If you ever want to spend a weekend enjoying nature at its finest and feeling like you stepped back in the Victorian era - Come to Breckenridge! This is by far one of my favorite skiing vacations I've taken over the years. I have found that the best time to go to Breckenridge is during the end of the season to experience Spring skiing. There is lots of snow for great skiing, beautiful weather, and smaller crowds. There are a couple of ways to get to Breckenridge from the Denver airport, the most obvious is to rent a vehicle. But, there is a little less known way to get there...Colorado Mountain Express. This shuttle service is very convenient and with sharing the ride with multiple friends arriving/leaving at similar times they can all share the costs to and from the airport.
The mountains in Breckenridge offer a variety of ski trails on the 5 peaks. From the thrilling black diamonds on Peak 10, easy runs on Peak 9, runs for every level of skier on Peak 8, long windy trails on Peak 7, to the above the trees intermediate runs on the new Peak 6. My personal favorite is to start the morning hitting the Briar Rose trail and making my way over to finish the day on Lincoln Meadows or Monte Cristo. It is a great way to clear out early from the beginners on Peak 9 and have runs all to yourself over on Peak 7.
|Solo trail blazer|
You can bring your equipment with you or rent from the numerous shops in town. They all have quick, easy rentals and returns. If you happen to forget something like leaving your poles in your condo (yes I have done this!), they will let you borrow them for free. Plus they are more than helpful when renting a helmet, which I highly recommend on the ski trails. If you have enough pockets you can put a small point & shoot camera or your cell phone in them. You never know when you will have the perfect scene present itself to you. The other thing you need to be prepared for is the change in temperature. Sometimes it can be very windy on the chairlifts and at the peaks but, can definitely warm up as you are skiing down the trails.
|Crazy snow storm|
|Beautiful sunny day|
There are plenty of places to take breaks on the mountain. From plopping down right on the trail to spending a nice leisurely break at any of the restaurants on the peaks or at the base. Just remember to drink plenty of fluids to counteract the potential of altitude sickness and pay attention to your body's energy level during the full day of skiing. When your legs start feeling tired it might be time to stop for the day. Or you might end up being the person standing in the lift line that just falls over at the end of the day because your legs feel like jello (Oh yeah that was me, too!).
|Taking a break on the hill|
|Hanging out at the bottom of Peak 7|
|Condos for rent|
|ULLR - Snow God from Scandinavian Folklore, protector of all those who participate in winter sports.|
If you have numerous friends or family members going on this vacation, the best bet is to rent out a home or condo. There are lots of choices and reasonable prices. Most of the places to rent are on the free shuttle ride routes. This shuttle will take you to and from the town, just remember to pay attention to the color of your particular route or you might end up taking a tour of the town.
|View of the ski hill from town|
|The Dredge Restaurant & Bar|
Each time I visit Breckenridge I always find something new and exciting in the shops along Main Street. Of course they all have the traditional souvenirs available but, you also can find that rare gift for yourself or a loved one in one of the old buildings they have renovated into quaint stores. What I enjoy the most is conversing with the proprietors. They love to chat with you and love to hear where you are from. I always hear amazing stories on how they know someone who lives in the same area of the country as me.
My favorite part of the town of Breckenridge is how the entire downtown area has lights strung on the buildings. It always reminds me of Christmastime here. There are plenty of dining choices to try after the day on the slopes. I've had great meals at The Dredge, Breckenridge Brewery, La Francaise Bakery (great crepes!), Columbine Cafe, Giampietro, Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon, and The Motherloaded Tavern (great Mac & Cheese!).
Views from the interstate to and from Denver are amazing. The only potential drawback is if you happen to get caught in one of the traffic jams. There isn't a lot of options other than sitting and waiting for the cars to move. I only hope that you don't have to experience this on your way back to Denver when you have a flight to make.
Breckenridge is a place where you can step back into time and enjoy hospitality and friendship with everyone you meet on and off the slopes, and where you can breathe fresh air and see the most spectacular views of mother nature at her finest.
|Spring trying to come through the snow!|