Vail Colorado is a popular ski resort. You can ski on groomed corduroy intermediate trails for several days. There are three main villages that offer lodging and dining options. A Vail Ski Resort trip to Vail is a must. You can make it even easier by visiting Vail Colorado’s massive ski resort with all the right information and tips so that you have every opportunity to enjoy the fun. This family guide to Vail Colorado will assist you in planning your family’s ski vacation.

Vail is accessible via two airports if you’re flying in. You can reach Vail from Eagle County Regional Airport in 30 minutes. However, Denver is 100 miles away and offers more flights. If you don’t want to rent a car, or are not comfortable driving in the mountains or snow, both airports offer shuttles from one airport to another through Colorado Mountain Express. You can also rent a private car from Denver to Vail. Vail Colorado is just off Highway 70. You can either rent a car at the airport, drive yourself, or relax. You can’t miss it. It only takes 70 minutes to drive through private car service from Denver to Vail. It’s that simple. 

You will need to know where to park if you plan on day-tripping to Vail Ski Resort. The village areas are not allowed to have cars. You will find great signage and convenient parking areas at Vail Village as well as Lionshead Village. The village shuttles are available for free, although parking at these villages may cost you some money. Parking for less than 1.5 hours is free. However, parking for between 4 and 15 hours costs $30. For longer periods of time, it will cost you $50. You can save money by arriving later. Parking is free for those who arrive after 3:00 p.m. It’s also a good idea to be aware of the apres-ski entertainment and dinner options. Between 1 and 2 p.m., $10 applies. If there are no spaces available, the resort will offer overflow parking along the frontage road. 

There are many free parking spots in the outlying areas that you can use from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., which varies each day. These locations can be accessed via buses. If you’re interested, you can find out more information on the Town of Vail website. We recommend that you accept that parking will be charged for equipment and tadpoles.

Vail Colorado: Where to Stay

Do you prefer to stay in a town or a village? Vail has many factors to consider when choosing a ski hotel. Your budget, your ability to plan ahead, and your desire to be close to the lifts or lessons. (Note: there are many Vail ski lesson locations). Many village hotels offer attractive services like ski valets or shuttles. Regardless of where you are staying, all Town of Vail buses run for free and connect to the villages and other parts of town.

These are the main Vail Villages:

Vail Village — A walking village with original architecture, luxury hotels, restaurants, and boutiques

Lionshead is a “Austrian-inspired village” that has been renovated with ice rinks, restaurants, hotels and condos. It also houses the children’s ski school and shopping. You can also hop on the Eagle Bahn Gondola for more winter fun activities

Golden Peak — A five-minute walk from Vail Village, this quiet village offers lodging, the Vail Child Care and Nursery, and is close to a terrain park and ski racing.

There are also options for lodging in Vail, such as:

  • East Vail
  • West Vail
  • Cascade Village
  • Sandstone

Avon is a town near Beaver Creek ski resort.

Beaver Creek

When researching Vail’s best places to visit, these are some of the questions you should ask:

  • Is the property in the right place?
  • Are the properties ski-in/ski-out or are they a walkable distance from a lift?
  • Is there any special winter season limousine service to Vail?
  • Is there a hot tub or a pool?
  • Is it close to restaurants or does it have a kitchen?
  • Is parking included?
  • Is it able to offer ski valet?
  • Are there any benefits such as ski-free kids?
  • Is it equipped with Wi-Fi?
  • Is the hotel suitable for families?

Although you don’t need all of these things to have a great skiing vacation, it helps to plan. It is not fun to wake up wondering how you will get your morning coffee, or miss out on an opportunity to save money (like a ski valet). As ski parents, we know the importance of making it as simple as possible.


Vail Colorado is a ski town with a unique character. It was built after the resort opened. The market opportunity that was inherent in opening a ski resort less than two hours away from Denver was recognized by the resort’s founders. They also predicted a boom in Front Range population. The area offers a wide range of amenities, as well as a strong public transit system that makes it easy to get around.

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