Like Nothing On Earth - Vail Resort

At 5,289 acres, Vail, the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States certainly lives up to its reputation. With breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains and warm, inviting ambience of Old World European-styled villages, it is said to be the “Disney World” of all ski resorts. The town of Vail sprawls over 4.5 square miles and is centred around two villages- Vail Village and Lionshead. The luxurious resort features an abundance of first class hotels, shops and restaurants. Vail has three main mountain regions; The Front Side, The Back Bowls and The Blue Sky Basin. 

The Mountain – The Front Side
The place to begin is The Front Side. At over 1600 acres, Vail’s Front Side provides a variety of terrains, perfect for skiers of all abilities. The Golden Peak area is ideal for beginners, with wide-open trails that are flawlessly maintained every night. Riding off the Avanti chair is perfect for intermediates, with an impeccable terrain pushing the limits for more advanced skiers and riders. Advanced riders will also enjoy Northwoods, which consists of steeper, more challenging slopes.

The Mountain - Vail Back Bowls
At 3017 acres, The Vail’s Back Bowls consist of the magnificent Sun Down, Sun Up, Teacup, China, Siberia, Inner Mongolia, and Outer Mongolia. Each massive ‘Bowl’ is estimated to be the size of most Eastern U.S ski resorts! The glistening wide-open terrain differing in steepness, suits intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders. One must experience Vail’s Back Bowls as a whole to be able to appreciate the herculean effort Vail puts forth to create the ultimate skiing adventure.

The Mountain – Blue Sky Basin
Think 600 sprawling acres of the ‘Wild, Wild West’. Traveling to the scenic mountain range is like transporting oneself back to the 19th century. Blue Sky Basin’s rustic utilities are all themed to provide a rugged and challenging experience to the individual skier or rider, so skiers are advised to save up on time and energy to undergo these extreme trails in their entirety.

Eateries and Drinks
Vail’s villages are fully stocked with crowd-pleasers. After a long day of skiing, step into the warmth of Garfinkel’s Restaurant and Bar, fondly known as ‘Garf’s’, and recognized for their drinks, hot wings and flat screen TVs screening sports events for the whole family. The classic ski town bar comes to life with pictures of patrons, athletes and past events adding to the atmosphere. When it’s time for dinner, hop on over to ‘The Blue Moose’, ‘Pazzo’s Pizzeria’, or for some mouth-watering exotic flavours, ‘Nozawa Sushi’. ‘Lord Gore’ is well-known for its distinctive Vail Village cuisine, fireside dining and magnificent views. The restaurant’s casual, yet sophisticated environment offers a unique dining experience to all visitors. ‘The Game Creek Restaurant’, also renowned for its remarkable view, offers the ultimate dining experience and is accessed through a short ride from the Eagle Bahn gondola to the top of the mountain and through the heated Snow Cat, where diners continue their scenic adventure to the cabin. Once they arrive, diners are greeted with a spectacular display of contemporary dishes and an extensive wine list. Children 12 years and below eat for just $40 before 7pm. For upscale dining, ‘Terra Bistro’ and ‘Sweet Basil’ are both exquisite favourites.

Other Activities
Hand art galleries, spas, fur stores and jewellers are plentiful in Vail Village and Lionshead for visitors to indulge in. The Adventure Ridge, located above the Eagle Bahn gondola offers other exhilarating snow activities such as snow tubing, kiddie snowmobiling, trampolines, snowshoe tours and ski-biking. The glorious winter wonderland becomes a bright and sunny vacation spot during the summer, with mountain hiking, rafting, golf and horseback riding activities available for the ultimate outdoor experience. From a wide range of hot nightlife spots across the village, to more family friendly diners, shopping areas and activities available all year round, there’s something for everyone at Vail!

- Maxine Lee