Avon Colorado Things To Do In The Summer – A summer trip in Vail usually produces a wonderful result with amazing mountain views. Photo: City of Vail / Jack Affleck
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Avon Colorado Things To Do In The Summer
A summer vacation in Vail, Colorado offers endless outdoor activities. From climbing or descending hills, sailing along the river, exploring the view on foot or on horseback, adventure awaits around every corner. While Vail is known for its world-class skiing, the area offers even more in the summer. With warm, sunny days, cool nights, clear skies and a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy outdoor adventures and nature. As a local family ranging in age from eight to 50 from the Vail area, we love to share our favorite things to do during the summer months.
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At Vail Mountain, Vail Resort’s Epic Discovery truly offers something for all ages. Flying slowly through the air up a mountain on the Eagle Bahn gondola, looking at the lush ski slopes and trees surrounded by mountain peaks is peaceful, relaxing and amazing.
When you reach the top of Vail Mountain, the hardest decision is what to do first. Whether you’re hurtling down the mountain on the Alpine Coaster or the Tube Hill ‘Forest Flyer’, flying through the air on a cable car or testing your mettle on one of the ropeways – there’s something for kids and adults of all ages. I suggest you take a break from all the excitement and challenges and cool off at the Nature Discovery Center while you explore the wildlife.
The view from the top of Vail Mountain is always amazing. But I think autumn is the most beautiful. If you make it in mid to late September, you can eat golden aspen leaves for as long as you can see.
This is our top pick for things to do in Vail with kids because there aren’t many natural settings that combine wildlife and nature education with personal challenges and just plain fun.
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Rifle Falls State Park features a triple waterfall with a 1 mile loop behind the falls and past the limestone caves that are perfect for exploring. Photo: Liana Moore
Western Colorado is home to some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the country. It really is a trip for kids and adults of all ages and skill levels. Our family managed to track down a couple who keep young children entertained with hidden caves and waterfalls.
If you are in Vail, stay and take a strenuous hike up Mt. You can also hop on the gondola for a leisurely ride to the top of Vail Mountain. Perhaps a stroll through the beautiful Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, the highest botanical garden in the country, if that’s what you prefer.
The Vail Valley offers many hikes of varying difficulty. I think it’s worth the drive to Glenwood Canyon, about 45 minutes west of Vail, for the popular hanging lake. Or, if you have small children, head to Rifle Falls State Park for easy access to the top of the falls.
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I don’t think there is a better way to slow down, enjoy nature and de-stress than a hike. Plus, there’s no better time than the present to get outside and into nature with your kids. If Vail hadn’t debuted Epic Discovery last summer and managed to blend nature, education, adventure and fun in a unique way, this might be our pick for kid-friendly things to do in Vail.
Vail is full of really fun parks for kids. One of our favorites is Sunbird Park in the village of Lionshead. Photo: Liana Moore
Visit the local parks! Every town has parks, and many are much larger than Vail. But I would argue that these are special. Not only do they take place in idyllic outdoor settings, but they also encourage imaginative play and activity. Plus, it’s one of those FREE activities that kids will love just as much as the expensive ones.
Vail’s Sunbird Park, known to local kids as Nest Park, has been named one of the coolest parks in the world by Travel + Leisure. Located in Lionshead, the hotel offers suspension bridges, slides, a climbing wall and a spray park to keep children active and entertained.
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In Vail Village, Pirate Ship Park is another favorite. The middle section is a large multi-level pirate ship with a staircase at the top leading to an eagle’s nest. This structure inspires all kinds of imaginative play, from rowing boats on the floor to passages above the ship. The swings and access to the river are a bonus.
From someone who was horse-crazy as a child, horseback riding is a special way to enjoy the mountain views and local flora and fauna during your summer vacation in Vail, Colorado. What an experience it is to ride beautiful, gentle animals while the fun, knowledgeable wrestlers guide you through the mountains. My daughter, one of her friends and I enjoyed a horseback ride at Beaver Creek Stables this summer. Sometimes we felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. But then we rounded a corner to enjoy miles of beautiful views of mountains and ski slopes.
Horseback riding is a summer activity, but it’s an even better option in the fall. The poplars turn golden, the dust settles and there is a breath of fresh air in the air. This is the perfect time for a family trip.
Whether you’re riding down the mountain or riding the bike path along the rushing river, biking is sure to be a summer favorite in Vail, Colorado. Photo: City of Vail / Jack Affleck
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The more adventurous can take a mountain bike ride up and down Vail Mountain. Don’t want to work that hard on your climb? For an additional fee, you can lift your bike onto the gondola and just jump off. There are several other trails in Vail Valley that are among the best mountain bike trails in Colorado.
Take a scenic ride on cruiser bikes along the Vail Bike Trail. Check out the river along the way, then stop for a picnic or ice cream in Lionshead or Vail Village.
Piney Lake with the Gore Range as a backdrop, perfect for horseback riding, paddling or glamping. Photo: Liana Moore
The water is calm. Our favorite place to paddle is Piney Lake, a few miles down a dirt road from Vail on the Piney River Ranch. The ranch rents canoes, but not paddle boards. So bring your own if necessary. The reflected view of Gore Range Lake can’t be beat.
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Nottingham Lake in Avon rents paddleboards. As such, it may be a better choice for visitors who cannot bring their own equipment. Here you will find more water sports and a small beach.
Local outfitters offer rafting for almost all skill levels. Age limits apply to many tours. So be sure to find out more about this before you travel. Our family likes to take Timberline tours on the Colorado River with Father’s Day Pools. It is a very light floating body, so children can also ride along.
Vail Valley offers excellent gold medal windsurfing. Many local outfitters will provide you with the equipment you need and take you to your secret fishing spot on Gore Creek or other nearby rivers.
On Sundays, the Vail Farmers Market offers not only produce, but also art, music, food and more. Colorful vendors line the cobblestone streets, offering visitors a chance to take home a souvenir from their vacation.
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There are natural hot mineral springs in the Colorado Rockies. Not only does it feel good to bathe in warm water, but the natural minerals in the water also have a positive effect on health. Many of these hot springs date back to the 19th century. There’s even an official Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop. Head west to Glenwood Springs and enjoy great swimming!
Vail Pass is a steep bike path down into the Vail Valley. Photo: VLMDAC/Jack Affleck
Some bike rental companies in Vail will rent you a bike and transport the bike to the top of Vail Pass. You will then travel past streams, over a golf course and back to Vail Village. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
Kids of all ages enjoy splashing around in the Vail Children’s Fountain. Photo: City of Vail / Jack Affleck
Family Friendly Summer Activities In Vail, Colorado
All children will be entertained for hours at the children’s fountain in Vail Village. The perfect place to cool off on a hot day. Joy and laughter creak incessantly. But beware, a candy shop is strategically placed in front of the fountain. It will attract you
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