Whether you go to Vail in the winter or summer make sure you go up the gondola. The ride is beautiful and free in the evenings after the slopes close. Walk or bike down in the summer. Walk up and you get a free ride down  (Its only a few thousand feet of vertical)!In the winter there is ice skating outdoors, snow tubing, ski biking, snowmobile tours, a bar, and kiddie snowmobiles. This is something most ski areas just don't have.  They call it Adventure Ridge. Don't miss it.In the summer drive to Piney Lake. If you think Vail is too much glitz and development, just go over the first hill. Piney Lake is equivalent to the Maroon Bells in Aspen without all the hordes of people. You can rent a canoe and paddle around the lake too. The drive is a dirt road with plenty of mountain bike and jeep trails. Another nice summer drive is over Shrine Pass to Redcliff. This road is a little rough, but the wildflowers don't get much better anywhere. There are not a lot of paved roads around Vail other than the interstate. Once around the block on paved roads is over a hundred miles in any direction. The wilderness around Vail goes unappreciated because of a lack of pavement. Take a jeep tour, horseback ride or river raft trip. The skiing is the best in the U.S., but summer is why we live here.