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Indian Summer Vail’s Secret Season



By Abby Hoeffner

ail has long been heralded as a winter ski destination, but V visit just once in during the so-called “off season” and you’ll fall in love with the natural splendor that abounds during the alpine Indian summer. DO

Wellness is a way of life in Vail. Colorado residents have the lowest obesity rate in the nation, and it’s easy to see why with a climate and array of outdoor pursuits so conducive to a healthy, active lifestyle. Hiking: Over 160 miles of hiking trails twist through the area, ranging in difficulty from alpine walks for beginners to expert outings for those who want to summit 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks near Vail. Mountain Biking: Gondolas, previously packed with skiers during the winter months, take mountain bikers and their bikes to the top of the mountain so the adventurous can attack the slopes on wheels rather than skis. Road Biking: Those who prefer to bike on pavement have 274 miles of road to explore. Horseback Riding: Discovering the mountains on horseback is a relaxing way to take in the majestic panoramic views. Don’t forget your camera! And More: Whitewater rafting, fly fishing, sand volleyball, hot-air ballooning, Jeep tours, gallery walks, chairlift rides, swimming, golfing, kayaking, sporting clays, mountain biking, cattle drives, tennis, rock climbing and Frisbee golf are just a few of the additional options.

Vail By the Numbers Vail Town Elevation:

8,150 feet Vail Mountain Summit:

11,450 feet Vertical Rise:

3,450 feet Vail Town Size:

7miles long, 2 miles wide Average September High:

67 degrees

September 2012 | LIVING



FREE! The highest botanical gardens in the world, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, offer a breathtaking collection of alpine, sub-alpine and other mountain plants and flowers. Open from dawn to dusk daily through September with tours, children’s programs and many other daily activities.

If You Go Next Year: The Vail Jazz Foundation, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and The Vail International Dance Festival keep culture at the forefront throughout the summer season. Check for exact dates as spring nears. Larkspur's "larkburger"



With more than 35 lodging options, most of which are locally-owned and -operated, you’ll have no problem finding the ideal place to stay. We love the Sonnenalp Resort for its chalet inspired details, charming character and impeccable hospitality. It’s not unusual to see owner Johannes Fässler, a fourth generation hotelier from Bavaria, around the property greeting guests with a wide smile while lending a hand where needed, even parking cars and assisting with housekeeping. for more information.

The culinary scene in Vail, which boasts over 75 bars and restaurants, has never been better. Matsuhisa Vail opened in late 2011 and features Japanese and Peruvian fusion cuisine from renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Kelly Liken’s restaurant continues to garner well-deserved attention after her appearance on Top Chef. Larkspur Restaurant has enticed locals and visitors alike for 11 years with an ever-changing menu of elegant, approachable food. Their “larkburger,” made with organic beef, black truffle oil and truffle butter is one such example. For delicious steaks and fresh seafood don’t miss Vail Chophouse, a great stop for lunch or dinner. Plus, in the summer and fall healthy dining options abound as chefs take advantage of the abundance of fresh produce available.

Getting There

Direct flights into Eagle County Regional Airport, located 35 miles west Vail, make getting to this mountaintop escape easier than ever and those long shuttle rides from Denver a thing of the past.



If You Go Now: You’re just in time for Vail Restaurant Month which runs September 19 through October 16! Set in Vail’s gorgeous fall season, events and activities for singles, couples, families or groups follow four themed weeks: “Market to Table Week,”“Health, Wellness & Outdoors Week,” “Family Week featuring Little Foodies in the Kitchen” and “LoveFest Week.”

Living Magazine  

Fall in Vail

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