More than just a celebrated ski destination, Vail is lavishly laden with shops, boutiques and art galleries. From luxury furs and jewelry stores to grocers and wine shops, there are dozens of unique shopping destinations located in a pedestrian-friendly outdoor environment. Here are some of the best places to browse, purchase and explore.
Axel’s: Over the decades, this Vail fixture has earned a reputation for curating a luxurious mix of European clothing and fine, wearable Americana. From gold belt buckles and cowboy boots to Italian sheepskin jackets and English wool sport coats, you’ll find a spectacular collection amid a warm, inviting setting with a friendly, attentive staff.
J. Cotter Gallery: Although this popular jewelry gallery specializes in sterling and gold; their signature work really shines in non-traditional materials, such as rocks, steel, wood, feathers and enamel. Many of the items are made by the owner Jim Cotter himself. If you’re looking for unique items you won’t find anywhere else, this is the place to start.
Cogswell Gallery: This distinctive family-run gallery includes a compelling mix of Western bronze art, Western and Impressionist paintings, and a variety of vintage pottery, antique furniture and Native American artifacts. First opened in 1976, this Vail favorite also includes a wide array of locally inspired animal sculptures created by award-winning artists.
American Ski Exchange: Instead of lugging your ski gear through airports or purchasing overpriced items from local Vail stores, rent them from American Ski Exchange. In addition to offering the latest in skiing and snowboarding gear, our experts provide an impressive depth of knowledge that ensures you will have a more enjoyable time on and off the mountain.
Kemo Sabe: Surrounded by Vail’s famous Swiss charm, it can be easy to forget you’re actually in the great American West. Noted leather-wear specialist Kemo Sabe will remind you of Colorado’s heritage with designer boots in every size, pattern and height. You will also find everything from saddles and tasseled bags to cowboy hats, belts and other leatherwork.
Nina McLemore: This women’s clothing boutique features elegant evening wear and professional styles for the workday, along with clothing designed for leisure and travel. Think fine jackets, pants, blazers and skirts for business settings, as well as designer accessories and clothing for more relaxed settings—all designed by the store’s famous fashion namesake.
C. Anthony Gallery: This noteworthy gallery offers a wide array of sculptures and paintings from emerging and established artists. Clientele range from discerning buyers looking to enhance their collections to younger adults buying their first pieces. The gallery also showcases rotating exhibits, and everyone is welcome to drop by and enjoy the unique artwork.
Skipper & Scout: From trendy jeans for teens to popular baby brands, this children’s clothing store offers upscale options for every style and size. The high-end boutique also provides a welcoming environment for young shoppers, hosting candy jewelry–making classes, hot-chocolate happy hours and other kid-centric activities.
West Vail: For more functional and practical merchandise, head to West Vail. The area includes a local grocery store and supermarket, so you can stock up your condo instead of having to go out to eat every night. There’s also a well-stocked liquor store and other essential shops, including a pharmacy where you can find everything you need to treat any bumps and bruises you might endure on the slopes.
If you’re looking for big savings, consider visiting vail during the summer and tail end of the ski season. This is when shops unload inventory to make room for seasonal merchandise. Since some ski-focused shops will close during the summer, confirm seasonal opening times before planning your visit.
For more than 30 years, American Ski Exchange has been the go-to resource for individuals and families in need of premium-quality ski rentals in Vail Valley. In addition to the latest ski and snowboarding gear, our family-owned-and-operated ski shop offers discounts and delivery services to help make your Vail ski trip an unforgettable experience. Visit American Ski Exchange for all your ski equipment needs.