Road Trip: From Vail, AZ to Vail, CO

Although Rita Ranch Automotive & Tire is technically a Tucson auto shop, we’re close enough to Vail that we consider ourselves a large part of the Vail community. We’d be remiss if we were to do a road trip series without including our Colorado namesake.

Vail, Colorado is a 12 hour drive from Vail, Arizona, but for those of you who are missing the winter temperatures and snow-y weather amidst this record breaking heat, or if you’re looking for a popular place to go skiing, this just might be the best road trip you’ll take all year.

Directions from Vail, AZ to Vail, CO

To get to Vail from Vail, hop on I-10 heading East. In Deming, New Mexico you’ll exit on 82A and get onto 1-25 N. Then, about 300 miles later you’ll want to get onto I-70 W. That’ll take you straight into Vail, Colorado.

If you’re traveling during the winter months, be prepared for snowy roads. The roads between Lordsburg and Deming can get very windy and snowy during a storm – so much so that the highway patrol has been known to shut down this portion of I-10. Closer to the Colorado/New Mexico border, you’ll hit mountainous areas. Although these can be beautiful to see covered in white, they can also make driving a little difficult. Get your car checked before you go if you’re expecting bad weather and be prepared.

Once there, here are a few things to do.

On Top of the Mountain

Vail is a small ski city. Much of what there is to do here centers around the slopes. Regardless of whether you want to make your way down an icy hill on two sticks or not, it’s well worth your time to take a trip to the top of the Vail Mountain Resort.

You’ll take a beautiful gondola ride to get to the top of the mountain. There, you can ski, snowboard, sled, or ride one of the other unexpected attractions. There is a zip line and a roller coaster at the top waiting for you. Or, you can simply breathe in the fresh mountain air while taking in the stunning vista scenery.

Vail Valley

Fvail_colorado_-_street_viewrom the top of the mountain you can see the world, but from Vail Valley, you can experience a lively town filled with restaurants and shops.

Cars aren’t allowed on the main shopping street (although there is plenty of parking close by) so you won’t be bothered by traffic. Plan a day trip to walk around the shops and dine at one of the many restaurants in the area. The best part is, you won’t have to break the budget (unless you want to). There’s a range of shops and eateries to match all price points.

Or, if shopping isn’t your thing, plan to take in the beautiful scenery. There are fountains and flower displays throughout Vail Valley. On Saturdays and Sundays there is also a farmer’s market.

Catch a Concert

Colorado has a busy music scene and Vail is no exception. The Gerald Ford Amphitheater is often open with a big name band on stage. Plan to catch a concert while you’re in town. These concerts usually only happen during the summer months because much of the seating is in the grassy knoll area, but if you’re planning to head down for a winter vacation, it’s still worthwhile to check out and see what’s happening on stage .

Have you ever visited Vail, Colorado? Take a (somewhat long) road trip to our town’s namesake for a change of winter or summer scenery.

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