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Tips to Enjoy Vail: Start with a Smile

Take a breath, inhaling the fresh mountain air, relax and don’t forget, a smile goes a long way.

We greatly appreciate you choosing Vail. Given the environment here and elsewhere, remember that kindness and patience are universal. So is a smile.

Whether extending kind words towards the hard-working employees in town and on the mountain, or being patient with fellow visitors in Vail, showing kindness to one another goes a long way.

Vail, similar to other destinations, is facing challenges as a result of the pandemic, and we need your assistance.

Guests from all over the world, like you, are choosing to vacation in Vail after being restricted from travel and desiring more than ever to be among family and friends, outside in nature. At the same time, the resort, along with many of our hotels, shops, and restaurants are dealing with staff shortages. This combination may result in more congestion, limited offerings and longer wait times. While the Town of Vail and Mountain are committed to addressing these issues, both could really use everyone’s help!

Show kindness and patience towards employees and fellow visitors, so that everyone can truly have the best experience possible in Vail.

Vail Villages in Winter

Locals Tip: Consider Mid-Week Vacation Days

If you have the flexibility and option, consider visiting Vail during the week! The resort and mountain tend to offer more space to spread out from Sunday – Thursday.

Recommendations To Ensure a Great Time in Vail

  1. Make Reservations – Many activities have adjusted or reduced operations due to increased demand and/or decreased staffing. We highly recommend booking any guided activities well before arriving to ensure availability.
  2. Consider Shifting Your Vacation Days – Higher traffic times (Friday – Sunday and Holiday weeks) are when the resort will be the busiest.  If you have flexibility, plan your trips mid-week. That way, you’ll enjoy more space to roam town and experience the mountains.
  3. Timing is Everything – Become a morning person to beat the sleepy-heads to the trail, the mountain, the coffee shop, etc. An early morning start will give you more space and solitude to experience the beauty of the surroundings.
  4. Ditch the Car – A car is not needed to get here and around. Vail is a pedestrian (and bike) friendly destination, and it’s easy to take public transportation (often free) to locations throughout the villages and beyond town.
  5. Always follow Leave No Trace Principles – Protecting what we all love is more important than ever when enjoying the outdoors. Be sure to pack it in, pack it out and be respectful of others when exploring the wilderness.

Where You Need A Mask

You know the drill. Always carry a mask in your pocket, so you are prepared. It is required that you wear a mask on public transit, per federal mandate.

Please make it easy for our hard working bus drivers and mask up before using the easy free bus network to travel between villages and around town.


  1. The CDC recommends mask wearing.
  2. Masks may still be required in privately owned businesses. A businesses has the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask and/or showing proof of vaccination.
  3. When dining on-mountain at cafeteria-style restaurants, guests ages 12 and over are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations. In addition, reservations are required at on-mountain restaurants and can be made via Epic Mix.


Winter Stores Featured

Locals Tip: Carry Out and Eat In

Order your meal in advance from your favorite restaurant, pick it up and dine in your condo, lodge or house.


Plan Ahead When Dining Out

Dining in Vail’s incredible restaurants is a wonderful part of the vacation experience. But restaurants can be busy and staff is often limited.  Our restauranteurs are still committed to delivering a world-class experience. Just know that this can result in longer than usual wait times until we can get back to “normal”. In the meantime, we ask that you plan ahead and showing kindness. We recommend making dining reservations in order to secure a table at your favorite spot! And, please be aware that some dining locations may be closed on select days. Plan ahead and call restaurants in advance to be sure they have a seat for you.



Follow these tips for dining out:

  1. Making dining reservations whenever possible well in advance. For Vail’s fine-dining restaurants, this can mean contacting restaurants weeks and even months ahead of time to reserve the day and time desired. If reservations are unavailable, put your name down early, enjoy a stroll through town while waiting.
  2. Dine during off-peak hours. This means planning your meals and dining earlier or later than usual to avoid the busiest times.
  3. Bring a snack to hold you over (especially kids) as you venture out to a restaurant, and just know you’re likely to experience a wait before getting seated and receiving your food.
  4. Eat in. Consider grocery shopping at our local groceries and make your own incredible meals.
  5. Hire a private chef to prepare an exceptional meal in the comfort of your accommodations.

