Vail, Colorado, is one of the most prestigious addresses in North America. If you are looking for Vail condos for sale this primer will help you get a feel for the lay of the land. The beautiful mountain town is best known for its luxury condos and private homes, wealth of recreational opportunities including outstanding skiing, fine dining, terrific shopping and bustling nightlife.
There are homes, condominiums, townhomes, duplexes and fractional ownership opportunities only steps from the ski slopes at popular areas like Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. There are also a few multi-million-dollar luxury homes along the mountainside, some with ski-in, ski-out access. There are also more affordable neighborhoods only a short drive or bus ride away in West Vail or Red Sandstone.
Sitting more than 8,150 feet above sea level, iconic Vail Village is the heart of the Vail community and the original village created in the 1960’s. The European-inspired village is largely recognized for its distinctly Austrian chalet design, heated cobblestone streets and overall vibe as a world-class ski hamlet. Vail Village is bounded on the east by Vail Valley Drive and West Forest Road to the west. The northern boundary is South Frontage Road while Vail Mountain Ski Resort covers the southern boundary.
Many prospective homeowners looking for Vail condos for sale choose Vail Village because of all it has to offer. The village is home to incredible dining, superb shopping, fulfilling cultural experiences, fun special events and entertaining apres-ski and after-hours get-togethers. Nearby attractions include the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, the Ford Amphitheater, Vail Athletic Club and the Vail Nature Center.
Of course, the main allure of Vail Village is its immediate access to some of the world’s best skiing on Vail Mountain. From the village, skiers and snowboarders can get right into the powder. Skiers can hop on the Vista Bahn Express Lift at Vail Village and then catch the Mountaintop Express Lift to the summit of Patrol Headquarters or take Wildwood Express Lift to the top of Wildwood.
During the summer months, Vail Village is the epicenter of activity in the valley. From boutique shopping and art galleries to five-star dining experience and pampering spa treatments, there are entertaining adventures around every turn. Many vacationers enjoy staying in the village during the warmer months for immediate access to hiking and biking on the mountain, and access to nearby championship golf. It’s also a great jumping off point for whitewater rafting, parasailing and fly-fishing outings.
Vacation rental properties make up a large portion of the residences around Vail Village. Once you choose your vail condo for sale, many owners will rent their property to vacationers through a vacation rental management company or other service like AirBnB. This is a popular method for owners to make additional income from their investment while they are not using it personally.
Just east of Vail Village is Golden Peak. The neighborhood is often considered Vail’s third base area, following Vail Village and Lionshead to the west. Golden Peak is home to Vail’s ski school and the Ski & Snowboard Club of Vail. The alpine racecourse and the 22-foot halfpipe on Golden Peak are popular training grounds for current and future Olympians. The Burton US Open snowboarding championship is held in the halfpipe every March.
Another allure of Golden Peak is Blue Sky Basin, a 525-acre snowy playground for intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders with plenty of blues and blacks to dominate. The basin sees increased traffic on big powder days beginning in late December.
Golden Peak has a much more laid-back vibe than Lionshead and Vail Village, which are more lively and have more services, restaurants, shopping and general points of interest. At Golden Peak, you’ll be grabbing a quick bite at the trendy marketplace at the base before hopping back on the lift for more turns. The neighborhood has considerably less lift traffic than Lionshead and the Village, so it’s easy to make up-downs all day with little waiting.
There are vacation rentals and Vail condos for sale at Golden Peak. Most properties range from smaller studio and one-bedroom condominiums to larger two-, three- and four-bedroom units. There are also a few high-end slope-side residences with ski-in, ski-out access. Condos typically have luxury furnishing and amenities to attract potential renters. Many owners rent their condos out to vacationers when they are not using it themselves.
The Fitz at Manor Vail presents a hip apres-ski scene, and the patio at Larkspur offers prime après specials just steps from the lifts. Parking is limited in the area and there is no dedicated parking structure like the other two base areas. Paid parking is available at Manor Vail Lodge and a few other spots around the neighborhood. So, it tends to just be homeowners and vacation renters here.
Lionshead Village is to the west of Vail Village. While it has been around for decades, the neighborhood has changed considerably over the past 15 years with a complete revamp of the area. Today, Lionshead Village has a central square area with excellent mountain access, some high-end hotels, wonderful dining and shops, and a good selection of vacation rental condominiums available to skiers during the winter months. Finding a vail condo for sale here is a dream come true! The neighborhood is a convenient home base for summer activities like whitewater rafting, fly-fishing and hot-air ballooning.
To get to Vail Village from Lionshead Village is about a 10-15-minute walk, but there is a free shuttle that runs between the base areas every few minutes. It’s easy to hit the slopes at Lionshead Village in the morning and catch the shuttle over to the village for apres-ski. You can also navigate your way from base to base through the mountain’s extensive lift network. It’s always more fun to ski it!
To the west of Lionshead Village is Cascade Village, a luxury neighborhood with immediate mountain access via Cascade Village Lift 20. The base area is smaller than Vail Village and Lionshead Village. The Grand Hyatt Vail is the keystone hotel of the neighborhood, just steps from the lift. Donovan Park and Donovan Pavilion are just to the west of Cascade Village.
The neighborhood offers multi-million-dollar private Vail condos for sale and rent. The upmarket neighborhood is a hit with high-income families and discerning travelers who want privacy, plenty of room to roam, and world-class skiing just steps from their front door. The free Vail bus makes a stop at Cascade Village, so it’s easy to traverse the entire valley.
Directly across Interstate 70 to the north of Cascade Village is the Red Sandstone neighborhood. The neighborhood extends along the north side of the interstate from Lionshead Village to Cascade Village. It is home to most of the area’s core services like the post office and Red Sandstone Elementary School.
There are several affordable condominiums and apartment complexes in the neighborhood that cater to long-term residents and some seasonal employees. There is excellent hiking in the area, with several trailheads that provide plenty of sunny morning treks along the South-facing slopes.
The Red Sandstone area is where a good portion of the working class of Vail Valley reside. Property in this neighborhood is considerably less than Vail condos for sale at any of the base areas, mainly because there is not immediate access to skiing. It is one of the best neighborhoods to consider if you’re looking for affordability or simply trying to get a foothold in the valley.
West Vail is directly west of the Red Sandstone neighborhood. The north side of the interstate has gas stations, fast-food restaurants, a grocery store, the fire department and several retail businesses. There are also private homes tucked away in the foothills that are mainly full-time residences for the local working class or more affordable Vail condos for sale.
The south side of the interstate is heavily wooded and more private – and presents a few select condominiums and luxury residences. The nearest base area for residents or guests of West Vail is at Cascade Village via free public bus.