The Ultimate Guide to Breckenridge Colorado

Front Range » Ultimate Guide to Breckenridge

Breckenridge is a Victorian mining town that transformed into North America’s most popular ski destination. Its unique downtown and snowy, mountainous terrain will make you feel like you were transported to a beautiful Northern European village. Downtown Breckenridge sits at 9,600 feet above sea level. Quandary is the tallest mountain peak in Breckenridge at 14,271 feet.

It’s a dreamland for the outdoor enthusiast who enjoys a touch of luxury. You can enjoy your favorite outdoor activity or try a new one. Breckenridge has almost everything – hiking, biking, skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, horseback riding, camping, mountaineering, plus so much more. After spending the day exploring, wind down at a cozy, upscale restaurant or bar before retiring to a world-class resort. 

Breckenridge is also an excellent day trip for Colorado locals. It’s less than 2 hours from Denver and Boulder and less than 2.5 from Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. No matter the season, there are plenty of reasons to visit Breckenridge, from beautiful alpine hikes to world-class winter sports.

Planning a trip to Breckenridge soon?

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Things to Do

Hit the slopes

When you think of “things to do in Breckenridge,” I bet skiing is top of mind. And for a good reason. Breckenridge is home to one of the most popular ski resorts in America. It has nearly 3000 acres of ski terrain with plenty of runs for all skill levels.

You’ll be impressed with the double and single black runs if you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder. There are also plenty of options for those wanting to test their tricks. Beginners, don’t worry. Peaks 8 and 9 have green slopes perfect for learning how to ski or snowboard. If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding or want to up your game, consider signing up for a lesson.

If you’re an Epic Pass holder, you’re in luck. You’ll have unlimited access to Breckenridge skiing and snowboarding, plus 20% off food, lodging, rentals, lessons, and MORE. Want a pass, but not for the season? Look into the Epic Day Pass, which is suitable for 1 to 7 days (your choice!).

Visit the Breckenridge website for information on ALL pass and lift ticket options

Embrace Winter Fun

Skiing and snowboarding are just some of the epic winter activities in Breckenridge. Fully embrace the winter wonderland of Breckenridge and the surrounding mountains with these fun classic and unique activities:

Dog Sledding

Mush a team of huskies through the snowy wilderness. Dog kisses included.

Horse-drawn Sleigh Ride

It’s truly a unique and romantic experience to ride in a horse-drawn carriage through snowy forests surrounded by mountains. Dinner theater options are available.


Experience the unforgettable thrill of riding a motorized sled through a remote, mountainous winter wonderland.


Summer and fall aren’t the only time to hit the hiking trails in Breckenridge. Rent or bring snowshoes to walk through Breckenridge’s snowy and mountainous terrain.

Snowcat tours

Experience Breckenridge’s remote winter landscape in a comfortable, heated snowcat.


Sled for free down Carter Hill in downtown Breckenridge (rentals not available). Or, try out extreme sledding at Country Boy Mine.

Ice Skating

Indoor ice skating at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Outdoor ice skating is available nearby in Keystone.

Breckenridge Nordic Center

Experience over 30 miles of beautifully groomed trails for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Lessons and a beautiful lodge with food and drinks are available. 

Mohawk Lakes

Explore the Trails

Breckenridge is surrounded by incredible trails. In the summer, you’ll find high-altitude alpine lakes and terrain, mountain peaks, stunning views, and abundant wildflowers. Hit the trails via hike, horseback, bike, or UTV. In the winter and spring, bring your snowshoes to explore the winter wonderland edition of Breck.

Here are some of the best trails in and near Breckenridge:

McCullough Gulch

A challenging hike on the north end of Quandry Peak with consistent mountain views leading to a beautiful waterfall. Several alpine lakes are on the way, and you have a high chance of spotting wildlife.

Spruce Creek to Mohawk Lakes

A beautiful yet steep and challenging trail that passes by several alpine lakes. You’ll see stunning mountain views and old mining ruins along the way.

Sawmill Reservoir

A short and easy walk around a beautiful lake towards the base of Peak 9. If you’re staying in that area, you have to check it out.

Hoosier Pass Loop

A moderately challenging trail to a mountain summit with excellent views of the Continental Divide and Ten Mile Range.

