Vail, Colorado, Offers Energizing Out-of-Town Day Trips

Though home to only around 5,300 residents, the town of Vail is world-famous for its skiing—Vail Ski Resort, the largest ski resort in the United States, has more than 300 trails and 40 lifts. The town also boasts stellar hotels, dining, and prominent annual events, including Vail Film Festival, Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, Vail Snow Days festival, and Bravo! Vail Music Festival. And that only begins to tell the story, for there are an abundance of adventurous day-trip options to nearby areas.

Paragon Guides in Edwards, a 14-minute drive from Vail, offers several adventures for groups. From mid-June until the end of September, it offers three “Take a Llama to Lunch” options, consisting of hikes and meals in the company of the beloved creatures.

Also in Edwards, Bearcat Stables offers horseback rides or sleigh rides, depending on the season, and its restored historic cabins and grounds can be used for group gatherings, which can include onsite catering.

A 28-minute drive from Vail, 4 Eagle Ranch provides a unique blend of outdoor activities, including ziplining, horseback Riding, 4×4 Jeep and ATV tours, wine tasting and more. Four event venues are available, with room for up to 550 people. The ranch has an in-house caterer ready to prepare a memorable meal, with six different menu choices, ranging from simple to gourmet.

Groups looking for thrills enjoy visiting Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, a 58-minute drive west from Vail. The mountain-top theme park is nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and features a dizzying array of activities that bring out the kid in everyone, including cave tours, thrill rides, dining and special events. Group events can be arranged.

Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, 10 miles from Vail, provides groups with opportunities to explore nature, gain a scientific understanding and learn about the many wonders of the local mountain environment through natural science and sustainability programs. No admission fee is charged.

SaddleRidge in Beaver Creek is a unique ski-in, full-service restaurant that offers groups a chance to dine in an American museum. Renowned for its gourmet Colorado regional cuisine, it features wild game, steaks and seafood, as well as an extensive collection of wines and local beers. SaddleRidge houses one of the largest private collections of Western American artifacts in the United States. Three spaces are available for rent, holding up to 135 seated guests. Beaver Creek is a 22-minute drive west from Vail.

Read more about intriguing day-trip opportunities in Colorado in Dan Johnson’s story, “Welcome to Day-Trip Heaven: Unforgettable Adventures in the Centennial State,” in the April issue of Smart Meetings.