Living in Vail has been an interesting experience for me. I moved here in July of 2016 and after having lived here for a full year, I think it’s fair to say I am a local now. Over the past year I’ve discovered some really fun things to do and some amazing places to eat here in Vail, CO. So here is my Healthyish guide for a fun day in Vail!
I know a lot of people will dispute this, but in my opinion the summer and fall months are the best months to be in Vail. The humidity is low and it is sunny almost every single day! The fresh, clean mountain air invites you to go outside and be active. And one of my favorite outdoor activities is to hike. So, if you’re looking for some good hikes, I would recommend Booth Falls and Berry Picker. If you look these trails up they are listed as “medium” in terms of intensity but Berry Picker is not for the faint of heart. I took my friends up this trail and at one point we were hoping we could be air lifted off the mountain – seriously! But once you get to the top it is totally worth it. The views are amazing and there is food! Lots of food! (and wine)
The restaurant scene in Vail is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. While the village itself is small, there are tons of amazing restaurants with incredibly talented chefs at every turn. So, if you’ve never been to Vail there are a few restaurants that you have to try! First is Sweet Basil. It is a Vail staple and has been in business for over 30+ years. They’ve perfected a seasonal menu that highlights local produce and fresh flavors. While the main dishes sound delicious, I always end up getting a few of the small plates so that I can try as many items as possible.
If sushi is your thing, then I have two recommendations for you. First, is Matsuhisa which is located in the heart of Vail village. I know you’re thinking how can fish be fresh in the middle of the Mountains? But the talented team at Matsuhisa go to extreme lengths to ensure the highest quality products. Pairing their dedication to quality, with their team of talented chefs, bartenders, and wait staff and you are in for great night. One of my favorite dishes is the king crab with ponzu sauce. Trust me, it’s perfection!
If you are more into sushi rolls, vs sashimi and sushi then I would recommend going to Yama. Now don’t get me wrong, Yama has a great offering of sushi and sashimi but their rolls are insanely good! My personal favorite is the Beach Break Roll. It is almost like a dessert because it has fresh mango and crispy coconut shrimp. Yum!
Finally, if you’re looking for the quintessential Vail experience after a long day on the mountain, then you have to hit up The Red Lion. This is the perfect spot to grab a cold beer and a huge bowl of warm chili. Don’t worry about your attire because almost everyone will still be in their ski gear! And if skiing is not your thing, you can throw on a cute outfit, sit by the fire and enjoy some libations.
So, next time you’re in Vail be sure to hit up some of these spots! You will not be disappointed.
Author: Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh
Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh is a recipe developer, fitness junkie and owner of the Healthyish brand. She loves taking everyday eats and making them Healthyish. Sarah defines being Healthyish as a lifestyle centered around living light, fit and fun with a healthy dose of “ISH” from time to time. Sarah’s work can be seen in Healthy-ish by Bon Appetit and Bon Appetit Magazine (digital). Sarah lives in Vail, Colorado with her husband, Dan and rescue dog, Graci!