What better way to escape the South Florida heat and embrace the holiday season than a vacation in the most picturesque winter wonderland? Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains’ Tenmile Range, Breckenridge was a former mining town, and mecca center of the Gold Rush in 1859. Now preserved as the Breckenridge National Historic District, this mountain town boasts vibrant Victorian buildings along charming Main Street, lined with shops, galleries, restaurants, and watering holes.
Breckenridge is known for it's world class skiing and resorts. With over 2900 acres of riding terrain and 187 trails up to 3.5 miles long, Breckenridge offers some of the most exciting, diverse, and challenging skiing in the world. An impressive 34 lifts bring you to endless runs up to 12,998 feet in elevation, including the highest lift-served terrain in North America. From easily accessible, wide-open bunny slopes, to dare devil double black diamond trails, the five mountain peaks accommodate everyone from every ski level. With the impressive slope stats, it's no wonder Breckenridge is the home of the Winter Dew Tour and Olympic Snowboard Qualifying Competition.
Where to Stay
HYATT RESIDENCE CLUB
The Hyatt Residence Club is a full service hotel in Main Street Station and centrally located in Downtown Breckenridge. Condo living with all the amenities of a hotel (including room service and cleaning!). Our unit included a full kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, fireplace, and balcony overlooking Main Street. Although the room comes equipped with a jet hot tub, the facility also has three hot tubs and heated swimming pool on property with spectacular mountain views. At the base of the hotel is Christy's Sports, where you can rent your ski equipment and store it throughout your stay. Take the elevator down to grab your gear, and the lifts are just a short walk from the hotel.
In addition to the hotel amenities, the convenient location makes the Hyatt Residence Club an ideal place to stay. Surrounded by restaurants, shops, coffee and juice bars, and adjacent to Breckenridge Brewery, Hyatt Residence Club gave us easy access to the best of Breckenridge.
Grand Colorado on peak 8
If you're looking for true ski-in ski-out accommodations, Grand Colorado on Peak 8 brings convenience and accessibility to a new level (literally). Located at the base of Peak 8, ski or walk out the front door directly to the Colorado SuperChair and Rocky Mountain Quad lift. With ski storage, onsite dining, easy access to transportation, modern accommodations, and arguably the best views in Breckenridge, Grand Colorado merges luxury and convenience to create an elevated experience for their guests.
What to Eat
Legends Steaks & Italian
To sum up our experience at Legends in one word... legendary. As Breckenridge’s newest fine dining hot spot featuring high end steaks, authentic Italian dishes, and prohibition era cocktails, this dining gem is definitely a must try! The nostalgic décor, mosaic ceilings, mahogany walls, and an expansive glass wine bar (and wine list) create the perfect setting for a fabulous evening. Paired with impeccable service and culinary perfection, Legends was truly an exceptional experience.
Upon arrival, owner Alan Bullock and Chef Jeremy Caprari welcomed us like family. And considering Legends is a trendy new see-and-be-seen spot in Breckenridge, we were in good company. Olympic gold medalist snowboarder, Shaun White, and Virgin Productions Founder and CEO, Jason Felts, were also dining at Legends, and for good reason.
Everything we ate was absolutely heavenly, particularly the melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu beef. Legends is one of only nine restaurants in the country to serve certified Wagyu. It was unanimously the best steak we've ever had, cooked and seasoned perfectly and the texture of butter; euphoric. We had three orders of the Tenderloin Carpaccio with foil gras mousse, because it was that good! The New Jersey Blue Pointe Oysters were exceptionally succulent and bursting with flavor. For our mains, we ordered the Shrimp Carbonara, with prosciutto, parmigiano reggiano, and egg, as well as the Shrimp and Scallop A La Vodka, both were pasta perfection. A truly sensational experience, so sensational, in fact, that we returned for dinner two days later. We highly recommend this legendary dining destination!
Relish is a Main Street staple in Breckenridge, drawing a constant crowd to indulge in the innovative dishes served up by Owner and Chef, Matt Fackler. The Colorado inspired menu highlights seasonal food focused on local ingredients, refined. The menu offers a unique selection of Colorado proteins, including lamb, quail, veal, trout, and steak. The winter menu included seasonal flavors, fruits, and vegetables, including pomegranate, blood oranges, apples, beets, mushrooms, and brussel sprouts. Each dish was a culinary masterpiece, plated perfectly with vibrant colors.
