No Skiing? No Problem! Discover something interesting near Vail

  • 5 Things To Do
  • Colorado Ski Museum
  • Vail Art Galleries
  • Visit Leadville
  • Visit Glenwood
  • Vilar Arts Center

No question: The main attraction in Vail in the winter is the skiing. 

But what about the days you need a rest?

Or what if you don’t ski?

Take heart: There’s far more to do than hang at the hotel or stroll Bridge Street.

The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum

Smack in the middle of the Vail Village parking structure, the ski museum is free to enter—and instantly hypnotizing once you do.

Tracing the entire history of skiing, the museum reveals details of WWII’s heroic 10th Mountain Division, which trained at nearby Camp Hale, and provides educational fun facts, plenty of props, videos, and interactive exhibits—think rickety wooden skis that make you appreciate your modern slick sticks, and neon onesies you won’t believe were once popular.

Plan on anywhere from a 15-minute glance to a couple hours for the full experience.

Art galleries

Pro Tip

Around the Vail and Beaver Creek base areas, you can easily spend more than a day soaking up original artwork, much of it worthy of big-city museums.

You will be amazed how many galleries there are to explore in Vail Village, Lionshead, Beaver Creek, and Edwards.

There are the eclectic earrings, cuff links, necklaces, rings, and bracelets handcrafted on site at Karats, one of Vail’s oldest jewelers; extraordinary outdoor photography at local Matt Inden’s gallery in Lionshead; abstract, colorful paintings at Beaver Creek’s C. Anthony Gallery; and bronze wildlife sculptures along Vail’s Meadow Drive.

Around the Vail and Beaver Creek base areas, you can easily spend more than a day soaking up original artwork, much of it worthy of big-city museums.

Leadville

Photo by: @CraiCrai

A scenic 40-minute drive through Minturn will beam you straight back to the Old West in Leadville.

At 10,200 feet, Leadville is the highest city in the United States.

It was also the richest at one point, thanks to the silver and gold mining boom of the 1800s.

Now it’s a rustic strip of antique stores, cafes, and saloons—check out the ghost pictures on the walls at the Silver Dollar—and a hot spot for haunted hotels and curious tourists.

Take a tour of the spooky Delaware Hotel, or time your visit to witness the annual ski-joring contest, in which cowboys sprint horses down snow-covered Main Street towing skiers, who hit a series of jumps and rings.

Glenwood Springs

Photo by: @atruebrunette

Most people know about the hot sulfur pools in Glenwood, but the town itself is full of history, unique shops, and restaurants.

There are stalactite and stalagmite filled caves to explore, and a top-of-the-mountain fun center with an alpine coaster, 4-D theater, and laser tag—all about an hour’s drive from Vail, making for a fun and easy day trip.

Vilar Performing Arts Center

Want to see an international ballet, opera, family theater performance, or famous stand-up comic?

Make your way to the Vilar Performing Arts Center, located in Beaver Creek Village.

Peruse the full winter lineup of evening performances and family-oriented matinees here.

Plan Your Trip

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