23 BEST Things To Do In Vail In The Summer

For a ski resort town, there are a lot of things to do in Vail in the summer. While the winter may get all the glory, there is much to love in the summer. A slew of exciting activities go beyond its usual ski and snowboarding scene.

While the slopes trade their snowy coats for different attire, this expansive ski resort in the United States offers a variety of thrilling options to satisfy your sense of adventure. What’s more, Vail’s captivating Colorado mountain scenery remains stunning year-round.

If you’re looking for a mix of stunning landscapes, delicious food, and an abundance of outdoor experiences, keep reading for the best things to do in Vail in the summer! For more information and resources on planning your summer trip, check out DiscoverVail.com.

The Best Things to Do in Vail in Summer (Colorado)

Explore Camp Hale

Explore Camp Hale

It may surprise many to know that the creation of Vail owes itself to a military training ground during WWII. Camp Hale was established in 1942 to train the 10th Mountain Division to fight the Nazis in the mountains of Europe. There, soldiers learned about skiing, mountaineering, and survival skills. The skills learned in Camp Hale would enable the soldiers to play a pivotal role in the war effort in the mountains of Northern Italy.

Camp Hale National Monument

However, the camp legacy does not stop at the war effort but would have long-lasting impacts on Colorado’s tourism and economy. Many soldiers who trained at Camp Hale returned after the war with a deep appreciation for winter sports and the alpine landscape. These veterans played a pivotal role in establishing ski resorts in the region, most notably Vail.

Camp Hale National Monument

Pete Seibert was one of these decorated veterans who would return to Colorado and found the resort. Along with his partners, they recognized the potential for recreational skiing in the Rockies. Vail, founded in 1962, emerged as one of the most iconic ski resorts, drawing upon the legacy of Camp Hale’s training and the passion of those who had served there.

Camp Hale National Monument

For decades, Camp Hale still lay in the control of the US Forest Service, which made for a beautiful area to recreate. However, in 2021, President Joe Biden named Camp Hale a National Monument to ensure land remained protected and acknowledge the role the camp played in shaping the region’s recreational landscape and honoring the service members.

Camp Hale Landscape Colorado Trail

We went out to explore the new National Monument by tackling the trail. A wealth of recreation opportunities include hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, and snowmobiling. The famed Colorado Trail crosses through Camp Hale and provides an excellent trail to explore some of Colorado’s alpine landscapes.

Camp Hale Colorado Trail Marker

For those in need of some assistance on the trail, local outfitters like Paragon Guides can lead them through any outdoor activity they want to enjoy. That includes hiking, climbing, biking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, and even llama trekking. We joined them to hike a section of the Colorado Trail and take in some incredible views.

Hiking The Colorado Trail - Things To Do in Vail in The Summer
Hiking The Colorado Trail

Saveur The Night Away

vail in the summer
Things To Do In Vail Summer Restaurant

One of the best things to do in Vail in the summer is dine on one of the many beautiful patios soaking up the sweet Colorado sunshine. No summer escape is complete without some great meals.

Vail delivers a tantalizing number of restaurants with a wide range of cuisines and drinks. As the Vail was built to be a resort, it comes with some distinct advantages over neighboring destinations in the region. All the restaurants are within easy walking distance from the lodging throughout the resort, so no need to worry about driving.

Alpenrose Restaurant Vail
Dinner at Alpenrose Restaurant Vail

There is no mistaking the inspiration for the resort as it feels like being transported to the Bavarian Alps. In honor of the resort’s inspiration, no trip to Vail is complete without a stop in Alpenrose, a German-Austrian restaurant serving patrons since 1974. The restaurant serves up fondue, pretzels, schnitzel, spaetzle, and vast steins of German beer in a charming setting. It’s all delicious comfort food, perfect after a day in the mountains.

Dinner at Chasing Rabbits Vail
Dinner at Chasing Rabbits

There is much more to find in Vail than classic mountain comforts, as there are plenty of inventive cuisines to enjoy. Chasing Rabbits is a restaurant, bar, speakeasy, arcade, and entertainment venue. Head here if you want to while the night away with alluring cocktails and a superb Mediterranean menu with classic Colorado flavors.

Chasing Rabbits Arcade
Enjoying Chasing Rabbits in the Evening!

Even if you’re not looking to have a meal at the venue, it’s well worth a visit for cocktails at the speakeasy or games at the arcade, which was a blast. We can’t think of a better venue for groups, as it was a blast.

Take In The Arts & Entertainment

Gerald Ford Amphitheatre

Throughout the summer, Vail hosts a selection of cultural events and concerts. We visited during the Vail Dance Festival, just one of the many beautiful events the resort hosts throughout the summer.

