Vail can be great for a couple’s getaway, a family holiday or just people looking to better their ski-skills and take advantage of the amazing terrain. There’s around 5,300 acres of area to ski on, seven Back Bowls, smooth runs, challenging pistes, and approximately 300 days of sunshine to enjoy it all in.

The ski apres in the area is second to none but, despite the praise on websites and in brochures, for the amenities, restaurants and shops at the base of the gondola lift it may leave you a bit disappointed. It’s worth venturing into the village and surrounding areas for things to explore.

Vail also has a reputation for being quite a swanky, deluxe and stylish resort; this is reflected in the general price of accommodation, dining out and shopping. There are a few eateries you can head to that don’t break the bank but if you want to have the overall luxury Vail experience you will have to fork out for it.

Restaurants in the area

Vail has no shortage of restaurants catering to a wide range of preferences of cuisine. However you might find that a lot of the eateries are at the higher end of the scale when it comes to prices.

Game Creek is a popular choice; you get more than just a meal – it’s an entire experience – starting with a tour on the gondola lift and an after-dark snowcat expedition that drops you off to a beautiful chalet. It’s there that you can enjoy your meal of up to five courses.

Other favourites include Wildwood Smokehouse; a rustic experience with grilled delights, smoked chicken and amazing views, Two Elk Restaurant; a deli-style eatery with outdoor picnic tables, May Palace; one of the best priced Chinese restaurants in the area, Campo de Fiori; a delicious Italian menu and all at relatively reasonable prices and U.S.A Today recommends Larkspur – mix of French and American cuisine – telling visitors “Don’t miss while in Vail”.

If you fancy a more self-catering option then head up to Blue Sky Basin as there are grills available for you to grill your own food – a great idea for a picnic style meal.

Bars and clubs in the area

Vail nightlife is not without variation so it’d be a struggle to find something that didn’t suit your mood and

inclination so even after a long day on the slopes it’s worth finding another burst of energy to explore Vail’s night time offerings. As well as knocking back a few drinks or having a boogie there is also live entertainment in the form of bands playing in the bars and street music.

For bars with a chilled out, intimate and cosy atmosphere then visit The George, Bart & Yeti’s, Sandbar Sports Grill or the Arts Bar. For live music and entertainment The Red Lion, 8150, Sandbar and Pepi’s are definitely worth popping into. If a more upbeat party atmosphere and maybe some dancing is what you’re after good recommendations are Tap Room, Sanctuary and Ski Bar.

What the area has to offer and other ski apres

Vail is not only a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding, in fact it’s very well known for what the area has to offer on top of it’s picturesque views, immaculate slopes and refined clientele.

Carnivail is definitely worth checking out. Carnivail is a very popular Mardi Gras celebration that really draws in the crowds; it’s free to attend and lots fun, so what’s not to like? Other festivals and parties in the area include Vail Snow Daze, Spring Back to Vail and Taste of Vail.

Vail Snow Daze is a winter time event with an array of concerts going on for a week, Spring Back to Vail is another week long affair featuring more concerts and Pond Skimming Championships. Taste of Vail is probably the most famous wine and food festivals throughout the whole of America with a variety of enjoyable events.

As well as these celebrations Vail has plenty of permanent ski apres on offer. There are plenty of art galleries and museums in the area to have a browse around and if skiing and snowboarding hasn’t quenched your thirst for adventure and action then try dog sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, ballooning or even traditional Western bull riding.

Recommended resorts: Vail Cascade Resort & Spa and Lion Square Lodge

The best time to visit: January to March and late June to early September are the peak times but, on the whole because of the great weather, Vail’s appeal is strong for most of the year.