Sallie Barber Mine Trail

An easy hiking trail with mine ruins popular for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Trollstigen Trail

A quick and easy walk to a 15-foot troll statue on the south side of Breckenridge.

Boreas Pass

A moderately challenging loop trail popular for biking and horseback riding.

Quandary Peak

The most challenging hike on this list so far. Quandary peak is 14,265 ft above sea level and takes 4-7 hours to hike. You must be prepared and start early in the morning to avoid potentially lethal afternoon storms.

14 Gorgeous Places to Hike Near Denver

Looking for additional trails in the Front Range? Check out these 14 gorgeous places to hike near Denver.

Downtown Breckenridge

Explore Downtown Breckenridge

Downtown Breckenridge is a charming cultural district with an outstanding food and shopping scene. Cute, local shops with artisan goods are interspersed with popular outdoor brands such as Patagonia and Columbia. Additionally, events and activities for all interests happen all year long. You’ll find something to enjoy whether you’re interested in art, food, beer, outdoors, or music.

The colorful Victorian-style homes and buildings will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a northern European village. During winter, the whole town is lit up with Christmas lights. It’s truly spectacular. After you’re done shopping, grab a hot cocoa and sit by one of the public fire pits dotting the town.

Ride the Free BreckConnect Gondola

The free gondola connects downtown Breckenridge to the Breckenridge ski resort on peak 8. Even if you’re not skiing or staying at the resort, riding the gondola over the town and forests is fun. Plus, there are several activities and places to grab a drink around the resort.

Eat, Drink, and Shop

Downtown Breck has over 200 stores and 100 restaurants housed in old Victorian-style buildings. Local shops with handcrafted and artisan goods sit next to big-name outdoor gear stores such as Columbia and Patagonia. Walking around and exploring is sooo much fun. More on restaurants & bars later in the article.

Enjoy the Christmas Lights in Winter

Breckenridge is lit up for Christmas for a whopping SIX MONTHS. The lights go up in early December and stay until around April.

Indulge in Après Ski

Après ski is the relaxing, social time after you ski. It’s like the ski culture version of happy hour. You meet with your friends and/or family after a day on the slopes, usually late afternoon, and enjoy drinks and light food.

Museums & Historical Tours

Learn about Breckenridge’s mining and railroad history at one of the town’s many museums and historic tours.

Breckenridge Troll

Visit the Breckenridge Troll

Isak Heartstone is a 15-foot wooden troll sculpture south of downtown Breckenridge. This breathtaking piece of art is nestled along a beautiful forest trail. Isak was created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo in 2018.

To find Isak, you’ll first need to find the Trollstigen Trail. It begins at the south end of the Stephen C. West Ice Arena parking lot, right next to the Illinois Gulch trailhead. It’s only a 20-minute walk from downtown, or you can take the free shuttle. From there, follow the signs depicting a troll with a walking stick. Within 10 minutes, you’ll reach Isak.

After visiting Isak, consider walking the neighboring Illinois Creek Trail. It’s only a mile long and loops through the woods near Breckenridge.

Epic Discovery

Epic Discovery is a family-friendly amusement park on peak 8. It’s right next to Breckenridge resort and can be accessed via the free gondola next to downtown. If you’ve spent time on peak 8, you’ve likely noticed the ropes courses and slides next to the lifts. That is where Epic Discovery is located. It’s open from mid-June through labor day. Remember that the park may get closed down during the afternoons due to summer storms.

Some of the main attractions include:

Mountain Coaster

A 2,600-foot slide that twists and turns down peak 8.

Alpine Slide

The Goldrunner Mountain Coaster races down peak 8 and winds through the forest.

Ropes Courses

Build your own adventure on the Alpineer Challenge course featuring 15 different ropes course challenges. Alternatively, the Lil’ Climber Ropes Course allows small children to test the ropes.’

Additional activities at Epic Discovery include a bungee trampoline, rock climbing wall, mini golf, and gemstone panning. Learn all about it here.

Blue Stag Saloon in Breckenridge

Breckenridge Restaurants

Breckenridge is home to over 100 unique restaurants and bars. The food scene here is incredible, and I guarantee you’ll find something you love. From upscale dining to laid-back and family-friendly, Breckenridge has got it.

