Our Trip to Vail + Denver

The trip overview:

In February, Austin and I took a trip out to Vail, Colorado to visit my brother who lives there, and it was a blast! I realized I have never actually traveled to a snowy place in the winter, so it all felt like such a winter wonderland dream. Vail is the CUTEST ski town and I seriously felt like I was on a movie set the whole time. It snowed every day we were there, which was completely magical!

Neither of us ski or snowboard, but we found a bunch of other fun activities to fill our time. Vail isn't just great for skiing!

We flew in and out of Denver, so we spent a few days at the end of our trip there. The highlight of Denver? SWIMMING WITH SHARKS. (Aka my #1 life bucket list item ever!!!) The worst part? Taking a nasty fall down a flight of marble stairs. Not great. Still recovering from the bruises!

Here are the highlights of our trip:

Food we ate:

In Vail:

Sushi Oka // Best pad thai and sushi!

Cucina at The Lodge at Vail // This brunch was out of this world.

Terra Bistro // This dinner (where we went for my brother's birthday dinner) was RIDICULOUS

In Denver:

Comida // This was the best little taco spot with such great chips and salsa flights!

City O'City // I will be dreaming about these vegan/gluten-free chicken and waffles for the rest of my life. And that pumpkin curry. Insane.

Coffee we drank:

Bookworm of Edwards // This was such a great little spot to stumble upon just outside of Vail. I even found yummy vgf baked goods!

2914 Coffee Denver // We killed time here for a bit before heading to our shark adventure, and it was a fun little stop with great snacks.

Pigtrain Coffee // We spent a morning at Union Station with this coffee in hand, and it was delicious!

Vail activities:

Snowshoeing // You can take free guided snowshoe tours from the Nature Center in Vail, and it was a great excursion! Learned lots about the snow, the critters that live in Vail, etc. It was about 45 minutes since it was snowing hard the whole time, but really fun.

Tubing // We did unlimited tubing runs on Vail Mountain ($75) and it was a blast-- you could go down solo, in pairs, or even all three together. We all were so glad we didn't do just three runs ($45) since we ended up doing it for several hours until we were exhausted.

Snowmobiling // We did a two hour unguided snowmobiling adventure through Nova Guides, less than an hour away from Vail, and it was the guys' favorite part of the trip. We got to head up to the top of several big mountains on some packed trails, going as fast as we wanted, and while freezing, it was super fun.

Vail Yeti hockey game // We decided last minute to go to this local hockey game for like $10, and it was a blast! Super fun and energetic atmosphere in a really cool arena. If you happen to be there when there's a game, you should go!

Denver activities:

Shark cage experience // The Denver Aquarium does cage diving experiences in the sunken ship exhibit, and it was the craziest and coolest thing I've ever done. Full disclosure: breathing through the regulator hose was SO scary and really anxiety-inducing, but once I made it under the water and looked out at the sharks, I was so glad I did it. Best 20 minutes (that felt like a lifetime!).

Tattered Cover Book Store // This bookstore was on all the lists of things to do in Denver, and it's no surprise why. It was amazing. I could have spent all afternoon there.

Stanley Marketplace // This was the COOLEST place that we so accidentally found! It was near our Airbnb, and had a ton of amazing shops and restaurants all in one old warehouse space. I wish more things had been open when we were done eating dinner-- I would have spent a while shopping around!

Union Station // This was a great space in Denver-- several shops, cafes, and a lot of awesome seating areas, perfect for a relaxing morning of reading and writing before heading out to explore.

The Colorado State Capitol // Okay so this is a cool building and I'm glad we stopped in... but it's also where I took a horrible fall down a whole flight of marble stairs... so I basically hate the place now. It was super traumatic and humiliating and very, very painful, and I don't think I'll ever want to go back.

Drinks at Peaks Lounge // This was our last hurrah, and it was a great place to grab drinks and watch the sunset over the mountains and city skyline. Definitely recommend it!

Bookstores we visited:

Bookworm of Edwards // This was the cutest little bookstore near Vail with the best little cafe inside. 

Tattered Cover Book Store // Again, the dreamiest. I actually went to two locations of this bookstore (there's a small one in Union Station!)