Vail, Colorado: Where Athletes and Foodies find Common Ground
A Haven for Athletes
Since 1962 when the Vail Ski Resort first opened its doors to the public, the town of Vail, Colorado, has maintained its reputation as a haven for athletes from all over the world. Originally built to house local residents and lodge visitors who came to take their turn down the slopes of the third largest ski mountain in North America, the town of Vail has grown dramatically and is now a bustling center of tourism for the elite (including various celebrities and Olympic athletes) and young ski bums, alike. Although not widely known, with this boom of growth and tourism came an influx of incredible chefs, entrepreneurs and restaurants – now, thanks to companies offering unique activities like the Vail Valley Food Tour, tourists are flocking to Vail for more than just the incredible skiing and white water rafting that has brought them so much attention. Now, they are coming for the food.
When choosing a vacation destination, self-proclaimed “foodies” have historically been drawn to large metropolitan areas like Chicago (known for its deep dish pizza), New York City (with its infamous New York strip steak) or New Orleans (with its crawfish and po’boys) in the United States, or to countries known for their distinctive cuisine like Italy and France, and regions like the Mediterranean. Many foodies have gone to great lengths to avoid the central United States all together, in fact, when planning their gastronomically inspired breaks from the daily grind – that is, until now. Vail Village and Vail Mountain now boast culinary experiences that range from the finest French American fusion and European cuisine to family-run Italian and innovative American fare. With such a wide variety of restaurants available without the hustle and bustle of a large city, one would be hard pressed to come up with a better vacation destination for the quintessential foodie – especially when the invention of the food tour has taken the leg work and research out of finding the perfect location for that delectable bite.
Athletes can be Foodies, too
While it may seem as though exploring the many tastes of Vail is a brilliant way to spend a holiday if you’re a foodie, the reality is that athletes (who might not often have an opportunity to combine their love of sports with their love of food) can now be foodies, too! Because athletes traditionally maintain strict diets in order to function at high levels of activity, it is often quite difficult for them to find restaurants that will cater to their needs. In Vail, however, athletes and patrons with special dietary needs have their pick of delicious dining options. Whether vegan, vegetarian, or simply a fan of the healthier, “lighter” food fare – the restaurant industry in Vail is prepared to offer something for everyone. Besides offering fresh, locally grown produce and meats, many restaurants offer lighter items on their menus without sacrificing taste or quality so the athletic and health conscious can proudly state their foodie status.
Foodies with a Sense of Adventure
In the same vein, a vacation in Vail provides a unique opportunity for foodies of all ages to combine their gastronomical adventures with whitewater rafting in the summer and some of the finest skiing in North America in the winter. Besides the winter activities Vail is most known for, there is hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking and a wide variety of other activities available. There is also a large selection of spas and shopping year round to keep visitors relaxed and happy. Foodies used to large cities and exotic destinations will find a trip to Vail a welcome break, and may even discover they are more athletic than they knew.
Whether a foodie or an athlete, Vail offers both culinary attractions and adventure for either while providing common ground for both. As a result, it continues to be a perfect location for anyone looking for that holiday getaway – be they a family that requires a variety of activities, or a couple looking for romance and a breathtaking view. A day on the slopes followed by a trip to a celebrated local candy store and a dinner at one of the many fine dining experiences Vail offers will be sure to satisfy many a discerning appetite and create memories that will last a lifetime.