Top Summer Activities in Vail

Top Summer Activities in Vail

As the local saying goes: “You come for the winter, but you’ll stay for the summer!”   With festivals, food and dining events, sports, concerts, and farmers markets, the Vail Valley offers a variety of fun summer activities.  No snow, No problem!  

Here are few of our top picks:

Epic Discovery

At Vail, Epic Discovery is the ultimate way to enjoy the mountain during the summer months with all kinds of “epic” adventures to be had. There are seven zip lines for flying above the trees, summer tubing on a 550-foot long tubing hill, two rope adventure courses, rock climbing, a giant bungee trampoline and the Forest Flyer, a raised alpine coaster that winds 3,400 feet down the mountain. We dare you to ride down without using the brakes!  There’s also plenty of trails for hiking and mountain biking, as well as the scenic gondola, which takes riders up above 10,000 feet to enjoy the views. 

The Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Located at 8,250 feet in the Rocky Mountains, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is the highest botanical garden in the United States. There are several different ways to enjoy the beautiful collection of exotic high elevation plants and flowers including tours, mountain hikes and a variety of educational programs for both children and adults. You wouldn’t think that a garden would be a favorite destination in Colorado, but the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens are truly special. Internationally acclaimed for their conservation, education, and alpine horticulture, the gardens are well-loved by many visitors.

Whitewater Rafting and Tubing

One of the most beloved summer activities in Vail is river rafting and tubing. There are countless companies that you can either rent tubes or book a rafting trip in the area, all with numerous half day and full day tours suitable for ALL skill levels.   Nothing beats coasting down the Colorado River on a tube or raft, with the hot sun above you!                          

Mountain Biking

Whether you’re a serious mountain biker looking to tackle Vail’s peaks or looking for a more mellow experience, biking always makes a fun summer activity.  Paved trails and mountain trails abound and you can rent almost any type of bike, including cruisers, road bikes, and mountain bikes.  With clearly marked trails accommodating all skill levels, it’s a fun and exciting way to experience the mountain!


With miles and miles of trails to explore in the Colorado mountains, Vail Valley’s local hikes are some of the most beautiful and accessible in the state.  From June to September, a range of options takes hikers through wildflower fields, under canopies of aspen trees and to the top of mountain peaks.   From Berrypicker on Vail Mountain and Booth Falls in East Vail to the amazing charm of the Upper Piney River Falls Trail (just to name a few), all trails will challenge your fitness while also awakening your senses!

 Farmer’s Markets

The Vail’s Farmer’s Market takes place every Sunday morning from June through October. Just head to Meadow’s Drive in Vail Village from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm, and you’ll be able to find local food, groceries, juices, art, and much more!  For a more artistic and craft-oriented feel, check out the Minturn Market on Saturday’s June through September from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm in the quaint town of Minturn, just 10 minutes West of Vail. 

Horseback Riding

At its core, Colorado is a cowboy state, embracing its Western heritage with a love for horses, rodeos, and ranches. One of the best ways to tap into this rich history is to go horseback riding. You’ll see some beautiful countryside, without having to take a single step.   There are plenty of tours and guides to choose from and all offer a variety of different experiences for the true cowboy or cowgirl in each and every one of us!


Golfing at one of Vail’s seven world-class public and private courses is an experience you won’t soon forget, thanks to the wide variety of terrain and the unbelievable mountain backdrops. Vail Golf Club, one of the area’s most popular courses, is located at the base of the Gore Mountain Range and offers an amazing 18-hole experience at a whopping 8,200 feet in elevation!   Regardless of your skill level, keep in mind balls do fly further at elevation so keep that in mind when filling out your scorecard!

Best Rainy-Day Activity

Ski and Snowboard Museum

Just because there’s no snow for skiing or snowboarding doesn’t mean you can’t still learn all about it. The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum celebrates the evolution of snow sports, as well as the history of the Vail area. Check out the interactive exhibits on your own self-guided tour or take one of the guided tours that are offered on Tuesdays and Fridays.


To learn more about any of the above activities, find out about other types of summer fun, or to book your mountain adventure in the Vail Valley, please contact us directly!   


Photo Credit: Jack Affleck

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