Upscale + Fine Dining


The best place for tasting menus and decadent entrees, Rootstalk has almost a perfect rating out of hundreds of reviews.

Mimo Fancy Tapas

The best place for fine wines and Spanish-style tapas in a classy, romantic setting.

La Francaise Bistrot

The best place to go for decadent french cuisine. Get adventurous with escargot, or keep it safe with duck breast or steak frites.

Aurum Food and Wine

The best upscale and chic restaurant for fully embracing hygge, the danish lifestyle of embracing comfort, warmth, and pleasure.


Best fine dining in a historic, Victorian-style home. Fans of Downton Abbey cannot miss this one.

Mountain Flying Fish

Best place for fine Japanese cuisine, including sushi, sashimi, curries, and noodles.

South Ridge Seafood

Best place for delicious, fresh seafood in downtown Breckenridge.

Après Handcrafted Libations

The best place for fine, handcrafted cocktails. Note that they only serve drinks, not food.

Blue River Bistro

The best place for upscale, classic dishes with a unique twist. The spicy shrimp scampi and tomato soup is a must-try.

Casual + Laid Back

Tin Plate

The best place for delicious artisan pizza with thick, doughy crust.

Bird and Cow

The best place to go for classic American fare like burgers, chicken sandwiches, and chili in a laid-back space.

Downstairs at Erics

The best family-friendly restaurant in Breckenridge. Enjoy wings, burgers, pizza, and a range of appetizers inside a cool, underground arcade.

La Francaise Bakery

The best cozy bakery with breakfast, lunch, and lovely french pastries.

The Crown

The best place to go for coffee in a cool, woodsy-meets-modern cafe.

Breckenridge Brewery

The most iconic brewery in Breckenridge. Try out their signature craft brews and delicious, hearty pub food.

Breckenridge Distillery

The best distillery in Breckenridge, creating craft bourbon, whiskey, and vodka. Taste fresh liquor while dining on yummy American fare.

Blue Moose

The best place to go for breakfast before a day of fun and adventure in the mountains.

Crepes a la Cart

Warm up at this cozy tavern with inexpensive chili bowls and DIY smores.

Motherloaded Tavern

The best place for a quick meal between ski runs with savory and sweet crepes.

Breckenridge Resorts
Grand Colorado & One Ski Hill Resorts on Peak 8

Where to Stay

Breckenridge is home to many top-tier luxury hotels, restaurants, and vacation homes. Small groups, couples, and individuals can also find budget-friendly places for under $200 per night. There are also many places in between.

The best place to stay for quick and easy access to the slopes is at the peaks’ base. Peaks 7 and 8 are popular places to stay due to the resorts right next to the ski lifts.

Downtown is also an excellent place to stay. You’ll be walking distance from all of the best shops and restaurants in Breckenridge, and the free gondola going to peak 8.

North and south Breckenridge also have great options. If hiking, biking, and/or cross-country skiing are more of your thing, south Breckenridge is an excellent location. It’s close to some of the best trails in the area. If golfing is more your thing, consider staying in the quiet and less crowded northern Breckenridge neighborhoods.

Breckenridge Luxury Hotels & Resorts

Grand Colorado on Peak 8

A beautiful hotel resembling a small village next to ski lifts, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Expect top-tier alpine views, services, and amenities.

Grand Lodge on Peak 7

An upscale resort next to ski lifts on peak 7. Residents will love the adult and family pools, a luxurious spa, and daily activities and events.

One Ski Hill Place

A luxury resort on peak 8 right next to the Epic Adventure Park, Ski Lifts, and BreckConnect gondola.

Hilton Grand Vacations Club

A top-rated resort with easy access to peak 7 and 8 runs. Guests will love relaxing in the hot tubs and fireplace lounge after a day on the slopes.

Best Budget-Friendly Hotels

Fireside Inn

A cozy hostel and bed and breakfast in a historic Victorian home in downtown Breckenridge.

The Bivvi

A mountain lodge and hostel with shared and private rooms. It’s the perfect option for young, social adventurers on a budget.

