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Summertime in Vail
Summertime in Vail

In Colorado, there’s a popular saying: “You come for the winter but stay for the summer.” Well, summer in Vail brings beautiful weather and an endless array of entertainment options, from outdoor adventure to cultural festivals. Just under two hours directly west of Denver, the small town of Vail is nestled at the foot of massive Vail Mountain. Summertime visitors enjoy hiking, golfing, and cultural festivals, along with breathtaking views offered by the majestic surroundings.

Unlike most other Colorado cities, Vail has held a moratorium on both medicinal and recreational marijuana before it was first approved by the state in 2012. That may all change this summer, though, as the city council is expected to give final approval for retail marijuana sales in town on July 7. That will allow merchandisers to apply for a license to open dispensaries within the city. Until then, visitors have plenty of purchasing options along the “Green Mile” -- a much more friendly mile than the one in the Stephen King novel (or Tom Hanks movie).

The “Green Mile” is a collection of cannabis dispensaries along a stretch of U.S. Highway 6 in Eagle-Vail that compete with each other for the highest quality, custom strains of cannabis in all forms, including buds, hash oil, edibles, waxes and various smoking paraphernalia. Remember to be discreet within the city limits until Amendment 64 is finally passed and you won’t risk being harassed for consumption. That said, you’ll find plenty of places to enjoy your Rocky Mountain high in the surrounding area.

What to Do

  • Gondola

    Take Gondola One up Vail Mountain and spend a pleasant afternoon at Mid-Vail. Legally, you’re not supposed to light up on the lift, but technically, no one’s going to bother you about it unless you’re being a jerk. Add lunch to your ticket and enjoy Sarge’s Polynesian BBQ on the deck and a beer or cocktail from the Tiki Bar along with amazing views of the Gore Range.

  • Hot Springs

    Turn up the tunes and take a scenic drive about an hour west to Glenwood Springs. Check out one of the four dispensaries in ganja-friendly Glenwood Springs, then go soak, swim and play in the world’s largest hot spring pool.

  • Hiking

    If you want to challenge yourself for a worthy reward, hike the Booth Falls Trail to the waterfall. The first mile or so is a moderate stroll through grassy hillsides, leafy aspens, and berry bushes. The rest of the trail gets rugged, with about 2 miles to reach the falls. You can continue to Booth Lake another mile and a half further or chill by the falls and head back.

  • Golf

    Vail County is home to five golf courses. Eagle-Vail Golf Club is the closest one to Vail Village (4 miles), with Beaver Creek Golf Club about15 minutes west. Only 20 minutes west of Vail, you’ll find Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club's top-ranked course which was designed by Fazio and Norman and offer gorgeous views. Gypsum Creek Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course designed by Pete Dye close to the Eagle-Vail airport and has the longest golf season of the five. Eagle Ranch golf club is an 18-hole course located 35 minutes west of Vail.

Hiking at VailHiking at Vail
Vail Golf ClubVail Golf Club
Hot Springs in Glenwood SpringsHot Springs in Glenwood Springs

Where to Buy Marijuana

Because every city or county in Colorado is allowed to make their own marijuana laws, they can allow recreational stores -- or ban them, as Vail has done. As a result, the closest recreational dispensaries are located past Vail in Eagle-Vail/Avon along Highway 6, known as “The Green Mile.”

  • Sweet Leaf Pioneer

    Conveniently located near the Eagle County Regional Airport, Sweet Leaf Pioneer is located 20 west on I-70 from the "The Green Mile" dispensaries, but you'll be rewarded with better pricing and more personalized service. It's certainly worth the trip to see where the locals shop.

  • Roots Rx – Eagle-Vail

    Located on the western end of the Green Mile, Roots Rx is a smaller recreational dispensary that prides itself on offering high quality products in a comfortable atmosphere. Check out their 2 additional locations in Aspen and Basalt.

