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Breckenridge: A Sublime Retreat in Winter and Summer
Perched high up in the Tenmile Range of the Rocky Mountains, the town of Breckenridge boasts world-class ski routes, an historic town centre and some of the most splendid views you’ll find in all of Colorado. Unsurprisingly then, the town is a major draw for winter tourists. As it happens though, it’s also a great place to visit during the snowless summer months.
Breckenridge in the Winter
Each winter, Breckenridge Ski Resort proves to be one of Colorado’s most popular resorts. It’s not hard to see why. The resort, which opened in 1961, features no fewer than 155 ski runs set across its five peaks, offering suitable routes for experts, intermediates, novices and newcomers alike. Additionally, cross-country and snowshoeing routes are also available.
The resort features its own hotel as well as condo-style accommodations, some with ski-up options. Alternatively, the town itself offers hotels, B&Bs and rental apartments, meaning you’re bound to find something you like. Guests not staying at the resort can take advantage of day passes and still enjoy time on the slopes.
When it’s time for a spot of après-ski, Breckenridge won’t leave you wanting. The town may be small but you’ll still find plenty of restaurants, bars and pubs ready to accommodate you. For those looking for something truly luxurious, why not rent a condo with an outdoor hot tub? The contrast between the cold air and the warm water will soon have you feeling like you’re alive!
Breckenridge in the Summer
Once the temperatures have risen and the snow has melted, Breckenridge doesn’t simply shut down. Instead, the resort town converts to summer mode. Many part-time residents return to the town for an enjoyable season, while tourists looking to explore the Great Outdoors start to arrive too.
Outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding are very popular in the region. Many of the wintertime ski routes become walking and biking trails, with lush greenery serving as a wonderful backdrop. Then there’s the crisp, clean air, which will have you feeling ten years younger.
Breckenridge Golf Course is a popular summertime attraction, with golfers enjoying a round or two in the fresh air. Likewise, fly-fishing is a preferred pursuit for those that enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors. For those that like things a little more lively, white water rafting is highly recommended. Meanwhile, Lake Dillon – situated just up the road – offers the chance for a spot of boating.
Breckenridge Historic District
Thanks to its storied history, the town of Breckenridge, CO also makes for an interesting attraction in its own right. The town, like so many in this part of the world, started life as a refuge for gold miners back in the 1850s. Unlike many others, it continues to thrive to this day.
Within the town you’ll find the Breckenridge Historic District. It is said that more than 250 of the buildings here are recorded on the National Historic Register, and while they may not date all the way back to the Gold Rush, it’s still an impressive collection of structures. Join a guided tour and learn more about the town’s rich history.
One building that does date back to the nineteenth century is the Edwin Carter Log Cabin Naturalist Museum. Carter was a miner who swapped careers and began collecting animal and bird specimens. Some of his taxidermy work is on display in the cabin today.
Things to do in Town
Much of Breckenridge is centred around Main Street, a pleasant road with lots of shops, restaurants and bars. Walking along the street alone offers the chance to see some historic buildings and rub shoulders with friendly locals. But whereas some resort towns offer little more than these basic essentials, Breckenridge has more to offer.
Visitors to the town, particularly during the summer months, will find the performing arts well-represented. Set against the backdrop of the Blue River, the Riverwalk Center regularly hosts live concerts in an indoor setting. Backstage Theatre is a popular choice with those that enjoy amateur dramatics, while the National Repertory Orchestra also performs periodically.
Add to this an indoor ice rink, a selection of small-but-interesting museums and an impressive skate park and you have more than enough to keep you and the family busy.
Special Events in Breckenridge
The town of Breckenridge offers a number of special events throughout the year. Perhaps the most intriguing of these is the Snow Sculpture Championships. Held each year in January, this unique event sees artists crafting impressive sculptures out of massive blocks of ice. The sculptures are then placed on display for everyone to see.
Also in January, the Ullr Fest sees the town paying homage to the Norse god of winter. In addition to a colourful parade, expect a colossal bonfire and Viking helmets aplenty.
In December, Breckenridge plays host to the Winter Dew Tour, which sees some of the world’s best extreme sports athletes arrive in town. Skiers and snowboarders compete in a host of events, including slopestyle and halfpipe activities. If you attend the event, some of the tricks you see will absolutely leave you breathless!
Of course, each of these special events sees an influx of tourists, meaning hotels, restaurants and bars are busier than usual. Be sure to check the calendar if you’d prefer a Breckenridge that is a little quieter.