Destination Spotlight: Vail, Colorado

Sometimes, the best adventures can be found far away from the traditional sun, surf, and sand. Nestled within the heart of America’s Rocky Mountains, lays a winter sports paradise that makes for the ideal cold weather vacation. Vail, Colorado, is home to stunning views, incredible food, and immaculate skiing trails. If you are looking for the ultimate snowy getaway this upcoming winter, Vail is the perfect place to turn to!


The easiest way to get to Vail is by flying into Denver International Airport, then getting transportation to the mountain.

Getting from the Airport to Vail is painless, thanks to the services provided by the Colorado Mountain Express (CME). CME operates out of both Denver International Airport and the smaller Eagle-Vail Airport. After you book your shuttle with CME, you will be taken from the airport straight to the doors of your accommodations. When your snowy adventure comes to an end, CME will pick you up from your hotel and deliver you back to the airport.

Traveling from Denver International Airport to Vail is an experience in its own. As you make your way into the Rockies, you will pass immense mountain landscapes, quaint valley villages, and pass through the famous Eisenhower tunnel.


Skiing & Snowboarding

Argued to be the top of the line ski resort of the United States, Vail is home to 31 ski lifts and just under 200 different runs. These runs range in difficulty from the easiest Green Circles to the extreme Double Black Diamonds, as trails are available for both the first time learner and the most experienced skiers and snowboarders. If terrain parks are more your style, Vail has 3 different parks to satisfy amateurs and pro tricksters alike.

Out of all of Vail’s immaculate runs, none are quite as popular as the China Bowl. The back bowls of Vail are wide open slopes with deep powdery snow all around. Accessible by taking the “Sourdough” chairlift, the China Bowl consists of about 7 different runs, either Blue or Black in difficulty. The vast-openness of these trails presents an overwhelming feeling of freedom as you carve and speed your way down the mountain. Though everyone can access the back bowls, they are definitely geared for the more experienced skier.

If your Vail trip happens to be your first time on a mountain, the Vail Ski & Snowboard School can help. With lessons available for both children and adults, you will go from a fresh beginner to cutting up Black Diamond level runs in no time!

Also, there is no need to worry if you do not have the proper gear to hit the slopes. Vail’s rental program has your back. They will set you up with skis or a snowboard plus boots, goggles, or whatever else you may need. Bringing your own gear from home is always nice, but if you don’t want to lug your skis on long travel days, renting is the perfect solution!

Other Activities

Though the area is renowned for skiing and snowboarding, there are many other activities to explore in the beautiful region!


One popular way to see all of the exquisite sights Vail has to offer is by booking a snowmobile tour. Companies such as Snowmobile Vail offer snowmobile rentals as well as guided, self, and private tours. Some of the guided tour itineraries include:

  • High Performance Tour – This tour is designed for the real thrill seekers of the world. You will speed through some of the most daring terrain Colorado has to offer at blazing speeds.
  • Top of the Rockies Tour – The endless sea of mountain peaks await you, as this tour will take you to some of the highest mountain points of the Rockies. Reaching an elevation of about 12,500 feet.
  • Tigiwon Tour – This tour is built for family fun and is suitable for adventurers of all ages. Truly the perfect way to explore, while also getting some family bonding time in the process.

The natural beauty of Vail is something that everyone can appreciate. From the snow-blanketed landscapes to the vast array of mountain wildlife a snowshoe tour will let you see it all! Teaming up with a specialized expert naturalist, you will learn a great deal about the Vail wilderness, while trekking through pristine mountain forests. Morning snowshoe tours are offered daily through the Vail Resorts Nordic School. These tours are mainly conducted in groups, but private snowshoe tours are also available through their specialty products.

The Town

The two main areas of Vail are known as Vail Village and Lionshead. These areas are separated by a strip of condos and houses, but each area is accessible by a short five to ten minute walk from the other. You can also catch the free Vail transportation service that runs between the two areas. This service runs on a continuous loop and will come roughly every half hour. Both of these areas contain a bountiful amount of shops and restaurants. The shops range from small local businesses all the way to major brands. If you are looking to update your ideal mountain outfit (after all, look good-ski good) or you want that perfect souvenir to bring home, one of the many shops is guaranteed to have you covered!


