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10 Romantic Things to Do in Vail This Winter

When it comes to Vail in winter, love is always in the air. Whether you’re snuggled up under a blanket rushing through a frosty forest in a horse-drawn sleigh or sipping wine on a gondola gazing at snowcapped peaks, there are so many romantic things to do with your partner when the snows starts falling.


Three snowshoers in brightly colored winter clothing snowshoe atop a snowy trail in Vail. Behind them, we see snow-covered hills and green evergreen trees. The sun shines down on them.

Explore Vail’s sparkling trails on a pair snowshoes, ending with a romantic picnic outdoors. Head to the Vail Nordic Center and snag some snowshoe rentals, then trek through the center’s 10 kilometers of treelined pathways as quickly or languidly as you like. No matter the pace, a snowshoeing adventure gives you plenty of quality time amid soaring summit views.

All that winter hiking is sure to work up an appetite. But instead of heading indoors for a bite to eat, take a seat in a snowy meadow and have the picnic come to you. Contact Picnic Vail in advance to plan a cozy outdoor lunch with your sweetheart. They’ll bring everything you need — from the food to the plush rugs and blankets — so you can dig into charcuterie, pour some wine and chat with conversation cards by the snow.


Two people ride a chairlift on Vail Mountain. They wear helmets and goggles and hold ski poles as they pass snow-covered evergreen trees.

When you’re in a legendary ski town like Vail, you have to spend some time skiing or snowboarding on Vail Mountain. You can add a touch of romance to your day carving down the slopes with an elevated lunch at Wildwood Smokehouse. The on-mountain restaurant serves up authentic barbecue (and killer après-ski drinks) 2 miles high. All the meats are smoked there, and you can enjoy everything from gourmet sandwiches and roasted chicken to warm wild-rice soup. As you can imagine, the tasty food comes with a side of Rocky Mountain views.


Fondue dinner set in private gondola car at Alpenrose in Vail. We see veggies waiting to be dipped in a vat of cheese with four prongs. Wine glasses are on the table, which is surrounded by white fluffy cushions. A tiny chandelier made of antlers lights up the space.

For another unforgettable meal, reserve a spot for dinner in your very own private gondola at Alpenrose. No, the gondola is not actually heading up the mountain. That would mean you would have to scarf down your dinner way too fast. You instead get two luxurious hours in a cozy gondola secured firmly on the ground in Vail Village.

Each gondola is equipped with a small heater for an additional layer of comfort, a Bluetooth speaker so you can stream your own music and a dimmer switch that lets you make the ambiance as brilliant or intimate as you wish. You’ll also swoon over the savory sauces, gooey fondue cheeses and hearty farmer’s bread that comes with the feast.


Two horses running and pulling a carriage through the snow in Vail.

A romantic sleigh ride and dinner is about as close to a real-life fairy tale as you can get — and without any evil villains to foul things up. You instead get a happily-ever-after adventure that takes you on a horse-drawn sleigh beneath starry skies, followed by a home-cooked meal that will warm your heart.

Even better, the sleigh-ride-and-dinner option is available from two different ranches in town. Select Bearcat Stables for a four-course meal featuring Colorado cuisine or choose 4 Eagle Ranch for an authentic ranch dinner, like roasted chicken thighs with a heaping side of rustic-style potatoes and creamy mac and cheese.


A person rides a sled behind eight husky dogs as they race over a snowy trail in Vail. The dogs are black and white and brown and white and almost seem to be laughing as they race along.

Feel the rush of crisp winter air hit your cheeks as you’re led over the snow by a team of top-notch sled dogs. Several local outfitters offer dog-sledding adventures, and you can’t go wrong with any of them for a romantic date in Vail. Top off the experience with a decadent serving of hot cocoa at Four Seasons Vail. Their signature Haute Chocolate is a rich concoction of melted chocolate cascaded over a handmade marshmallow perched atop a chocolate lattice — all mingling into a creamy milk-chocolate brew. It’s the perfect love potion after day exploring the frosty forest routes.


