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Vail Summer Mini-Itineraries: Your Dream Vacation Awaits

Whether you’re a music lover, a nature enthusiast, a culture connoisseur or something else entirely, here’s how to explore Vail in summer.

Try these trip-planning ideas by preference:


A group of performers wearing white uniforms plays classical music on a stage at The Amp in Vail, Colorado.

For music lovers …

Your life is a playlist, and you can’t imagine a day (or night) without live music as the backdrop. There’s no need to remain city-bound to satisfy this desire, as Vail tunes into all types of musical genres.

For starters, plan your Vail vacation around a concert at Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater (aka The Amp). The surrounding alpine landscape hugs the performance space, with mountain views all around. Free and ticketed shows happen in summer — from classic rock and country to sonic spectrums of psychedelic rock and full orchestras performing Mozart.

Are live local bands more your thing? Vail Chophouse owner Phil Long and guest musicians play favorite covers and originals, while bars and restaurants like Pepi’s and King’s Club bring live tunes during summer “après” hours.

Shakedown Bar’s intimate venue caps crowds to deliver the best indoor concerts and DJs when the sun goes down. Owner Scott Rednor toured worldwide, playing guitar with acts like Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews Band and Lenny Kravitz, so you might catch some bigger-name musicians there. And its recent upgrades provide cutting-edge sound and lighting.

Another Vail bar that brings the party at night, Bridge Street Bar’s two rooms cater to dance parties with DJs and live music from artists like Scott Munns, Ted Hammock and Brian Kittrell.

Learn more about Vail nightlife.

For nature enthusiasts …

Whether it’s the adrenaline rush of mountain biking and kayaking or just wandering in the woods, summer in Vail means you’ll have full access to soaking up the sounds, sights and soothing textures of Mother Nature.

Start your morning with an easy stroll along the 1-mile Eagle’s Loop on Vail Mountain, where stunning views of Mount of the Holy Cross reveal themselves. Or ride the gondola up and meander down the intermediate, 3.2-mile Berry Picker trail from Mid-Vail or Eagle’s Nest to the village.

Next, trot through airy green meadows and a tapestry of wildflowers, aspens and pines on horseback. Vail Stables can guide you through Bear Hollow Trail in the morning (or during lunchtime) or Rocky Point Trail in the afternoon.

Whether you have an hour, an afternoon or a full day, let Walking Mountains Science Center take you into the backcountry’s deep solitude as you identify native blooms and encounter wildlife.

Then, at night, the vast Vail sky invites you to gaze up at the Milky Way, look for meteor showers and spot constellations, from Scorpio’s sprawling reach to the Big Dipper. Drive up Vail or Tennessee passes for the darkest skies around.

Find the best places in Vail to mountain bike, kayak and paddleboard.

A gondola travels up Vail Mountain with scenic panoramas of the mountains and the greenery below all around in summer.
A sculpture of a 10th Mountain Division soldier stands in Vail Village on a summer day.

For culture connoisseurs …

You love arts and culture, and the perfect blend involves fresh air and the vast mountain expanses found in Vail, Colorado.

Hit the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show as soon as it opens to pick up everything you need for an organic and delightful lunch, or find that special, locally made Vail souvenir to take home.

Stroll through the village, spotting Art in Public Places murals and sculptures as you go. Galleries abound, too, from Raitman Art Galleries’ whimsical pieces to Gib Singleton’s iconic bronzes.

The nation’s finest orchestras, from the New York Philharmonic to Dallas Symphony Orchestra, meet at Bravo! Vail Music Festival, while top dance companies collaborate at Vail Dance Festival. Vail Jazz Festival encourages future jazz lovers with performances and educational programs.

Find tips to experience the Vail Farmers’ Market & Art Show.

For go-getters …

You believe in living life fully, so you’re not about to let even an hour of your glorious time in Vail slip away.

Photograph pink, painted sunrises reflecting over Gore Creek from the covered bridge, or head to the top of Buffehr Creek Road to soak in a quiet, peaceful view of town.

Then, attend morning goat yoga at Vail Stables. It will give you a good workout and an even better laugh when you’re holding a goat in mountain pose. Other opportunities to stretch include free Saturday-morning classes on Solaris Plaza with Gravity Haus, Friday yoga among the refreshing waterfalls and colorful alpine blooms at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and mountaintop yoga at Mid-Vail. Roll out your yoga mat for more offerings.

You have the rest of the day for an adrenaline-rushing exploration through backcountry woods on a Jeep or ATV. If you’re looking for a slower, smoother ride, roll through Vail’s quaint European village with Vail Segway’s guided grand tours.

In the evening, treat yourself to an only-in-Vail aromatic facial, massage, manicure or pedicure at The Spas at Four Seasons Vail, Sonnenalp or Manor Vail. Find more Vail spa treatments.

A woman does a backbend with a baby goat standing on her stomach during a goat-yoga session at Vail Stables in Vail, Colorado.
A bartender pours a newly made craft cocktail into a glass at Chasing Rabbits, a bar in Vail, Colorado.

For night owls …

Early mornings are overrated — nights are, of course, where it’s at.

Start your afternoon with locally crafted brews from veteran- and skier-owned Vail Brewing Company.

Then hit happy hour at 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co.’s tasting lounge overlooking rushing Gore Creek, Elway’s Lodge at Vail (featuring sips and specialty plates) or The Remedy Bar at Four Seasons Resort and Residences, where you can chill in a chic nook or hang outdoors for all the views.

Come night, city vibes meet mountain culture at Deca + Bol, where you can eat, drink and bowl in a mountains-meet-cosmopolitan atmosphere. Next, head to Chasing Rabbits (they offer a social-club membership for line skipping) or Shakedown Bar for rockin’ live music. Party late with Bad Kitty Lounge’s speakeasy vibe. Bartenders in this basement lounge on Bridge Street create custom craft cocktails based on your preferences.

For shoppers …

Athleisurewear and fleece are fine by you, but you really prefer to stand out. Make shopping in Vail a priority with these suggestions.

Try Gorsuch for sophisticated women’s, men’s and kids’ clothing and accessories — everything from skiwear to casual T-shirts. A boutique shopping day will make you feel like the streets of Vail are your own personal runway. Within the village, you’ll also find boho vibes at Pano Boutique, artisanal and global fashion at Blitz Boutique, and contemporary togs at Perch. For blingy accessories, visit Vail jewelry pioneers — J. Cotter and Karats Vail. Or purchase the iconic bear symbol at The Golden Bear. See a list of the best Vail gift shops.

A man and a woman walk with shopping bags through Vail Village, Colorado, in summertime.