Vail Village or Lionshead

Vail Village or Lionshead: Which is the Skiing Paradise?

Planning to visit Vail, Colorado for a skiing vacation? You could be confused about where to go in Colorado for the best skiing experience. Most people get confused between Vail Village and Lionshead. Don’t worry, it gets very confusing. 

Well, you could also be looking for summer activities in Vail, Colorado. We have just what you need. 

So, where should you go between Vail Village or Lionshead?

Between Vail Village and Lionshead, the choice depends on you. Because both the villages offer almost similar amenities and activities. Both in summer and in winter. But accommodation costs are a little more in Lionshead. Another factor is that the nightlife in Vail Village is more buzzing. 

Want to know more about these places? Look no further. 

We’ve solved the mystery of both the places in this article. So stick with us till the end to unfold both the villages. 

Let’s dive in. 

Quick Comparison

Vail is one of the best skiing locations on Earth. Vail Mountain’s base ski mountain villages are Vail Village and Lionshead Village. The Vail Mountain’s path goes to these two villages. 

Both are charming mountain communities. With cobblestone streets dotted with restaurants, shops, parks, ice skating rinks, and other amenities.

Vail is home to the United States’ biggest ski mountain. It has a community of only 5,305 people. And Vail Village is an exclusive subset where people escape and enjoy calm elegance. 

Many amazing restaurants and boutiques can be found in Lionshead Village. But it is a little calmer than Vail Village.

Let’s have a look at some of the differentiating parameters at a glance. 

ParametersVail Village Lionshead
Summer Activities SimilarSimilar
Winter ActivitiesSimilarSimilar
Accommodation(3 Star Hotels) Average overnight rate $204,65Average overnight rate$267.75
Mountain accessGondola 1Eagle Bahn Gondola & Born Free Express Lift
Walking Time to Lift5 Minutes7 minutes
Nightlife More livelyLess lively

You can easily get an idea from here. If you want to explore more about these parameters then read along. 

Vail Village or Lionshead: Head-to-head Analysis

The comparison between these two villages almost reminds me of Bally’s tower and Dennis tower. There are so many things to keep in mind while making your decision between any of the villages and towers.

Now let’s move on to a more detailed analysis. Before moving on to the details you should consider a few things. 

Both the villages are very close to one another. Take a look at the Vail Village map or the Lionshead map. You’ll find the places almost next to each other. You have to walk from the Vail Village to the Lionshead. It’ll take you about 10 to 15 mins. 

Hence, most of the amenities and facilities are similar. 

Now that it’s cleared out, let us dive into the details. 

Summer Activities

Although summer is not the most anticipated time in Vail, it can still be enjoyable. You won’t find much difference between Vail Village vs Lionshead in summer. 

Vail Village and Lionshead is the home to many fun activities in summer. Well, it’s not a Dutch Wonderland or Hershey park but you’ll enjoy it to the fullest.

You can ride the gondola and enjoy the spectacular sites at 10,000 feet.

You can also enjoy excellent hiking in the mountains. Trails begin at the base regions. As well as the tops of Gondola One and Eagle Bahn Gondola. Vail Mountain is an excellent spot to go hiking.

You can also enjoy Epic Discovery. It’s an adventure course located at the top of Eagle Bahn Gondola

There are tons of other activities too. Such as Scenic, minigolf, Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, etc.

Winner: Tie

Winter Activities

Winter is the main attraction in Vail. People from all around the world come here. Mostly to enjoy one of the biggest skiing mountains in the world. 

Source: travelandleisure

The most visited places in Vail are the Vail Village and the Lionsden for skiing. Both villages are ski bases. 

As these villages are almost adjacent to one another the activities are also similar. 

Besides skiing, you can enjoy activities such as ice-skating, Nordic School, Spa, Gondola rides, etc. 

Vail Village shopping and Lionshead shopping is also enjoyed during winter. 

Winner: Tie


When it comes to accommodation, the average Lionshead accommodation rate is a bit more expensive. When you compare it with Vail Village accommodation rates. 

Well, you won’t find lodgings like Big Meadows lodge or Skyland resort, that’s true. But you’ll find some pretty decent ones in both the villages. 

Average 3-star Lionshead hotels cost around $267.75 per night for a single adult. Well, although the average price is this you can find cheaper accommodations. 

You’ll find Lionshead 3-star hotel accommodations for as cheap as around $120 a night. 

Besides, you can also choose a more expensive option. You can go for Lionshead 4-star hotels. But it will cost you around $300-$400. 

Here are a few places that are recommended. 

Lifthouse LodgeBegin your travels!
Pet Friendly Vail LionsheadBegin your travels!
Lionshead ArcadeBegin your travels!
Antlers at VailBegin your travels!

However, the average cost of Vail Village 3-star hotels is around $204.65. It’s a per-night rate for a single adult. Like Lionshead, you can get cheaper options for as low as $117. 