  • High Country Healing

    High Country Healing has grow operations above 10,500 feet, which allows them to grow over 50 quality strains. With a great team of friendly budtenders who are ready to help you P.Y.O.B. (pick your own bud), you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for.

  • Rocky Road Remedies

    Rocky Road Remedies offers a higher-end cannabis experience with a dispensary complete with large glass windows and beautiful wood accents. With one-on-one conversations with budtenders, every user will find the products they’re looking for, including their in-house vaporizer brand, Terp Pens.

Rocky Road Remedies Rocky Road Remedies

Where to Shop/Arts

  • The Golden Bear

    The Golden Bear is Vail’s classic retail store since 1975. Known for their exquisite jewelry collections at pricing ranging from affordable to total splurge, this store is a Vail shopping tradition.

  • Lionshead to Vail Village

    Walk around the pedestrian friendly villages or take a free bus between Lionshead Village and Vail Village. Between the two you’ll find every kind of shop you could want, with many boutiques and restaurants exclusive to Vail.

  • Bravo! Vail Music Festival

    Vail’s a little different than other Colorado towns and so is their concert season. Held throughout the summer, rather than in winter, Bravo! Music festival is rated one of the top 10 classical music festivals in the US by NPR. So expand your mind, fill your vape and then fill your ears with remarkable renditions of incredible compositions performed by the New York Philharmonic and other accomplished orchestras and ensembles from June 21 to August 3.  

  • Sonnenalp Spa

    Treat yourself to a hot stone massage at this indoor-outdoor spa, then chill in the heated indoor and outdoor Tranquility Pool with waterfall, indoor/outdoor heated whirlpool, steam room or Relaxation Cove, complete with fireplace and refreshment stations.

Covered Bridge in Vail VillageCovered Bridge in Vail Village

Where to Eat

  • Pepi’s Bar and Restaurant

    “The sunniest deck in Vail Village” at Pepi’s is a great place for beer, schnitzel and people watching. Pretty reasonably priced for Vail, you can also enjoy dinner in the main dining room during the summer.

  • Blue Moose Pizza

    The Blue Moose serves up the best pizza in Vail, and opens June 17 for the summer. If you’re in the mood for something else, they have delicious subs, refreshing salads and other Italian fare. If you’re feeling artsy, sketch on the paper tablecloths while you wait for your grub!

  • The Little Diner

    If you’re on a budget and you want some hearty morning fare, pair your wake and bake with the mouth-watering menu at one of the best breakfast places anywhere. If you’re not a morning person, you can still get your brunch on until “last call” at 1:45 pm.

  • Matsuhisa

    Brought to you by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa (of New York and Malibu’s ‘Nobu’), this is seriously some of the best sushi you’ll find between the two coasts. Normally priced too!

Blue Moose PizzaBlue Moose Pizza


There are really too many bars and restaurants within walking distance to list, but here are a few of our favorites.

  • The Red Lion

    Enjoy live acoustic music nightly, except Mondays and Wednesdays. Wednesday is “Not your Grandma’s Bingo” night. Known for it’s après and happy hour deals, this popular spot is always busy.

  • Shakedown Bar

    Rock your socks off dancing to live bands at Shakedown Bar, one of Vail’s favorite live music joints in the heart of Vail Village. Get there early to enjoy a great drink selection and a few sing-alongs.

  • Loaded Joe’s

    Loaded Joe’s probably has the best coffee in town, but it also has $3 happy hour beers, live music, and a decent selection of craft beers. Best of all, hit up Joe’s for perfect late night food like mac ‘n cheese and homemade hot pockets served until close at 2 am.

  • bōl

    Share small plates and bowl at one of the classiest bowling alleys you’ve ever seen. With a 60-foot bar and 10 lit-up lanes, you can bowl until 11 pm and enjoy daily drink specials Monday through Friday from 4 pm to 10 pm.

Shakedown BarShakedown Bar

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