Beat the Heat With Spring Skiing!
May 24 2017

Beat the Heat With Spring Skiing!

By: Elliot Chernis

While the weather is warming up in New Orleans, the snow is still falling in the Mountain West.  Now is a great time of year for spring skiing, and there’s no better resort to hit than Vail.

Vail is consistently ranked the best ski resort in North America.  Vail attracts over one million visitors a year to its world-class skiing and resort experience. 

Flights are plentiful from New Orleans to Denver with a number of non-stop options.  From the Denver airport, it’s roughly a two-hour drive to Vail.  If you don’t feel like driving then check out Colorado Mountain Express, which offers great shuttle service to and from Vail.

The most convenient way to get to Vail is to fly directly into Vail Eagle Airport.  This can be done on most airlines.  American flies to Vail via Dallas, while Delta goes through Atlanta.

Vail is full of great places to stay, including many of the major hotel chains.   There are other great affordable options to be found on websites such as VRBO or Airbnb.  Check out other towns near Vail for even more affordable options.

Vail is known for having some of the best skiing in the country…if not the world.  With almost 200 trails and 33 chairlifts, Vail offers fantastic skiing for the beginner to the expert.

The best way to buy lift tickets to Vail is in advance of your visit.  Their website at gives a complete run-down of various lift ticket packages. 

The Vail Ski School is known as being one of the best ski schools in the world.  The school offers private individual lessons as well as group lessons.  For the kids, Ski School includes lunch and a day’s worth of activities.  Whether you are an avid skier or a novice, a day or two of lessons is definitely recommended.

Another great activity for the kids and grown-ups alike is Adventure Ridge.  This snow park is the size of a football stadium and includes tubing, ski bikes, and kids snowmobile racing.   There’s also a bungee trampoline and snowshoeing available for a memorable afternoon or evening of just playing in the snow.

The Vail Ski School is known as being one of the best ski schools in the world. 

Whether you are an expert skier or a novice, your legs will ache at the end of the day!  Book a massage at the Four Seasons Hotel Spa for quick relief.  The Four Seasons Vail is a new property, and its spa is one of the finest in the country.  Their massage therapists are trained to provide the best possible experience, and despite some pain working your muscles, you’ll feel much better.

Included in your massage is full use of the spa facility at the Four Seasons.  Be sure to give yourself extra time to enjoy the outdoor hot tubs and swimming pool, as well as the wonderful sauna, steam room, cold tub, and refreshments.  Or if you want something a little heavier, grab bar snacks at the Four Seasons bar or dinner at their restaurant Flame.

Speaking of food, the town of Vail offers some of the finest dining options of any ski resort in the country.  There are over 100 great restaurants throughout the town of Vail, with everything from five-star world-class cuisine to classic New York pizza.

One fantastic restaurant not to be missed is Campo de Fiori.  A Vail staple for almost 20 years, Campo de Fiori serves fantastic unpretentious Italian food in a warm atmosphere.  In addition to fantastic food, Campo de Fiori is known for giving exceptional service.  Ask for the GM Mira upon checking in; she will lead you down a walk of fantastic food and great hospitality.  Make a reservation in advance at or via OpenTable.

Campo de Fiori has a complete menu of appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, and entrees.  Start off your meal with an order of the fried calamari, Frittura di Calamari, that’s great for sharing with the table.  Or the amazing Burrata alla Trevisana that is to die for.  After ordeing a soup or salad, go for a half-order of the pasta course.  The Linguine Bottarge made with Tuna Roe is a knock-out.

For your entrée, don’t miss the amazing Agnello al Porto: grilled Colorado lamb chops.  Or the Pollo alla Piastra features the local ABF “Red Bird” chicken that’s big enough to share.

For something more casual like tasty Bar-B-Que, don’t miss Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que in Lionshead.  You may be familiar with Moe’s from one of their other locations across the country, including in Panama City and all over Alabama.

Moe’s is a great spot to hit after a hard day of skiing.  They do a great Happy Hour with $3 tall boys of Pabst Blue Ribbon that brings out a fun, lively crowd.  Grab a seat at the bar and try one of their brisket, rib, or smoked chicken delicacies…and don’t forget to try the featured Sides of the Day!

For a true dining adventure, don’t miss the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse in nearby Leadville.  About a 45-minute drive from Vail, this amazing locale serves dinner in a charming yurt.  Diners must either walk, snowshoe, or cross-country ski one mile into the forest before arriving at the yurt.  From there you are served a multi-course meal that includes soup, entrée, and dessert.  Reservations are a must at the Cookhouse; visit their website at for more information.


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