With Labor Day approaching rapidly and all the kiddies going back to school it seems summer is winding down. But it isn’t over yet! The valley is still rockin’ with fun and festivities for all.

Gourmet on Gore is open to the public and features an array of culinary talent. The event runs Friday September 4th – gourmet on the goreMonday September 7th.  Featured events include the Open Air Tasting on Saturday and Sunday from 11-6 on Gore Creek Drive in Vail. The finale will be the Brunch on Bridge Street on Labor Day Monday, September 7th.

The annual Vail Jazz Party is not just about music, but about having fun! It is also the grand finale of the Vail Jazz Festival that has enchanted our valley all summvail jazzer. Vail Spa Condominiums and Vail Jazz have teamed up to offer our best summer rates and a complimentary bottle of wine when you stay two or more nights in a 2 or 3 bedroom residence, just be sure to mention the Vail Jazz Party when completing your reservation

Vail Jazz strives to promote jazz by reaching out to young musicians and young audiences in an effort to keep this American genre alive.  The Vail Jazz Party creates a unique ambiance with a fusion of multi-artist jam sessions and tributes to jazz legends. With over 35 hours of jazz music, The Vail Jazz Party is a shindig you don’t want to miss.

The Annual Vail Rotary Duck Race is also held in Vail Village on Sunday, September 6th. Rotary members sell “duck adoption Sunsetpapers” prior to the race. Adopt your duck online for a chance to win a million dollars! The yellow rubber ducks will race down Gore Creek to the finish line under International Bridge. Prizes are awarded for those holding the “adoption papers” for the winning ducks. The event funds local scholarships for young adults in the Vail Valley. You may also buy your ducks at the Vail Farmers Market  and Art show.

Don’t fret summer is still hanging on in the High Country.

Get your Hike on


The Walking Mountain Science Center offers many free activities that continue through the beginning of September. Listed below are some of these free events. Events are also offered at their Avon location. Enjoy these last few weeks of Summer with some fresh air and beautiful views.

013Nature Hikes

7 Days a Week, 11am-12pm & 2-3pm.  Most ages and abilities, FREE.

Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 7-8pm.  Most ages and abilities, FREE.

Nature Discovery Center

Top of Eagle Bahn Gondola. Vail, Co (970) 754.4675

Meadow Mountain Hikes

Mondays & Fridays, 10am-12pm.  Ages 10 and up, FREE.

Holy Cross Ranger Station

24747 US-24. Minturn, Co (970) 827.5715

Nature at Night: Campground Programs

Saturdays, 7-8pm.  All ages, FREE.

Gore Creek, Teoman Park & Sylvan Lake Campgrounds

Creekside Nature Tours

Sundays, 11am-12pm.  All ages, Donations accepted.

Meet at Walking Mountains Farmers Market Booth.

Vail Mountain Evening Hikes

Enjoy an evening hike on Vail Mountain as the sun starts to set and wildlife become more active. Learn about the habits of the crepuscular and nocturnal animals who make the mountains their home. Take in beautiful mountain views of the Gore and Sawatch Ranges at dusk. Most ages and abilities, FREE. No reservation required, just show up!

Nature Discovery Center 

Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola on Vail Mountains

Schedule: Thursdays. Fridays & Saturdays | 7:00pm-8:00pm | June 25th through September 5th

Travelling to Vail this summer? Check out the latest travel tips from NY Times,, and others!

David Pogue talks smart phone apps, flight search engines, best check-in practices, and lap-top friendly flights on his blog, Pogue’s Posts. See the lastest in travel technology here., the official site of Colorado Tourism, has all the basic travel tips for coming to the High Rockies. Here are a couple of helpful ones for the summertime:

  1. Colorado is the highest-altitude state in the U.S. Drink more water than usual, moderate alcohol and tobacco intake, and, if possible, spend a night in the intermediate-elevation Front Range (Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, or Colorado Springs) or Western Slope (Grand Junction, Fruita, or the Four Corners region) before coming up to Vail. Also, always wear sunscreen and reapply diligently!
  2. Weather changes rapidly here. Dress in layers! It will be cool in the mornings and evenings (mid 40s to high 50s) and then warm during the day (anywhere from low 70s to high 80s). Also, it is currently monsoon season, which means afternoon thunderstorms roll an hour or two after lunchtime. They rarely last very long, but raingear is recommended.

*Staff suggestion: Please know that most properties in the High Rockies do not have air conditioning! Due to the dry climate and high altitude, it is rarely necessary. We recommend leaving your windows open throughout the day and evening (with exception to the afternoon thunderstorms). It will circulate air through your condo and keep it cool.

Lonely Planet, the world-renown travel guidebook publisher, lists Colorado’s top scenic drives as:

  1. Top of the Rockies (115 miles) takes you from Leadville, the highest incorporated town in America at 10,430 feet, down Fremont Pass. Follow Hwy 24 down Tennessee Pass to Minturn. Then bear right on Hwy 92 toward Twin Likes before going over Independence Pass and into Aspen.
  2. Independence Pass (27 miles) is an abbreviated version of the drive explained above, but classic nonetheless. It’s full of old mining ruins, alpine tundra, and glaciers.
  3. Trail Ridge Road (47 miles) goes over the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park. It is one of the best places to see moose and elk. Highlights include Milner Pass and the tiny town of Grand Lake at the west entrance.
  4. Peak to Peak Hwy (55 miles) runs south to north from I-70 outside of Denver up to Estes Park, at the east entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park. Along the way it passes small mining and bohemian towns alike and showcases extraordinary high country scenery, including views of 14,255-foot Longs Peak.
  5. Highway of Legends (110 miles) starts in the southern Colorado town of Trinidad and takes Hwy 12 through Cokedale, passing 300 coke ovens en route over Cucharas Pass as well as the extinct volcanoes, Spanish Peaks.
  6. Santa Fe Trail (188 miles each way) is a long, historic route through southeastern Colorado (again leaving from the Trinidad area) that cross into Kansas. Take Hwy 350 to La Junta, driving through expansive grasslands and ranches. The out-and-back’s highlights include Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, Iron Spring and Picketwire Dinosaur Tracksite.

*Staff pick for driving tour (not on list above): Shrine Pass. From Vail, take I-70 east towards Denver. Get off at exit 190. Merge onto the dirt road south of the highway, following signs for Shrine Pass. There is a 4.6-mile round-trip hike that tours wildflowers on the way up to Shrine Mountain Crags. The scenery at the top is similar to Vail Mountain’s back bowls, but significantly untouched. Hike or not, continue on the 4WD road as it winds through White River National Forest with views of Mount of the Holy Cross. The dirt road brings you into the small town of Red Cliff. Head through town, then turn right on Hwy 24 and drive through Minturn. Merge onto I-70 east to come back to Vail.

–Vail Spa concierges, 8/6/11