No snow? No problem.

Vail shopping is fun whether there's snow or not!

Here in Colorado, we have dealt with a winter with no snow or very little snow so far.  However, it’s no problem!  Opportunities abound for indoor and outdoor adventures with or without snow!

Both Denver and our mountain resorts have experienced a pretty dry winter so far. The average snowfall is at least seven to eight inches  of snow per month. As of December 20, 2017, total snowfall measured 2.8”, all of it from a brief storm on October 9, 2017. Alas, there are other opportunities exist for winter adventures! Here are a few:

1. Outdoor adventures

My bible is 60 Hikes in 60 Miles – a very handy guide book listing a bunch of hikes organized by distance, difficulty, and even special interests like “hikes for kids” and good winter hikes.”  I have completed all of the hikes up to 3 miles, mostly with my dog in tow.  I am currently on the lookout for a comfortable backpack that can fit both my dog and some gear, to try the longer hikes with my best friend.  I tried a front-facing pack from Outward Hound, but it was extremely uncomfortable and difficult to adjust without the help of a friend.  I’m thinking about ordering one  from Amazon, but I wonder whether the low price signals low quality.  Has anyone found one that is comfortable and has pockets for gear as well as your dog?

Ice skating in Vail

Solaris plaza ice skating

Vail has a few outdoor and one indoor ice rinks.  Solaris plaza has a nice outdoor ice rink in Vail Village, and there is also Alderhof Ice Rink, in Vail Square, which is located in Lionshead.  For serious indoor skaters or hockey players, there’s Dobson Ice Arena.  Booth Falls near Vail and on the free town bus route is rumored to be spectacular; I hope to check it out soon.   Options for winter adventures are not limited to just skiing and snowboarding!

2.  Spa-ing

Outdoor water recreation at Vail Racquet Club

Vail Racquet Club outdoor pool and spa

When the ski hill does not beckon, why  not spend a few hours relaxing with a dip in the hot tub or a massage?  Most hotels have at least a hot tub, and upscale resorts generally also have a pool and spa area, too.  Some people find going to the spa even more invigorating and refreshing than skiing or snowboarding.  Plus, you don’t need to put all those heavy clothes on – just a plush bathrobe!

3.  Shopping

Vail Village shops

Shopping in Vail Village

If you’ve exhausted your body, you can always start emptying your pocketbook by browsing at the many upscale boutiques in Vail or other resort towns.  You may find unique stores ranging from pet clothing boutiques to high end human apparel and accessories stores.  My favorite is the Golden Bear in Vail, and I proudly wear one of their necklaces.   If your wallet has already been emptied, window shopping can be a fun pastime as well!  Just imagine that you have unlimited funds and want to try, for example, a $400 under-eye cream. . . .

So when there’s no snow, no problem!  Just enjoy one of our top three non-snow activities!


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