The Bravo! Vail Music Festival brings together some of the country’s most prestigious orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The Vail Jazz Festival fosters a love for jazz among future enthusiasts through captivating performances and educational initiatives. You can find more current event info about Vail on DiscoverVail.com.

Check Out The Epic Discovery Adventure Center

Gondola At Vail Colorado In Summer

Perched on Vail Mountain, Epic Discovery is an outdoor playland. If you are looking for fun and adventure for the entire family, Epic Discovery is simply a must-visit. The park’s main attractions include rope courses, bungee trampolines, and plenty of rock walls to ascend, including Colorado’s second-highest permanent outdoor climbing wall. 

There are also plenty of other attractions, but they deserve their spot on this list. For unhinged fun and adventure for the entire day, opt for the ultimate adventure pass that allows adults and older kids to enjoy unlimited rides at the park, ensuring an entire day of thrills and fun.

Charge Down The Mountain On A Bike

mountain biking in Vail

If you’re still after some downhill thrills, hop on a mountain bike and rip down some of the excellent singletrack in Vail Valley. There are a multitude of mountain bike trails that can suit almost any rider’s ability level. With over 340 miles of mountain biking trails, this is arguably the best way to explore Vail’s fantastic scenery and natural beauty.

Mountain biking in vail
Mountain biking in Vail in the summer

The summer gondola allows for lift-accessed downhill mountain biking. We were pumped on machine-made single-track trails with excellent flow and a solid mix of challenging tech trails. I’m a tech fan, so my favorites were trails like PMT and Mane Lane.

At the same time, Radio Flyer is an intermediate flow trail that many in the valley love. The expert and intermediate trails can be intimidating for beginners, but there are still plenty of easy trails to descend, such as Sidekick and Golden Gate. We got our bike rentals and gear from Vail Sports.

Sign In Vail Resort For Trails

If downhill mountain biking is not your scene, some well-liked bike routes are Vail Pass recreation path, Gore Valley Trail, Eagle Ranch Loops, Eagle Valley Trail, and Berry Creek Trail. A large selection of trails throughout the resort are paved, perfect for e-bikes and families.

Summer Tubing

Things To Do In Summer In Vail Tubing Down The River

There are two different fun ways to go tubing in Vail. A ride down Gore Creek through the village is a popular activity that’s the perfect way to cool off on those hot summer days. However, if you head to Epic Discovery Adventure Center, there’s a more thrilling option.

This isn’t your conventional meandering around a lazy river kind of tubing. What we mean by tubing here is speeding down a 550-ft hill surrounded by mountain scenery. Eagle’s Nest Tubing at Epic Discovery is a water slide designed to cool you in the hot summer sun.

This slide is for older kids and adults as even though you are sitting on a tube, you start at the top of the hill, and as you slide down, you are doing so at considerable speeds. Young ones won’t be left out as the Marmot Mini Tubing is a smaller version of Eagle’s Nest, allowing little ones to have a taste of the same adrenaline-fueled fun as you!

Vail Scavenger Hunt

Things To Do In Vail In The Summer

One of the best ways to explore any destination in the summertime is by partaking in a fun and adventurous Scavenger Hunt. Vail’s scavenger hunt is a two-hour adventure where you are grouped into teams and tasked with solving puzzles, overcoming challenges, and exploring Vail’s many historical landmarks. 

It is the perfect way to explore Vail Village and meet its residents. The scavenger hunt also takes you onto nature trails, where you can spot wildlife and enjoy stunning views of mountain scenery.

Vail Village Shopping

Vail Village

Vail Village is the largest ski resort in America and is famous for its winter skiing. However, during summers, Vail Village still offers visitors plenty to do as they explore its European-inspired buildings and lovely retail districts. 

Several stores and boutiques in Vail Village allow you to immerse yourself in some retail therapy. Vail’s Farmers Market also happens in the heart of Vail Village on Sundays, from June to October, and is a great place to grab lunch, buy local produce, and mingle with locals. 

You can also find a giant toy store and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory nearby to keep your kids entertained. Strolling through this charming little hamlet, checking out the various stores and eateries will cause time to fly by!

Horseback Riding At Vail Stables

Horseback Riding Vail

Equestrians visiting Vail in the summer can enjoy the beautiful Vail scenery on horseback. Vail Stables and other ranches in the area offer horseback riding tours for visitors seven and up. 

Natasha On A Horseback Ride In Vail
The view while horseback riding in Vail in the summer

Pony rides are also available for kids. You can choose between full-day, half-day, two-hour, or midnight rides, depending on your level of expertise and sense of adventure. Horseback riding along the various trails in and around Vail Village is a magical experience as you ride through aspen forests, beautiful fields, and alpine meadows.

