Like a Local
Quirky, under-the-radar highlights only a local could recommend.
Friday Afternoon Club
What better way to kick off your weekend than to spend an afternoon listening to free music on top of one of America’s most beloved mountains? Keeping with the American Southwest tradition of Friday Afternoon Clubs, Eagle’s Nest – one of three on-mountain dining locations at Vail – hosts their own club with free live music from local bands, food and drink, and lawn games. While it starts at 5 p.m., we recommend you hang out until the end for one of Vail’s best views of sunset.
Booth Falls Hike
With a trailhead off Booth Falls Road in East Vail, this four-mile moderate hike traverses 1,000-feet through the valley to the 60-foot Booth Falls and the lake beyond. While the path rambles through plenty of Aspen groves and meadows full of raspberries and wildflowers, it also opens up for some of the best views of the surrounding mountains – Vail, of course, and the northernmost 14,000-footer, Mount of Holy Cross.
Tea Cup Bowl
Vail’s vast and open back bowls are no secret. Spanning roughly 3,000 acres, they funnel into some of the most scenic drainages in ski country. But one that often goes missed is Tea Cup Bowl with a not-so-obvious unmarked entrance halfway down Genghis Khan off Chair 17. While one of the smaller bowls, it’s loaded with cliff drops and steep shots.
Hot Summer Nights Series
This series, held at the Gerald R Ford Amphitheater, brings in free music every Tuesday that ranges from rock to country and bluegrass to funk. A local’s favorite, try to get there early (doors open at 5:30) to secure your spot on the grassy hillside with plenty of room if you’re bringing lawn games. Pack a picnic and pair it with a beer tasting provided by the annual event sponsor, Crazy Mountain Brewing.
There is nothing more local than a place called Local Joe’s. The no-frills atmosphere of this four-tap bar and pizzeria tends to keep it under tourist’s radar, which is just fine according the locals – as it’s the place for the best made-fresh pizza in the valley. We suggest their Fiesta in Your Mouth pizza, made with chipotle pesto sauce in place of red sauce.