You know the real reason people don’t keep their New Year’s resolutions? Because their resolutions are, well, kind of boring. It’s tough to stay enthused when your resolution list contains things like “get more organized” and “switch to spearmint dental floss.”
Vail has a fix for that. Check out this list of New Year’s resolutions that’ll keep you outdoors, happy and healthy all year long. Unless, of course, you’re so enthused you end up finishing them all by mid-June.
While you’re at it, here are a list of ideas to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Vail, the perfect way to kick off your year of Vail-focused resolution fun.
1. Soar to New Heights on a Vail Gondola
Whether you’re being whisked to the top of Vail Mountain to ski in winter, hike in summer or simply taking a scenic ride, don’t forget to enjoy the view. Why? Because you’re in one of the most beautiful places on earth surrounded by majestic mountain peaks. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Vail was the very first Colorado mountain town to install a gondola in 1962, when the ski resort opened. Since then, gondolas have come a long way. You now have two options for your high-speed scenic gondola ride in winter and summer:
- Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead
- Gondola One in Vail Village
Gondola One is cushy enough to count as luxury accommodations — with free Wi-Fi, heated seats and a scenic view. You might even be lucky enough to ride in the lone gondola cabin (#50), painted gold in honor of Vail’s 50th Anniversary.
Celebrate the fact that you’re in Vail for the adventure of a lifetime. A few high fives are an appropriate way to congratulate yourselves for making the decision to vacation in Vail.
2. Unwind by the Water
Simply being in the presence of water is often enough to put many of us into automatic relaxation mode. If that’s good enough for you, head to a lovely lake or babbling brook, have a seat and consider your resolution complete.
If you want to mix in a bit of activity while you’re hanging out by the water, Vail is known for its spectacular fishing: fly-fishing in summer and ice fishing in winter. Fishing is another outdoor adventure you can enjoy all year long.
Some of the most gorgeous areas for relaxing by the water in the Vail Valley double as top spots for fishing. Check out Piney Lake, Gore Creek or the Colorado River for starters. Explore our tips for angling responsibly in Vail.
You can head to the water for kayaking, rafting or paddleboarding. Or make your way to the Whitewater Park in the middle of Vail Village or an alpine lake. You can also opt for a ride down the Colorado or Eagle rivers.
3. Absorb Creative Inspiration at a Vail Event
Simply being outside in Vail is inspiring, and it can get even better from there. You’ll find a lineup of outdoor events that bring on an additional level of creativity and joy. Vail’s schedule is brimming with activities that range from outdoor concerts to art festivals. See the full Vail event calendar.
You’ll get different options during different times of the year, of course, but you’ll never be without a way to combine creative inspiration and the great outdoors.
Art festivals are big in the warmer weather, as are wine and food events. Both deliver amazing colors, textures and combinations to excite or soothe the senses.
- See the summer signature event list.
- Check out Vail’s top events for fall.
- Plan your visit around a Vail culinary event.
- Center your winter visit around the event calendar.
4. Wrap Yourself in Bliss
While you can certainly wrap yourself in bliss with a hot towel at the spa, that’s not something you really want to do outside. The outdoor bliss we’re talking about comes to Vail every autumn in the form of glorious fall foliage.
Leaf peeping simply involves heading outside to take in the changing colors of the leaves, an instant bliss-inducer throughout the entire area. Whether you’re in Vail Village, Lionshead Village or somewhere in between or beyond, you can’t really step outside your door without being wrapped in the beauty of the season.
Bliss comes naturally with leaf peeping, as does a range of other sensations. It all depends on how you go about it. Capture serenity with a meandering stroll through the fall foliage. Get invigorated with an autumn mountain bike ride. Go laid-back by combining the art of leaf peeping with your scenic gondola ride.
5. Try a Mindful Mountain Meditation
Your gondola ride can also be combined with yet another resolution on your outdoor adventure list: a mindful mountain meditation. Whether you’re a meditation maven or you’ve never meditated a millisecond in your life, we promise it comes easy when you’re at the top of Vail Mountain.
