Going to Vail, Colorado for the very first time in September is definitely something I would do–and I did.
It’s getting ready to rain atop Vail Mountain. I’ve just taken the Gondola up the steep mountainside. I shared it with a couple who were clearly visiting their twenty-something son who clearly just opened a Burton store in Vail. Or something like that. They shifted their eyes back and forth between him and the village below, as if to say they weren’t sure which was more frightening: the ascending ride or his “I Really Do Have My Shit Together, Guys” act.
The storm clouds are rolling in, painted in deep purples and grays. No one else up here seems to be as inconvenienced by the pending doom as I am, but I appear to be the only person wearing short sleeves. I quickly take the Gondola back down the mountain, making a point to get my own car (or however you refer to the seating on these things).
When I fell asleep in my hotel room that night, I took some time to think about how my day had gone. I’d woken up that morning to a sprawling much-more-than-continental breakfast at AtWater, a restaurant in Vail Cascade. I followed that with one of the deepest deep tissue massages I’ve ever received. I followed that with time in the hot tub. After my time in the hot tub, I took the Gondola up to the top of Vail Mountain and grabbed some breathtaking shots. I then went downtown to greet some old friends of mine who decided to drive out from Boulder and meet me in Vail for dinner and drinks. It just so happened to be Oktoberfest in Vail that evening. We dined at a great little bar/restaurant where we ordered bean burgers that, for once, did not suck and we drank beer out of steins in the city square while watching a toddler dance in circles to the live band. It hadn’t been a bad day at all.
Vail in the summertime is a vacation spot not yet announced to travelers at large. What would be $700 hotel rooms in December are $100 in August. What would be streets flooded with overzealous skiers in January are quaint and quiet outdoor cafes where you can grab a glass of wine in peace in June. What would be snow covered aspens in February are a palette of fall colors in October. See my point? You’re fooling yourself if you think Vail is only worth it in the winter.
By: Elizabeth Seward