vail Mountain, accessed by Gondola One, based in Vail Village.

Talon’s Deck Outdoor Grill, Bistro 14, Simba’s Cafe: Coffee & Ice Cream at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola at the Lionshead base of Vail mountain.

Jeep Tours

Jeep tours are a fun way to see the terrain of Vail Valley without hiking and if you are injured! We recommend Nova Guides Jeep Tours for the best guide.

Why we love Nova Guides is the Tour of the majestic rocky mountains, alpine lakes, wildflowers, and National Historical Monument of Camp Hale – the home of the 10th Mountain Division – the price point is excellent too!

Piney river ranch has great jeep trails if you want to rent a Jeep and do tours yourself! Things to do in Vail, Colorado, can be a challenge if you are physically disabled, so we highly recommend this for your enjoyment while you visit Vail!

Stay at Piney Lake Cabins and Visit Trails

The views at Piney river ranch and access to the upper piney lake trail make this a must-do visiting Vail. The unique views of the Gore Mountain range will make the ride well worth it!

Insider’s tip: Ensure you have an AWD vehicle with clearance for dirt road access.

Vail Pass Bike Tour

Whether you like mountain biking or road biking, the Vail Pass offers both! If you consider yourself a mountain biker, you will love the trails on Vail Mountain.

If you are a casual or road biker, rent a mountain bike and take the Vail Pass by bike. Make sure to

Insider’s tip: Ensure you bring water and plenty of snacks, as there are no vendors or stops for either!

Check Out the Colorado Snowsports Museum

If you love snowsports and an outdoor winter wonderland, visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum and learn how World War II gave us the 10th Mountain Division and Vail mountain town!

Ride the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster at Vail Adventure Ridge

The activities on the top of Vail Mountain have been closed for the last few years, but this year we have the Forest flyer alpine coaster back! The zip-lining is still completed.

The epic discovery is an excellent time for families and adults that love adventure courses!

  • 10 am–4 pm, starting at $32

Insider’s tip: A scenic Gondola Lift Ticket is needed to access the Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster!

Visit the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

This garden is beautiful, with so many species and flora worldwide! They have so many great activities for children, adults, and families!

The adjacent playground and park make the betty ford alpine gardens an excellent stop for families of all ages! Every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10:30 am, there is a tour through the garden, $10.

Insider’s tip: Must-do is the Chefs in the Garden Dinner Series or the free self-tour – brochures at the Betty Ford Alpine Garden entrance kiosk

Live Music at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater

This outdoor music venue is the best secret to Colorado! The musical acts that Vail Valley Foundation brings to the amphitheater also play in Red Rocks, and there are orchestras from Dallas, Philadelphia, and New York that come in for shows.

Insider’s tip: Order a bottle of wine and enjoy the complimentary ice bucket – bring your favorite snack for a picnic on the lawn!

Hiking – Booth Falls Trail, Berry Picker Trail, or Shrine Ridge Trail

There are loads of hiking trails in the Vail Valley, and it is the best thing to do in Vail, Colorado! The hardest decision will be which one suits you best. Do you want Rocky Mountain views, wildflowers, a variety of terrain, or hiking to an alpine lake?

The Booth Falls Trail is best known for the waterfall and glacial lake a the top. It is easily accessible by the free in-town bus. Insider tip: Do not park near Booth Falls Trail trailhead, and beware of towing as it is strictly enforced – take the free in-town bus!

Berry Picker Trail is great for the views and is easily accessible in town! You can take a free gondola ride down! Insider’s tip: Take the gondola down, have lunch at the top of Vail Mountain, plan at least 4 hours to walk it, and bring plenty of water!

The Shrine Ridge Trail is one of the top hiking trails in the area and is a Vail Pass trail. The wildflowers peaking there are glorious! Insiders tip: Drive to the trailhead parking lot and plan a two-hour round trip for enough time to take photos!

Learn About Local Vegetation at Vail Nature Center

The Vail Nature Center is the secret to the Vail Valley, and they provide everyone with such a resource of knowledge! A great tip for families and kids of all ages.

Insider’s tip: During the Winter, you can enjoy an easy snowshoe hike at the top of the mountain and learn about the local habitat!

Attend Vail Dance Festival

Vail Dance Festival is hands down the best art event in the state of Colorado! The Vail Dance Festival brings in the New York City Ballet, Aspen Dance, and well-known others. This weeklong festival is an affordable and enjoyable gift for all Vail visitors.

Insider’s tip: Purchase the lawn seats for under $40 to see the New York City Ballet – it’s a steal!

Enjoy Fancy Hot Chocolate at the Four Seasons

The food, drinks, snacks, and views at Four Seasons make this a highly recommended stop during your day in Vail. The hot chocolate is excellent for all ages!

Take a Goat Yoga (aka GOGA) Class at Vail Stables

This activity during your visit to Vail in Summer will surely be memorable! The drinks found at this bar at the farm are some of the cheapest in town!

