Winter in Vail, Colorado is truly a magical time. The snow-capped peaks create a breathtaking landscape and set the stage for unforgettable adventures and exploration throughout this mountain town. 

Vail is known for being a premier winter destination and offers a spectacular atmosphere for outdoor enthusiasts, families, and individuals alike looking to explore the beautiful winter wonderland atmosphere of Vail. 

Whether you are looking to ski or snowboard at one of the best resorts in the United States or you are looking to take in the views and explore the shopping and dining throughout the village, Vail during the winter season has something for everyone to enjoy!

Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter

1. Ski or Snowboard

Ski Vail

Vail is known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, Vail Mountain offers a wide variety of trails catering to all skill levels. 

From the beginner-friendly areas like Golden Peak to the more challenging legendary back bowls of Blue Sky Basin, there is a slope for everyone to enjoy when exploring Vail Mountain on skis or a snowboard! 

For those just starting out, Vail has a phenomenal ski school with excellent instructors that are eager to teach you all of the tips and tricks you need to ski down slopes. 

2. Indulge in Après Ski

Vail has a fabulous Après ski scene that offers the perfect combination of relaxation and indulgence. Whether you are a skier or snowboarder looking to indulge in some slopeside cocktails and appetizers or you are someone just looking to kick back and enjoy the delicious food, drinks, and live music, Après Ski is perfect for anyone wanting to indulge and enjoy tasty beverages and foods at a lively restaurant or bar. 

We recommend checking out The Remedy Bar for those looking for a great Après ski experience. Be sure to try their delicious hot chocolate or their tasty old-fashioned! 

3. Relax and Have a Spa Day

Whether you have been walking around exploring the Vail Village or you have been outdoors participating in snow sports, make sure to treat yourself to a spa day at one of Vail’s luxurious spas in order to unwind, relax, and rejuvenate your body.

The RockResorts Spa is one of the best spas in the area and they offer a variety of services from massages to saunas and everything in between. This is a great place to visit for those looking to get pampered and rest for a bit.

4. Go Snowmobiling 

Snowmobiling is another excellent option for the best things to do in Vail in winter. This is an excellent opportunity to explore Vail’s backcountry and create some truly unforgettable memories without having to strap on skis or a snowboard. 

Going on a snowmobiling excursion offers a thrilling adventure that allows you to take in the beautiful mountain landscape around you as you speed through snowy trails. 

Snowmobiling is a great winter activity to embark on for individuals, couples, and families alike. Whether you would like to take it slow and take in the scenery or you would like to get an adrenaline rush and speed through snow and nature, snowmobiling is a great hobby for anyone to try when visiting Vail in the snowy months. 

5. Try Ice Skating

The Solaris Plaza in Vail Village features a beautiful ice skating rink. Ice skating is the perfect hobby to try and one of the best things to do in Vail in winter because it allows you to spend some time outside, take in the incredible mountain views surrounding you, and makes for a memorable experience. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, ice skating must be on your Vail winter bucket list.

6. Take in the Views from a Gondola Ride

Taking a Gondola Ride up Vail Mountain is the perfect way to experience gorgeous views of Vail and the surrounding mountains. This is an awesome opportunity to see panoramic views of snow-covered mountains, and the village down below, and take in the slopes from a new perspective. 

7. Go Tubing

Snow tubing is the perfect Vail adventure for individuals, couples, and families alike. This is an awesome activity to do outdoors and does not require any special equipment or skills. It is the perfect winter activity for those looking to create some memories, experience a bit of a rush, and take in the beautiful Vail landscape. 

8. Drink Craft Beer

Colorado is known for having an incredible beer scene and hundreds of breweries throughout the state. When it comes to drinking craft beer in Vail, there is an abundance of bars and breweries to pick from. Whether you are looking to enjoy a pint or two at a local bar or you are looking to hit a brewery in the area, drinking craft beer must be on your list of things to do when visiting Vail in the winter. 

For those looking to check out a local brewery, you must stop by Vail Brewing Company for some truly delicious craft beer. We recommend any of their Pale Ale’s or IPA’s but they also serve up some tasty Porters.

