Vail Village

Vail Village offers numerous amenities for the visitor, and it all unfolds right at the base of the mountain. After a full day on the slopes, skiers and snowboarders can glide right into town more or less. Once the skis and snowboards are off, they can walk to any number of bars and restaurants. Right around 4 p.m. daily is when the apres-ski fun begins, and it often doesn't stop until the morning hours.

Vail Village is set at an elevation of 8,120 feet and has the feel of a ski village that has been plucked out of Austria's Tyrol region. Since it is relatively compact and mostly car-free, you can basically park your vehicle upon arrival and forget about it until you are ready to leave. Free shuttle transportation is available to get Vail residents and visitors alike around town, so it isn't necessary to walk longer distances if you don't want to. Ski and snowboard racks are spread about in the heart of Vail Village and in the Vail Square area, so if you are coming off the mountain, you shouldn't have trouble finding a place to stash your stuff once you get to the bottom. If you are worried about your skis or snowboard getting stolen, which isn't a common occurrence, you can always put them in your vehicle, or better yet, your hotel room or vacation rental.

The Vail Village hotels include some true gems, and visitors can also consider booking an enticing condo rental in the heart of things. Some of the village's hotels are actually a mix between a resort and a condo complex, as they offer condo-style units to go with their rooms and/or suites. Such is the case with the Arrabelle at Vail Square, which has helped to transform the Lionshead part of Vail Village into a very visitor-friendly area. Some of the best Vail Village restaurants are found at Vail Square, and the revamped environs are also home to boutiques and an ice rink, among other things.

The restaurants that are located in Vail Village also offer a lot in the way of quality, not to mention diversity. You can grab a slice of pizza or a sandwich at some if that is all that you have in mind. You can also go the fine dining route and indulge in things such as foie gras and lobster. Whatever you have a taste for, you can likely find it at one of the Vail restaurants, especially if you head to the Vail Village core and the adjacent Lionshead/Vail Square area.

It's not all about the lodging and dining options in Vail Village. At the base of this upscale ski resort, you will also find a healthy collection of shops and galleries. The shops sell all kinds of things, including top of the line ski and snowboard gear. Also helping to make Vail Village such a complete ski resort village is its lively nightlife. At some of the bars and clubs, you can dance the night away. At others, you can relax over a martini, and there are a few pubs and sports bars if that is the scene that you seek. Big name performers are known to pass through Vail, so you never know who might be headlining at one of the local venues during your visit.

Parking is available for a fee in Vail Village if you need it. Those who aren't driving in typically take a shuttle from the airport. You can also arrive by way of bus, which is what many people do when coming from the nearby sister resort of Beaver Creek. Barely more than ten miles separates Vail from Beaver Creek, so trips back and forth are very easy to manage. Beaver Creek also has a charming alpine village appeal, it should be mentioned, and thanks in part to its smaller size, it is less subdued than Vail on the whole. Both are wonderful places to explore when you're not spending time on the mountainsides.

Vail Village

Vail Village

Vail Village offers numerous amenities for the visitor, and it all unfolds ri...

Vail Square

Vail Square

Vail Square is the result of a $200 million renovation project that was initi...

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