Breckenridge, Colorado Travel Guide

Located in Summit County, Colorado, Breckenridge is one of the most popular ski resorts in all of North America. It's more than just a ski resort; it has shopping, relaxing spas, and more. It's beautiful in both the wintertime (with perfect skiing weather) and the cool summers. Book early to reserve your Breckenridge lodging because it fills up fast – your best bet is probably a Breckenridge vacation house rental. If you have ideas on how we can update our Keystone travel guide, please send us your tips.


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What to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado

breckenridge ski in ski out condosObviously, you can go skiing in Breckenridge! While there's skiing for all levels of experience to make the perfect Breckenridge family vacation, Breckenridge is an especially good choice for a ski vacation if you have an expert-level skier in your family because you can be sure that everyone, even the most skilled, will have plenty to do. With a Breckenridge ski in ski out condo, you'll be right on the slopes, as convenient as you can possibly ask for. The variety of slopes means that you can ski some incredibly steep routes or more intermediate runs; no matter what you like, a Breckenridge ski vacation will deliver. If your kids are new to skiing, enroll them in the Breckenridge Ski & Ride School and they'll learn from fully licensed, experienced professionals. If snowboarding is more your thing, don't worry – Breckenridge snowboarding on perfect slopes makes Breckenridge a top choice for snowboarders, too.

There's a lot more to Breckenridge than just skiing and snowboarding, though. Breckenridge also serves up a great après nightlife, from theaters to clubs to restaurants. Relax at one of the day spas and treat yourself to a luxurious massage, or visit a quaint art shop to pick up a unique souvenir of your vacation.  Breckenridge history as a mining town permeates the area, whether you dine at a rustic restaurant or take the kids panning for gemstones.  Local childcare services are available, so you can take some time off for yourself or a romantic night for just the two of you.

Weather permitting, you can explore the wilderness, too, by taking a backcountry hut tour. During warmer weather, try mountain biking, especially if you come during the Breckenridge 100, a premier mountain bike endurance race in July. And there's an entire park of summertime activities, the most exciting of which is a Breckenridge Alpine Slide. If you've never ridden an Alpine Slide before, you're in for a treat. The Breckenridge Alpine Slide puts you on a safe cart heading down the mountain skiers use in winter, twisting and turning in a safe but utterly thrilling ride down! There are even slower versions for families with small children. Whatever you wind up doing, wrap up your day by relaxing in one of the area's comfortable Breckenridge cabin rentals.

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Breckenridge Shopping and Breckenridge Food

Make the most of your vacation by indulging in some of the outstanding cuisine you can find in Breckenridge. When you're not saving money by cooking in the kitchen of your Breckenridge vacation condo, splurge on a spectacular dining experience at Breckenridge restaurants like the Zagat-rated Café Alpine, with its unique take on American cuisine mixed with elegant tapas options. Don't miss out on the family-friendly Dredge Boathouse, a historical floating restaurant modeled after one of the largest dredges that operated for decades on the Blue River. You'll have great views of the river as you dine on classy American Breckenridge food, including freshly caught seafood right off the boat! Celebrate the regional cuisine of Colorado at the Hearthstone Restaurant, where you can sample upscale interpretations of local classics including wild game. Breckenridge sleigh rides can take you on an evening tour of the area, and many include a dinner option or piping hot chocolate when you come in from the cold. Summertime Breckenridge sleigh rides tend to feature cowboy themes, presented like a chuck wagon with entertainment ranging from cowboy music to a mountain man storyteller.

For the shopaholic in your group, Breckenridge boasts plenty of one-of-a-kind local shops where you'll be sure to find unique gifts and original fashions. Countless art galleries display works created by talented regional artists, many of which are for sale. Breckenridge shopping options also include handmade jewelry, homemade soap, and more, or you can visit a local boutique to check out the latest in Rocky Mountain fashions. Crafty sorts can enjoy a cup of tea at the Tea Time Quilting and Stitchery, which is more than just a quilting store – you can drop in and join one of the Saturday knitting groups for free, or settle down at a sewing machine and spend a relaxing afternoon quilting while chatting with local ladies.

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When to Visit Breckenridge

breckenridge winter vacationBreckenridge's ski slopes are open from roughly November through May, depending on what the weather is like. If you go during prime ski season (like around major holidays or common vacation dates like spring break), expect to pay more for everything, from your housing to lift tickets. If it's possible for you and your family to take some time off when the resort won't be quite so crowded, you will not only avoid the lines and the crowds, you'll also find cheaper prices. By far, the cheapest time to go is early in the season, before December. Plenty of Breckenridge vacation rentals are available whether you visit in peak season or not, so be sure to look at the full range of Breckenridge rental cabins and Breckenridge ski in ski out condos to find the one that's best for your family.

