Breckenridge, Colorado: Where to Go, What to Do, and Why You HAVE to Go Next Summer
Breckenridge, Colorado is a ski TOWN. Located just ninety minutes from the city (traffic permitting) it’s one of the most common weekend destinations for Denver residents throughout the winter months.
It’s not like I’ve never been to Breckenridge in the summer months. I just always went for some other purpose, never going to just go. My boyfriend and I went for two weddings last year—both of which were beautiful—but we never got the opportunity to stop and explore.
And I’m here to tell you:
If you only go Breckenridge for ski slopes and wedding season, you’re doing it all wrong.
Summer is the BEST time to go. The deals are better, traffic is lighter, the weather is nicer (duh), and there is SO MUCH to do.
When people think of Breckenridge, they think two things: skiing and snowboarding. Never once do they (and by they, I also mean me) stop and wonder what this small mountain town looks like when all the snow melts away.
In case you can’t see where I’m headed with this: It’s pretty damn beautiful.
Summit County is packed with ski resorts—year-round ski resorts. And if you think that sentence states the obvious, there are plenty of tourists outside Colorado who picture Breckenridge as a one-season-only destination. After all, how do you kill time at a ski resort when you can’t, ya know, ski?
I’m so glad you asked.
Where to Stay: One Ski Hill Place
This is the best ski resort to stay at, even when there’s no skiing to be had.
Placed right on the base of Peak 8, this is a ski-in, ski-out resort. You can march right out the back door and find yourself at the base of the ski lift. In the summer months, that same lift keeps running, hauling visitors to the top of the mountain. Only this time, you’re flying back down on your butt—not your feet—riding the alpine slide to the bottom (it’s a total blast; I’ll get into this in a second).
This resort was incredible. They have EVERYTHING. There’s an indoor and outdoor hot tub, a heated pool, billiards room, fitness center, movie theater, anddddd private BOWLING. By far, bowling was my favorite amenity. Plus, you can rent it for an hour for free as a guest.
There’s almost no reason to be in your room on this resort, but the accommodations are so nice it’s worth mentioning. First and foremost, it’s not “a” room, but several. Our space included two bathrooms, a living room, and a full kitchen where you can prepare your own meals. There was even a washer-dryer, king size bed, and a Jacuzzi tub.
What to do: Epic Discovery Breckenridge
There are so many ways to explore the mountain without a snowboard. If you want to try all of them, I recommend doing the Epic Discovery Ultimate Adventure Pass. While you can view the entire list of activities on the map, these were my favorite attractions:
The Gold Runner Coaster: A short, fun roller coaster that’s great for kids (or adults who like to be kids—AKA me!) that races all the way down the mountain.
The alpine slide: Honestly, this was my favorite part. You take the gondola up the mountain then slide down the summer toboggan—and it goes crazyyy fast.
The gold summit climbing wall: A 40-foot climbing wall that, not going to lie, was pretty hard (and maybe not the best pre-race activity—see the bottom of the post).
Alpineer Challenge Course: This ropes course can be super challenging (they have easier routes for kids), but the best part of the experience is the trip up. You ride the Colorado super chair lift up to the top of Peak 8, which is some of the best views you can imagine.
We also did putt-putt (all 18 holes!), tried the maze, and stopped at the T-Bar Grill for lunch.
All activities are included for $89 for adults ($62 for kids) on the Ultimate Adventure pass. Or, you can pick your top three activities for $49 ($39 for kids). They have family packages as well.
What to Eat: Both on and off the resort
Full disclaimer: We had such a blast on the mountain we barely left the resort. Most of our meals took place at The Living Room, the main restaurant within the hotel. The food was fantastic and the service was great.
If you get hungry while exploring the mountain (which, I guarantee you will) there’s four different lunch spots you can try: Vista Hous, Ski Hill Grill, TBAR, and SEVENS. All have incredible views.
While popping in and out of shops in town, we stopped at Sanchos for tacos. Pro tip: Our resort had a free shuttle in and out of town (in case you have a few too many margaritas).
How to challenge yourself: The Spartan Sprint!
Prior to last weekend, I never did a Spartan race.
But I always wanted to. While 5.8 miles isn’t exactly my ideal distance (I’m more of a sprint-to-the-end-of-the-gym-and-back kind of girl), running was once my main mode of fitness. Since then, I can move my body in ways I never thought possible. I thought this might give me an edge in the eighteen obstacles scattered throughout the course.
Basically, I wanted to run it because I’m overly competitive and thought I’d be good at it.
With no specific training, I finished 7th overall for women. As part of the Mountain Series, there was a 2,000-foot elevation gain throughout the race. Never have I ever been so grateful for doing so many squats. Brutal.
My boyfriend and I went in it together, and had fun with it. The moment I crossed the finish line, I wanted to do another one. Except next time, I actually want to train for it and give everything I have. Or not go rock climbing the day before.
Wait, I take that back. I would totally go rock climbing the day before. I would do the entire experience over next weekend if I could (sidebar: the Epic Discovery is only open until September 9th!).
Does anyone know where I can practice my rope climb?