Our dining adventure began with the baked escargot, featuring blood orange smoked blue cheese walnut butter, which was quickly sopped up with baguettes. The super fresh Ahi crude, a personal favorite, was served with grilled red onion, crispy capers, parmesan puff pastry twist, pomegranate, and olive oil drizzle. The crispy salty capers added a wonderful flavor and crunchy texture to the thick sliced Ahi tuna. To embrace our inner Colorado foodie, we ordered the mustard seed dill crusted ruby red trout, with porcini wild rice blend, caramelized brussel sprouts, and a lovely orange pink peppercorn butter sauce. A truly spectacular dish that did not disappoint. So flavorful and unique, the mustard seed crust and peppercorn butter sauce beautifully complimented the trout. Another favorite Colorado inspired dish was the braised Colorado lamb shank served with saffron pistachio risotto, grilled king trumpet mushrooms, natural jus, and pickled onion green olive relish. The meat was fall-off-the-bone and melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Each dish truly embraced the local, seasonal, and authentic flavors of Colorado. We highly recommend the culinary and cultural dining experience at Relish.
Crêpes are kind of a big deal in Breckenridge. Warm and portable, these savory and sweet treats are fresh off the griddle and made to order. If you're on Main Street, though, you'll likely wait in line thirty plus minutes just to place your order. Worry not, we found another located in Main Street Station (next to Hyatt Residence Club), serving up the same quality and assortment of crêpes, minus the wait, and in a trolley! With so many options, we decided to try half a dozen to satisfy our crêpes craving. A group favorite was the ham and mushroom, with Jarlsberg cheese and a sunny side egg, pretty much perfect any time of day. Other savory options included crêpes Caprese, slammin' salmon, and steak and swiss. The sweet crêpes featured Nutella and fruit, dutch apple pie, traditional (butter, cinnamon, sugar, and honey), Brie and apples, and the must try Marscapone cheese and strawberries. Trolley Crêpes also cooks up hot soups and grilled cheese, a perfect snack après ski.
What to Do
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Breckenridge offers a variety of other activities for visitors and locals alike.
DOG SLED/SNOW MOBILE
If you're up for adventure, and need a day off from the slopes, we highly recommend exploring Colorado's back country via snowmobile or dog sled. Good Times Adventure is located just a few miles from downtown Breckenridge, and is an easy drive from all major resorts in the central Rockies! A local favorite and the #1 ranked activity in Breckenridge on TripAdvisor.com, Good Times delivers a once in a lifetime experience.
The dog sledding was definitely the highlight of our trip. The beautiful and super sweet Siberian Huskies have just as much fun pulling you through the gorgeous winding trails of the Swan River Valley, as you'll have mushing the team. The 6-mile tour lasts about an hour, with scenic stops along the way. Our guide Blake was wonderful, encouraging, and enthusiastic. It's truly a unique, interactive and absolutely thrilling way to experience dog sledding and the Rocky Mountains. Bucket list - check!
Snowmobiling is one of winters most popular activities. Good Times Adventure has over 100 miles of beautiful trails to explore, and over 100 2018 Ski Doo snowmobiles, equipped with hand warmers, electric starters and back rests. Their snowmobiling adventure provides exciting thrills and access to some of the most amazing scenery in Colorado.
The Breckenridge Gondola is a popular attraction among visitors and locals alike. Operating since 2006, the gondola transports passengers to the top of Peak 8 in the Rocky Mountains, with 121 fully enclosed cabins rotating up the incline. Stretching 7,592 feet long with over 391 feet vertical rise, the ride is 26 minutes of breathtaking views roundtrip. Among the panoramic mountain views is the Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve, home to bald eagles, moose, and fox, which are visible from the glass enclosed cabins!
DAY TRIP TO VAIL
With Vail's close proximity to Breckenridge (about 30 minute drive) we jumped at the opportunity to visit this luxury ski town. Vail offers a variety of activities, but we opted for a relaxing day of shopping and exploring the European inspired village. If you arrive in time for brunch, we highly recommend Ludwig's buffet brunch in the elegant Sonnenalp Resort. Fabulous food in a sophisticated upscale restaurant with creekside views.
After over indulging on savory eggs Benedicts, omelets, and decadent Belgian waffles, we strolled through the cobblestone streets of Vail Village, stopping in enticing boutiques along the way. For more to do on a day (or overnight) trip, see our post, Vail is Wonderful All Four Seasons of the Year.
With over 200 stores to chose from, Breckenridge is a wonderful place to stroll, shop and explore. Main Street's colorful historic buildings and quaint store fronts feature boutiques, bookstores, jewelry, antiques, home furnishings, art galleries, and sporting goods. Breckenridge offers a variety of local businesses, with a large selection of handcrafts products and unique activities, including the popular Meta Yoga Studio. This Hot Yoga class was much needed after a couple long days on the slopes, for body and mind rejuvenation. Other enticing activities along Main Street include the O2 Oxygen Lounge (ideal for those trying to acclimate to the high altitude), massages, and wine tastings.
Whatever your interests, there is something for everyone in breathtaking Breckenridge. For more information about this quaint Colorado town, activities and events, or help booking your visit, go to https://www.breckenridge.com.