Welcome to the age of Peak Breckenridge

In many ways, Breckenridge has it all. Adorable Victorian buildings line its bustling streets, every saloon door is a gateway to bygone times, and a top-rated ski resort overlooks this quintessential Colorado village. Given the town’s charm and its proximity to Denver, it’s little wonder that so many people, from Texas to France to Fort   Collins, have claimed Breckenridge as their own.

It feels like the same town we’ve all been visiting for a lifetime. But if you look beneath the surface, you might find Breckenridge has changed.

And it’s become better than ever.

Skiing and Riding

Breckenridge Ski Resort was the second most popular U.S. ski resort in 2018, as measured by number of skier visits. With five peaks, 2,908 skiable acres, 187 trails, and five terrain parks, the resort has vast expanses for every level of skier to explore. The Ski & Ride School offers top-notch instruction for beginners, according to multiple sources (including first-hand accounts). However, expert-level skiers can also get their kicks here, making Breckenridge Ski Resort an ideal destination for first-timers, long-timers and everyone in between.

Easy accessibility is a major plus. Breckenridge’s 34 lifts are fast and can transport 48,000 people every hour. The whole operation runs like a well-oiled machine, and skiers appreciate the modern amenities on offer. The mountain and town collide in a base area that’s part of the community of Breckenridge. It is an ideal situation for visitors who want to combine skiing with shopping, dining and other offerings.

Lodging

Breckenridge is home to far more ski-in/ski-out properties than we can review here. But one of the newest, Grand Colorado on Peak 8, deserves special mention. It’s so new that it’s still being built—the last phase of construction won’t be completed until later this year. In the meantime, the resort is open for business, offering everything from hotel suites to four-bedroom units.

Situated high on Ski Hill Road, the property is a five-minute shuttle ride away from downtown. But you don’t need to go anywhere if you don’t want to. Grand Colorado has movie theaters, an arcade room and a children’s pool right on site. If you’re looking for a peaceful respite from the kids, you can also get a massage and a soak at the Infinity Spa, which features an adults-only Grotto, pool and hot tub area large enough to enjoy a peaceful soak well away from the children’s area.

Grand Colorado is also home to Robbie’s Tavern, a locally owned restaurant featuring breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve up comfort food that’s perfect during or after a long ski day.

If Grand Colorado doesn’t fit your needs there are dozens of other options, from hotels and inns to condos, Airbnbs and VRBOs. Breckenridge Reservations is a good place to start—www.breckenridge.com, 877.725.8168 or 970.496.4334.

Dining

Formerly a pizza and burger town, Breckenridge has upped its game in recent years. You can now find a broad array of dining options.
For those seeking fine cuisine, places such as Aurum, Breckenridge  Distillery and Belle V have fare that’s a step above. However, it’s not all fancy food that’s come to town. Breckenridge is now home to several good Vietnamese restaurants, along with the Mediterranean-themed BoLD Restaurant and the Gnarly Shawarma.

A new taco joint has opened, and Sancho Taco & Tequila is priced right. For creative New American cuisine, try Doma 1898.
But the old standbys are still there. The Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon, located in a 19th-century bunkhouse for miners, continues to serve up sizzling steaks. Fatty’s Pizzeria is not only a place for mouth-watering pie but also a classic Breckenridge watering hole. Angel’s Hollow is another perennial favorite, much loved by the locals.

Snow Beyond Boards

You don’t have to ski or ride to enjoy the mountains.  Breckenridge is a mecca for snow sports of all kinds. Breckenridge Nordic Center provides 50 kilometers of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails. Guided snowshoe tours include fascinating insight into the natural world.

The Golden Horseshoe Tour Company, located just minutes outside of Breckenridge, offers sleigh rides just like the holiday carols describe. You can take a scenic ride or opt for a trip that concludes in dinner theater. For anyone looking for the perfect engagement outing this winter, this outfitter offers private romantic sleigh rides.

Dog sledding is normally associated with places like Alaska, but you can try it all over the Rocky Mountains. Good Times Adventures near Breckenridge offers six-mile-long dogsled tours along the trails of the Swan River Valley.

If you prefer a ride powered by motors rather than mushers, White Mountain Snowmobile Tours (about 40 minutes from Breckenridge) provides tours into gorgeous backcountry scenery. It’s a wonderful way to embrace winter in the Rocky Mountains. White Mountain Snowmobile Tours is also home to Top of the Rockies, one of the only zipline outfits in Colorado that remains open year-round. A zipline outing here offers sweeping views of the Continental Divide, along with the thrills that come with speeding through the trees near treeline.

You don’t have to ski or ride to enjoy the mountains.

Breckenridge is a mecca for snow sports of all kinds.

Festivals

Breckenridge long ago perfected the art of the party. The International Snow Sculpture Championships, an annual January happening, must be seen to be believed. Ullr Fest, a four-day celebration of the Norse God of Snow, also happens in January. Think Mardi Gras on snow; that’s Ullr Fest.

Spring Fever in Breckenridge takes place March 16 through April 21 and features music, slopeside competitions like the annual Breck Plunge, a beer festival and more. Two more festivals worthy of mention take place in the fall. Breckenridge Oktoberfest has grown from a party in a parking lot to a townwide celebration of all things German. The town also hosts one of Colorado’s first-ever distillery festivals, Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival. The centerpiece event, Still on the Hill, is a grand tasting attended by dozens of distillers from throughout the region. Taking place in October, this festival celebrates 10 years in 2019.

Main photo Photograph courtesy of Breckenridge Ski Resort

Kid photo Class act: Breckenridge’s Ski & Ride School turns beginners into experts. Photograph courtesy of Breckenridge Ski Resort

Pool photo Making a splash: The new Grand Colorado at Peak 8 has it all. Photograph courtesy of Grand Colorado at Peak 8

Ski photo Ticket to ride: There’s lots of snowboard-friendly terrain at Breckenridge. Photograph by Andrew Maguire, Breckenridge Ski Resort

Chair lift photo Inn season: Grand Colorado on Peak 8 gives a new look to Breckenridge. Photograph courtesy of Grand Colorado at Peak 8