Insider’s tip: Come for the Goat Yoga and stay for the live music!

Do Yoga on top of Vail Mountain

Do Yoga at the Mid-Vail deck on Saturdays from June to September. Take Gondola One from Vail Village up, and purchase a scenic gondola ticket if you still need a season pass or want to walk up the mountain!

  • 10 am – 11 am

  • $10 with a 23/24 season pass

  • $65, including Scenic Gondola Ticket

Ride Mountain Biking Trails

The mountain bikers will love Vail Mountain for the burm trails, service roads, and terrain variety! Mountain biking is a very popular outdoor adventure activity in the rocky mountains!

Stroll Around the Vail Farmers Market

The Vail Farmers Market is a great time for local food, gifts, art, and a must-do on a Sunday in Vail Village. One of the best things to do in Vail, Colorado, on a Summer Sunday!

Tour Vail Brewing Company

If you are a fan of beer, then Vail Brewing Company is a must when visiting Vail. There are two locations – one in Solaris in Vail Village and one in Eagle-Vail.

Taste and Tour the 10th Mountain Whiskey

The name and taste are what we love most about the 10th Mountain Whiskey! The name is based on the 10th Mountain division, and the tasting room is conveniently located on Bridge Street in Vail Village.

Hike to the Top of Vail Mountain

The most popular and recommended hiking trails to the top of Vail Mountain include Strawberry Lane-Berry Picker Loop, Berry Picker, Cabin Trail, Ptarmigan Loop, and Ridge Route hiking trails.

Berry Picker and Cabin Trail hiking trails are the most beautiful ways to hike and climb the entire frontside of Vail Mountain.

Ptarmigan Loop and Ridge Route are easier hiking trails. You will enjoy views of the Gore Range, Notch Mountain, and Mount of the Holy Cross.

Go Road Biking

For those that would like to avoid biking up or down a mountain, there are plenty of bike paths for road bikers! You will get great views of the Gore Mountain Range, aspens, and wildflowers.

Visit Spas

There are several world-renown spas and treatments in this mountain town!

If you are looking for the best hotels, camping, or glamping in Vail Valley, read our best of here!

Enjoy the Festivals!

There are so many festivals in this mountain town! Take your pick from food, beer, wine, art, dance, and outdoor adventure competitions – GoPro games and Birds of Prey ski racing.

As you can see, this mountain town is more than just a ski resort or premier ski destination!

Town of Vail Public Art Walk

The town of Vail has a fabulous Art in Public Places program that rivals major metropolitan cities. Over 70 sculptures, art murals, and playground accents are found around Vail village.

This aspect of Vail and the Public Art reminds us of major metropolitan cities and Qatar Public Art – read more about Qatar Public Art here.

Horseback Riding

There are many ways to enjoy the views and vistas in the Vail Valley. Horseback riding is a special treat; we love the Bearcat Stables, Sage outdoor adventures, and Vail Stables.

Golf in Vail Valley

The golf course with the best Gore Range Mountain views is the Vail Golf Club. This is the Vail nordic center during the Winter.

The restaurant, views, golfing, and pricing of Vail Golf Club are great for all – the driving range is the best in the Rocky Mountains!

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

If you are a SUP or Stand Up Paddleboarding fan, you will love doing so on Nottingham Lake or Piney Lake while in Vail! The views of the mountains – Gore Range in Piney or Beaver Creek in Nottingham Lake – will rival all other lakes!

If you are interested in paddle boarding on alpine lakes, then the easiest is Piney Lake – so many others that are easily accessible are reservoirs and not alpine lakes.

Please read our reviews for the best Paddleboard for your outdoor adventure in Colorado!

Trifecta of Salon, Horseback Riding, Live Music, and Yoga!

The Vail Stables has everything you would want saloon, horseback riding, live music, and goat yoga. It’s a fun spot on the north side of 70 in Vail.


Pickleball is the fastest growing sport and the you have access to the most scenic court in the US!

Attend Go Pro Festival

The GoPro Mountain Games is a fun four days jammed back with all sorts of activities. Regardless of your athletic ability, there is something for you – watch runners, bikers, rock climbers, fishers, white water kayak freestyle, dog jumpers, and live music throughout the festival. It is a favorite of locals and outdoor enthusiasts across the country!

Vail Wine Classic

The Vail Wine Classic is held every August. It features wines from over 100 wineries, ranging from French to American and everything in between.

Looking for the best hotel recommendations then read more here.


At this point, you are convinced that Vail is an excellent destination for Summer outdoor adventures for all! The best things to do in Vail, Colorado, during the Summer, are listed here.

There are some unique experiences that hotels will put on that fluctuate, so check schedules if you have something in mind.

Note that river rafting was not listed here as it is more “down valley” and, in our opinion, the best river rafting. If you are looking for solid currents for rafting or white water rafting, areas outside Vail Valley are best.

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