Courtesy of Swiss Chalet

For decades, Vail lagged behind competitors like Aspen and Deer Valley when it came to dining. But in recent years, Vail has shaken off its stodginess with a vengeance. Excellent dinner choices abound, wine lists have improved exponentially, and local chefs are obsessed with sourcing Colorado—and even Vail Valley—ingredients, canning or preserving everything from wild mushrooms to superb peaches. It’s no exaggeration to say that dining today is Vail’s secret weapon. Note: Vail is one of the few winter resorts where men still routinely wear sport coats to dinner at the better restaurants. If you have colorful cowboy boots, bring them, too; they’ll go fine with the fur.

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