The world knows Vail as a skiing titan, and in summer as a mecca for outdoor mountain sports. But Vail also has a softer, gentler side that keeps those who prefer aesthetics instead of athletics happily occupied on vacation while their friends or family take the high road. If you can’t (or don’t want) to pedal, paddle, trek or troll, and if you’d rather climb onto a massage table than up a mountain, the town of Vail in Colorado’s high country is the perfect place to be in the summer months. First, the charming faux-Bavarian village is car-free, so you can stroll leisurely to check out the cache of chic boutiques, art galleries and outdoor cafes lining the pedestrian-friendly streets. Secondly, the flowers on display in window boxes, street-side gardens and storefront pots are the most spectacular you’ll ever see in one small village. It’s something to do with the sunny days (average 75 degrees F) and cool nights (low 45 degrees F) at altitude (8,200 feet) that make the flowers grow big and beautiful. Finally, there is no charge for parking in summer—all summer—so you can wander through the village and just take in the natural beauty of it all. Besides all that, here are seven soft activities to enjoy the gentler side of Vail.
August 20, 2013