As I’m sure our readers are aware, the best way to get to know an area is to live there and immerse yourself in the local culture. Let me save you, dear reader, the time and expense of living in Vail valley and let you in on some local attractions. We will start our journey one hour West of Vail in the cozy city of Glenwood Springs. If you happen to be driving up to Vail from Denver I would definitely recommend going out of your way to drive through Glenwood Canyon to experience it’s unmatched natural beauty as you drive through the floor of the canyon. Next on your destination list should be a stop at Hanging Lake seven miles East of Glenwood Springs, a very popular park featuring a short (less than a mile) but steep hike leading to one of the most scenic lakes this humble blogger has ever witnessed. Be sure to read posted signage nearing the trailhead, as this is a heavily visited location which is also a delicate ecosystem that has been damaged by humans in the past.
Forty five minutes of driving to the East and you will arrive at Vail, and if you are staying in a hotel in Vail’s resort area you have a plentiful amount of eatery options. For breakfast this blogger’s top pick is The Little Diner, named after head chef and owner Brian Little, located in Lionshead Village near The Arabelle Hotel. They serve up great comfort breakfast food, their Dutch Baby is a must try! The restaurant’s name literal, as the location is cozy and wait times are usually around twenty minutes, but always worth the wait. Other great breakfast spots nearby include the Westside Cafe located off North Frontage Road inside the Holiday Inn hotel. Westside Cafe features a staff that is always helpful and friendly as well as reasonable prices, so treat yourself to a coffee on their outdoor seating area. Further to the West (ten minutes driving on I-70) you will find Route 6 Cafe in Eagle-Vail. They are not strictly breakfast and are open late, many nights featuring drink specials at their bar along with live music.
Following a successful day skiing or riding Vail Mountain nothing is better than a cold refreshment and tasty meal. Luckily there are great apres options located just steps from both gondolas in Vail. If a margarita and fajitas sound up your alley then be sure to give Los Amigos. Fifteen yards from Los Amigos sits one of the oldest buildings in Vail, The Red Lion . Inside you will find timely service and fairly standard tavern food with a focus on barbecue and hamburgers. Over in Lionshead Village be sure to stop in Garfinkel’s for a fun sports bar atmosphere and a beautiful view of the mountain on their outdoor seating area.