A couple each sites on a lounge chair on a patio under blankets on a frosty winter day in Vail. They wear white terrycloth robes, and we can see a fire pit and trees near the patio.

Among all the outdoor excitement, you and your sweetie will probably want to take a breather. The best way to unplug for some deep relaxation is with a couple’s massage at one of Vail’s spectacular spas. With a handful of spas at your service, you’re certain to pinpoint the one that aligns with your mood and preference. Whether you’re looking for a traditional massage or an alpine-inspired recovery treatment, any spa you select for your couple’s massage is apt to bring some peace and serenity.


Couple in winter jackets window shopping in one of Vail's villages. One points at something seen in a display. A tree behind them is lit up with white lights.

Plan a whole day of adventure in town with walking, shopping and alpine eats. Start things off with a stroll through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. You can even rent a pair of snowshoes at the Garden’s Education Center and explore all the resilient winter flora.

Afterward, plan a visit to Vail Village for lunch, and browse local boutiques and art galleries. Stop into iconic storefronts like The Golden Bear, where their signature bruin bracelets make the perfect Vail souvenir. Then, cozy up to some delicious fare infused with European flair by with a meal at Almresi. Spin your fork in a plate of their winter pasta, a big plate of homemade noodles with shrimp in a creamy saffron-curry sauce.


Oysters on a platter with two glasses of champagne and a champagne bottle in snow outside Vail Chophouse.

Late afternoons and evenings in Vail are the perfect time for romance, especially when you spend them at one of the town’s hot après-ski hangouts. Vail Chophouse in Lionshead Village has a lineup of lunch or dinner options to refuel your energy after a day of skiing. And you can dine on them while listening to some soft acoustic sets, with their frequent live-music performances.

Choose from dishes that range from oysters to Mahi fish tacos to saucy baby-back ribs. Food isn’t the only yummy stuff on the menu, though. No après-ski experience would be complete without toasty drinks. Order a round of winter warmers as you kick back and listen to the tunes. Try the Butterfinger cocktail with hot cocoa, chocolate liqueur, butterscotch schnapps and whipped cream sprinkled Butterfinger pieces for the perfect end to a chilly day.


An empty group of bowling lanes await players at DECA + BOL in Vail. They lanes are lit up in blue, and couches and dining tables sit near the scoring stations.

Anyone who doesn’t think bowling can be romantic hasn’t been bowling at DECA + BOL. And with a world-class eatery built into the venue, you can spend a whole evening there. This chic restaurant and bowling alley is located in Solaris Plaza in the heart of Vail Village. The DECA part of DECA + BOL is where you’ll find an American-inspired menu exploding with exciting flavors and elevated ambiance.

The BOL half of the equation is where you’ll find the bowling — and more. The intimate setting features 10 custom lanes, along with a happening nightlife vibe that encourages fun and games into the wee hours of the night.


A person dipping bread in fondue pot a the Swiss Chalet restaurant in Vail.

There’s nothing more romantic than breaking bread together over a warm pot of cheesy fondue in a cozy nook at the Swiss Chalet. Located in the luxurious Sonnenalp Hotel in the heart of Vail Village, this cabin-inspired restaurant features traditional European cuisine like mouth-watering schnitzel, spaetzle and gooey fondues. Share a variety of melted raclette cheeses and a bottle of wine as your tender venison medallions, lamb chops and sausages sizzle away on the table-top grill.

Where to Begin?

With so many romantic things to do in Vail in winter, it may be a tough call to know where to start. We say book a few experiences ahead, then leave a couple days for spontaneity for the rest of your trip. But the first step that will make all of these romantic experiences possible? Book your lodging in Vail with your special someone today. Whether you’re looking for a ski-in/ski-out experience or a luxury hotel, you’re sure to have a romantic stay in the heart of Vail.

Uncover More Winter Fun in Vail

Looking for more winter trip inspiration? Here’s some itinerary ideas: