Vail, Colorado, with its stunning landscapes and vibrant village, offers a playground of possibilities for young adults seeking adventure, cultural immersion, and personal growth. From the majestic peaks of the Rockies to the bustling streets of Vail Village, the area is a mosaic of thrilling outdoor activities, rich arts scenes, and educational opportunities. Our “Things To Do in Vail, Colorado for Young Adults” guide will give you a rundown of some of the best activities to make the most of this awesome town.


Outdoor Adventures for Young Adults in Vail

For young adults seeking an exhilarating outdoor experience, white water rafting with SAGE Outdoor Adventures is a must. Located near Vail, SAGE offers a variety of rafting trips on the Eagle and Colorado Rivers, catering to all skill levels. Here’s a deeper look into what you can expect:

  • Upper Colorado River Rafting Trip: This trip is ideal for beginners and families. It features gentle Class II rapids, scenic canyons, and opportunities to swim in calm sections of the river. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy the beauty of Colorado’s waterways without too much intensity.
  • Shoshone Colorado Rafting Trip: For those looking for a bit more excitement, the Shoshone trip offers Class III rapids that are both thrilling and family-friendly. This 2-hour adventure takes you through stunning landscapes and provides a mix of adrenaline and relaxation.
  • Lower Eagle River Rafting Trip: This trip offers a balanced adventure for intermediate rafters. The Lower Eagle flows through a 2000-foot tall canyon, providing both excitement and awe-inspiring views. It’s a great option for those who have some rafting experience and are looking for a memorable ride.
  • Upper Eagle River White Water Rafting Trip: For the thrill-seekers, this trip features continuous Class IV rapids, delivering some of the best whitewater action in the state. The Upper Eagle River’s steep gradient creates a fast-paced, exhilarating ride that challenges even experienced rafters.
  • Gore Creek Vail Village Whitewater Rafting Trip: This unique trip allows rafters to navigate through the heart of Vail Village. It combines the thrill of Class III rapids with the charm of rafting through an iconic Colorado town, making it a favorite for both locals and visitors.

Each trip is led by expert guides who prioritize safety and provide detailed instructions, ensuring that even first-time rafters feel confident and excited. SAGE Outdoor Adventures prides itself on maintaining high safety standards, making your rafting experience both enjoyable and secure.


City Life and Cultural Experiences in Vail

Dining in Vail

Vail is not only known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor adventures but also for its vibrant dining scene. The city is a hotspot for foodies, featuring everything from high-end restaurants to casual eateries emphasizing local, sustainable ingredients. The town offers an impressive array of culinary options, from casual eateries to gourmet restaurants, catering to every palate. Here are some highlights:

  • Mid-Vail: Located at the top of Gondola One, Mid-Vail offers stunning views of the Gore Range and a variety of on-mountain dining options. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and recharge after a morning on the slopes.
  • Eagle’s Nest Marketplace: Serving lunch seven days a week atop the Eagle Bahn Gondola, this spot offers iconic views of Mount of the Holy Cross and Game Creek Bowl. It’s a perfect location for enjoying a meal while soaking in the majestic scenery.
  • Two Elk: At the top of chair #14, Two Elk is an iconic mountaintop venue known for its stunning views of the Legendary Back Bowls and its signature Pork Green Chili. This location combines great food with breathtaking vistas.
  • Wildwood Smokehouse: For barbecue lovers, Wildwood Smokehouse, located at 2 miles high up chairlifts #3, #17, or the new Game Creek Express, is a must-visit. Enjoy specialty BBQ in a unique mountain setting.
  • Express Lift: Situated at the base of Gondola One, Express Lift is the gateway to village après-ski activities. It’s an ideal spot to unwind with a beer and a warm pretzel after a day of skiing.
  • Bistro 14: Celebrate Vail Mountain’s 60th Anniversary atop Eagle Bahn in this new dining space featuring fine art from photographer Gray Malin. Bistro 14 offers a blend of gourmet dining and cultural enrichment.
  • Simba’s Café: If you’re seeking a convenient grab-and-go option, make your way to Simba’s Café at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola. Indulge in warm coffee and delectable ice cream, ideal for a casual snack break.

Nightlife in Vail Village

Vail’s nightlife scene is as vibrant as its daytime activities. The village offers a range of bars, live music venues, and late-night spots where young adults can unwind and socialize. Popular venues like the Red Lion and Shakedown Bar feature live music and a lively atmosphere, making them perfect for evening entertainment.

Cultural Experiences

Vail also has a rich cultural scene. The village often hosts art exhibitions, theater performances, and film screenings, providing young adults with diverse cultural experiences.

Vail’s blend of culinary delights, lively nightlife, and cultural events ensures that there is always something exciting happening, making it a fantastic destination for young adults looking to enjoy a well-rounded experience.


