Happy New Year! Welcome, 2022!
We rang in the new year in Vail, Colorado and had the best time! This was my first NYE out of Dallas since 2010, so it was extra special to celebrate in a new way. We booked the whole trip super last minute, only a few days in advance, and were pleasantly surprised how well everything came together for us! Praise!
We visited Vail earlier in the summer of 2021 and loved it! When we were thinking about travel for NYE, nothing else felt right and we landed on going back to Vail to experience it together during the winter! It's really a hard place to beat for a ski town, so if you haven't visited, I recommend it!
Adam got to ski on New Years Day and I got to hone my après ski skills, so we were both happy! Of course, getting to play in the snow was a fun bonus since we never get snow in Dallas.
We went to some of the same places as our summer visit, but it was a totally different experience in the winter. I had visited before in the winter to snowboard and on family trips but I don’t remember it ever being in the single digit temperatures!! It was COLD, y'all! Now I'm officially a pro at layering.
After our summer visit, I wrote a Vail Restaurant Guide and Vail Summer Guide about our favorite spots.
First things first, I was trying to travel light so I look the same in every photo because I just changed my base layers but wore the same coat, scarf, and hat each day! This coat and scarf saved me! I would walk into restaurants or stores and people would comment and say something like "oh, you look so nice and warm!" LOL when it's 8 degrees outside, I take that as a very nice compliment. ;)
If you’re planning a visit to Vail during the winter, I highly recommend it! Flying into Vail is the easiest so you can avoid potentially dangerous roads on I-70 in the mountains, but if the weather is nice, then it’s an easy, 2.5-3 hour scenic drive from the Denver International Airport.
I’ll share a few of our favorite spots for you to save and visit!
We arrived on NYE and planned to have a relaxing weekend with very few official plans. However, we knew we needed to try to book a few meals before restaurants completely booked up.
Try to make your dining reservations in advance! Vail restaurants book up quickly, but thankfully our schedule was flexible so we were able to do some late lunches, etc. to get into our favorite spots!
Delish, italian, intimate setting, romantic, special dishes!
Casual lodge food, love the vibe for ski lunch, inside the Sonnenalp Hotel.
Cutest, best for brunch, special brunch dishes, best for summer patio seating (imo).
The Red Lion
Favorite for après ski, great people watching, casual environment, good chili, best hot chocolate!
Joe's Famous Deli
Great place to grab a bagel or burrito before hitting the slopes, basement, nothing fancy, but goooood food.
Pazzo's Pizza Vail
You simply cannot beat pizza after a long day on the mountain!
The King's Club and The Library at The Sonnenalp Hotel
This is the best place to seek refuge from the cold and sit by the fire, listen to a piano player, drinks and light food service. We hung out here while waiting to go to dinner.
There are quite a few excellent options in Vail Village and Lionshead Village that are all connected with a convenient in-town bus loop.
Our favorites are Austria Haus Hotel (terrible website, but great location) and the Sonnenalp Hotel, both in Vail Village.
In the summer, we went white water rafting and loved it! Of course, skiing and snowboarding are the big activities during the winter. One of my favorite things about Vail is the abundance of shops in Vail Village, so you can also browse around if you just want to do some shopping then of course go for some hot chocolate.
I hope this gives you some ideas of where to go in Vail. Enjoy your trip!