We did a 2 week honeymoon in Vail in March and had a great time. We’re skiiers, so we cared less about “going out”.
We flew into Denver, rented a car, and spent our first night in Minturn at the Minturn Inn. It was super cute and the people were really friendly. We had an awesome dinner at the Minturn Country Club (cook your own steak). Earlier that day we did take a drive through Vail when we got into town and went to pick up our lift tickets (we had Epic Passes).
We had a 3 bedroom condo rented in West Vail for the rest of our trip, and we couldn’t check in until later that afternoon (after staying in the inn) so we actually headed right to the slopes, got our gear and went skiing for a half a day. We checked into our condo, went to the grocery store, and then just hung out.
We had people join us for about 5 days, so we spent a lot of time skiing, cooking dinner, relaxing in the hot tub. We ate a few meals in town for dinner, and all our lunches out on the slope.
After our guests left, we actually ran into a family we know at one of the lodges one day skiing. We went tubing with them one night, which was surprisingly way more fun than I thought it would be. We also went snowmobiling.
Our last day in town we didn’t ski, instead we got in the car and took a drive. We stopped in Steamboat, it was dead. Then we went to Aspen….dead. Seriously, it was like a ghost town. We walked all around Aspen and within an hour had seen everything and decided to hit the road and head back to our condo.
How experienced of a skiier are you? There are definitely areas I would suggest over some others. For example, if you aren’t super experienced I wouldn’t suggest Aspen as the mountain (IMO) is more difficult. Beaver Creek would be a good spot for easier skiing. I know an OP considers Vail a “fake town”, but honestly, we didn’t really care about the town too much. We liked Vail mountain because of the versatility. My Darling Husband is a very experienced skiier, while I’m middle of the road. I could stay in certain areas while he could go ski the back bowls and other more difficult areas. We stayed together most of the time, but there were certain times where I’d go relax in a lodge on the mountain while he’d go do a couple of more difficult runs. I would have hated skiing Aspen, while he would have probably not enjoyed Beaver Creek that much.