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Vail Travel Tips

Vail Photo info
Jack Affleck/Vail Ski Resort

Keep in Mind...

  • "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 hang your ski cap, book several months in advance.
  • I-70 is your lifeline Those of you who plan on having a car in Vail will be relieved to know that nearly everything the region has to offer can be accessed from Interstate 70.

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 the country's largest single-mountain resort. 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 vacation 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.

How To Save Money in Vail

  • 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.
  • Re-think 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 sporting-goods stores and winter-wear boutiques, prices here will be significantly higher than you would find at home. You'll save big time if you come prepared.

You might also like...

  • Aspen Aspen
    • Home to several excellent ski resorts
    • Celebrity sightings are common
  • Telluride Telluride
    • Skiing reigns supreme here
    • More rustic charm
  • Banff Banff
    • Prime access to ski slopes and hiking trails
    • You'll need a passport to get here
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