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What to See and Do in Vail – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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Fast and furious, Vail is a year-round resort which barely pauses for breath. Throughout the snow season, this Colorado valley echoes with the sound of scraping, swooshing skis and the shrieks of children on high-flying adventures. But there’s more to enjoy here than just downhill skiing. There are cross-country activities for intrepid explorers, museums for history buffs, and alpine gardens for nature lovers. Bring an adventurous spirit, and Vail will do the rest.
Adventure Ridge

 

 

If skiing or snowboarding just isn’t enough of an adrenaline rush for you, then you’ll feel right at home at Adventure Ridge. It’s a zany, high action destination with activities dreamed up by mountain fanatics. Whether you try the unique sport of ski-biking or fly high above the mountain on a zip-wire, Adventure Ridge is a place to get your heart racing. There’s snowmobiling and tubing especially for kids, so they’ll be happy too. In summer, this beautiful mountaintop spot is transformed into a green idyll of lawn games, climbing walls, and pony rides.

 

Vail Nordic Center

 

 

Want to get off the beaten track? Ski into Vail’s Nordic Center and the whole of the mountain’s rugged backcountry will be your playground. There’s a specialist school to teach you the ways of cross-country skiing, and soon you’ll be enjoying an entirely different ski experience, propelling your way through snow-laden alpine forest. Not only is it a high-powered workout, it also allows you to take in the nature and majesty of the mountain at a slower pace. Best of all are tours ending in a spa session, which will soothe away muscle aches.

 

Colorado Ski Museum

 

 

A treasure trove for any winter sports fan, participant or spectator, the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum has interactive exhibits on the development of Vail as a resort, as well as memorabilia from the great champions who've graced the slopes at one time or another. A gentle perusal of skis and snowboards through the ages also makes for a pleasant break from the intense action on the slopes. The whole place bursts with passion for winter sports, and will inspire you to get back out there and emulate your heroes.

 

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

 

 

Summer transforms the whole character of Vail. White turns to green, the valley awash with color. Mountain climbers, hikers, and bikers flock to the slopes, making use of the gondolas for their summertime pursuits. It’s the time when the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens burst into life. At an altitude of well over 8,000 feet, it is the highest botanical garden in the world, and the festival of native plants is in harmony with the majestic mountain backdrop. Get here early for a sunrise yoga session, or simply relax and smell the roses in this summery vision of Vail.