Visit Vail in spring: Now through May is prime

Mark Vanek

Colorado locals are always quick to point out that the best time to ski is March to May. The days get longer, the sky brightens and the sun will warm your core... yet throughout the night, the snow falls heavy and powdery.

Whether you are a lover of nature, an accomplished or entry-level skier, Vail Resorts has something to offer.

Every run on Vail Mountain is clearly marked, and it takes a mind-blowing 40 minutes to ski down the mountain. Powder days, astonishing panoramas, green slopes next to black diamonds. ... This place is like a Disneyland for skiers...

Getting to Vail

Ditch the idea of getting a rental car in Denver; instead take the Colorado Mountain Express airport shuttle. CME ( has hourly departures from Denver International as well as (Vail) Eagle County Airport. Each van is equipped with free Wi-Fi, so be sure to keep your portable laptop or tablet easily accessible.

Allow 2 1/2 hours for the 100-mile trek from Denver... especially when returning to get back to the airport. Trips are a reasonable $92 per person one way.

Where to stay

Whether planning on a family-friendly adventure or a romantic couples escapade, reserve your accommodations at The Arrabelle at Vail Square in Lionshead Village, or The Lodge at Vail Village.

The Arrabelle is all about time-honored elegance, with never a hint of pretentiousness. The service and professional staff are painstakingly thorough. European charm, gleaming cleanliness, and lavish comfort are in the DNA of this posh resort. Regardless of where you stay in Vail, visit RockResorts Spa at the Arrabelle. The well-designed layout allows for privacy in a tranquil and serene setting. A couple’s massage is romantic and a soothing way to relieve sore muscles from a long day on the slopes.

For a little more nightlife as well as more of a down-to-earth flavor, book your reservations at The Lodge at Vail. This striking resort with an award-winning reputation has luxury bedroom suites that are reminiscent of an upscale alpine villa. It’s in the heart of chic and stylish Vail Village... where the latest fashions meet the slopes. The stylishness and niceties of The Lodge at Vail luxury suites are pleasing to the senses. Elegantly adorned guest rooms open out onto a sun-drenched balcony overlooking pastoral slopes of Vail Mountain.

Vail Sports

Forget about lugging your bulky, heavy ski and snowboarding gear here. Opt for equipment rentals from Vail Sports ( They are conveniently located on the slopes, reasonably priced and have free overnight storage. No fuss, just grab your skis and go... Upon request, their attendants will even wax your rentals and sharpen the edges at no additional charge... When you pick up your skis or snowboard the next day, they are guaranteed to be lighting fast.

Fine dining

One of the latest additions to the Vail dining scene is The 10th, at Mid-Vail. Either ski in or take the scenic Vista Bahn chairlift up Vail Mountain to reach this one of a kind restaurant. Enjoy an upscale lunch or a cocktail in the lively lounge, with stunning views of the Gore Range. . The 10th offers a unique opportunity to break from the skiing and warm your bones alongside an inviting fireplace.

For superb dining, do not miss Flame at the Seasons Resort. Plush leather chairs and an elegant setting foster a relaxed pace for excellent wine and conversation between courses. Fresh cuisine is accompanied by flawless service. Only the finest locally-sourced ingredients and side items are used whenever possible. A first-rate entrée: the moist and tender Bone-In Waygu Ribeye.