Breckenridge Airbnb’s & Vacation Rentals

Large + Luxe

Spacious Cabin

A recently-remodeled modern cabin with a hot tub, distinct living areas, fireplace, and pool table that sleeps up to 16 guests.

Tall Pines Townhome

A spacious ski-in/out townhome with a private hot tub that sleeps up to 10 guests.

Modern Mountain Escape

A resort-style home with a large heated patio with views of the surrounding mountains and ski resort. The estate sleeps up to 12 guests.


Spacious Townhome

Bright, modern home next to the snowflake lift with a private hot tub. The townhome can accommodate up to 10 guests.

Breckenridge Bliss

A beautiful condo right next to main street in downtown Breckenridge. It sleeps up to 4 guests and has a fireplace and shared hot tub.

Renovated Loft

A beautiful studio apartment with a loft in south Breckenridge. The unit has one queen bed plus a pull-out sofa bed that can sleep two.

Modern Lofted Condo

Bright, beautiful, lofted condo with one king bed and bunk beds. Access to a community pool and hot tub and close to a free shuttle pickup point.

Budget Friendly

Hip and Cozy King Studio

A beautiful Airbnb Plus studio with a community hot tub and private patio close to the Quicksilver Ski Lift.

King Studio Getaway

A bright studio apartment south of downtown Breckenridge with Airbnb Plus status.

Mountain Retreat Studio

A simple, inexpensive condo with a patio, fireplace, and community hot tub in south Breckenridge.

Darling Getaway

A cute little condo in Breckenridge’s historic district on the north end of downtown.

Breckenridge Welcome Center

Travel Tips + Things To Know

Breckenridge Weather


Winter in Breckenridge is snowy and cold. Bring LOTS of layers and waterproof snow gear. Nights can get below freezing. Due to the elevation, the sun can still be intense during the day, so wear sunscreen.


Spring in Breckenridge is cold and wet. You can still ski early in spring, but the snow begins to melt the closer to summer it gets.


Summer in Breckenridge is sunny and warm during the day and cool at night. Afternoon storms occur almost daily. Be prepared, and don’t be exposed in the mountains during these dangerous storms.


Fall in Breckenridge is nice, crisp, and cool. The leaves are changing, and it’s the perfect time for a day hike. Snow begins mid to late fall, and temperatures start to drop considerably.

Breckenridge Parking & Transportation

The best way to get around Breckenridge is to find a place to leave your car during your stay and then use the free transportation system to get around town. Breck Free Ride goes all around Mainstreet, to the lifts, and even to the nearby neighborhoods. Visit the Breck Free Ride website to view a live map with all available routes.

There are plenty of parking lots throughout Breckenridge. Most are paid lots for day use, but you can find free and overnight parking as well. For up-to-date, detailed information about parking in Breck, visit the Breck Park website.

Need more info while you’re there?

Visit or contact the Breckenridge Welcome Center on Mainstreet. They’re experts on everything to do in Breckenridge, from activities to events. If they don’t know the exact details of something, like how to do a specific snowboarding trick, they’ll point you to someone who does. They’re open during regular business hours every day except Monday.

Ullr Statue

Breckenridge Events


Dec – Lighting of Breckenridge
Dec – Race of the Santas
Dec – Ullr Fest
Dec – Winter Dew Tour
Jan – International Snow Sculpture Championships
Jan – Craft Beer Festival: Big Beers, Belgians, and Barley Wines


March – Mardi Gras
March – St. Patricks Day
April – Easter


All Summer – National Repertory Orchestra
July – Fourth of July celebration with a parade and fireworks
July – Breckenridge July Art Festival
July – Breckenridge Summer Beer Fest
July – Breckenridge Food and Wine Festival
Aug – Breckenridge Main Street Art Festival


Sept – Breckenridge Oktoberfest
Sept – Breckenridge Gathering at the Great Divide Art Festival
Sept – Breck Film Fest
Oct – Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival

Final Thoughts

Nearby Towns

Here are additional towns near Breckenridge worth exploring:

Have you visited Breckenridge? Tell us about it in the comments below.

We’d love to hear all about your experience in Breckenridge. What you liked, didn’t like, etc. Additionally, we welcome any feedback, questions, or comments about anything in the post!

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