Find Your Winter Bliss

    by Lu Snyder

    The ultimate Family Weekend

    The Ultimate Family Weekend

    The family that plays together stays together

    Make Frisco your family weekend basecamp. Close to I-70, grocery stores and gear rentals, and within walking distance of Main Street, Frisco makes a convenient, central location for family gatherings—small or large.

    You’ll find beautiful and spacious townhomes and houses with room enough for extended family through and With sweeping views, nearly 3,000 feet of living space, an on-site fitness room and hot tub, and Main Street address, the luxury (but reasonable when split between three or four parties) Marina Townhomes is a fantastic find.

    Two Below Zero Dinner Sleigh RideFrom here, you’re just a few minutes from groceries and gear rentals, and a mere 10-minute drive to Copper Mountain. Families–particularly those with young children in tow–love the West Village ski area at Copper, with easy terrain for every level of beginner, a beginner terrain park, and a mini half pipe to learn new skills and gain confidence.

    No family ski day at Copper is complete without a stop at Sugar Lips. Located on the edge of West Lake (right next to the zip line), Sugar Lips cooks up warm, delectable miniature donuts made to order. Or stop into City Pop to load up on popcorn and treats in the old-fashioned candy store.

    Make a reservation for dinner with Two Below Zero’s Dinner Sleigh Rides. Snuggle under heavy blankets and watch the sun set behind the Ten Mile Range as muscular mules pull your sleigh across the snow to a cozy tent lodge. Inside, Christmas lights and long tables covered in checkered cloths add to the cheery Western atmosphere. Recap the day’s adventures over a hearty home-cooked meal and live boot-tappin’ music. Back in the sleigh, listen to bells jingle as you look for shooting stars under the crisp, bedazzled winter sky.

    The next day, head to the Frisco Adventure Park. With a tubing hill and Nordic Center a stone’s throw apart, there’s an activity for everyone in the family. Rent snowshoes for a gentle trek through the forest, slip away for a cross-country ski, zip and spin down the tubing hill or simply enjoy hot cocoa in the cozy lodge while you watch your family zoom around the park.

    Romantic Mountain Retreat

    A Romantic Mountain Retreat

    Swoon down Frisco's Historic Main Street

    Your romantic getaway begins with a room at the Frisco Lodge, a historic bed and breakfast on Frisco’s charming Main Street. Once a stagecoach stop and more than 100 years old, the Frisco Lodge is quaint and loveable. Owner Susan Wentworth will happily arrange a flower bouquet or champagne for your room.

    Arrive in time for the gratis evening wine and hors d’oeurves, served in the lodge’s living room. Mingle with other guests before you walk up the street for dinner at Vinny’s Restaurant. Chef Vinny creates menus that celebrate Colorado’s organic, hormone- and antibiotic-free fare in a small, intimate setting.

    Bundle up for a stroll down Frisco’s quiet, historic Main Street. Trees and lampposts are wrapped in colorful Christmas lights, the stars wink in the dark skies above, snow crunches under your boots and flakes flutter from above. It’s like walking in a snow globe scene, with your honey at your side.

    Sleep in and luxuriate in a lazy morning together. Arrange to have staff deliver breakfast in bed—ask for the Frisco Lodge’s signature Belgian waffles and a made-to-order espresso or cappuccino. Pamper yourself with an in-room couple’s massage. Take advantage of the lodge’s courtyard hot tub and outdoor fireplace while the other B&B guests are on the mountain.

    Dinner will be served under the light of the full moon. Dress warmly and grab your skis or board for the ride up to Copper Mountain’s mid-mountain Moonlight Dinner. Savor ethereal mountain views over a delightful buffet dinner before you ski back down to the base of the mountain.

    Tucker Mountain, Copper Mountain

    72 Hours of Adrenaline

    An action-packed three days for the thrill seekers.

    You’ll need a room close to the lifts at Copper Mountain to get that fresh-powder early start. Fuel up on coffee at Camp Hale and get to the lifts for first dibs on fresh tracks or corduroy. Warm up with a few fast laps off the Super Bee chair lift before you hit the bumps under Alpine Chair and gradually make your way back to Copper Bowl and Tucker Mountain.

    Accessible by snowcat and hiking, Tucker is an earn-your-turns backcountry experience, in-bounds. The Tucker Mountain Snowcat runs 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday, but the trick is to hit it when the mountain is open and the cat isn’t running. Choose your pleasure, from mellow lines to steep pitches and tree glades. Once you’re tuckered out (get it?), head to Endo’s Adrenaline Café to celebrate your mountain conquest over Colorado brews.