If you're not set on a Breckenridge ski vacation, Breckenridge does offer entertainment year round (fishing, climbing, hot air ballooning, and more mundane activities like shopping). Summers in Breckenridge are cool and pleasant, so if you're looking to get away from oppressive summer heat, this might be a good destination for you. Breckenridge is a popular Spring Break destination, so the weeks of April 1-19, you can participate in the local Spring Massive event featuring concerts, comedy, festivals, and more. Breckenridge music performances are year-round, but you'll find most Breckenridge music centered around holidays or events like Spring Break. Also, July brings the Breckenridge 100, a famed endurance race that mountain bikers come from around the country to enter.

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What to Bring to Your Breckenridge Vacation Rental

Bring warm, comfortable clothes and dress in layers, with an inside layer that wicks moisture away from your body and outer layers to keep the elements away from you. Don't forget sunscreen and full ski gear. If you can't afford to invest in ski gear for the family, ask around – you never know who might be willing to loan you theirs. Otherwise, you can rent gear from several outfitters in the area, or buy anything you might have forgotten. You can rent helmets on-site at Breckenridge, a safety measure that's highly encouraged especially for kids 14 and under. Remember lip balm and moisturizer for chapped skin, as well as painkillers just in case something goes awry. If you intend to go into the backcountry, bring comfortable hiking shoes and a day pack (which you can also use to carry your necessities on the mountain, too). And don't forget the camera, whether you want to take pictures of the beautiful scenery or the kids goofing around in the snow! Rent a Breckenridge vacation house rental and you'll have plenty of space to store your gear and everything else when you're taking a break from the slopes, either spending a cozy night indoors or venturing out on a daytrip into town.

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What to Know About Breckenridge

If you're going to ski the slopes on a Breckenridge ski vacation, you'll have to follow the Skier Responsibility Code to keep yourself and everybody else around you safe.
You'll need to purchase lift tickets, too, and the best deals can be had online – and not only will you get the best price, you'll also be able to avoid the ticket line because your tickets will be loaded onto a reloadable card that will be sent to you before your trip. Get an early start to your day and skip even more of the lines by staying right on the slopes in a Breckenridge ski in ski out condo.

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Getting to Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is located within two hours of three airports. The largest of these airports, Denver International Airport, is 104 miles from Breckenridge. Eagle County Regional Airport is 63 miles – the closest but also the smallest, meaning that you'll have a hard time finding a flight into there. Breckenridge is also 110 miles from Colorado Springs Airport. You can rent a car from near any of these airports and make the drive to the resort following straightforward highway driving directions, or you can take one of any number of shuttle services directly from the airport to the resort.

A free shuttle will take you all around the Breckenridge ski resort, from the bases to the parking lots, as well as to various stops around town. You can also take the bus from Breckenridge to Vail or other in-county destinations.

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Breckenridge's Local Services

Breckenridge, CO has numerous childcare possibilities both on and off the mountain. Also, if you stay in a Breckenridge vacation house rental or a Breckenridge ski in ski out condo and you want to save money by cooking in your own kitchen, but you don't want to have to drive into town for your groceries, have groceries or even entire meals delivered to your door. Numerous Breckenridge concierge services exist to run your errands, whether that's grocery shopping, flower delivery, or preparing your Breckenridge vacation rental for the holidays.

If you want to avoid the cost of buying your own gear (kids are always outgrowing things, and the price of gear can really add up for a whole family), you can rent gear on-site for both skiing and snowboarding.

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Why Choose a Breckenridge, Colorado Vacation Rental?

At a destination as popular as Breckenridge, traditional hotels sell out fast. Avoid the crush of other vacationers by choosing the privacy and comfort of a Breckenridge vacation house rental, where you'll have your own space, enough room for the entire family, a private kitchen, and all the amenities of home. Hotel rooms can't offer you nearly as much, and for the number of rooms you'd need to accommodate the entire family, hotels can't hold a candle to the better value of Breckenridge vacation rentals!

Nothing beats the convenience of Breckenridge ski in ski out condos, which are perfect for the family that's impatient and eager to get out on the slopes. Staying this close to the action would cost you a lot more in an equivalent hotel, but staying in a condo lets you save money with the added benefit of staying in a comfortable home. Save money by eating in, and get a little extra sleep (or get out and about extra early!) by cutting down on travel time. It's a winning situation all round.

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Updated 3.11.2010