Vail is a resort town and the party never stops.

The people who are in Vail Village on any given night are most likely either working there or on vacation. During the winter, vacationers usually spend the day skiing, the afternoons resting, the early evenings eating dinner, and the late evenings having fun in town.

While skiing is a tiring sport and leaves many people with a need to get in bed at 8 p.m., there are many people who enjoy partying during the nighttime hours. For those who want to stay up late, there are plenty of restaurants and bars that stay open and provide live music and entertainment. There are several types of musicians who work in Vail, including those who specialize in jazz, piano, classical, and pop.

The restaurants in Vail Village and in Lionshead do just about everything they can to make their patrons are happy because visitors and tourists to the Vail area are practically the only source of income that keeps them in business. So, the waiters, waitresses and entertainers in the restaurants and bars work very hard to make sure everyone is having a good time.

Vail was not a town at all until the ski resort was created. Because much of Colorado consists of what used to be mining towns, some of the restaurants and bars in Vail are designed to mimic classic Western saloons. These locations are fun to visit because they provide a certain type of “Old West” atmosphere that is unique to this part of the world.

Use the tips and advice below to learn all the local's tips on the best nightclubs and bars in Vail:

  • Start early to get two-for-one specials and catch the best Happy Hour deals.
  • Ask the front desk staff at your hotel for their personal favorites. They will know where the evening's scene is going off. 
  • Nightly performances at the Red Lion in Vail Village are a lot of fun and a great place to see Vail’s more interesting visitors. Lots of groups celebrating batchelorette parties there in the warm months. Red Lion is the grand-daddy of Vail nightlife.
  • Visit Shakedown Street located at the top of Bridge Street just east of the fountain, for live music featuring excellent local and visiting performers.
  • Both Samana and Vail Underground have nightly DJs and a blend of locals and visitors. Both can be quite fun, depending on who is spinning. Don't miss DJ Way Up High - mad skills, and DJ P-Rock always plays for the crowd. 
  • The Vail Ale House in West Vail serves good pub grub and has music: DJs and live bands. Very much the local nightlife.
  • Vail Resorts is stepping up with Decimo - a world-class nightclub that runs only 6 nights all winter - on Mountain at Mid-Vail. Featured DJs for the 2015 season are: EC Twins, Paul Oakenfold, Porter Robinson, Cash Cash, Stafford Brothers and Baauer. While a bit spendy, this is Miami/Vegas/Rio at 10,000 feet - the World's Highest Nightclub. DecimoVail.com.
  • Frost, in the Sebastian Hotel, has DJs from time to time. If you can catch DJ Green Shark, yummy.
  • As of late 2014, the Ore House on Bridge Street is closed and becoming something else.
  • The Tap Room, also closed, has become Silantro - looks interesting with very nice design and finish. Unsure about their DJ scene.
  • 8150, a Vail legend with the bouncing floor also no longer exists. The Solaris plaza is now there, complete with ice rink. Bol is the coolest bowling alley you have ever seen and Cinebistro serves food and drink with first-run movies, plus there are galleries galore.
  • Further down valley: Castle Peak Grille, Agave, Loaded Joes all have music from time to time. Loaded Joe's has a tiny branch on Bridge Street which is a local's hangout.
  • Top outdoor decks to spend your afternoon include Vendetta'sGarfinkel's and Los Amigos - weather dependent. 
  • In the spring or summer, have a drink at 10,000 feet on the beautiful Talon’s Deck at Eagle’s Nest located at the top of Lionshead Gondola. Amazing views of the Mount of the Holy Cross. 
  • Try Lionshead Liquors behind the Landmark Tower at the base of the Gondola to find all the perfect ingredients for your favorite cocktail or to pick up your favorite Colorado microbrew. Grappa, tucked away just opposite the Solaris, has a good selection, too.
  • Enjoy the Wednesday night Pub Crawl in Vail Village with raffles, giveaways and drink specials - this may be summer only.
  • At this point you are going to need a pizza. Vendetta's is open late, Pazzo's closes early, and Local Joe's delivers scratch-made pies until 2am.
  • Take the Turtle Bus Bar around town and experience the nations first moving bar! They do shuttle services from all the major cities around the valley and they also do private parties and weddings, all with a cash bar on the bus not to mention a great atmosphere and a dancing pole that everyone loves!  For reservations:  http://turtlebusbar.com/
  • Tomorrow morning, try Green Elephant Juicery in Lionshead to help restore your bio-chemistry. Vegan, organic cold-pressed juices.