Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Molly Egan
Vail, Colorado, in Summer is one of the most beautiful, enchanting, and full of many activities. Those that associate this area with only winter activities are missing out!
That’s a good thing for you – fewer crowds and better pricing! Vail Valley’s Summer months are so memorable, so come find out for yourself.
Top Three Things to Do in Vail Colorado In Summer:
Visit Vail Amphitheater for live music.
Go on a Hike!
Enjoy the unrivaled food offered in Vail.
1. Vail Amphitheater Live Music
The symphonies that come into town, such as Dallas Phil Harmonic, Philadelphia Phil Harmonic, New York Phil Harmonic, and Denver Phil Harmonic, are fantastic reasons to see a show. A personal favorite is the Vail Dance Festival, which brings in top performers from around the world!
Vail Dance Festival includes the Aspen Dance Company, New York City Ballet, and collaborations with so many others! My favorite is seeing the International Dance performances and the Intro sessions that give background and unrivaled insight into the performance.
If by chance your three days in vail are during the week then you are in luck! Tuesdays you’ll find free music in Gerard Ford Amphitheater, this is called Hot Summer Nights!
Best Tip: Get lawn seats! These are cheaper, and the view of the mountains provides an unrivaled ambiance.
Second Best Tip: Bring a picnic! Yes, you can bring in your own food and empty water bottles. Therefore treat yourself to a bottle of wine (your preference) that is accompanied by an ice bucket for your enjoyment! Yes, these two moves will make your experience memorable and enjoyable!
2. Go on a Hike!
There are so many unbelievable hikes within the center of Vail in a short distance.
The top five hikes are Lost Lake near Piney Lake, Shrine Pass on Vail Pass, Gore Creek in East Vail, and Strawberry Lane or Cabin Trail on Vail Mountain.
3. Enjoy the Unrivaled Food Offered in Vail.
The top 5 Casual Restaurants for great food, laid-back vibes, and a favorite of locals include Vendettas, The Red Lion, Los Amigos, Tavern on the Square, and Pepi’s.
The Top 5 bars for a great drink are Mountain Standard (the bartenders are easy on the eyes, too), Root & Flower, The Bad Kitty Lounge, The Red Lion, and Sonnenalp Lounge.
72 Hours in Vail Colorado in Summer:
Spending three days in Vail, Colorado, in the Summer offers a variety of outdoor activities, scenic beauty, and relaxation. There’s nothing better than a Vail Colorado, Summer vacation!
Below you will find an itinerary to make the most of your time in the Vail valley, over three days or 72 hours in the Vail valley, assuming arrival for a three-day weekend that commences on Friday!
Friday, Day 1:
Start your day with a delicious breakfast in Vail Village at a charming cafe or bakery. The best pastries will be found at Four Seasons Vail and Sonnenalp Hotel!
Head to Vail Village and explore vail village and its picturesque streets. Enjoy European-style architecture, boutique shops, art galleries, and charming coffee shops.
Active folks, start your morning hiking on one of the many beautiful hiking and biking trails in the area after breakfast. Some popular options include Booth Falls Trail or Berrypicker Trail.
Take a scenic gondola ride on the eagle bahn gondola up to Eagle’s Nest for a more relaxing morning. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. There is morning yoga on the mountaintop.
Have a leisurely lunch at one of the mountain restaurants while enjoying the view.
Take a Scenic Gondola Ride up vail mountain and have lunch at the top with a view! Gondola rides are a top choice for those who don’t want to hike up, are injured, or cannot due to the elevation.
If you prefer a more relaxed activity, you can fly fishing in the nearby rivers or rent a bike and explore the Vail Valley on two wheels.
Treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of Vail’s fine dining establishments. For romantic and delicious meal, try La Nonna, Matsuhisa, Bad Bunny, or Slope Room in Vail Village.
Attend a summer concert or live performance at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, which hosts various events throughout the Summer.
End your evening with a stroll through Vail Village, enjoying the lively atmosphere and maybe stopping for a drink at a local bar or pub. Suggestions for this include.
Saturday, Day 2:
Enjoy an early morning hike or bike ride on Vail’s many hiking trails and mountain bike trails to enjoy the fresh mountain air and stunning views of the rocky mountains.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, try rock climbing, or infamous mountain biking! Ride your mountain bike both up and down the biking trails and hiking trails. It will make your Vail summer vacation memorable with a view of the gore mountain range!
If you are looking for a very memorable day hike with unrivaled views, then hike Game Creek Trail. This 7.0 mile roundtrip trail takes an average of 4 hours to complete.
If you are wildflower lover than you must ride the alpine train in Leadville for a memorable train ride full of gorgeous alpine wildflowers! This runs for a short period for the peak wildflower viewing. This three hour tour includes a short 20 minute hike so you cover your bases with the proximity of wildflowers!