And for a little more expensive Vail Village 4-star hotels you’ll need around $300-$400 

Here are a few places that are recommended. 

Four Seasons Resort and Residences VailBegin your travels!
Arrabelle at Vail SquareBegin your travels!
Sonnenalp VailBegin your travels!
The Sebastian – VailBegin your travels!

All these places have great amenities. Like free parking, free wi-fi, room service, restaurants, etc. 

Winner: Vail Village

Mountain Access

Both the Vail Village and the Lionshead are two ski villages. Which has access to the ski mountain. 

Vail Village has mountain access with Gondola 1. 

Gondola 1 opened in 2012 and stretches from the Vista Bahn base area to mid-Vail. It starts from Vail Village and has a top speed of approximately 1,200 feet per minute. This makes it the fastest mono cable gondola in North America.

You’ll get heated seats, LED lighting, and Wi-Fi in each of its 120 cabins. Each cabin can fit 10 riders apiece. Outside, there are ski, snowboard, and bike racks to transport your gear. 

The Eagle Bahn Gondola brings you right to the slopes after leaving Lionshead’s village. It has a vertical ascent of 2,200 feet and can transport 12 riders at once. 

During both the winter and summer, this gondola is accessible at night.

So, both Vail village and Lionshead have access to mountains via specific Gondolas.

Winner: Tie

Walking Time to Gondola Lift

It takes less time to reach the Gondola lift from the Vail Village than the Lionshead. Though the difference is not much. 

It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to reach the lift from the Vail Village. Though it won’t take long to reach the lift from Lionshead too. It’ll take you about 7 minutes. 

Winner: Vail Village


When it comes to nightlife, Vail Village comes on top without a doubt. 

You’ll find bars, true bars, hotel bars, etc. in both the villages. But Vail Village has more decent places than Lionshead. 

Shakedown Bar in Vail Village is a nightlife classic. Shakedown Bar hosts the greatest rock ‘n’ roll events in town. It limits its capacity to ensure that everyone gets the best experience. 

Vendetta’s in Vail Village is also a happening spot for nightlife. It is open 24 hours a day. Vendetta’s is a local and ski patrol favorite. And welcomes people from all around to grab late-night cocktails in the huge bar.

Another nightlife hotspot in Vail Village is the Bridge Street Bar. It is the epicenter of Vail’s nightlife activities, featuring live music and DJs in several areas. Hence, you can choose where you want to start the party.

Well, there are a few places in the Lionshead Village too. Such as the Bart & Yeti’s. This laid-back pub is a wonderful stop in Lionshead for a beverage late at night. 

Source: vailwestwind

Another hotspot for nightlife in Lionshead is the Garfinkel’s. Garfinkel’s is among the trendiest late-night venues in Lionshead! You can take a seat at a picnic table on the expansive terrace.

Winner: Vail VIllage 

Final Verdict 

The final decision depends upon your choice. You should weigh the pros and cons and decide on your ideal vacation spot. 

Both the Vail village and the Lionshead offer great amenities for a good vacation. You can enjoy both summer and winter activities in both places. But people mostly visit the places in winter. 

Besides, you can find great accommodations in both places for a great price. Both the places offer cheap accommodations as well as luxurious expensive ones. But on average you’ll find cheaper ones at Vail Village. 

You can access the mountain through the two access points. From Vail Village, you can access the mountain through Gondola 1. And from the Lionshead, you can get access through Eagle Bahn Gondola & Born Free Express Lift. 

Do remember that, it’ll take you less time from the Vail Village to access the lift. 

Finally, when it comes to nightlife Vail Village is more buzzing than Lionshead. Vail Village caters to livelier bars and true bars. However, the nightlife in Lionshead is also quite enjoyable. 

There are a few spots where you can enjoy a good drink and music. 

In short, both the villages will offer you good times. The choice is yours. 


We’ve curated some of the most frequently asked questions for your consideration. 

How long is the gondola ride from Vail Village? 

The gondola ride from the vail village is about .25 hours long. You can enjoy the scenic vail city of Colorado atop the gondola. You just sit back and enjoy the long 0.25 hours ride. The site is truly breathtaking. Take the gondola to the top of the mountain and explore the surrounding region.

Is Vail expensive? 

Yes, Vail is considered one of the most expensive skiing destinations. On average you need to spend around $801 for skiing every day. Purchasing a lift ticket will cost you around $109. To purchase equipment rentals you’ll need around $39. Meals will cost you around $17 besides the hotel expense. 

How cold does it get in Vail? 

It gets very cold in Vail. Most evenings in Vail are well below freezing. The evenings may be as cold as 0 degrees Fahrenheit from October to April. On average, negative temperatures occur more than 20 times every year. The temperature remains under zero for the majority of the cold season.

Wrap up 

Hopefully by now you know the distinction between Vail Village or Lionshead.

Hopefully, this article will help you have a great vacation.  

That’ll be all from our side. Have a great time in these ski villages.

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