Have you ever planned a vacation and fallen into the trap of continuing to live your daily rat race? Did your most recent trip feel like you needed a vacation from the vacation? Do you really want to leave this all behind? We think yes! If you agree, read on to learn how to unwind and escape daily life on your next trip to Vail, Colorado. Your mental health will thank you.
First off, having a relaxing vacation is all about the mindset. You can’t “will” yourself to relax, but you can take a few simple steps to help you get there. Most of them involve boosting your self-care, escaping from everyday life, maintaining your boundaries, disconnecting, and choosing Vail as your vacation destination. Make your vacation time feel like a vacation and escape the real world and the daily grind of work life.
1. Listen to Your Personal Needs
When packing for your trip, leave your work computer at home if you can. This device makes it impossible to de-stress when it’s constantly buzzing at you telling you what you need to do, who to call, and what you must do when you get back. It causes stress and you just don’t need that while staying at your beautiful vacation rental in Vail. Your objective should be to live in the present moment, not increase your screen time. Let Vail unveil itself to you, instead of the other way around. Deep breaths……. Vail is the right place for you.
Focus on your own personal needs. Do you want to get out of your comfort zone with adventurous vacation activities? Do you want to spend your vacation days in the spa and hotel room? It’s up to you in Vail, Colorado because we have it all.
No matter what type of relaxing trip you want, everyone’s gotta eat. Strolling around Vail you will quickly notice that you are surrounded by amazing restaurants, shops, alpine scenery, and incredible people watching. Order a rosé or a local IPA and hang out on the deck at either Fall Line or the iconic Pepi’s. Watch bustling Bridge Street pass you by and soak it in from your above-street vista. (Turn your phone on airplane mode and immediately feel the relaxation). Vail’s restaurant decks compete to outdo each other with a bevy of floral planters; this array of nature makes for a gorgeous relaxing mountain vibe.
If you are staying away from alcoholic beverages or need family vacation options, Root and Flower offers the “Persian Summer” mocktail which is based on the original recipe of a shrub from Persia with honey and mint tea. They add fresh, crisp cucumber and soda water to this healthy concoction. So refreshing. They also always have tonics from Lost Identity Beverage Company, a Vail area company that locals adore. Perhaps a perfect match for you? Give it a go.
Keep the whole family happy “one scoop at a time” with Sundae Ice Cream small batch artisan ice cream. Made from scratch on site, the first lick relaxes instantly.
There are so many dining options in Vail. It is not necessary to create a strict reservation schedule. Listen to your body and eat what feels yummy to you. And remember, its vacation, you can have cheat meals.
After you have had your epicurean experience in Vail, stroll over to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (The Amp) by walking along the paved and scenic Gore Creek trail. You may want to take a video, but try to just look and take it in. Smell the mountain air and watch how the water flows gracefully downstream. It can be hypnotic.
As you get closer to the amphitheater, you may hear classical music filling the air from the Bravo! Music Festival, or maybe it’s funk and blues wafting over the trees from the Hot Summer Nights free concert series. Either way, enter the venue and you will not be disappointed.
2. Connect with the Outdoors and Disconnect
Notice the moments around you. Instead of taking a photo and immediately posting into social media, close your eyes and remember the moment. Connecting with the outdoors can help you relax and feel your “inner peace.” Take a deep breath and soak in the crisp mountain Vail air.
One of the best ways to disconnect is by being outside. Vail offers a plethora of hiking trails that abound with summer wildflowers, wildlife, and craggy peaks. If you’re on your phone checking your work email, you won’t see any of the beautiful scenery. Pitkin Lake trail, an intermediate to expert trail is a full day hike that is worth the effort. The view at the top is turquoise pristine body of water waiting for you to take it in. The dramatic Gore Range peaks surround you in a circumference around the lake. You are starting to truly unwind.
For a different hiking approach, Forest Bathing is a Japanese therapeutic ancient tradition that has recently made a comeback and offers appeal for those seeking to slow down, but don’t know how. This practice entails the opposite of hiking to a set destination such as a waterfall or lake but rather stopping alongside the trail to focus on the leaves, flowers, etc. The objective is to appreciate the small things around you. This form of mindfulness has been known to alleviate those who suffer from anxiety disorder and depression. It can only be done if you slow down and reap the rewards nature has to offer. After your nature experience, follow it up with a soak in the hot tub back at your luxury hotel.
Hiring a local fly fishing guide offers additional respite and tranquility on the local waterways including the Eagle River and the infamous Colorado River. Half, full-day, private and group trips are all available. Expert guides will teach you the graceful art of fly fishing and demonstrate for you why so many locals choose this activity for their mindfulness. It truly is a “River Runs Through It” moment where you get to play the lead role. Spending all this quality time on the river has been known to heal the soul.
Very close to Vail and accessible by a maintained dirt road, is the scenic Piney River Ranch set at the foot of the Gore Range. Renowned for its breathtaking and tranquil beauty, Piney Lake is the centerpiece waiting for your gaze. It’s not unheard of to spot bear, moose, elk, deer, fox and jumping trout. Three comfortable glamping tents are available to rent for those who want more than the day trip. Don’t worry, you won’t be missing your hotel gym in this beautiful oasis. Choose from the Pine, Spruce, and Aspen boho chic tents. Know that there is no-WIFI in this truly off-the-grid relaxing paradise, so if you haven’t unplugged yet, this will do the trick. You won’t want to leave.
Horseback riding is a great way to take your mind off the troubles of daily life. The rustic Vail Stables, celebrating 20 years of offering something for everyone, is only one mile from Vail Village. One and a half hour, two-hour and half-day trips are all available to choose from. After your scenic ride on the picturesque trail, relax in their hammocks while live music plays in the background. Your eyes are closed now, and you are unwinding for real.
3. Make Self-Care a Priority
When we get caught up in the daily stressors of life, it can be easy to forget to take care of ourselves. The only way to be our happiest self is to practice self-care and relax. Whether it be certain habits every day or a relaxing vacation in Vail, Colorado, don’t forget to take time to yourself.
You can’t leave Vail without visiting at least one spa. As the ultimate expression of self-care, let someone else pamper you. Enjoy a massage at either the Spa at the Four Seasons, Bloom Spa, Sonnenalp Spa, Well and Being Spa in The Hythe, or RockResorts Spa at the Lodge at Vail. There are obviously plenty of options for your Vail spa treatment. Sit back in your bath towel in a relaxing indoor pool and enjoy the little wonderful things in life. This indulgence will help you recuperate so you can get back to forest bathing or fly fishing the next day.
And if all else fails, there is always retail therapy. Shop ’til you drop with Vail shopping at The Golden Bear, Luca Bruno, The Squash Blossom, Perch, Vail Style, Kemo Sabe, Gorsuch and many, many more boutiques, galleries and shops. Remember, when you look good, you also feel good.
Vail gives you the opportunity to feel like yourself again and feel at peace. We can ensure you that Vail will quickly become your favorite place after your relaxing vacation. You may not be able to enter this relaxed state at every travel destination, but Vail, Colorado always has a place for you.