Vail, Colo. — known for its snowy slopes and great skiing conditions — is also a great year-round destination for any food lover. I spent a long weekend enjoying Vail during the "off-season," which meant morning climbs to 10,000 feet for breathtaking views of the valley and neighboring mountaintops and afternoons spent relaxing with a novel fireside or indulging in spa treatments. And then, of course, there was the food.
During the day I strolled around the city finding food-centered happenings anywhere from Oktoberfest brat-tastings to local farmers' markets. In early October, you can still get some of the late-summer treats Colorado is famed for: sweet fresh corn and peaches, as well as fruits and vegetables from the fall harvest. Evenings were topped off with cocktails and dinner, without a moment’s wait, at the town’s most coveted tables, every single night. From elk corn dogs at Back of House Burgers — a single hidden able located right in the middle of Flame steakhouse’s kitchen — to fresh sashimi at Nobu’s Vail outpost Matsuhisa, the culinary scene in Vail has something for everybody.
With none of the crowds of tourists you'll find during the winter, your autumn visit will really have you wondering why Vail’s best gem hasn't already been mined by the masses. For a better view of what culinary treats Vail can offer an off-season visitor, check out the slideshow of Vail’s best autumn eats.