Winter Events

Vail is excited to bring back a full calendar of special events! Although some may look a little different, we invite you to gather and celebrate together again.  Visit our Events Calendar for information on upcoming events.  And, check back often for updates, as all events are subject to change.


Activities Beyond Skiing & Riding

When the snow blankets Vail, you’ll find there’s more to do than ski and ride this winter. Enjoy some of the most memorable and unique experiences offered off Vail Mountain. Be sure to make time on your vacation schedule for these adventures.


Locals Tip: Experience Vail's Nordic Center

The Vail Nordic Centers offers incredible experiences cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking in a beautiful (and crowd free) setting – a perfect alternative to a day of skiing and snowboarding.

Flying Here

You’ve got options when considering how to get to Vail. 

The Vail Eagle Airport (EGE) is just 30-minutes from Vail and offers non-stop flights from 12 major markets (including Denver) in the winter, plus connecting flights from major domestic cities. Flying directly into the Vail Eagle Airport (EGE) is convenient and avoids  the two-plus hour drive from Denver.  Shuttle services, taxis and rental cars are  available too.

Denver International Airport (DIA) provides an alternative to flying into the Vail Eagle Airport (EGE) and offers shuttle services, taxis and rental cars. The drive from DIA on Interstate 70 is approximately two-hours, but can vary greatly depending on weather and traffic conditions.

Please be aware that peak travel days are Friday (westbound from Denver) and Sunday (eastbound toward Denver). Plan your travel and driving to Vail around those days to spend more time enjoying Vail!


Getting To Vail

Getting Around Vail is Easy

Once in Vail, getting around is easy thanks to our free transportation and pedestrian friendly villages. In fact, the streets of Vail Village and Lionshead are pedestrian only – you really don’t need a car!  The Town of Vail provides free year-round bus service in town, as well as to outlying areas from West Vail to East Vail.  ECO Transit offers regional bus service with modest fares between Vail, Leadville, Minturn, Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum and Beaver Creek. Taxi and local car services are also available as an easy way to get around the community.

Note: Masks are required on all public transportation in Eagle County at this time.

Getting Around Vail
Vail Villages in Winter

Locals Tip: Parking is readily available on the lower levels of the garages

When entering either the Vail Village or Lionshead Parking structures, keep moving and consider driving down to the lower levels of the garage vs. abruptly stopping at the first spot you find on the upper levels. The lower levels of the garage tend to be less crowded. Parking on the lower levels also allows you to avoid navigating multiple levels of stairs. This is especially convenient with small children, when you have ski boots on and/or are pushing a stroller.

Visit Vail's Welcome Centers

We are here to help!

The friendly and knowledgeable staff at the Vail Village and Lionshead Welcome Centers offer a wealth of information to help you have the best vacation in Vail.  We invite you to come visit us or give us a call. Open daily 8:30am – 5pm.

Vail Village Welcome Center
On the top level of the Vail Village Parking Garage
241 South Frontage Rd., Suite 8150 Vail, CO 81657

Lionshead Welcome Center
On the lower level of the Lionshead Parking Garage
395 East Lionshead Circle Vail, CO 81657


Locals Tip: Check out community activities & events happening daily

Check out the community calendar listed in the Vail Daily Newspaper and online for art workshops, yoga classes and other daily activities throughout Vail.  The Vail Recreation District also offers unique daily activities, many family-friendly, to enjoy, whether as a non-skier/snowboarder or as a break from the mountain.

More To Explore

While some things have changed in this “new normal”, rest assured that the villages, mountains, views and incredible activities are all still available in Vail.  There are so many ways to be outside and new ways to experience Vail’s beautiful mountain setting.  Enjoy your incredible vacation in Vail.

Thank You for visiting!

Winter Shopping

Take Our Sustainability Quiz

Guests in Vail want to be outside more than ever and there will most likely be more people than usual experiencing Vail’s outdoor activities. Help to ensure that the experience can be enjoyed by everyone today and into the future by following the Leave No Trace principles and being respectful of others. Educate yourself and others by taking our Sustainability Quiz and following these five tips for planning and enjoying outdoor activities in and around Vail.

Sustainability quiz