Breckenridge Winter Travel Guide
Start planning your 2016-17 Breckenridge ski trip with our Winter Travel Guide.
Start planning your 2016-17 Breckenridge ski trip with our Winter Travel Guide.
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WINTER TRAVEL GUIDE
Photo Credit: Colorado Tourism Office, Matt Inden/Miles
Breckenridge’s rich history will be apparent as soon as you see Main Street. Most of its
buildings are over 100 years old. Throughout the town, there are more than 350 historic
structures, making Breckenridge one of the largest historic districts in the state. All of these
buildings have been beautifully preserved, giving the town an Old West feel that’s
simultaneously quaint and quirky.
The town got its start in 1859 during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush. Gold was discovered in the area, which
brought a number of fortune seekers to town. As with many mountain mining towns, Breckenridge
experienced quite a few population busts and booms over the years due to new mining discoveries,
changes in the mining industry, and the effects of wartime economies during the Civil War and both
World Wars. By 1950, Breckenridge’s population had declined to fewer than 300 people.
A decade would bring a dramatic change to the area, though. The Breckenridge Ski Resort opened in
1961 and started another boom for the town. In the early 1970s, the Eisenhower Tunnel opened on
I-70, making travel from Denver easier and helping to fuel Breckenridge’s growth. Presently, the town
has a population of over 4,500 and it’s become a world-renowned destination for both winter and
summer recreational activities.
DID YOU KNOW...?
On average, Breckenridge receives 300 inches of snow and has 300 days
of sunshine every year.
Both “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Dumb and Dumber”
had scenes filmed in Breckenridge.
Breckenridge was the first major ski resort in Colorado to allow snowboarding.
There are three mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation in Summit
County, all of them visible from Breckenridge.
Every year, the resort sees approximately 1.5 million skiers.
The resort’s longest trail is Four O’Clock Run at 3.5 miles.
There are 2,908 skiable acres in the ski resort as
well as 25 acres of terrain parks.
The largest gold nugget ever discovered in Colorado was found outside of
Breckenridge. Known as Tom’s Baby, it weighed in at almost 13.5 pounds
and then went missing for about 70 years. When it was re-discovered,
the nugget was about 3 pounds lighter.
The town was originally named “Breckinridge” after then-Vice President
John C. Breckinridge. This was in an attempt to get a Post Office established
in town (which was successful). When the Civil War broke out
in 1861, Breckinridge aligned himself with the Confederates. However,
the town supported the Union Army and soon after, changed the
spelling to what it is now.
The Gold Pan Saloon, located at 103 North Main Street, is the oldest operating bar
in the county and it has one of the oldest liquor licenses west of the Mississippi.
APRÈS-SKI DRINKS & DINING
After a long day on the slopes, it’s time to kick back and relax. Head to one of these
great establishments for a delectable cocktail or filling meal.
TOP 3 BARS FOR COOL COCKTAILS
QUANDARY GRILLE: Located
close to the base at
Peak 9 (505 South Main
Street), the Quandary
Grille is a local favorite. In
addition to some awesome
views, they offer
après ski Happy Hour
specials daily, which
include deals on beer,
wine, cocktails, and appetizers.
The atmophere is
fun and vivacious with
good music and attentive
LIBATIONS: Located at
140 South Main Street,
Après features a great
selection of unique, handcrafted
beer, and whiskey. It’s a
small bar but it’s inviting,
friendly, and laid back.
They have a variety of
board, card, and other
games available, too, if
you’re in the mood for a
bit of friendly competition.
GOLD PAN SALOON: As
the oldest bar in Breckenridge,
the Gold Pan
Saloon is definitely worth
some of your après ski
time. Located at 103
North Main Street, the
saloon features all the
rustic decor and historic
ambience you’d expect in
an Old West-type saloon.
It also boasts amiable
staff and plenty of options
for beer, spirits, and
TOP 3 RESTAURANTS FOR HEARTY MEALS
RELISH: Located at 137
South Main Street, Relish
serves flavorful and unique
The menu boasts inventive
seafood, meat, and vegetarian
options, with items
like Oriental braised buffalo
osso buco and pan seared
Japanese lantern scallops.
In addition, Relish boasts an
extensive beer cellar, wine
list, and cocktail menu. It’s
open nightly with Happy
Hour specials from 4 to 5:30
p.m. every day.
BRIAR ROSE CHOPHOUSE:
If you’re a meat-lover, you
won’t be disppointed with
Briar Rose. They offer a
variety of steaks as well as
a good selection of wild
game, seafood, and chicken.
Pair your entree with a
family-style side (we suggest
the mac and cheese)
and you won’t be left
hungry. Dinner service
starts nightly at 5 p.m.,
with Happy Hour at 4 p.m.
Briar Rose is located at 109
You’ll find tons of delicious
comfort food when you
dine at Motherloaded
Tavern, located at 103
South Main Street. They
serve a bunch of different
burgers and sandwiches,
as well as items like steak
loaf and fried chicken. A
number of vegetarian
items are also available.
You can also choose from
19 house made booze
infusions. They’re open
daily, starting at 11:30 a.m.
WARM UP AT THESE OTHER TOP SPOTS
If you find that the cold’s taken hold during your Breck trip, you’ll have no
problem finding something to warm you up at these restaurants.
BEST SOUP - SOUPZ ON: A bit off the beaten path,
you’ll find Soupz On at 422 North Park Avenue Suite 2B,
just a couple doors down from City Market. Their menu
changes daily but features a variety of hot, fresh soup
options that are perfect for taking the chill off. They also
offer salads and sandwiches, with plenty of vegetarian
and gluten-free options as well.
BEST HOT CHOCOLATE - LA FRANCAISE: There’s
nothing quite like enjoying a rich hot chocolate as
the snow falls. At La Francaise, you’ll have several
options for decadent hot chocolates. We recommend
the Royal Hot Chocolate, which is made with
milk, cream, and chantilly. It’s a wonderfully delicious
way to complement a snowy day. You can
find La Francaise at 411 South Main Street.
BEST CAJUN FOOD - LOST CAJUN: Treat your
tastebuds to some rich and spicy Louisiana fare at Lost
Cajun, located at 411 South Main Street. There, you’ll be
able to enjoy a variety of amazing Cajun dishes including
jambalaya, several types of gumbo, seafood plates, lobster
bisque, and of course, beignets and po boys. A word
of warning, though, if you’re in the mood for jambalaya,
make sure you get there early - it tends to sell out quite
quickly, especially on cold days.
BEST WINGS - DOWNSTAIRS AT ERIC’S: Turn up
the heat with some spicy chicken wings from Downstairs
at Eric’s, located at 111 South Main Street.
Their buffalo baked wings are both crispy and flavorful.
Pair them with one of their 30 beers on tap,
or 50 bottled beers, for a great après-ski snack.
5 CAN’T MISS EVENTS
Throughout the winter season, you’ll find a variety of fun festivities and events
that are sure to make your Breck vacation that much more memorable. Here are
our 5 favorite events that you can (and should!) attend while you’re in town:
WINTER HOLIDAYS: The holiday season is a magical time to visit Breckenridge.
The entire month of December is full of holiday celebrations and other events
perfect for the whole family. Typically, the first weekend of the month features
a handmade holiday market, the Race of the Santas down Main Street, and
the Lighting of Breckenridge Festival in Blue River Plaza. Then, for New Year’s,
you can watch the traditional Torch Light Parade down the mountain and the
spectacular fireworks show.
ULLR FEST: Held in mid-January, this festival pays tribute to Ullr, who, in
Norse mythology, is the god of winter. Revellers will enjoy several ski and fat
bike races, a local talent show, the world’s longest shotski, a parade, an ice
plunge in Maggie Pond, and much more. Perhaps the most notable event is the
Ullympics where participants compete in unique events, including a ski boot
relay race, group ski racing, and of course, the frying pan toss.
SNOW SCULPTURE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Taking place over two weeks from the
end of January until early February, the International Snow Sculpture Championships
features snow artists from around the globe. Come to watch the
sculptors work tirelessly to create stunning works of art. At the end of the
festival, all finished sculptures will be on display for Viewing Week. Be sure to
check out the Ice Village at Riverwalk Center, too, which features gorgeous,
glowing ice carvings.
MARDI GRAS: Treat yourself to a New Orleans-style celebration with altitude
when you go to Breckenridge for Mardi Gras. Happening in late February, the
celebration includes everything you’d expect from a great Mardi Gras party: a
parade, beads, floats, masks, and more. In addition, there will be plenty of live
music, gumbo, hurricanes, dancing, and merry-making. Celebrate the end of
the Carnival season with one heck of a party!
SPRING FEVER: Spring Fever is a month-long festival that closes out the ski
season. Throughout the month, you’ll be treated to free concerts, food and
beer festivals, as well as skiing and snowboarding competitions. There’s never
any shortage of events and you’ll also get to experience Breck’s amazing
spring conditions - fluffy powder and bluebird days!
KID-FRIENDLY OPTIONS OFF THE SLOPES
If you’re coming to Breckenridge with the family, and you’re looking for fun things
to do off the slopes, you won’t be disappointed! There are plenty of great activities
to keep everyone entertained for your whole trip.
BRECKENRIDGE RECREATION CENTER: If
you find yourself faced with a bitterly cold
day that’s too much for the little ones,
head to the Rec Center, located at 880
Airport Road. It boasts 69,000 square
feet of space with swimming pools, a
sauna, waterslide, gym, an indoor
rock-climbing wall, and basketball, tennis,
and racquetball courts. It’s open daily
throughout the winter months and a variety
of clinics and lessons are also available.
SLEDDING AT CARTER PARK: Carter Park
should definitely be on your winter vacation
to-do list. It boasts the sledding hill of
choice in Breckenridge and it’s just four
blocks east of Main Street. The hill is of the
walk-up, sled-down variety with just the
right amount of steepness. Sledding at
the hill is free, but it can get busy as the
day goes on, so get there early. While
there aren’t sled rentals available at
Carter Park, you’ll be able to find affordable
sleds at a number of local stores.
ICE SKATING: Ice skating is a great way to
pass the time when you’re not on the
slopes. The Stephen C. West Ice
Arena, located on the southeast side of
town, is open seven days a week with daily
public skating sessions and an indoor and
an outdoor rink. Maggie Pond is located at
the base of Peak 9 and offers picture-perfect
views. The Gold Run Nordic
Center, just north of town, also has a free
outdoor ice rink. Skate rentals are available
at all three locations.
SLEIGH RIDES: Give your children a whimsical
Breckenridge experience when you
take them on a sleigh ride. You’ll find several
options for sleigh rides in and close to
town. Choose from scenic rides where
you can enjoy views of the Continental
Divide and the Tenmile Range or, for a fun
night out, take a dinner sleigh ride. You’ll
enjoy a ride through the brisk night air, a
hearty homecooked meal, and live entertainment,
too! It’s a great choice for families
of all ages and sizes.
You’ll have a variety of options when it comes to places to stay in Breckenridge.
We’ve broken down some of the more popular neighborhoods, so you can get a
better understanding of your choices before your trip.
DOWNTOWN: If you want to be right in the thick of things, downtown Breckenridge is
for you! You’ll be within walking distance of all the great shops, bars, and restaurants
on Main Street. Ski access is quite easy from downtown as there are free shuttle
stops throughout the area. Some locations are also just a short walk from the Gondola
or the lifts. In downtown, you’ll find a mix of condos, townhomes, and private
PEAK 7: Those of you who prefer to stay somewhere a bit more private will love
staying in the Peak 7 neighborhood. You’ll be surrounded by forest, so you’ll have no
problem experiencing Breckenridge’s natural beauty. There are a number of large,
luxury homes in this area. Ski access from homes in this area will vary. While some
homes offer ski-in/ski-out access, others are on the shuttle route, and still others
are secluded enough that it’s a short drive to get to the slopes.
