The terms “off season” or “shoulder season” are mighty controversial in the Vail Valley. To some, these terms are regarded as negative and not entirely accurate. To others, it is simply giving a name to the brief period between the departure of the summer tourists and the arrival of the winter tourists. Regardless of what side of the debate they are on, most locals can agree that the Vail Valley’s brief autumn just might be the best time of year in Eagle County.
Whether you’re looking for outstanding deals at local shops and restaurants, watching the golden aspens spread from higher to lower elevations or getting in one last mountain bike ride before the snowfall, the autumn is a great time of year to visit the Vail Valley.
Here are our recommendations:
Enjoy The Golden Aspens: You won’t have to go far for the foliage, but you may have to move quickly. A drive through some of our higher-elevation neighborhoods, such as Wildridge or Booth Creek, is a great way to take in the scenery. If you’re looking for a more natural setting, Sylvan Lake State Park outside of Eagle is the place. Here you’ll find some outstanding scenery for hiking, fishing and picnicking just minutes from town. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, Fulford Cave has re-opened to the public after a lengthy closure to protect bats from white-nose fungus. Just remember to bring plenty of light, where a helmet and follow the rules.
Visit the Farmer’s Market: The Vail Farmer’s Market & Art Show runs every Sunday through October 5th. Here, you’ll find locally grown produce, international foods, fresh baked goods and Colorado wines. At the Art show you’ll find clothing, jewelry, handmade home items and more!
Shop the Sales and Specials: Fall is discount season in the Vail Valley. The resort communities of Vail and Beaver Creek in particular are great places to look for deals before the snowfall. From two-for-one deals at local restaurants to inventory reduction sales to make room for the latest winter offerings, you never know what you’ll find. If you have a particular destination in mind, you may want to call ahead – reduced hours are almost as common as the sales.