Breckenridge Recreation

Colorado Fun!

Alpine Slide-LEADWhen it comes to winter thrills, Colorado ski resorts offer nearly everything snow lovers crave. But just because skis and boards have been mothballed for the summer doesn’t eliminate reasons for visiting slope-side resorts.

Here are 33 summer adventures to be found around Colorado’s top ski communities. Like the trails and terrain, we’ve categorized activities by difficulty—family-friendly easy greens, more-challenging intermediate blues and adrenaline-infused advanced black-diamonds. Pick a pursuit and have some fun.

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What Can I Do If I Don’t Ski (or Snowboard)?

Whether participating in arts workshops, exploring the community's rich history or just cruising town, Breckenridge offers many activities beyond the slopes. Photo by Bob WinsettBreckenridge, Colorado is known as a ski and snowboard Mecca (and for good reason). For those not interested in the slopes, this historic town and the surrounding backcountry offer numerous ways to play. You asked. We’re answering.

Whether participating in arts workshops, exploring the community’s rich history or just cruising town, Breckenridge offers many activities beyond the slopes. Photo by Bob Winsett

Unleash creativity – From fine arts and textiles to photography and functional pottery, workshops in the Breckenridge Arts District span a variety of media. Work with artists-in-residence, catch a performance by the award-winning theater company, or make your own earrings. Check out the Breckenridge Arts District Calendar for a schedule of off-the-slopes arts events.

Explore the past – More than 10 local museums and historic sites serve as a window into Breckenridge’s gold mining history. Whether on a walking tour or browsing through local museums, you’ll meet Colorado’s original naturalist, an escaped slave-turned-prominent businessman and the townsfolk that still haunt some of Breckenridge’s oldest saloons. Visit for a list of sites, museums and tours.

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Vail, Breckenridge & Aspen Flourish As Year-Round Desinations

dt.common.streams.StreamServer.clsThis is a great article from the Vail Daily about the increasing shift of mountain communities into year round destinations.

There was a time when mountains were enough — when skiing down or hiking up forested slopes, fishing and rafting rivers or biking or riding horses through the hills provided enough entertainment to last a week. As mountain resort communities grow and compete with one another for tourism dollars, the mountains simply aren’t cutting it. Visitors want more.

Ziplines. Trampolines. Alpine coasters. Extreme mountain bike trails. Paragliding. Ropes courses. Slacklines. Mini golf. Disc golf. Rock-climbing walls. Whitewater parks. Terrain parks. Skateboard parks.

Growth in visitors and sales tax revenues proves that ski towns are real communities no longer serving the very narrow niche of winter sports. The in-your-face overload of countless activities doesn’t stop with recreation. Summer events and festivals are filling up the calendars, giving guests from far and wide all the more reason to find their Rocky Mountain high. Event planning has taken off in the mountain region, and in many cases the public sector has its hand in it like never before. The mountains have become everything from a foodie’s paradise to a place to unwind to a spa or golf destination. Festivals focusing on music, art, food and dance plump up weekends that used to be desolate as recent as a few years ago.

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Laid-back Breckenridge Isn’t Just For Skiers

BreckenridgeThis is an article I recently read that made me want to drop everything and head to Breckenridge!

Some mountain towns are touted for their luxury accommodations, fine dining or arts scene. Some are known as places to go for spas, hiking or biking. Others, for golf or world-class fishing.

Breckenridge may have the best combination of all those attributes.

Known for its massive ski resort, Breckenridge also has plenty to offer in summer and fall, with a wide range of activities, reasonable prices and a low-key vibe, all set in the picturesque Colorado Rockies. “The weather is great, it’s clean and it’s well-kept, the prices are not exorbitant and you can find anything that you want to do,” said Monroe Buford. The Gulf Shores, Ala., resident has spent summers in Breckenridge with his wife, Sue, since 1994. “It’s just an ideal place for people who like to get out of the heat in the summertime.”

Breckenridge, about 82 miles west of Denver, was founded as a mining town during the mid-19th-century gold rush. It became a resort town in the 1960s with the opening of the ski area, which attracts more than 1 million skiers every year. Over the years, the town that locals call Breck became a summer and fall destination as well. It’s easy to see why. Breckenridge sits along the Blue River, just above where it feeds into Dillon Reservoir, and below the 14,000-foot peaks of the Ten-Mile Range. Panoramic views are visible from pretty much anywhere in town.

