The Town: At the base of the mountain, just off Interstate 70, is the town of Vail. It caters largely to high-end travelers, with luxury accommodation, fine dining, and upscale shopping. By ski village standards, Vail is big. Along the interstate, you’ll see exits for East Vail, Vail Town Center, and West Vail. Vail Town Center, including Lionhead Village immediately to the west of, and essentially joining Town Center, is where all of the action is located. Town Center or Lionhead is also where you will likely want to park for a day of skiing, and where you will find dining and shopping. East Vail is quite removed from the action, mostly occupied by homes and condos, and staying here will require figuring out transport to the ski hill. West Vail is a little more accessible and offers easy access to grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and more everyday shopping. You will still have to take a shuttle to the mountain.
Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Staying in Vail is pricey, but more affordable accommodation can be found in the surrounding towns, from Silverthorne and Frisco over to Avon and Eagle. Many visitors fly into Denver and drive or take a shuttle to Vail, but the closest airport is the Eagle Vail Airport, about a 40-minute drive from Vail.