Vail Ski Resort

Vail Ski Resort at Night. Photo by Jeff Andrew

9. Go on a Snowshoeing Adventure

For those that would rather skip the thrill of snowboarding or skiing, consider going on a more relaxing outdoor excursion such as snowshoeing! 

Vail has excellent terrain for those looking to snowshoe around and it is the perfect activity to embark on for those looking to gain a bit of exercise and take in the surrounding alpine meadows and snow-covered forests in the area. 

10. Explore the Shops and Dining in Vail VillageVail Village

Vail Village is full of shops, restaurants, bars, and art galleries. Whether you are looking to take in the mountain architecture, go shopping at name-brand and local boutique shops, or you are looking to grab a bite to eat or something delicious to drink, exploring Vail Village is one of the best things to do in Vail in winter. 

For art enthusiasts, be sure to stop by the Vail Village Arts. This art gallery displays countless paintings and sculptures and is an excellent opportunity to take in the local art scene and admire the craftsmanship of some remarkable artists in the area.  

11. Catch a Thrill on an Alpine CoasterForest Flyer at Epic Discovery in Vail, Colorado

For those looking for something unique and exciting to do in Vail in winter, consider trying out their infamous Alpine Coaster. 

Similar to a roller coaster, the Vail Alpine Coaster twists down tracks and gives you a sense of adrenaline but with beautiful mountain and alpine scenery surrounding you. 

This is the perfect adventure for adults and children alike and a unique experience that is sure to create some lasting memories. 

FAQs About The Best Things to Do in Vail in Winter

Is Vail worth visiting in winter?

Vail is definitely worth visiting in winter! It is the perfect place to hit the slopes for those interested in skiing or snowboarding, the Vail Village is picturesque and the perfect place to stroll around for shopping and bites to eat, and the views are truly remarkable when visiting Vail in the winter season. 

Can you ride the gondola in Vail without skiing?

Yes, both skiers and nonskiers alike can ride the gondola in Vail without skiing. This is the perfect activity to do for those looking to gain incredible views of the snow covered Colorado mountains. 

How do I spend a day at Vail?

We recommend starting off the day hitting the slopes whether you are an expert or a beginner. If skiing is not your thing, we recommend participating in one of the many outdoor recreational activities such as snowshoeing, tubing, or ice skating. 

Once you have finished your adventure for the day, we recommend heading into the Vail Village for a bite to eat and exploring the endless shops and galleries.

From there, be sure to check out one of the many fabulous spas in the area or relax slopeside and enjoy some Après ski. 

Where should we stay in Vail?

Final Thoughts: Best Things to do in Vail in Winter

Vail comes to life during the winter season and offers so much for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you are looking to hit the slopes, explore the village, take in the beautiful snow capped scenery, or looking to unwind at one of the spas, Vail in the winter is simply unmatched and must be on your bucket list.

Read Next:

Summer Things to do in Vail, Colorado

4 Day Vail Itinerary

Find Out Why Our Family Fell in Love with Vail, Colorado and Start Planning Your Own Family Vacation

bmc qr

If you found this information helpful consider buying me a cup of coffee aka helping me pay to put kids through college! Just scan the QR code or click the link. As always, thank you for your support!

Get Travel Insurance

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Book Flights

I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner!

Book a Place to Stay

I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.

If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO. If you are looking for a hostel, I use HostelWorld.

Rent Clothes

Rent clothes for your trip with Travel Style Expert for only $50 a month! The first 30 days are free!

Choose Activities and Tours

To find great activities in any area I use Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available. Groupon also tends to have a lot of local travel deals.

When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals. If I am going somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean I use Apple Vacations.

Rent a Car or Take a Lyft

More often than not Lyft is cheaper than Uber. Use my Lyft link for an $18 credit! For a car rental in any country, I recommend Hertz or Discover Cars.

Save Money on Gas

Upside a free app gets you cash back on gas! Use promo code RV2Q2 to get an extra 15¢/gal bonus on your first purchase.

Get a Visa

I use iVisa to get all of my Visas.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended but doesn’t cost you any extra. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!