If ice skating is one of your passions, you may want to stop by the outdoor skating pond in Lionshead. Skate rentals are available for rental and the pond itself even features a hearth with a fire at it’s edge.

For a taste of nightlife, the Shakedown bar does not disappoint. Located in Vail Village, this bar is a great live music hotspot where patrons gather after a great day of runs. If a night of dancing to today’s most current tunes sounds more your speed, be sure to check out the Bridge Street Bar. With a different DJ playing each night, the music is sure not to disappoint!


The Arrabelle

Inspired by a sharp, European design, the Arrabelle is a truly luxurious hotel guaranteed to satisfy every guest. The architecture resembles the classic skiing villages of the European Alps. Internally, there is a sweeping feeling of coziness from the lobby to the main floors. Inside each room you will find marble bathrooms, flatscreen televisions, heated floors, and a gas fireplace to help you warm up after braving the brisk Vail weather. The hotel also boasts multiple outdoor rooftop Jacuzzis and a heated pool to help your muscles relax and prep for the next day. Located at the very foot of one of Vail’s major ski lifts, you will be out your door and on the mountain in a matter of minutes.

If you book a stay at the Arrabelle through Atlas Travel, we can offer you the following amenities:

  • Breakfast for two daily
  • $100 spa services credit per room, per stay
  • Upgraded room at time of check-in when available
  • Early check-in when available
  • Late check-out when available
Hotel Talisa

Another stunning option in Vail is the Hotel Talisa. Having just under-went major renovations, the Hotel Talisa boasts a sleek contemporary design while still maintaining a true mountain resort feel. Also featured at the hotel, is an on property private chairlift to get you on the mountain as soon as you step out the door. Furthermore, there is a outdoor heated pool and multiple outdoor fireplaces to help you soak in the warmth and the beauty around you!

If you book a stay at the Talisa with us, you will receive the following:

  • Breakfast for two daily
  • $100 resort credit per room, per stay
  • Upgraded room at time of check-in when available
  • Early check-in when available
  • Late check-out when available

Additionally, there is no need to worry about keeping track of your skis while not on the mountain. Both of these hotels offer ski concierge service for you to store your gear, leaving you to focus on having fun while your gear is taken care of!


Game Creek

For a special night out, the Game Creek restaurant offers an American gourmet fine dining experience that is truly unlike any other. The restaurant is perched high up on the mountain just and is accessible by either gondola or snow cat. Dinner is accompanied by a remarkable sight, as night sweeps over the valley below. Patrons of Game Creek can select three or four of their favorite dishes on a changing prix fixe menu: Guests select one dish for the following courses:

  • Soup/Salad
  • Starter
  • Entrée
  • Desert

Game Creek also offers a special children’s prix fixe, should this special evening be a whole family affair!

Mountain Standard

Another fantastic dining option is the Mountain Standard restaurant, located in Vail Village. The atmosphere of this eatery is a blend of both a rustic yet also modern feel. Mountain Standard offers exceptional food and a unique selection of craft beers. But, what really makes this restaurant stand out is the use of an open wood fire instead of a traditional grill. From freshly caught Rocky Mountain Trout to Rotisserie Chicken, menu items are prepared with regional ingredients over an open flame. This tried and true method of cooking makes Mountain Standard a must stop destination while in Vail.

Bart & Yeti’s

For a more casual feel, Bart & Yeti’s in Lionshead offers ribs, burgers, and other such classic bar food in a laid back environment. The interior of the restaurant resembles a traditional cozy log cabin, while the additional patio seating makes for perfect people watching opportunities. Though the menu at Bart & Yeti’s offers some mouthwatering bar room staple dishes, our favorite option is by far the chicken wings. Served with your choice of Traditional Buffalo or Hickory Barbeque, these wings are the perfect way to fill up over some lively post-skiing conversation!


Whether you are an avid skier or just looking for a new adventure, Vail brings out the winter enthusiast in everyone. For more information contact an Atlas Travel Agent today!

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