10 Under 60
While waiting at the Vail Valley Medical Center, consider popping out into town and enjoying some of the things that help define Vail.
As far as hospitals go, Vail Valley Medical Center is a pretty nice place to wait. The committed volunteer corps and cheery staff make it an easy place to be, whether you’re worried about a friend or family member or simply waiting for them to be done with an appointment. But if you don’t want to hang around the hospital, there are certainly advantages to being at a medical center that’s located smack in the middle of a mountain resort that’s a destination in its own right. So if you’re itching to get out for a bit between appointments, head on out the door — there’s plenty to do.
1. The Town of Vail Public Library is about the coziest spot you’ll find in town. Located just west of the medical center on West Meadow Drive, the creekside library boasts leather chairs, a friendly fireplace and a large magazine selection. There’s also story hour and the occasional puppet show throughout the year.
2. Window shopping is especially easy on pedestrian-only streets. With art galleries, jewelers, clothing boutiques and more, there’s plenty to keep a shopper occupied. If you get tired of walking — or just need to beat a hasty path back to the hospital — hop on the free town shuttle. It stops in front of VVMC.
3. With fancy lanes and designer shoes, bol, located in Solaris, is a pretty swanky bowling alley. There’s also a full menu of “bowling food.”
4. The Vail Interfaith Chapel, just a couple of blocks from the hospital, is a peaceful place to spend a little time. Shared equally by several different congregations — from Catholic to Protestant to Jewish — it’s open to all.
5. The Eagle Bahn gondola runs to Eagle’s Nest during both the summer and winter seasons. The view during the ride is lovely, and includes the Gore Range. Grab a snack at the top. During the summer, jump on the bungee trampoline. In the winter months, go tubing, ski the Nordic track or learn about the local mountain denizens at the Nature Discovery Center.
6. Meandering along Gore Creek is a great way to spend some down time. Sit down on one of the benches behind the Vail Library and watch the water, or head east along the creek. It runs directly through town.
7. Vail’s Art in Public Places has helped make playgrounds places where kids don’t just see art — they play on it. Ford Park, next to the amphitheater, has a couple of sculptures designed for play.
8. On a sunny day, there’s no prettier place than the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Chiseled into the hillside, the path from top to bottom includes a quick tour through different alpine specimens, a babbling brook and, if you’re lucky, a bit of shade.
9. When they’re practicing, it’s thrilling to watch the U.S. Ski Team or the local Ski and Snowboard Club Vail racers training at Golden Peak. They fly down the course.
10. Ice skating at one of the outdoor ice rinks is a thrill. There are rinks and rental places in both Lionshead (Arrabelle) and Vail Village (Solaris). Take a spin and people watch at the same time. There is also an indoor rink at Dobson Ice Arena, next to VVMC, with public skate times.