Most Important Festivals in Vail

Vail is also a hub for vibrant music and cultural festivals that especially appeal to young adults. Here’s a look at some of the top music and festival experiences you can enjoy in Vail:

  • Bravo! Vail Music Festival: Held every summer, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival is a highlight of the Vail cultural scene, attracting world-renowned orchestras and soloists. Young adults can enjoy a wide range of classical music performances in stunning outdoor venues, such as the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. This festival offers a unique blend of high-quality music and breathtaking mountain scenery, making it a must-visit event for music lovers.
  • Vail Jazz Festival: Spanning several weeks in the summer, the Vail Jazz Festival brings together top jazz musicians from around the globe. The festival features a mix of free and ticketed events, including intimate performances, lively jam sessions, and educational workshops. The Vail Jazz Party, held over Labor Day weekend, is particularly popular, offering an immersive experience with non-stop music in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Vail Snow Days: As winter arrives, Vail Snow Days kicks off the season with a bang. This multi-day festival includes live concerts, street parties, and various on-mountain activities. Past performers have included big-name artists and bands, providing an exciting start to the ski season. It’s an excellent opportunity for young adults to enjoy great music, meet new people, and celebrate the winter wonderland that is Vail.
  • Vail Dance Festival: For those interested in dance, the Vail Dance Festival is a world-renowned event that showcases a diverse array of dance styles, from ballet to contemporary. The festival features performances by acclaimed dance companies and artists, offering young adults a chance to see top-tier dance in an intimate mountain setting. Additionally, the festival includes masterclasses and interactive sessions, providing opportunities for engagement and learning.
  • Hot Summer Nights Concert Series: This free concert series, held at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, runs throughout the summer and features a variety of genres, from rock and country to bluegrass and folk. It’s a perfect way for young adults to enjoy live music in a beautiful outdoor setting. Bring a picnic, relax on the lawn, and soak in the sounds of summer.

In Vail, there’s always something exciting happening, with a wide range of music and festival offerings to cater to everyone’s tastes and interests. Whether you’re into classical music, jazz, dance, or contemporary concerts, Vail’s dynamic scene makes it a premier destination.


Best Places for Relaxation in Vail

Vail offers a serene backdrop for wellness and relaxation, combining natural beauty with a variety of rejuvenating experiences. Here’s what young adults can look forward to:

  • Manor Vail Spa: Situated near Golden Peak, Manor Vail Spa stands out as a certified Green Spa committed to using organic and sustainable products. This intimate spa offers a range of treatments, including Swedish massage, hot lava shell massage, prenatal treatments, and lymph drainage. Guests can also enjoy amenities like an outdoor pool, hot tubs, a co-ed steam room, a sauna, and an oxygen bar to help combat altitude sickness. These facilities, combined with the serene mountain backdrop, make Manor Vail Spa a perfect spot for relaxation and healing.
  • Sonnenalp Spa: Another top choice for wellness in Vail is the Sonnenalp Spa. Known for its luxurious ambiance, the spa provides a comprehensive menu of services such as massages, facials, and body treatments. Visitors can relax in the indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, and peaceful lounges. The spa’s signature Alpine herbal compress treatment is particularly popular, offering a unique and soothing experience.
  • Outdoor Relaxation: Vail’s commitment to wellness extends to its outdoor spaces, which are perfect for unwinding and connecting with nature. The town features scenic hiking and biking trails that offer peaceful retreats and stunning views. In winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails provide serene, snowy escapes. Additionally, Vail’s parks and open spaces are ideal for picnics, reading, or simply soaking in the mountain air.

Together, these wellness and relaxation options in Vail ensure that young adults can find the perfect balance between adventure and tranquility, making it an ideal destination for rejuvenation and self-care.


Opportunities for Networking in Vail

Vail, Colorado, offers young adults numerous opportunities for educational growth and career development, enhancing both personal and professional skills.

  • SOS Outreach Career Development Program: This program connects local high school students with paid apprenticeships in the outdoors and hospitality industries. Participants spend two weeks in a classroom learning professional skills such as resume writing and tax preparation. They then move on to five-week apprenticeships with companies like Vail Resorts and Sonnenalp Hotel. This hands-on experience helps students build work ethic, confidence, and practical skills, setting them on a path toward fulfilling careers.
  • Vail Valley Partnership’s NextGen Leadership Program: Aimed at young professionals, the NextGen Leadership Program provides opportunities for networking, mentorship, and professional development. Through a series of workshops and events, participants can enhance their leadership skills and connect with peers and mentors in their field. This program is ideal for young adults looking to advance their careers and become leaders in their community.
  • Local University Programs: Nearby institutions like Colorado Mountain College offer a variety of degree programs and continuing education courses that cater to the evolving needs of the workforce. These programs provide young adults with the chance to pursue higher education and gain valuable skills in fields such as business, hospitality, and environmental studies.
  • Internships and Seasonal Employment: Vail’s thriving tourism and hospitality industries offer numerous internship and seasonal employment opportunities. Working with local businesses like Vail Resorts or participating in programs like the SOS Outreach Career Development Program, young adults can gain real-world experience and build connections that can lead to future career opportunities.

Vail offers amazing educational and career development opportunities for young adults. They can gain the tools and experiences they need to succeed in their professional lives while enjoying the unique lifestyle that Vail has to offer.


Final Tips

Vail has got you covered! It’s got everything for the young crowd, from the adrenaline junkies to the ones who love to explore cultures, learn new things, and help out the community. Be it skiing, checking out the artsy and food scene, or lending a hand to the local volunteer efforts, Vail’s energetic ambiance is perfect for creating memories and developing personally and professionally.

You will never have a dull moment here, and it’s a top destination for young adults who crave adventure, self-growth, and a sense of belonging. So go ahead, explore this town’s uniqueness, find your new passion, and live your best life in the Rockies.utdoor adventures.