Stroll Through The Village

Cameron Stands Along Wood Bridge In Vail Colorado During The Summer

The village still makes for a lovely evening or afternoon walk if the art galleries, shops, wine bars, and restaurants aren’t calling your name. With its Bavarian charm and pedestrian-friendly paths, it’s a pleasure to stroll through Vail Village. One of the most popular walks is to head out to the covered wood bridge to the Betty Ford Gardens.

Pay A Visit To The Betty Ford Alpine Garden

Betty Ford Gardens Vail Colorado
Betty Ford Gardens in Vail in the Summer

We have talked a lot about the surrounding alpine forests in Vail. However, to truly experience their natural beauty, you must visit the highest botanical garden in the world – The Betty Ford Alpine Garden

This picturesque and breathtakingly gorgeous garden is at its magical best during the summer months when flowering plants are in full bloom and waterfalls flow all around. You can also embark on a scavenger hunt within the garden area by picking up treasure hunt cards at the Educational Center.

Hit the Rivers For Some Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing

Whether you are an experienced angler or someone new to fishing, the Colorado Angling Company in Vail offers fly fishing guided tours along the private waters of Eagle River and the Colorado River for anglers of all experience levels. 

Fly fishing in Vail offers a unique and satisfying journey that captures the spirit of Colorado’s mountainous scenery. You can also book a private cabin and spend a couple of nights fishing amidst nature, enjoying the breathtaking views and bounties the rivers’ waters provide.

Take To The Skies In A Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloons

There is no better way to enjoy the scenic views surrounding Vail than floating in a hot air balloon. Take in the breathtaking rocky mountain beauty from above the ground. 

While soaring amidst blue skies, you can enjoy stunning views of the Rockies and the calm tranquility of green forests and glittering rivers. Camelot Balloons offers group and private hot-air balloon flights and has been doing so in the Vail region for more than 30 years!

Enjoy A Treatment At One Vail’s Spas

The Sebstian Vail Colorado Resort And Hotel

Even though Vail offers nature lovers and adrenaline junkies plenty to do, many that visit this region come here to relax and be pampered. As such, Vail has an abundance of spas to help visitors do just that. You can avail of spa services at The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort, Aria Spa & Club, and The Sebastian and Sonnenalp Hotel.

The Sebastian Vail

Spa treatments include facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, body treatments, and other salon services. You also have day spas and wellness retreat centers where you can relax, unwind, and destress. We took full advantage of some spa time at the Bloom Spa in The Sebastian after a tough day mountain biking down some of Vail’s most demanding trails. We can’t think of a better way to soothe tired muscles than a sports medicine massage.

Visit The Colorado Snowsports Museum

Visit The Colorado Snowsports Museum

True snow sports athletes can enjoy this spot to the fullest. The Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame are home to various exciting displays and materials illustrating Colorado’s winter sports development. You have exhibits showcasing antique clothes, ornaments, and ski gear from multiple eras and get to witness the sports genre from its humble beginnings. 

The Hall of Fame section of the museum honors successful athletes, ski industry leaders, and significant personalities who have had a lasting influence on Colorado’s winter sports community. It provides an insight into the founding of Vail and a look at the history of tourism in Colorado.

Let Your Kids Run Wild At Sunbird & Pirate Ship Playgrounds 

Vail In The Summer

Vail is home to several parks that feature incredibly cool playgrounds. Sunbird Park, for example, has a playground full of artistic exhibits that can be climbed and played in. The playground also has a splash area where kids and adults can cool down and refresh. 

Pirateship Park is for younger kids, but it is just as cool, allowing kids to let their imaginations run wild. The pirate-themed playground has slides, swings, and other activities to keep young ones entertained.

Fly Down The Forest Flyer Alpine Coaster

Fly Down The Forest Flyer Alpine Coaster

Ever wanted to experience a roller coaster ride surrounded by Rocky Mountain scenery? Well, now you can! The Forest Flyer Alpine Coaster is a mountain-side roller coaster ride where you can control your coaster’s or cart’s speed as you barrel down 3,400 feet. Yes!

Unlike other roller coasters, this exhilarating ride allows you to enjoy the ride at your pace – whether at full throttle or a leisurely cruising speed. This popular attraction is also located at the Epic Discovery Adventure Center.

Go Trekking with a Llama

Llama Staring At Camera

When you think of llamas, you generally picture them being used as mules in some remote village in South America. However, in Vail, you can embark on hiking expeditions with llamas as your guides and sherpas. Paragon Guides in Vail, offers multi-day and casual llama hiking programs that are perfect for all types of visitors. 

Llamas are remarkably gentle and easy to get along with, and as you wind through Vail’s alpine paradise, you will soon find yourself ultimately in love with your new companions. They are also excellent at carrying all your stuff, making for a much more relaxing and enjoyable hiking experience.

