Coloradoans are spoiled. There is so much beauty in our backyard, it’s easy to take it for granted and let every day life take priority over leisure time. After all, it will still be there after I finish cleaning out my garage, right? I can easily fall into this mindset and almost did give up the opportunity to spend just one day in Vail.
Considering Vail is a three-hour drive from Aurora, is it really worth the tank of gas and six hours of driving time for just one day?
We were invited to stay at the luxurious, Vail Cascade. This place is all sorts of awesome – from our beautifully appointed guest room to the gorgeous infinity-edge pool overlooking Gore Creek. We made s’mores at the poolside fire pit and watched a dive-in movie upon arrival the night before. The pool looked just as inviting by daylight the next day as we enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet at the Atwater Grill, seated on the deck above.
From the pool we walked down to Gore Creek and then another mile along the creek to Lionshead Village. I was a little naive to think Reagan would appreciate the walk. Next time, I think we’ll take Vail Cascade’s free shuttle.
In Lionshead Village, we rode the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the top of Vail Mountain. Bicyclists sped down the trails below us.
At the top of the mountain, we first visited the Nature Discovery Center, housed in a yurt. There, you can learn all about the animals native to the Rocky Mountains, and some you may even discover while hiking the many trails. Guided nature hikes and hiking trail maps are also available here.
Adventure Ridge is where the action is for kids at the top of the mountain. Pony rides, a climbing wall and a bungee trampoline are just some of the activities to choose from.
A little worn from jumping her heart out on the bungee trampoline, we took advantage of the Vail Cascade’s free shuttle back for dinner. The Atwater Grill has really kept kids (and their parents) in mind with coloring pages, Wiki Stix and a variety of Kid’s menu selections.
But, they haven’t forgotten the adults either. Featuring creative American cuisine, the food is as flavorful as the presentation.
Worth the tank of gas? Without a doubt.