Colorado Travel Guide | Vail Day Trips

Vail, CO is a great homebase for your Colorado adventure because it is smack dab in the middle of so many great places. Here are some great Vail day trips you need to be sure to check out on your next trip to the Colorado mountains.

The first three towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, and Breckenridge, because of their proximity to one another, could easily be put together for a full day of sightseeing, hiking, and exploration or they can be enjoyed on their own. For Leadville you will want to dedicate an entire day.


30 minutes to the East of Vail is Frisco. This town has a charming downtown area. Main Street is lined with restaurants and shops, which is perfect for strolling. While you are there I recommend visiting the Frisco Historic Park & Museum which is located on Main St.

You will also want to hit up Bread + Salt for breakfast or lunch. If the weather is nice, ask to sit on the patio to enjoy the surrounding mountain views.


A short drive away from Frisco is Silverthorne. This town is bigger than Frisco and is a great place to grab groceries or items from larger stores that aren’t in Vail. But one of my favorite parts of Silverthorne is the abundance of hiking trails in the area. Check out the AllTrails App to find a hike to fit your needs. My two favorite trails are Sapphire Point Overlook for the incredible views of the Dillon Reservoir and Lily Pad Lake for an easy wooded trail that leads to a hidden lake where there is possibility to see moose. While you are in Silverthorne, make sure you drive around the Dillon Reservoir. There are many walking trails, parks, and some gorgeous homes to scope out.


When I was planning my trip to Colorado I was going back and forth between staying in either Vail or Breckenridge. Both have great restaurants, mountain views, and quaint downtown areas. Breckenridge’s historic Main Street is a great place to explore shops, cafes, and restaurants as well as enjoy the historic buildings that date back to the town’s Gold Rush. Breckenridge has some great restaurants and makes a wonderful choice for dinner.

Check out Blue River Bistro while you are in town for a great dinner.


Almost an hour south of Vail is the town of Leadville. At 10,152 feet above sea level, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in North America. Expect to see snowy mountain tops while you are out there. Leadville has a colorful history that starts with the Gold Rush and includes figures like The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Poker Alice, Doc Holiday, and Meyer Guggenheim of the Guggenheim family. There is a ton to explore, eat, and shop in Leadville so make sure you budget for a full day here. Make sure when you are entering Leadville into your GPS you take US-24 to get there for the most scenic drive through the mountains. If you are interested in learning more about Leadville, check out this blog post. This was my favorite Vail day trip out of all of them!

These great Vail day trips will have you busy on your next trip to Colorado!