After the last snows have fallen, thousands of visitors leave this enchanted ski village for home. While skiing is no longer on the list, Breckenridge still has a multitude of activities and attractions for fun, adventure, and relaxation.
Springtime in Breckenridge means fewer crowds, great weather, and alternative outdoor activities. Summertime prolongs the fun, with outdoor concerts, biking opportunities for people of all levels, hiking, zip lining, and more. And in the fall, the town prepares for the ski season with Octoberfest celebrations, the Breckenridge Wine Classic during the peak of fall colors, and the fabulous Breckenridge Film Festival.
A trip to Breckenridge starts with Main Street, with over 200 historic buildings. The Welcome Center offers tons of information about the local area, and visitors can learn about the historic beginning of Breckenridge as a small prospecting town in 1859. Learn about the ups and downs of this gold mining town through the years, its unique history, and the attractions that lure over three million visitors here every year.
Let’s Get Physical
Think mountains, and you think of hiking. Breckenridge is no exception, and offers dozens of easy, moderate, and difficult hikes for every level. As with any physical activity, always bring plenty of water. Note local experts also recommend you start early (afternoon thunderstorms are common), and layer your clothing, since the weather can change from sunny and warm to wet and cold in a flash.
For easy hikes, try Hoosier Pass Loop, Spruce Creek Loop, or Sawmill Trail. Moderate hikes include perennial favorite Mohawk Lakes, McCullough Gulch, or Blue Lakes-Monte Cristo Gulch. For those more advanced hikers looking for a challenge, try the more rigorous Quandary Peak or Wheeler National Recreation Trail.
Another hugely popular outdoor activity is Breckenridge is biking. For one of the best year-round bike tours in town, check out Ridden, conveniently located on Main Street. Jump on a fat bike and join the fun and informative bike tour along the beautiful Blue River to Broken Compass Brewery and The Breckenridge Distillery, the highest distillery in North America. Or rent a bike and head out on your own – wherever you go, you’ll be treated to breathtaking scenery and magical views.
The snow is gone, but through the many activities and adventures at Epic Discovery, every member of the family can find something fun and challenging. From zip lines, rock climbing walls, alpine coasters, wildlife exploration and hand-on interactive “learn-through-play” activities, every guest will have a blast. Your fun will also be good for the environment – the innovative “1% For the Forest” program will contribute one percent of all lift ticket and activity revenue to the Nature Conservancy for forest restoration projects on national forest lands.
Mountain Culture and the Arts
Rocky Mountain Underground (RMU) is a mountain culture company, a home-grown company well known for their handcrafted skis, adventure travel packs, and craft beer. Check out their great line of skis, tailored for the beginner to pro and everything in between. Even when there is no skiing, there is always something fun going on with the good natured folks at RMU – gather for drinks at the bar or in the backyard beer garden, enjoy live music, yard games, movies – or even wash and store your bike.
Let the creative side of you shine at Hot Shop Metalsmithing and Glassworks, as you craft your own jewelry and personal art pieces at this popular studio in the Breckenridge Arts District. Whether expert or novice, guests can enjoy “hot arts” like silversmithing, encaustic painting, and lampworking. Have fun, learn a bit, and leave with your very own creation made with your own hands.
Have a Drink or Two
Broken Compass Brewery – “Where it’s always 5 o’clock on Ski Hill.” Having just celebrated their 4th anniversary, this popular hangout is known for innovative craft beer flavors and friendly folks. Try their Czech Pilsner, Chili Pepper Pale Ale, Coconut Porter, Ginger Pale Ale, or one of their other fun, flavorful concoctions. Come for live music, pot luck dinners, and other fun times at Broken Compass.
The highest distillery in North America, Breckenridge Distillery offers tours and tastings of their classic Vodka, Gin, and Bourbon. Tours are offered on the hour and on the half hour on a first come, first served basis. They even offer a free shuttle to pick you up and drop you off. Or, if you can’t make it out to the distillery, they have a downtown tasting room for your convenience. After your tour, make a point of eating at The Distillery Restaurant, one of the best in town.
The Gold Pan Saloon was established in 1859 as a rough-and-ready bar for miners. Today, the bar is still in business at 103 N. Main St. in Breckenridge, and stands proud as the oldest continuously-operated bar west of the Mississippi. With Breckenridge’s founding as a gold mining town, it’s only natural that novices can try their hand at prospecting for gold. Tour a gold mine, or join in on the Gold Panning Championships held each summer. Maybe you’ll find the next “Tom’s Baby,” the infamous 13.5 pound chunk of gold found by early prospectors.
Where to Stay
There are thousands of great places to stay in Breckenridge. Let Pinnacle Lodging help you choose the perfect place for you. With over a hundred properties to choose from, you’re sure to find a private home, townhouse or condo that fits your needs. We stayed at Pinnacle’s fabulous Bogart House, a five bedroom with all the amenities and a million dollar view of the mountains, just a block from Main Street.
If you are looking to own a part of beautiful Breckenridge, you might want to consider The Grand Colorado on Peak 8. One of the premier fractional real estate ownership developments in town, this luxury ski-in/ski-out complex at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8 offers many advantages and benefits for owners. Come see why this property was voted Best of Summit County for Best Lodging/Hotel.
Great Eats in Breckenridge
Breckenridge Distillery the highest distillery in North America, is also home to one of the best new restaurants in Colorado, the Breckenridge Distillery Restaurant. With a reengineered menu by double James Beard Award winner David Burke, this wonderful eatery has quickly garnered a large number of loyal fans. From appetizers like the Brussels Sprouts with bacon, apple, hazelnuts, and maple to the delicious entrees like the flavorful Korean Pork, the perfectly cooked Kansas City Steak, and the unique Crispy Skin Chicken Breast, diners love the unique flavors in a relaxed mountain setting.
Blue River Bistro serves contemporary Italian-American dishes, with special attention to freshness and personal service in a casual but sophisticated atmosphere. Favorite dishes include the Shrimp and Sausage Pasta, Shellfish Cioppino, and the Ruby Red Trout with a masa crust, light poblano cream sauce, black bean and tomato risotto. The Colorado certified angus beef New York Strip with a mornay sauce and mushroom saute is heavenly, as are the Beef Short Ribs and the Colorado Lamb Shank.
For a quick bite in a casual atmosphere, Giampietro is the place to go for pizza, calzone, pasta and other Italian dishes. For a great burger, sandwich, barbecue, and more try The Canteen Taphouse and Tavern, with a great location and view on Main Street.
For those who want to slice and dice themselves, The Colorado Mountain College Recreational Culinary Institute is a great place to learn new skills in the kitchen. Under the tutelage of chef Ian Buchanan, students are in good hands with this award winning chef. With over 20 years of travel and culinary experience in exotic locations throughout the world, Ian’s extensive knowledge and infectious smile makes his classes both educational and fun. Culinary themes cover the world, including Bangkok on Foot, Magical Spices of India, Pacific Rim Fusion, Paris Bistro, Sicily, and so much more.
Breckenridge remains one of the premier winter destinations in North America, with an annual average of 300 inches of snowfall and 300 sunny days, and a wide array of skiing options. But more and more fans of Breckenridge are coming back to enjoy the numerous fall, spring, and summer activities in this mountain wonderland.
Breckenridge still looks good in white. But come see Breckenridge in all the colors of the seasons – it’s not just for skiers anymore.