You can leave a car in Minturn and at Lionshead Village parking deck and take the gondola up or down depending which way you do this hike one way. We love Minturn! It’s a great place to end your hike with a drink at Wild Mountain Cellars, Minturn Saloon, or Rocky Mountain Taco.
Alternatively, you can take a guided nature walk to learn about the local flora and fauna. Betty ford alpine gardens offers guided tours or go on your own! Fun fact this is the world’s highest botanical garden.
For a fun day trip, go to Piney River Ranch for hiking, lunch, views, or canoeing on Piney Lake!
After a morning of adventure, head to one of Vail’s spa facilities for some relaxation and pampering. Indulge in a massage or other spa treatments.
Have a light lunch at Pepi’s, take in the mountain scenery from the outdoor patio, or try Vail’s Los Amigos in Vail village for outdoor dining and take in gore creek from the patio.
Take a sunset Jeep tour to explore the backcountry and experience the stunning alpine scenery. Or take a scenic sunset horseback ride for mountain scenery from a memorable vantage point!
Enjoy a casual dinner at one of the local breweries or pubs, where you can sample craft beers and delicious food. The local casual brewery is Vail Brewing Company – with two convenient locations you can easily enjoy a local beer.
Sunday, Day 3:
Take advantage of Vail’s excellent golf courses and spend the morning playing a round of golf. Our favorite, due to the fantastic view, is the Vail Golf Club!
Other nearby golf options include the Beaver Creek Golf Club, Red Sky Ranch and Golf Club, Eagle Vail Golf Club, Eagle Ranch Golf Course, Sonnenalp Club, or The Club At Cordillera. Vail Resorts owns the first two award-winning ski resort and golf clubs.
Explore the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, one of the highest botanical gardens in the world. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and the beautiful variety of plants and flowers.
The relaxed option is shopping locally at Vail Farmers Market, you can enjoy lunch here with vendors – don’t miss the Palisades peaches! Walking the Farmers Market is a fun way to explore Vail Village.
For those that want a restaurant we recommend Bully Ranch for a delicious lunch with fun cocktails or a delicious brunch outside at Vintage or Root & Flower.
Are you looking for exciting outdoor adventures? Whitewater rafting on the Eagle River or Colorado River or trying the forest flyer mountain coaster.
For a historic activity, visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame to learn about the area’s skiing and snowboarding history.
Indulge in a gourmet dinner at one of the renowned restaurants in Vail Village. Treat yourself to Sweet Basil or Mountain Standard and get a view of the gore creek path and gore creek for a scenic view accompanying a delicious meal!
If you’re interested in nightlife, check out some local bars or clubs offering live music and entertainment. Take in Vail Dance Festival or one of Bravo Vail Music Festival performances!
Five Tips to Enjoy Vail in Summer:
Now that you have the perfect itinerary for a three day adventure in Vail now read how to best prepare for your adventure in this mountain town.
During the the summer months, Vail experiences mild and pleasant temperatures, with average highs ranging from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C).
Temperatures vary throughout the day, so it’s important to pack layers and prepare for occasional rain showers – typically in afternoons. Check the weather forecast before your trip to ensure you have appropriate clothing.
Vail sits at around 8,000 feet (2,400 meters), which may affect some visitors that are not accustomed to higher altitudes. Take it easy during the first few days to acclimate and stay hydrated. Drink lots of water, especially if you are drinking alcohol or coffee.
3. Outdoor Recreation
Vail is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts during the Summer. Popular activities include hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, golfing, and exploring the area’s scenic trails and nature.
Research the specific trails, rental options, and permits required for your desired activities. Ensure you have the proper equipment, sun protection, and plenty of water.
Vail’s village is pedestrian-friendly, and many attractions are within walking distance. However, if you plan to explore areas beyond the vail village itself, having a car or using public transportation is recommended.
Vail has a free bus system that provides transportation within the town and to nearby areas, making it convenient to reach hiking trailheads or explore neighboring towns.
5. Peak Season Crowds:
Vail attracts many visitors during Summer due to its stunning mountain scenery and outdoor activities. Be aware of peak seasons, such as weekends and holidays, when the area can get crowded.
Booking accommodations, activities, and dining reservations in advance is advisable to secure your preferences and avoid last-minute availability issues.
There are many many Vail summer activities, events and vail summer activities, for various interests – adventurous or relaxing – to enjoy Vail in the Summer! Colorado’s vail valley is one of the many gems in this state.
This town is more than Vail Ski Resort, and a summer vail dream trip awaits you. Enjoy your three days in Vail, Colorado, in Summer and enjoy the gorgeous scenery of this mountain town and ski resort, ensuring a memorable time in the Colorado mountains!