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Colorado’s Top 13 Family Vacation Ideas for Summer 2013

indexSummer is just around the corner and you don’t need to look far to have a world-class vacation with your family. From theater hikes to Outhouse Races to free events galore, we have the inside scoop on All Things Colorado.


It may be summertime but Snowmass has returned to the Ice Age with the Snowmass Ice Age Discovery Center that features the most significant Ice Age ecosystem find in Colorado history (and it’s free). Touch a mastodon tooth, marvel at a half-sized 6-foot Wooden Mammoth Skeleton, do a dig of your own or a daily Ice Age Discovery Hike by  Environment Studies.  Visit the Snowmass Rodeo on Wednesday nights (June 12- August 28) and sign up your kids for the Calf Scramble and Mutton Busting. Ride the Elk Camp Gondola up Snowmass Mountain where the Elk Camp Restaurant will open for activities including downhill biking, dinner, campfires, live music, movies, Stryder Park and Kid’s Playground on Friday evenings. Try your hand at some slopeside bowling at the new bowling alley below Venga Venga Cantina featuring eight full-sized lanes, a lounge area with full bar, wood-fired oven pizzas, upscale bar food and more. Then, get inspired at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, a stellar place for kids of all ages to take workshops that include sculpture, photography, painting, beading, and mask-making.

Click here to read about all the other fun Colorado towns.

Breck Bike Week

Poker-Ride-Breck-Bike-Week-1890-Daniel-Dunn-682x1024Breck Bike Week, taking place Aug. 15-18, 2013 – may only be four days, but the lineup packs a week’s worth of activities into long weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado. The grassroots cycling event sits sandwiched between the Breck Epic (Aug. 11-16) and stages two and three of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (Aug. 20-21); tack on a few bike-in movie nights and math wizards will arrive at something like 12 days of cycling in Breckenridge.
Addition aside, Breck Bike Week brings a bigger-than-ever expo, which serves as event headquarters (be sure to stop by the Osprey tent!) and meeting grounds for many Bike Week events.
Other events throughout the week include women’s mountain bike skills clinics, a happy hour ride with Breckenridge Mayor John Warner, Poker Ride (Go Fish ride available for the kiddos), a youth race series and more. Visit for a full schedule!

5 Things to do in Breckenridge During the Summer

breck2The snow has melted in Breckenridge and the skis are packed for the summer. It’s time to get out the mountain bike, and hiking shoes and explore this scenic mining town during the summer months. July is the perfect time to take in the area’s history, enjoy the abundant outdoor activities, do a little shopping and enjoy a local brew. Bring a sweater, the nights can be wonderfully cool. Here are five things to do in Breckenridge, CO this summer.

1.  Participate in a Festival – For the patriotic, there is the July 4th celebration with a zany float filled parade and splashing in the fire hose on Main Street. Athletic types will enjoy Breck Bike Week. Our family enjoyed the annual Poker Ride. My older kids were skeptical they could complete the 10 mile mountain bike trail, but were quite proud of themselves when they did. My 8 year old and I stuck to the Go Fish ride. Perhaps I should have been embarrassed when the 3 year old on the strider bike zoomed past me. For adults, Breckenridge Beer Festival offers tastes of local micro-brews all in one place. Our favorite – HOSS Rye Lager from the Great Divide Brewing Company.

2.  Touch the Sky – Some of the most beautiful vistas in the world are right outside your door in Breckenridge. Take a guided hike through the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance or the Breckenridge Recreation Center. We visited Preston Mill ghost town, and learned how to shake hands with a tree on a flora and fauna hike. It’s also easy to find hikes on your own. We had a trail right outside our door, that started at a closed mine shaft. My son’s favorite hike was the McCollough Gulch Trail where we saw picas, waterfalls and touched the sky. My youngest liked the shorter and history filled Iowa Mine Trail, which is a short bike ride from downtown.

