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Top 4 Events in Vail This Fall

Fall isn’t just about viewing the bounty of autumn colors and first snowfalls of the season, though that’s certainly a big priority. It’s also a fabulous time to visit Vail, Colorado, for lively events like Vail Oktoberfest, Vail Concours, Handmade in Colorado Expo and FreeFall Bluegrass Festival. 

Find Vail event information, plus insider tips for making the most of the colorful season below. Check out the full Vail calendar for event dates.

Vail Oktoberfest


There’s no place like Bavarian-influenced Vail for celebrating Oktoberfest, and this Insta-worthy mountain town invites you to do it over two autumn weekends. Free entry means you have more to spend on your ginormous preordered stein. Plus, there’ll be plenty of snacks to sample, like savory German brats and perfectly salted pretzels. Save room for the main draw, which is sampling authentic Bavarian brews, like classic lagers and wheaty hefeweizens. Feeling fancy and traditional at the same time? Don your favorite pair of lederhosen or lace up your brightly colored dirndl and pose for pics before the costume contest. Then watch feats of strength and skill (or test your own) in contests like the stein-lifting competition and keg bowling. Be sure to leave time for bucket-list-worthy leaf-peeping activities and fall-foliage hikes — it’s autumn in the mountains, after all, and some would argue it’s the most beautiful time of year. Find more Vail Oktoberfest tips.

Two steins "cheers"ing at Vail fall Oktoberfest event

Vail Concours


Coinciding with Vail Village’s Oktoberfest is the annual Vail Concours, a cool car event that culminates with a judged show over in scenic Lionshead. Stroll village streets and meander around the Eagle Bahn Gondola base area to see vintage collector vehicles and motorcycles (everything from Corvettes to Triumph Speed Twins), plus today’s coolest speedy “supercars.” Judging classes include Pre-World War II, Muscle Cars, American Classic, American Sports and so much more. Have a collector car of your own? See all those ruddy fall colors along the Barrett-Jackson Mountain Road Tour, where participants motor over to Steamboat Springs from Vail and back for a catered picnic.

Handmade in Colorado Expo


Come to Vail Village for Handmade in Colorado Expo, an uber-artsy juried shopping event showcasing the state’s finest art and crafts. You might fall in love with centerpiece-worthy paintings and photography or find your new favorite coffee mug. Booth offerings — made by both established and emerging artist — will run the gamut, too. You’ll see it all, including metals, glass, paper and fibers, fabricated objects, clay, paint, wax, gems and even culinary arts. Entrance is free, so browse away (live-music performances are part of the fun).

FreeFall Bluegrass Festival


Bluegrass and brilliantly exposed mountain views go hand in hand — and there’s no better place to appreciate twangy banjo tones than Vail ablaze in color. See FreeFall Bluegrass Festival’s lineup including special performers like Bluegrass Generals, Drew Emmitt Band, WhiteWater Ramble and more. You don’t need to leave your kids home for this one, either. The Rock and Roll Playhouse caters to children aged 1–7, letting little ones jam out, play games and hear stories. A playtime KidZone, delicious food trucks and even a Bluegrass and Bloodies Brunch is all part of the fun.

Two people biking around the mountains in Vail in the fall

Tips for Visiting Vail in the Fall

Dress in layers & bring your puffy jacket: Fall in Vail can be warm in the sun and cool in the shade, plus snow is a possibility. That means you should be prepared to add or shed a layer, or wear a warm-and-fluffy hat, depending on all sorts of factors, including time of day. High elevation here means the sun is strong even in cool weather, so wear sunscreen and don’t forget your sunglasses.

Make time for leaf peeping: The confetti of leaves in warm autumn hues are picture perfect around Vail, especially in the second half of September and into early October. That’s why any fall event should be accompanied by time set aside for leaf peeping. Whether you’re taking a drive or going on a self-propelled adventure, you’ll love to see fluttering aspens in shades of gold to burgundy.

Pets: Lively events can be stressful for your furry best friends. That’s why we suggest leaving your pup at home, especially for events like Oktoberfest. If you do decide to bring your dog along, be sure to keep them leashed and under voice command.

Bus Routes: Park your car and take the bus. Public transportation makes exploring Vail easy, and there are a variety of pick-up and drop-off locations available. See Vail’s bus schedules.

Vail Hotels: There are definitely deals to be had around Vail in autumn. Find the best fall rates on luxury Vail hotel rooms, condos and private residences by booking direct.

Dining: Some Vail restaurants close for the shoulder season in late fall; if you have a favorite one in mind, check ahead and make a reservation. Learn about what’s open in Vail.

Mark Your Calendars for More Vail Events: