If you’ve ever done your research on places to visit in Colorado, I bet Google told you to visit Breckenridge.
And that’s not surprising at all – it’s the perfect mountain town. It’s right at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort, so you never have to decide between the mountains and a laid-back town with all the charm.
Even better? Breck has an average 300 days of sunshine and an annual snowfall of 366 inches! It’s a snowbird’s paradise from October through May. In the summer you can expect mid 70s which is perfect weather to hit the trails or the pool. Let’s get into the other need-to-know deets before you plan your Breckenridge trip.
How to Get There
The town and resort of Breckenridge are tucked up into the mountains, so it’s going to take you around two hours to get there from downtown Denver, or about an hour and a half from the Denver International Airport or Colorado Springs Airport. A day or two before you leave, it’s SO important to check your route. If you’re coming from downtown Denver, you’ll be going through the Loveland Pass and the Eisenhower tunnel, which can close somewhat frequently during the winter. When those are closed, it makes it much harder to get up to the mountains and can add a good chunk of time to your trip, so make sure you’re informed before you hit the road.
It’s also important to think about when you’re coming. A lot of visitors don’t know that most mountain towns, Breckenridge included, have what locals call “Mud Season.” From mid-April through May, there’s a big lull between the end of ski season and beginning of the busy summer. While it’s a great time to visit Breck because there are WAY fewer people visiting which means discounts on lodging, you likely won’t get the full experience since many businesses and restaurants fully shut down during Mud Season. If there are any activities you plan on doing or restaurants you’re dying to visit, make sure you call ahead first!
If I was booking a trip to Breckenridge, I would 100% skip the hotels and book a luxury mountain house – they’re such a vibe. Airbnb has some amazing options, from condos to cabins to entire homes. Whether it’s just you and bae or you’re bringing your full crew, I have no doubt you can find something epic. Check out my faves here!
Main Street– The heart of Breckenridge with boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, and more.
Boreas Pass Road– One of the most scenic drives in Colorado. The road is 22 miles long and will take you about an hour to drive.
Continental Divide– There are four places near Breck where you can stand on the divide and take in some amazing views.
What to Do by Season
There is SO much you can do in Breck. A lot of activities depend on what season you’ll be visiting, so here’s a breakdown of the most popular ways to spend your time. This isn’t even close to everything – check out more ideas here.
Summer (June – August)
Mountain biking is really popular activity up in the mountains. Most people that go in Breckenridge are new, so there are plenty of guides and businesses that offer lessons and guided ridges. Colorado Adventure Guides offers guided beginner lessons, guided rides, and intermediate lessons. The ski resort also offers beginner lessons on the mountain, and the best part is you can take the chairlift up!
There are hundreds of trails in Breck, from easy trails to difficult summits that you can do regardless of the season. Check out some of your options here, and please please please don’t forget about Leave No Trace
If you want to get out on the water, you’ve got options! If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s whitewater rafting. If you want something a little more chill, you can go paddle boarding or kayaking. Alex and I just got paddleboards and we’re obsessed!
Horseback riding is a fun way to see the mountains if you’re not into hiking. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there are a few ranches and businesses that will get you ready to go.
If you’ll be in town August 11 – 20, you HAVE to check out the International Festival of Arts. There’s music, dance, films, visual arts, and family entertainment all over town. You can take art classes or go see ticketed performances, but there are a lot of great free experiences too.
Fall (September – October)
Hiking and mountain biking are fun in the fall too! Check out more deets above.
The aspen trees start changing color in the fall and all the leaf peepers head up into the mountains to see their beautiful colors. I would consider this a must do for any Breckenridge travelers!
Where are my spooking bitches? I love a good ghost tour, and Breck has several! Learn more about the history of the town and the darker side of the Wild West.
The Arts District has grown so much over the past couple of years, and I’m here for it. If you’re interested in taking a fun class on your trip, check out Breckcreate’s schedule of art classes for something that sounds good to you.
Axe throwing is super trendy right now (y’all are crazy) and Breck has hopped on the bandwagon by opening MTN AXE Breck. You can book a throwing lane (excuse me is this bowling?) by the hour for groups of four or more. And don’t worry, they’ll teach you how to throw safely!
The 27th annual Breckenridge Oktoberfest is September 15 – 17 this year. You’ll get to try a variety of Breckenridge Brewery’s beers with the beautiful mountains in the background. If you don’t like beer, don’t worry – there’s also a big selection of wine and cocktails.
If a beer festival isn’t your thing, October 6 – 8 is your chance to check out the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival. Aside from the drinks, there are snacks, bluegrass music, and a lot of other special activities happening around town.
Winter and Spring (November – May)
Quick heads up buddies – all of these activities are snow dependent, which means opening and closing dates shift a little every year. If you’re visiting Breckenridge in November or April, make sure to double check that the things you want to do are open.
Breckenridge Ski Resort has five peaks, 2,908 skiable acres, 187 trails, four terrain parks, and the tallest chairlift in North America. I’m a newbie to skiing, but Alex has been boarding for years and he always has great things to say about Breck!
Snowshoeing is an awesome way to explore Breck’s trails in the winter. They have 30 miles of groomed trails, and it’s super easy to rent some snow shoes if you don’t have your own.
For my peeps who are still kids at heart, there are plenty of sledding hills for you to check out. If you get lucky, you can borrow a sled from a Sled Shed in town, but they’re also easy to find at some stores in town. Breckenridge also has extreme sledding if you’re looking for an adrenaline boost.
If you want to get outside but still stay warm, a snowcat tour is perfect. It will take you on a guided tour through some mountain trails before dropping you off at a cabin for hot chocolate and s’mores.
Speed through the mountains on a snowmobile! There are quite a few businesses in town that will take groups out on a tour of the mountains. Some of the views you’ll find in the backcountry are unreal!
Where to Eat
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with the food options when you’re walking around town. Here are some local favorites for you to check out.
Tin Plate – After a long day, pizza usually hits the spot. Tin Plate lives in a restored mining cabin, serving upscale pizza and local beers. There’s also a place next door with fresh baked cookies, so make sure you save some room for dessert.
Blue River Bistro – If you want some live music while you eat, this place has jazz and blues on the reg. They have lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends featuring rustic American classics and fancy-ass cocktails.
Semplice Café – This is a newer spot that will be your fave if you want a cozy vibe. They have a full service espresso bar and breakfast items that are perfect before heading out on your daily adventure.
Briar Rose Chophouse and Saloon – If you need somewhere to celebrate, nothing goes over better than a fancy steak (so I’ve been told). This chophouse has USDA steak, chops and prime rib along with classic sides like baked mac n cheese.
Empire Burger – Looking for the best burger in town? You found it. Locals will tell you to stick with The Classic and make sure it’s coming with an order of cheddar fries.
Mountain Flying Fish – Alex and I love sushi, so obvi I have to include a sushi place on the list! The chef here was trained in Japan under master chefs and uses only the highest quality fish.
Rita’s–This place is a local secret that has some of the best house-made salsa, hand-pressed margaritas, and tacos.
Crepes a la Cart – I can’t forget about the sweet tooth. While yes you can get savory crepes, I’m all about the sweet ones. These are a perfect treat to eat while exploring Main Street, but be prepared to wait in line!
What to Pack
In Colorado, it can be hailing one minute and then be 90 degrees 10 minutes later. Be prepared and pack for everything. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. Here’s a good list to get you started:
Reusable shopping bags – Breckenridge charges 10 cents per bag at grocery stores and around town, so bring your own
Winter hat and gloves
A water bottle – there are water filling stations all over town