I recently had the pleasure of taking a small getaway to Vail, CO. My hubby’s work had a director’s retreat up in Vail in the middle of May and I got to tag along! Now, being a Colorado native, a place like Vail is all about the skiing in the winter and races and zip line in summer. But what the heck do you do in Vail during the offseason?? Offseason for most ski resorts and mountain towns range from mid April to Memorial Day weekend (some go as long as Father’s Day weekend to end their offseason). This makes places like Vail, pretty much a ghost town for those few weeks. A lot of businesses are closed for remodeling or taking a vacation, leaving anyone who is visiting with not a whole lot to do….like me! I was, however, able to find a few things to do that were perfect for me, as I was pretty much on my own during the day. Being a mom of 3 kiddos, getting away for 2 nights was a lot like heaven. Some moms (I know of a couple) who would have been perfectly fine locking themselves in their hotel room, taking long baths, watching tv and ordering in for 2 days, that would be ideal for them. Me, I like to take advantage of where I am and do as much as I can. Ok, maybe there were a few hours in there where I camped out under the big, fluffy, lose yourself in down comforter on my king sized bed and lounged…and ordered breakfast…and yes it was everything I needed! Here’s what I found and recommend anyone do who visits Vail during the offseason:
- Get pampered at the Sonnenalp Spa.
We stayed at the Sonnenalp Hotel (www.sonnenalp.com), so I may be a little biased but their spa was amazing! With multiple pools and hot tubs inside and out, steam rooms, private lockers, oxygen bar and amazing spa services you can’t go wrong with a day of pampering and relaxing at the spa. You can order lunch while you sit by their inviting fire soaking up all the spa has to offer. I had an 80 minute warmed herbal poultice massage….it was UNBELIEVABLE. I was so relaxed by the end of it, totally worth the price for their massage service.
- Eat at Mountain Standard.
For the foodie in me, you know I had to post a restaurant or two to try! Mountain Standard (www.mtnstandard.com) came highly recommended by the locals. The owners of Sweet Basil (which I really wanted to try but was closed for off season), opened up this restaurant. I looked at the menu before hand and knew what I wanted to try before I made my reservation. I had my eye (and stomach) on their avocado bruschetta. It was delicious! Did not disappoint. With avocado, fava beans, goat cheese, radish and lemon, my tummy did a little dance. And my view outside wasn’t too shabby either. Definitely recommend this restaurant. Reservations are highly recommended as well.
- Take a guided tour of Hanging Lake.
Again, I may be biased, but the Sonnenalp Hotel offers guided tours to Hanging Lake for $10, which includes transportation (it’s a 50 mile drive to the lake) and a snack. It’s a real good option to have when looking for something to do in the morning. A guided tour is always helpful motivation to actually get up and go! And Hanging Lake is always a top 10 must see Colorado Attraction. If you haven’t seen the beauty that is Hanging Lake, you’re missing out on a true Colorado wonder.
- Indulge at the Swiss Chalet
Fondue is one thing I never pass up, especially when real Swiss chocolate is involved. Levi and I had 2 late night dates, as he didn’t get done with sessions until about 830 each night we were there. Not a lot is open that time of night in the off season, but the Swiss Chalet was a perfect place to meet. We enjoyed Swiss chocolate fondue and sipped wine (Levi had whiskey) while he told me about his day. The lighting is really romantic and the service is exceptional. The chocolate wasn’t too shabby either 😉 The Swiss Challet is a real gem of Vail and is a must try for anyone visiting.
- Window shop while enjoying a good cup of coffee
Now this one is totally for the coffee and shopping lover in me. Vail Village is a real amazing place to shop, eat and hang out, and it houses so many amazing ski shops and little wonders an avid shopper like myself could spend hours wondering through every door. Not to mention, the amazing coffee shops I had to choose from. Loaded Joes (www.loadedjoes.com) was pretty cool, though super small. Live music fills the village streets late at night, and has a pretty good soy chai latte. But Yeti’s Grind (www.yetisgrind.com) was where I found my “exploring coffee”, and a killer lavender lemonade. Oh man, so refreshing! I stumbled upon a very cute shop I could have spent a ton of money in, A Secret Garden. Tucked away between a ski shop and a restaurant, this little yellow shop grabbed my attention with it’s cute charm and souvenir type products. I picked up a bracelet there for 40% off!
Until next time….
Have a fabulous day!!!