Experience Goat Yoga!

Goat Yoga Things To Do In Vail In The Summer

Yes, you read that right! Possibly one of Vail’s most unique activities, Goat Yoga is ideal for families with children over the age of eight and even couples looking to have a fun and adorable date. Essentially, this is an outdoor yoga session involving Nigerian dwarf goats that are too cute and cuddly for words. 

As your instructor takes you through various yoga poses amidst Vail’s scenic landscape, a bell signals all the goats in the goat pen to come skipping out, ready to be petted and adored. It is by far one of the cutest and most enjoyable activities in Vail!

Play A Round Of Golf

golfing in Vail

If you are a fan of golf, you will love visiting Vail in the summer months. This tiny mountain-side hamlet has 15 golf courses in the area, offering spectacular views of the Rockies and alpine forests.

The Vail Golf Club is the closest and most famous golf course that features a full-service pro golf shop, a driving range, an 18-hole course, and a restaurant. Guests of the Sonnenalp Hotel can also enjoy a round at the semi-private Sonnenalp Course.

Take A Scenic Gondola Ride

Gondola In Vail Colorado

You have a choice of two gondola rides to take when you visit Vail in the summer months. The first Gondola Ride starts in Vail Village, while the other is found in Gore Creek, called the Eagle Bahn Gondola. 

Both gondola rides offer majestic views of the surrounding landscape as they propel you 10,000 feet to the top of Vail Mountain and at the entrance of Epic Discovery. Kids under 12 are free as long as they are accompanied by an adult with a scenic ride ticket, making this one of the top activities in Vail.

White River Rafting

Still not quenched your thirst for adrenaline? You might need a dose of white river rafting to get the thrills you seek. White water rafting is one of the best things to do in Vail in the summer with plenty of rivers swollen with snowmelt in the summer are perfect for white river rafting in Vail. 

Take on the rapids at Gore Creek that cuts through Vail Village or raft along the Upper Colorado River. Most rapids near Vail are fit for rafters of all experience levels and ages, making this a thrilling activity for the entire family. 

Cruise Around On A Segway Tour

Segway Tour

Vail Segway provides a unique and enjoyable way to discover Vail’s charming village vibes and stunning scenic beauty. You can cruise Vail’s streets, parks, and trails on two wheels by renting electric segways. Apart from being fun, these tours are also educational as you learn more about Vail from local guides.

These segway tours can allow you to explore much of Vail Village in a quick time without draining too much energy or damaging the environment. It’s a good option for a unique tour, but the village is compact enough that most can get around with a bike rental from one of the local providers.

What To Know About Visting Vail In The Summer

German Themed Building In Vail Colorado

As you can see there are plenty of things to do in Vail in the summer. Despite being glorified ski bums, our first visit to Vail was in the summer. We can confidently say anyone should visit Vail in the summer!

While it’s renowned as a winter wonderland, Vail transforms into a vibrant summer paradise with lush greenery, stunning hiking trails, and a plethora of outdoor activities.

vail in the summer
Natasha soaking up all the vibes of Vail in the summer

Whether you’re an adventure seeker looking to explore the Rockies, a foodie eager to savor culinary delights, or simply seeking relaxation amidst breathtaking scenery, Vail has something for everyone. We were thoroughly surprised by the charm of Vail Village and all it has to offer, and now we can’t wait to go back in the winter.

Where To Stay in Vail?

The Sebastian Hotel in Vail Colorado

We had an excellent experience staying at The Sebastian Hotel. It has an excellent location in the heart of Vail Village, providing easy access to everything on our itinerary. The interiors of the boutique luxury hotel offer a perfect blend of mountain charm and modern elegance. With its impeccable service, beautifully appointed rooms, and top-notch amenities, The Sebastian provides a luxurious and comfortable retreat.

The Sebastian Vail Reception

Whether you’re sipping hot cocoa by the fire in the winter or enjoying cocktails on the mountain-view terrace in the summer, The Sebastian Hotel offers an unforgettable Vail experience that keeps guests coming back year after year.

Check The Room Rates

What’s The Weather Like In Vail In The Summer?

Cameron In Vail In The Summer

During the summer in Vail, you can expect mild and pleasant weather that is a welcome contrast to the winter chill. Vail is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with average daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the low 80s Fahrenheit (around 24-28°C).

The days are usually sunny and dry, perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and exploring the beautiful landscapes. In the evenings, temperatures tend to cool down, creating a comfortable atmosphere for al fresco dining and relaxation. While many like to head to the beach, we couldn’t imagine better weather than summer in the mountains.

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About Cameron Seagle

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past decade. During this time, he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling, he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Scotland, Indonesia, Mozambique, Peru, Italy, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.