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Why Go To Vail

Don't let Vail's small size or remote location fool you: This is one of the most beloved cold-weather destinations in the country for one reason: skiing. Sandwiched between the Gore Mountain Range to the north and the Sawatch Mountain Range to the south, this narrow valley is home to several notable ski areas, including one of the country's largest single-mountain resorts. Jagged peaks, miles of slopes and perfect powder attract thousands of visitors every year, earning Vail a noteworthy place among Colorado's other winter heavyweights, Aspen and Telluride. In fact, Vail's expertly manicured slopes – as well as its luxury hotels, spas and restaurants – frequently welcome A-listers like Will Smith, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake.

That being said, this is a hard city for those on a shoestring budget. The gorgeous scenery is accompanied by bank-busting hotel rates and lift tickets. The only way to avoid these prices is to sidestep the slopes, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Visit during the summer and you'll discover a variety of ways to enjoy the mountains, from hiking and biking to horseback riding and even whitewater rafting.

Rankings

The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.

Vail is ranked as:

  • #4 In Best Ski Vacations in the USA

  • #8 In Best Ski Vacations

Best Things To Do In Vail

The majority of Vail's visitors come to tackle the slopes. The Vail Ski Resort boasts 5,289 skiable acres, making it one of the largest single-mountain resorts in the country. If that's not enough powder, head to neighboring Beaver Creek, which is quickly moving up the list of popular ski retreats. However, summer travelers shouldn't rule Vail out. With the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area and the Holy Cross Wilderness Area just a short drive from town, the region boasts ample opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in balmy temps, too.

Vail Travel Tips

  • "Vail" means many things - "Vail" refers to both the valley located between the Gore and the Sawatch Mountains, the valley's main village and the region's premier ski resort.

  • Book in advance - Hotels generally fill up quickly during ski season. To ensure you have a place to stay, book several months in advance.

  • Be mindful of the altitude - Prepare to hydrate often to combat the effects of altitude sickness (headache, nausea, shortness of breath). And take it easy with coffee and alcohol, which can be dehydrating. 

  • Ditch the wheels - Unless you plan on spending a lot of time going back and forth to the national wilderness areas, you can save money on a rental car by relying on Vail's free shuttle service.

  • Rethink ski season - Because the majority of Vail visitors come for the snow, you can find much lower hotel rates if you plan a summer or shoulder-season trip.

  • Bring your own gear - While Vail is home to plenty of sports stores and winter boutiques, prices here will be significantly higher than what you would find at home. You'll save big if you come prepared.

*SOURCE: Information From This Page Can Be Found at U.S. News & World Report