PEAK 8: If you want to stay in a location that’s convenient to both the slopes and
Main Street, Peak 8 makes a great home base. Many vacation rentals offer slopeside
access and Main Street is just a short shuttle or Gondola ride away. In this area,
you’ll find a broad mix of property types, from cozy condos to expansive chalets.
PEAK 9: As with Peak 8, Peak 9 offers easy access to the slopes as well as Main
Street. In this area, you’ll predominantly find hotels and condos, although there are
some homes available for rent, too. Many of the hotels in this area offer amenities
like pools, hot tubs, and fitness centers, too.
WARRIOR’S MARK: This neighborhood is between Peaks 9 and 10 and it includes a
diverse mix of condos, townhomes, and luxury homes. Most properties are either
within walking distance of the lifts or on the free shuttle route. Main Street is also
easily accessible. This neighborhood is very picturesque, with many properties boasting
lovely mountain views. Wildlife is also prominent in the area thanks to nearby
ponds and streams.
HIGHLANDS AND HIGHLAND GREENS: These neighborhoods are located on the north
end of Breckenridge. The Highlands is located right on the golf course, while the Highland
Greens are across from the golf course. Both of these neighborhoods are quite
beautiful with newer constructions. You’ll find gorgeous properties in both areas. The
Highlands includes homes, while Highland Greens has condos, townhomes, and duplexes.
The slopes and Main Street are just a short drive or shuttle ride away.
The more information you have on hand prior to your Breckenridge vacation the
better. It’ll be much easier to enjoy yourself on your trip when you’re armed with
all the facts. Here’s the need-to-know info that might help to make your experience
just a little bit smoother.
THE FREE SHUTTLE - You’ll find free
shuttle stops all over town. They vary in
style from poles to bus shelters, but
they all show a Free Ride sign. If you get
to a shuttle stop and want to know
when the next bus is coming, you’ll find
a unique identifier code at each stop.
Text that code to 41411 and you’ll
receive a text back telling you the estimated
time of arrival of the next bus
(any standard message/data fees may
apply). You can also find shuttle schedules/routes
at Breckenridge Station or
THE BRECKCONNECT GONDOLA - The
Gondola station is located at 170 Watson
Avenue. It’s open daily during the ski
season. Operating hours vary throughout
the season (as resort hours change), but
they’re typically 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The
Gondola is free to ride.
The Gondola is easily accessible from any
of the area’s free shuttles. The hub for the
shuttles, Breckenridge Station, is located
at the base of the Gondola, so it’s a stop
for every bus line in town.
PARKING IN BRECKENRIDGE - You most likely won’t have to worry about parking while
you’re in town since many properties are just a short walk or shuttle ride from the
slopes. But should you find yourself in need of parking during your stay, you can get
free, all-day skier parking at the Satellite Lot, located at 1790 Airport Road. From
here, you can take the free shuttle to the Gondola. If you’re looking for free parking
while you explore the town, there is free three-hour parking on Main Street and several
other streets in and around downtown Breckenridge
WILDLIFE - Breckenridge is a haven for wildlife and, during your Breck trip, you’re
likely to come across at least some of the area’s native species. In addition to
about 50 species of birds, you might also see marmots, porcupines, foxes, deer,
and elk. While most animal encounters will pose little danger, always remember to
respect every animal’s space, keep away from their young, and always properly
store/dispose of food.
The most dangerous large mammals you might see in the Breckenridge area are
black bears, mountain lions, and moose. While these animals tend to shy away
from humans, sightings are not uncommon. If you venture into the woods, make
noises as you go so you don’t startle any animals. If you come across one of these
animals, keep your distance. Talk to the animal in a soft yet assertive tone, don’t
make eye contact, and back away slowly while making yourself look big or spread
out. If a moose feels threatened (by unleashed dogs, for example), it may charge.
Most charges are bluffs, but you should still seek protection from trees or boulders.
ON-MOUNTAIN SAFETY - As you
probably already know, there is some
risk involved with skiing and snowboarding.
When you’re on the mountain, make
sure you follow any signs or warnings
and refrain from entering closed areas.
