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Only in Vail: Unique Things to Do in Colorado in the Summer

It’s always a bonus to go on vacation and find something special that can only happen there. Luckily, Vail is full of memorable activities — especially when the weather warms up. That’s right, there is plenty more to see and do after the slopes close. Check out these things to do in Colorado in the summer for the ultimate Vail Valley adventure. And, watch the video below to get a local’s take on what to prioritize on your itinerary.


Upscale camping, or “glamping,” at Piney River Ranch or 4 Eagle Ranch takes the best parts of camping and combines it with a five-star hotel. With soft, cozy bedding, fine dining and stunning, 360-degree peak views, glamping for at least one night is a must-do. Combined with the many outdoor adventures available (horseback riding, hiking and chuckwagon dinners) at these authentic ranches, you’re guaranteed to sleep well.

Piney River Ranch
700 Red Sandstone Road
Vail, CO 81658

4 Eagle Ranch
4098 CO-131
Wolcott, CO 81655

Goat Yoga at Vail Stables

Join the herd for Goat Yoga, or GOGA — one of the weirdest, craziest and most fun ideas to come out of the farm-animal world, and it has quickly become the most popular activity at Vail Stables. If taking a pose isn’t your thing, just lie there and let them sleep on your stomach for a memorable moment with the funny (and friendly!) creatures. Plus, for the “happiest hour in town,” don’t miss G-O-A-T Happy Hour, most days from 3:30–5:30pm. Learn more about GOGA and  G-O-A-T Happy Hour.

Vail Stables
915 Spraddle Creek Road
Vail, CO 81657

Woman doing a yoga pose with a baby goat standing on her side at Vail Stables.

Llama Trekking

Looking for a guided excursion with a unique photo op? Connect with Paragon Guides and let llamas lead the way. These unique journeys venture through the Vail Valley, Eagles Nest and Holy Cross wilderness areas. Multi-day hikes, with stops at various huts, are also available. The llamas serve as guides only (not ridden) but are excellent trail companions and can carry as much as 80 pounds.

Paragon Guides
210 Edwards Village Blvd., B107
Edwards, CO 81632

Picnic Vail

Dine with a mountain view over a curated luxury picnic. Picnic Vail crafts one-of-a-kind outdoor meal settings by Gore Creek, Betty Ford Alpine Gardens or the Vail Nature Center. It includes snack and meal boards from The Grazing Fox filled with local produce, freshly baked sourdough bread, cured meats and other favorites. Each picnic also receives a Polaroid camera, games, a low table, cushy seating, glassware, cutlery and cozy linens. Further tailor your picnic with add-ons like bright balloons, custom flower arrangements and even a professional photographer.

ROOT & FLOWER Adult Summer Camp, Cocktail Classes & Wine Tastings

Why should kids have all the fun this summer? Root & Flower offers classes to the public on Mondays and Thursdays on topics like wine tasting and cocktail making. Price and format vary based on class, but they all take about an hour and a half. It’s the perfect way to start your evening whether you are headed to dinner or to Hot Summer Nights Concert.

Root & Flower
288 Bridge St.
Vail, CO 81657

Farm-to-Table Dinners

Pull up a chair for one of these chef-crafted dinners sourced from Colorado farmers. Dinner, featuring seasonal and local ingredients, is held rain or shine under a tent on Willow Bridge Road. Bring your sense of culinary adventure and get ready to be wowed as the chefs and wineries walk you through this culinary experience. This program is only offered four times this summer — so make your reservations early. 

Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show
E. Meadow Drive
Vail, CO 81657

Group dining by Vail, Colorado's Gore Creek enjoying a charcuterie board.

Art Classes

Throughout the summer, the Alpine Arts Center offers unique art classes (like Cocktails & Canvas) in magical settings like the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Whether you’re new to art or a seasoned creative, instructors will guide you (kids and adult classes available) through the process of creating your own masterpiece — a very special souvenir.

Alpine Arts Center
280 Main St., C-101
Edwards, CO 81632

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

At 8,250 feet above sea level, these spectacular gardens are the highest gardens in North America. Access is free (with a recommended donation) and open year-round. Take the time to stroll and discover the delightful sights around every corner. Special events including yoga, cooking classes, art classes and other seminars take place throughout the year at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
522 S. Frontage Road
Vail, CO 81657

Art in Public Places & Art Walks

Vail has assembled a collection of works of art in public places, including more than 55 pieces with 35 works created by Colorado artists. The collection ranges from paintings, sculptures, murals and playground components to installations. If you’re looking for things to in Vail in the summer, grab a map of Vail’s public art at The Welcome Center at Vail Village and Lionshead to start a self-guided tour at your convenience.

Enjoy a free public-art tour of Vail on the first and third Wednesdays of the month with the Town of Vail’s Wednesday Art Walks. After meeting at 3:30pm at the Vail Village Welcome Center (located on the top level of the Vail Village parking structure), you’ll wind your way through the village with discussions of the history of the Vail Valley, the founding of Vail Mountain, the master planning of Vail Village and the importance of site-specific art. A virtual tour of the collection is available here.

Vail Village Welcome Center
241 S. Frontage Road W.
Vail, CO 81657

Colorful murals line the walls of a walkway in Vail, Colorado, as part of the Art in Public Places initiative.

Only-in-Vail Events

Vail’s event calendar is packed, with most events returning this summer. Signature Vail events include: GoPro Mountain GamesVail Craft Beer FestivalBravo! Vail Music Festival, Vail Dance FestivalVail Oktoberfest and Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show.

Be sure to check the complete events calendar for ongoing details and updates on new and exciting things to do in Vail in the summer.

More Ideas & Places to Visit in Colorado in the Summer: