Situated 80 miles west of Denver in Summit County, the former mining town of Breckenridge is a high-altitude resort with varied slopes and a lively bar and restaurant scene.
Founded in 1859, Breckenridge became a booming gold-mining town before transforming into one of the most popular resorts in the Rockies. The ski area officially opened in 1961 with one chairlift, attracting 17,000 visitors in its first season. Nowadays, there are a total of 34 high-speed lifts linking five sectors and offering 2,908 acres of skiable terrain.
The town itself, has a laid-back charm with the attractive Main Street featuring colourful Victorian style buildings, shops, galleries and over 100 bars and restaurants. The choice of accommodation is huge, ranging from upmarket hotels to slopeside condos and there are plenty of luxury chalets in Breckenridge to choose from too.
Sited at 9,600 feet and reaching an elevation of 12,998 feet at the top of the Imperial Express (the world’s highest superchair), Breckenridge will certainly take your breath away, although not always in a good way since altitude sickness is a real possibility and there are often high winds which can affect the steeper skiing above the treeline. However, the good news is that the high altitude means the resort has an excellent snow record and extensive panoramic views of Colorado’s highest summits.
The slopes are varied and suit skiers of all abilities, particularly beginners and freestylers. More advanced skiers may want to take advantage of the multi-day lift ticket which covers several other resorts including Arapahoe Basin, Keystone, Vail and Beaver Creek. All of these, plus Copper Mountain can be easily reached by bus.
“With over 100 restaurants to choose from, Breckenridge offers everything from typical American cuisine to fine dining establishments that are sure to tantalise the tastebuds.”
Situated just off Main Street, award-winning restaurant Relish serves modern American cuisine using regional ingredients and bold flavours. Examples of dishes include “Oriental Braised Buffalo” and “Elk Sliders”. There is an exceptional range of wines and an eclectic mix of Colorado beers too.
www.relishbreckenridge.com / +1 970 453 0989
Set in a restored Victorian home on South Ridge Street, Hearthstone Restaurant’s dinner menu reflects the regional cuisine of Colorado. Chef, Michael Haplin, believes in simple yet delicious food with dishes ranging from “Crispy Lobster” to “Blackberry Elk”. There is also an extensive wine list featuring nearly 200 wines from around the world.
www.hearthstonebreck.com / +1 970 453 1148
For authentic Mexican cuisine, head to Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant and Cantina situated on South Park Avenue, a few steps from Main Street. The extensive lunch and dinner menu features Mexican classics such as fish tacos and chicken burritos. A popular venue for apres-ski, enjoy ‘Happy Hour’ with a margarita or a shot of tequila from their extensive collection.
www.micasabreck.com / +1 970 453 2071
Blue River Bistro
Combining sophisticated dining with a casual atmosphere, Blue River Bistro on Main Street serves delicious contemporary Italian-American cuisine. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, enjoy mouth-watering pasta entrees and fresh salads with a cocktail on the side. They also offer two ‘Happy Hours” a day and live music in the evenings as well.
www.blueriverbistro.com / +1 970 453 6974
“With one of the best apres-ski scenes in America, Breckenridge has an array of bars, pubs and clubs offering happy hours, live music, and late night parties.”
A favourite with the locals, Breckenridge Brewery on South Main Street is the towns only brewpub. Enjoy a refreshing ‘Avalanche Ale’ from the dining room or on the patio, accompanied by some traditional pub fare.
www.breckbrewpub.com / +1 970 453 1550
Gold Pan Saloon
Steeped in history, Gold Pan Saloon is the oldest bar in Summit County having first served miners back in 1879. Enter via the swinging saloon doors and enjoy a drink and some delicious food in a rustic and relaxed atmosphere.
www.thegoldpansaloon.com / +1 970 453 5499
The Motherloaded Tavern
Situated on South Main Street, The Motherloaded Tavern has two bars and is renowned for its house infused liquor selections which include exotic concoctions such as blackberry rum, spiced pear vodka and pineapple bourbon. A range of events take place throughout the week and every Friday and Saturday there is live music.
www.motherloadedtavern.com / +1 970 453 2572
Situated on South Main Street, Cecilia’s houses a cocktail bar, lounge and Breckenridge’s largest dance floor. DJs play nightly and there are many themed events and special promotions on offer throughout the season.
www.cecilias.tv/home.html / +41 27 475 15 08
“Spread across five interconnected mountains, Breckenridge has a variety of terrain to suit every level of skier and boarder.”
With an average snowfall of 300 inches per year, Breckenridge enjoys a long season from early November to late April. Fast lifts cover all five sectors (Peaks 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10), providing access from either end of town.
There is plenty of steep terrain to amuse experienced skiers, especially at Peak 8 and there are some easier black runs at Peak 10 for intermediates. Peak 9 is where the majority of the easier slopes are found with gentle, blue runs at the top and wide, green runs at the bottom.
Paradise for boarders, Breckenridge has excellent powder bowls at the top of Peaks 7 and 8 as well as four fantastic terrain parks with a variety of challenging features and gentler jumps and rollers for beginners. For cross country skiers the Nordic Centre has 32 km of trails and 15 km of snowshoeing trails.
Breckenridge Ski School
Whether you’re a first-timer or an expert, Breckenridge’s ski school will help take your skills to the next level. Learn as part of a group or enjoy personalised private lessons tailored to your skill level.
www.breckenridge.com/ski-and-ride-lessons / +1 970 754 0012
Ski Girls Rock
Inspired and designed by Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, Ski Girls Rock is a program for young girls aged between 7 and 14 with the aim of improving skills while building self-esteem and empowering girls through sport.
www.breckenridge.com/ski-girls-rock / +1 970 754 0012
“If you need a break from the slopes, Breckenridge has plenty of alternative ways to explore the area including winter biking and sleigh rides.”
Don’t let the snow stop you from enjoying some of the best mountain biking terrain in the country. Rent a Fat Bike and take a tour along spectacular world-class trails.
www.cyclebreck.com / +1 970 393 9000
For an alternative experience of the mountains, Breckenridge offers a variety of sleigh ride experiences from scenic group tours of the area with dinner to a romantic ride for two with complimentary cocoa or peppermint schnapps.
www.dinnersleighrides.com / +1 970 453 1520
Snowmobiling is one of the most popular activities in the mountains, providing access to some of the most spectacular scenery in Colorado. Accompanied by an experienced guide, take a tour through the backcountry along miles of beautiful groomed trails and admire panoramic views of the Swan River Valley and White River National Forest.
www.goodtimesadventures.com/snowmobiling.html / +1 800 477 0144
Fly fishing is a popular activity in Breckenridge, even in the winter as rivers around Breckenridge flow ice free all year long. The clear waters of the Blue River contain rainbow trout and an occasional native cutthroat.
www.breckenridgeoutfitters.com/trips / +1 970 453 4135