Stay in control and make sure you’re
always able to stop or avoid other
people and objects. As you ski/board
down or merge onto other trails, look
uphill first and yield to those coming
down. Also, as you descend, remember
that those in front of you have the right
of way - you must avoid them. If you
want to hit up the backcountry (through
designated gates), do so only if you’re
an experienced skier or boarder and
you’re well-versed in avalanche safety.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS - If you’ve never been to
a high elevation before, you may feel some
effects of altitude sickness after you arrive.
Drink plenty of water before your trip and
keep that habit up after your arrive. Dehydration
can make the symptoms of altitude sickness
a lot worse. Focus on eating healthy
foods and not overexerting yourself once in
town. Symptoms of altitude sickness are usually
mild and can include headaches, problems
sleeping, nausea, and a loss of appetite.
In rare cases, altitude sickness can be more
dangerous. Symptoms like fever, confusion,
excessive drowsiness, or coughing up a frothy
saliva could indicate a severe form of altitude
sickness and you should seek medical treatment
NEARBY WINTER WONDERLANDS
You’ll have more than enough to keep you busy while you’re in Breckenridge. If,
however, you want to see what other Colorado towns and ski resorts have to
offer, there are several options nearby that are great choices for a fun, winter
FRISCO: Frisco is about 9 miles north of
Breckenridge on Highway 9 and easily accessible
via the Summit Stage bus. It sits on the
shores of Lake Dillon, which, during the winter
months is a prime spot for ice fishing. It’s also
home to the Frisco Adventure Park. The Adventure
Park boasts a multi-lane tubing hill, a
ski and ride hill designed for beginners, and
the Nordic Center with miles and miles of
cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails.
COPPER MOUNTAIN: Copper Mountain Resort
receives an average of 305 inches of snow
every year. It has 2,490 skiable acres with 140
marked trails, 61% of which are either intermediate
or advanced. There are also opportunities
for tubing, ice skating, snowmobiling,
sleigh rides, dog sledding, cross-country skiing,
and more. The Summit Stage bus runs regularly
during the winter months between Frisco
and Copper Mountain
KEYSTONE: Keystone is just a short bus ride
from Breckenridge on the Summit Stage bus.
The resort has 3,148 skiable acress with 131
trails and 20 lifts. The majority of its trails
(57%) are rated as the most difficult. Keystone
is well-known for being a family-friendly resort
and for its awesome night skiing. In addition to
skiing and riding, Keystone boasts an incredible
spa, daily activities for kids at Kidtopia, snowcat
tours, sleigh rides, and much more.
Thanks to Breckenridge’s central location, there are a number of incredible destinations
within a short shuttle ride away. So, get out there and explore. You’re
bound to discover something amazing on your adventures!
ARAPAHOE BASIN: Arapahoe Basin has
the highest skiable terrain in North America
with a summit elevation of more than
13,000 feet above sea level. Of its 109
trails, 60% are rated as advanced or
expert. There are 960 skiable acres and
the resort receives an average of 350
inches of snow per year. It’s accessible
via the Summit Stage bus and it has the
longest ski and ride season, sometimes
with Closing Day happening in June.
VAIL: If you want to spend some time in
Vail, a number of private shuttles are
available. Vail is the largest ski resort in
Colorado with 5,289 skiable acres. It has
193 trails and it receives an average of
354 inches of snow every year. In addition
to great skiing, Vail is also well-known
for its world-class shopping and dining
options. The base areas are bustling,
beautiful, and full of fun opportunities for
every member of your group.
BEAVER CREEK: Beaver Creek is located
west of Vail and is also accessible via
private shuttle. It has 1,832 skiable acres
and 150 trails, 64% of which are rated as
either intermediate or advanced. The
resort receives an average of 325 inches
of annual snowfall. The base areas features
a number of upscale boutiques and
gourmet restaurants. And, as an added
bonus, the resort serves free chocolate
chip cookies every day at 3 p.m.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN BRECKENRIDGE!
For lodging options, give us a call at: 866-213-0547
or check out our site: BreckenridgeLodging.com
PRODUCED BY VACATION RENTAL MARKETERS © 2016