Vail was the beginning of our digital nomad journey. We were 3 years into our Denver office jobs and decided that something needed to change. We just weren’t built for the cubicle life.
The time had come to start a blog and move to the mountains. We lived in the Vail Valley for the next 6 months where Dalton enjoyed his daily skiing commute to work on the mountain. And I snagged my first online gig working as a dietitian.
We weren’t full blown digital nomads quite yet, but you gotta start somewhere! These memorable months let us explore the valley and mountains alike. Here’s how we spent our time during the winter season in Vail.
What to do
Vail mountain offers a variety of terrain for all levels. From bunny hills to the Hollywood cliffs, there’s something for everybody.
Where to park
- Close and easy – $25+ (could easily be more) gets you a ramp that’s steps away from the slopes. But get there early, these ramps fill up quick.
- Free and far – Take the free city bus. Park on the street near City Market, the bus runs all along Frontage Road. A quick 20-30 minute ride and you’ll be skiing in no time.
- If you’re heading to Beaver Creek, find the Arrowhead parking lot for inexpensive and quick access to a lift on the other end of the mountain.
- Green – Avoid the crowds, and head to lift 14 instead of staying at the base. This whole area is great for new skiers and tree skiing alike. Ready for a longer green run? Get lost on Lost Boy in Game Creek Bowl.
- Black Diamonds – Get out and explore Blue Sky Basin. No matter where you find yourself, you’ll find plenty of groomers, trees and moguls to scratch every skiing itch.
Ski Beaver Creek
Ready for steeper slopes? Check out Beaver Creek for great skiing without the crowd. Just a few extra minutes down the road, Beaver Creek is an expert getaway from the Vail crowds.
Go hiking in the Mount of the holy cross wilderness area. With some truly amazing views, explore the trail map and start your next adventure.
Ice skating in Arabelle Plaza. An easy find in Vail Village, where you can also watch the occasional broomball game.
Altitude – For ping pong / pool, it’s your standard bar scene.
River walk – A beautiful walking path right in Vail, for the natural things in life.
Vail Ale House – Get your weekly trivia here on Tuesday nights.
Vail Brewing Co – Great beer and trivia (Hwy 6 location) on Wednesdays. The Vail Village location is great for grabbing a beer after a day of skiing. Enjoy the views of skiers heading into the village from the outdoor patio.
Where to eat
- The Little Diner – Adorable diner with good breakfast food and coffee to get you all geared up for a day of skiing.
- The Blue Moose – Casual pizza place with NY-style pizza and Italian salads
- Alpenrose – a rustic European spot with Austrian/German inspired fare like Schnitzel and Bratwurst.
- Avon Bakery and Deli – Deliciously fresh-baked bread – make sure to get there early for freshly baked bread.
- Northside Kitchen – homestyle eater with famous donuts
- Vin 48 – a beautiful wine bar with a seasonal menu that’s great for sharing.
- Etown – Great pizza and ingredient-driven American fare in an industrial-style space
- Craftsman – Great sandwiches with cool craftsman-style decor
- The Rose – Lots of veggies on the menu and great cocktails
Fancy a Drink?
- Vail Brewing Co – The best beer after a long day of skiing. There’s also a location in Eagle-Vail with trivia
- Yeti’s Grind – Great coffee, and just steps away from Gondola One.
- Root and Flower – Quaint wine bar with great drinks and friendly staff. Definitely check it out.
- Loaded Joe’s – A local coffee chain turned bar in the evenings. Enjoy a game of pool in a relaxed atmosphere.
- Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea Roastery Cafe – This roastery and cafe comes with great vibes and the freshest coffee.
How to get around
Take the bus – Free year round bus service throughout Vail. A great bus system that’s easy to navigate.
Drive – you can park in the Vail parking structures under two hours or after 3pm for free!
Find your standard City Market in Vail or Avon. Or venture over to Frisco for a Whole Foods with more bulk food options.
- Have a blast at the closing day party on top of Vail mountain, before your final ride down for the season.
- Take care when skiing in a blizzard. It’s an amazing moment, but you can easily lose sight of your fellow skiers.
- New to skiing? Start slow and stay in control. The best way to learn how to ski is practice.
- Keep an eye out for the wild life – moose, deer, foxes – lots of cool things to see, but make sure to keep your distance.
No matter what you get into in the Vail Valley, you’re sure to have a great time. With plenty to do in every season, there’s never a dull moment.