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Mountain Biking Breckenridge, Colorado

CIMG1766-533x400Known worldwide as a premier ski town, Breckenridge racks and stacks with the biggest and most famous ski resort destinations in the world, and rightfully so. Breck sports over 2,300 acres of skiable terrain on nearly 3,400 vertical feet from top to bottom, including long groomers, hairy steeps, glades, cornices, above tree line peaks, and epic terrain parks, all anchored by a beautiful Victorian town hosting a full compliment of dining, nightlife and shopping options.

What’s slightly less known outside of Colorado, is that Breckenridge also hosts an equally big, diverse, and excellent network of singletrack for everything from the timid novice to the super-adventurous expert. One of the things that makes Breck so wonderful as a mountain bike destination is that many of the great routes are accessible directly from town with no driving or shuttling required.

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Yes, Breckenridge Has a Flourishing Arts District

Bike Wheel Eiffel TowerThe Breckenridge Arts District was developed in 2001 (yes, it’s been there for that long) and contains the Breckenridge Theater Company, the Robert Whyte House, the Quandary Antiques Cabin and Ceramic Studio, the Fuqua Livery Stable, the Tin Shop and the Riverwalk Center.

The buildings are historical or socially significant structures where artists both work and teach workshops. They are mostly located near the corner of South Ridge Street and Washington Avenue. The Riverwalk Center, an indoor amphitheater that features bands, film festivals and other great events, anchors the Arts District.

Each building hosts plenty of inspiring events, from ceramics, drawing, printmaking, metalsmithing,
Swing in for an arts workshop at the Fuqua. Learn from professionals to take your creativity one step further. Go out for a walk, like I did this past weekend, and get familiar with the area. I started on the corner of Washington Street and ambled through the district with my cousins visiting from Maryland; they couldn’t get enough of Breckenridge’s version of the Eiffel Tower, fashioned from bike wheels.

Every second Saturday of the month from 4-6 p.m., the Arts District hosts an open-house walk. Visitors can view new exhibitions at the Breckenridge Theatre Gallery and visit with guest and resident artists. Breckenridge galleries remain open until 8 p.m. that night. For a list of participating galleries, click here.

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Pot Votes in CO Raise Specter of Weed Tourism

Hit the slopes — and then a bong?

Marijuana legalization votes this week in Colorado and Washington state don’t just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug laws for residents. The measures also open the door for marijuana tourism.

Both marijuana measures make marijuana possession in small amounts OK for all adults over 21 — not just state residents but visitors, too. Tourists may not be able to pack their bowls along with their bags, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they wouldn’t violate the marijuana measures.

Of course, that’s assuming the recreational marijuana measures take effect at all. That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal supremacy over drug law.

So the future of marijuana tourism in Colorado and Washington is hazy. But that hasn’t stopped rampant speculation, especially in Colorado, where tourism is the No. 2 industry thanks to the Rocky Mountains and a vibrant ski industry.

The day after Colorado approved recreational marijuana by a wide margin, the headline in the Aspen Times asked, “Aspendam?” referring to Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.

Colorado’s tourism director, Al White, tried to downplay the prospect of a new marijuana tourism boom. “It won’t be as big a deal as either side hopes or fears,” White said. Maybe not. But many are asking about marijuana tourism.

Ski resorts are “certainly watching it closely,” said Jennifer Rudolph of Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association that represents 21 Colorado resorts.

The Colorado counties where big ski resorts are located seem to have made up their minds. The marijuana measure passed by overwhelming margins, with more support than in less visited areas.

The home county of Aspen approved the marijuana measure more than 3-to-1. More than two-thirds approved marijuana in the home county of Colorado’s largest ski resort, Vail. The home county of Telluride ski resort gave marijuana legalization its most lopsided victory, nearly 8 in 10 favoring the measure.

“Some folks might come to Colorado to enjoy some marijuana as will be their right. So what?” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director for the Colorado marijuana campaign.

Marijuana backers downplayed the impact on tourism. Aldworth pointed out that pot-smoking tourists wouldn’t exactly be new. Colorado ski slopes already are dotted with “smoke shacks,” old mining cabins that have been illicitly repurposed as places to smoke pot out of the cold. And the ski resort town of Breckenridge dropped criminal penalties for marijuana use two years ago.