Connect with Colorado’s rugged summer beauty and experience the Vail Valley like a local. By day, explore the Rockies’ legendary peaks and outdoor adventures, from cruising back country terrain on an ATV to hiking through its famed mountain trails. By night, visit the town’s go-to spots for locally-sourced meals and hand-crafted cocktails and attend the area’s exclusive and cultural events.
Discover it all through the lens of our favorite mountain-town resident and beloved experience curator, Crystal. She’s honed her insider knowledge of the Vail Valley throughout the past decade and share’s her bespoke summertime tips and tricks below.
Originally from Chicago, Crystal moved to Vail, Colorado ten years ago and has never looked back. She fell in love with the Rocky Mountains majesty and idyllic quality of life. With a passion for hospitality and experiential living, she’s the perfect fit for Cuvée culture!
Come mid-June, Vail’s epic ski trails melt into glorious hiking trails. One of my favorites is a challenging, yet beautiful 14er Mt. of the Holy Cross. It’s an iconic hike because of its unique history; the peak earned its name when early settlers noticed all the snow had melted on the mountain except a rocky crevice in the shape of an enormous cross on the mountainside. The Missouri Lakes hike is an easier trail with plenty of views to pass by, with waterfalls and emerald meadows leading to five different lakes as you reach the basin. It’s my favorite place to picnic and spend an afternoon under the pine trees.
In the heart of Vail, Root and Flower is the place to grab a delicious cocktail and hang out. The atmosphere here is very trendy and everyone wants to get a craft drink from one of their professional mixologists. With over 100 libations to choose from, my mouth waters for nearly all of them, but especially their Smoking Bird cocktail coupled with a snack of assorted Colorado meats and cheeses.
Mountain Standard is my absolute favorite during the summer. They have a great outdoor seating area and quality cocktails to enjoy right along the Gore Creek River and their dinner menu is fantastic. Dining on the mountain is another fun option, especially at Beano’s Cabin because you can ride horseback up the trail to dinner, which is such a cool experience. They have live music and an outdoor patio people can’t get enough of!
Gourmet on Gore and Blues, Brews & BBQ Festival are my favorite foodie events that are so much fun to attend! Vail is really known for its Farmer’s Market that happens every Sunday throughout the summer. There you’ll find countless artisans, local farmers and goods, and live music–it’s one of the best markets in Colorado! I also look forward to Bravo Music Festival and Vail Dance, both are incredible events showcasing top acts that are unique and different each year.
Fly-fishing in the Rockies is exceptional. Colorado has a wealth of great rivers and lakes to choose from located in beautiful secluded areas. My ideal fishing day is spending hours along the fresh water getting lost in each cast of the line.
The mountains surrounding Vail have ATV trails leading to picturesque views of the Gore Range, but what makes the adventure even cooler is roaming throughout the remote area of Camp Hale where the 10th Mountain Division trained during WWII.
Hot air balloons are also a “must do” in the Rockies. Wake up with the sun for a majestic ride above the snow peaked mountains; you’ll love every second of it!