48 Hours in Breckenridge
Breckenridge, Colorado is well known as an internationally recognized destination for skiing and snowboarding, with a world-class resort that boasts four peaks, more than two thousand acres of slopes and terrain, and the highest chairlift in all of North America. But there’s so much more to Breckenridge than just the skiing, and if you’ve got a weekend to spare, it’s a great destination for a quick getaway or mini-vacation.
Daylight Donuts is a Breckenridge classic, which has been serving fresh made donuts to the community for more than 60 years, so you should never let a trip to Breck go by without stopping at this beloved spot (which is cash only!) for a sweet treat, as well as some pancakes or a breakfast sandwich to help start your day.
Once you’ve finished eating, enjoy a stroll down Main Street and wander the Breckenridge National Historic District, which contains some colorful, historic Victorian buildings that date back to the 1880s. Inside these picturesque structures, history buffs can find the Barney Ford House Museum, which was the home of an escaped slave in 1882, the Old Masonic Hall, which hosts everything from art exhibitions to yoga classes, and the Summit Ski Exhibit, which tracks the history of winter sports in Breckenridge and has some old ski equipment on display.
If shopping is your thing, or you have some souvenirs to buy, you’ll enjoy stepping in and out of some of the unique boutiques in Breckenridge, including the Mountain Angler, Fuzziwigs Candy Factory, the Breckenridge Hat Co., which sells everything from beanies to costume hats, and Joy of Sox, where you’ll find an eclectic and wildly varied collection of socks and accessories that are a ton of fun to browse through.
Stop for a tasty but casual lunch at Blue River Bistro or Extreme Pizza, and then head to the BreckConnect Gondola, which will transport you and up to 7 other people in a fully-enclosed gondola cabin up the slope of a mountain to the base of Peak 8 and the ski lifts there. You don’t have to go skiing to enjoy the beauty that the gondola offers, though, because riders are perfectly welcome to take a round trip back to town, and along the way you’ll pass over Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve, where you can keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife like moose and bald eagles. The BreckConnect gondola is free for all riders, both human and canine, though there is a fee for parking.
Once you’ve come back down to town, swing by Breckenridge Distillery for a behind the scenes tour of their facilities and a complimentary tasting of some of their product. Tours are offered twice every hour from 11am to 6pm, and are on a first come, first served basis. Breckenridge Distillery is also home to an amazing restaurant where you can try some great food with amazing cocktails (made, of course, with Breckenridge Distillery’s own liquor). They also have a tasting room located downtown on Main Street.
If Breckenridge Distillery’s menu isn’t to your taste, then treat yourself to an incredible dinner at Hearthstone Restaurant, an America-style eatery housed in a historic Victorian mansion from the 19th century, with gorgeous views from the dining rooms. Hearthstone is a local legend for steak, and prides itself on using sustainably sourced meat, game, and seafood, as well as lots of local Colorado produce.
Depending on your interests, Breckenridge’s nightlife has a lot to offer. For a low-key evening, enjoy a pint (or several!) of delicious craft beer at Broken Compass Brewing or at Breckenridge Brewery. If you’re looking for a more unique experience, try The Absinthe Bar, where you’ll be seeing the mythical Green Fairy before long, or play a board game with a craft cocktail in hand at Après Handcrafted Libations. Cap off your night by dancing at Cecilia’s Martini Bar and Nightclub before heading back to your hotel or B&B.
Fuel yourself for another epic day of fun activities (and help rid yourself of your hangover from the night before) with a delicious omelette and a Cilantro Bloody Mary at Blue Moose, or grab a delicious sweet or savory crepe on the street from Crepes a la Cart.
Today, you should get out and enjoy some of the natural beauty around Breckenridge. If you remembered to pack your hiking boots or snowshoes, you’ll want to explore some of the trails in the area, including the Spruce Creek Trail, which is a 6.2 mile out and back trek with gorgeous views of the mountains and wildlife. You might also consider exploring Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve, which has trails for hiking, mountain biking, and Nordic skiing.
After your hike, or for those who don’t want to get quite so up close and personal with the great outdoors, but would still love to see some amazing mountain scenery, the Boreas Pass is a beautiful 20 mile stretch of road that passes along the Continental Divide. Driving on the Boreas Pass means you’ll get some jaw-dropping views on a road that takes you up to 11,493 feet in elevation, and you should definitely make sure to take your time on the drive to stop and get out. On your way back into town, stop at High Line Railroad Park to see Engine No. 9, one of the only narrow gauge locomotives left in existence that once traversed the very same mountain pass where you just drove. The park also has some other old train cars including a historic caboose, a flatcar, and even a train themed playground.
When you get back into Breckenridge, stop for a happy hour and a meal at Twist, which has a seasonal menu of upscale comfort food and delicious drinks. In the summertime, Twist has one of the best outdoor patios in Breckenridge, with an enclosed flagstone area that has some mind-blowing mountain views to serve as the backdrop to your final meal in Breckenridge.
Other Things You Won’t Want to Miss
Again, Breckenridge is mainly known for its ski resort, so if you’ve got more time to spare, you’ll definitely want to spend a day or two hitting those slopes and enjoying everything the resort has to offer. But even if a ski trip is what brings you to Breck, keep in mind that the town itself has a ton to offer. Check out an escape room, arcade, or book a tour on a dog sled adventure.
Breckenridge is also home to countless events throughout the year, including concerts, cultural festivals, markets, parades, and more, so check the calendar before you visit to see if there are any exciting things happening during your visit. There’s so much to do in this little town, that by the time you say goodbye to Breckenridge, you’ll be ready to start planning another trip to come back.