    Woodward Copper BarnDay two begins at the Frisco Nordic Center. With 27 kilometers of groomed skiing trails, even the fittest athlete can get a stiff workout here. Learn the basics or finesse your form with a morning private cross-country ski lesson. You’ll have all day to practice as you pick from gentle grades or lung-busting hills. You’ve earned a relaxing soak at Copper’s Athletic Club before your well-deserved feast at the Incline Grill (try the loaded chicken pot pie or the hefty half-pound burger with smoked bacon and fried onions).

    Day three: Rent bikes at Rebel Sports on Frisco’s Main Street for a taste of the fat bike culture. It may be cold out, but dress light, as you’ll work up a quick sweat. Snow provides added resistance and trails take on a new perspective covered in snow. Feeling competitive? Sign up for Copper’s WinterBike—a nighttime cross-country bike race through the village and the base of the slopes, celebrating those big, knobby two-wheelers.

    Not into winter biking? That’s alright. Head indoors to the Woodward Copper Barn for adult, teen or youth freestyle lessons. Work on air awareness, park and pipe skills on the snow and in the Barn with rockstar coaches who will help you reach your goals. No prior terrain park ability necessary. Lunch is included. Book in advance.

    Budget Traveler - Alpine Inn

    Budget Traveler

    A ski weekend needn't break the bank.

    Budget travelers book rooms at Alpine Inn or Baymont Inn & Suites just off I-70 in Frisco. It’s nothing fancy, but conveniently located near groceries and shops and the Frisco bus station.

    Grab a breakfast burrito and coffee for less than $8 at the Smiling Moose before you catch the free Summit Stage bus to Copper Mountain. Budget conscious skiers and boarders buy Copper Mountain’s four-pack–four days of skiing or riding for $169–on sale each fall and spring. No longer available? Get the best savings by purchasing your tickets in advance online.

    Copper offers free snowshoe tours every day, morning and afternoon, through snow-covered pine forests and gentle, rolling meadows west of the ski area. Snowshoe rentals are only $10. Or, ski all day at the Frisco Nordic Center. Rent cross-country skis and swap them out for snowshoes when you’re done for no extra cost.

    Eat for cheap at Pho Bay, an affordable and authentic Vietnamese restaurant located in the Baymont Inn. Choose from huge bowls of steaming noodle soup, wok-fried noodles or rice plates big enough to share between two. Not your cup? Hacienda Real, between WalMart and Safeway in Frisco, is the locals’ choice for affordable and delicious Mexican fare.

    Families with kids head to the sledding hill across from Frisco’s tubing hill. The sledding hill is free, but you must bring your own sled. Warm cold toes and have a snack and hot chocolate in the adjacent day lodge.

    Delve into Summit County’s past at Frisco’s Historic Park & Museum. Admission is free. Take the self-guided audio tour to learn about life in this mining town more than 100 years ago. Kids love the model train. For a crowd-pleasing lunch, head to Mountain Melt at Copper Mountain for ultra-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches and fun spins on mac 'n cheese (try the Philly steak or buffalo chicken).

    A Posh Vacation

    A Posh Vacation

    Throw expenses to the wind on this you-only-live-once-trip.

    We don’t have penthouses in Summit County, but we do have Lewis Ranch, a gated community set in serene alpine forests, and White River Luxury Rentals, individually owned townhomes and single family homes. These spectacular properties have everything you need (except, maybe, a butler). The best part? Some have you putting your skis and toasty boots on at the door.

    Book a half- or full-day Copper Mountain private lesson to have a personal ski guide and to up your game on the mountain. Pay the extra $30 for the Secret Pass to get lift access 15 minutes before the public and avoid lines during the day.

    Save plenty of room for dinner at Copper’s C.B. Grille (next to the covered bridge in Center Village), a mountain modern rustic steakhouse. Will you order the elk chop with juniper-blackberry sauce, the grilled bison and trout or the steakhouse mac n’ cheese, made with seared tenderloin, caramelized shallots and gruyere and cantina cheeses?

    Pamper yourself with a session at the Copper Mountain Spa & Athletic Club. Recharge and relax with a facial and a Swedish or deep tissue massage. Don’t feel like leaving your palace at the top of the hill? Arrange for the masseuse to come to you. Tomorrow: repeat, for a simply blissful ski vacation.


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