All you need to do is find a comfortable place to stand or sit. Then look at the view around you. Mindful meditation involves being present in the moment, acutely aware of the world around you and your place in it.
The beauty visible at the top of the mountain is going to automatically draw you in, bringing all your attention to that exact moment in time. Get extra credit for participating in mountain-top yoga in the summer. Namaste!
If you’re the restless type, feel free to walk around at a slow pace as you meditate. Pay extreme attention to the sights, the sounds and the way the earth feels beneath your feet. Breathe in the light. Breathe out tension and stress. Breathe in the light. Breathe out tension and stress … we’re drifting away just envisioning it. Talk about a relaxing vacation!
6. Giddy Up on a Horse
Whoa, Nelly! Perk yourself up on horseback — and fulfill your outdoor resolution to go horseback riding — after all that mindful mountain meditation.
Horseback riding and Colorado go together like bread and butter — but without the gluten or fat. A trip to Vail is the perfect time to give this Western pastime a go, with several stables eager and ready to gear you up with everything you need.
Go fast. Go slow. Find a pace that suits your soul. Not only does horseback riding let you revel in the clear mountain air, but it gives you a chance to bond with one of earth’s most marvelous animals.
If you’re visiting Vail in winter, you also have the option of taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride. A ride on its own is a fabulous adventure, and you can also book a sleigh ride and dinner combo.
7. Zoom Down on a Mountain Bike
What goes up must come down, right? You already did the giddy up. So now it’s time to zoom down. We’re talking about flying down the mountain, a resolution especially suited for your inner thrill seeker.
Zooming down the mountain comes in a number of flavors, depending on the season. Mountain biking makes for exceptional zooming in warmer weather. Several shops are ready to rent you a bike and needed equipment, so all you have to bring is your sense of adventure.
And guess what? You can even skip that strenuous pedaling by taking your bike to the top of the mountain in the gondola.
8. Schuss Down Vail Mountain on Skis or a Snowboard
When winter comes, the zooming down the mountain continues. But now you’ll want to give it a go on a snowboard or skis. There’s a reason Vail is hailed as a world-famous ski resort. Zoom down Vail Mountain on a pair of skis, and the reason will come to you instantly.
The crisp whoosh of winter air. The intense thrill. The infusion of power. Mountain sports in Vail are not something you want to miss. Extra credit if you head out to the seven legendary back bowls. Double extra credit if you get through all seven bowls in a single day.
9. Take a Scenic Vail Trek
Whew. All that zooming is amazing, but you may want to balance it out with something at a more relaxing pace. Like a scenic trek. Like zooming, trekking comes in a number of flavors based on the season.
Warmer weather calls for hiking. Vail is alive with trails that take you up, down, around and in circles all over Vail Mountain. Grab your hiking boots or rugged shoes and you’re set to go! Although you may also want to grab a trail map, so the hiking in circles doesn’t circle into the night.
When snow hits, get your scenic trek with Nordic skiing. Also known as cross-country skiing, Nordic skiing takes you across flatter terrain than its downhill cousin.
Both hiking and Nordic skiing let you go as fast or as slow as you wish as you swish through the awe-inspiring scenery.
10. Channel Dorothy Hamill
Who? Dorothy Hamill, a superstar ice skater who also had the best haircut, ever. Vail has several ice-skating rinks where you can jump, romp and spin like Olympian Dorothy did in her glory days. Or you can skate carefully in one direction, holding someone’s hand.
You can skate at the outdoor rinks in winter or at Dobson Ice Arena year-round. Although ice-arena skating is technically indoors, it’s still cold and icy. So, we’ll let it count toward an outdoor resolution.
Vail also has several hair salons where you can ask for the Dorothy Hamill haircut to see what happens.
Now that you have a list of 10 resolutions, you’ll be eager to keep in the new year, the only thing left to do is get yourself to Vail. Luxury accommodations await, as does a lineup of outdoor fun. Book your lodging for a new year of vacations in Vail today.