Vail Mountain is the largest ski resort in North America, and the quality of life that comes with living here is high, as you might expect. In a relatively narrow valley, many Vail homes and condos border the picture-perfect, gold medal waters of Gore Creek, which runs east to west through the four areas that make up Vail: East Vail, Vail and Lionshead Villages and West Vail.

While there are four distinct neighborhoods that make up Vail, only two of them – Vail Village and Lionshead – offer immediate access to the ski resort. Together, these two form the hub of the town and provide high-quality living right in the thick of things. Not only is it easy to hit the slopes from either Vail or Lionshead Villages, but they’re incredibly convenient for taking advantage of Vail’s world-class arts, shopping and festivals. The in-town bus route is free and frequent, allowing for effortless, car-free (and carefree) transportation. However, cruising around by bicycle or on foot are chief benefits of living here, with tranquil, cobblestone streets and European-inspired architecture in this lovely, welcoming village.

To the east of the two main villages is East Vail. This area is the closest in Eagle County to the numerous ski resorts of Summit County, making skiing at Vail or Copper Mountain, Keystone or Breckenridge all readily convenient. Here, in the awesome shadow of Vail Pass, you’ll find a little more seclusion than in other parts of town, with easy access to national forest hiking and the bike trail that connects to destinations up and down both Summit and Eagle Counties. East Vail is made up of single-family homes (many of them luxury homes lining Vail Golf Club), as well as rustic townhomes and picturesque apartment complexes.

Buying in West Vail means you’ll have amenities like the grocery store, hardware store, post office and pharmacy right down the street. Real estate here ranges in price from modest to luxury and custom homes – with both houses and condos available – and generally the feel is less fancy and more down-to-earth than some of the other areas. West Vail, like all of the other areas that make up Vail, is equally popular with fulltime residents and those who take advantage of the hopping rental market to recoup their home costs.