There are so many fun things to do in Breckenridge besides skiing – shopping, arts, history, hiking, sledding, spas, terrific food, and more!
I am over the moon about my recent visit to this mountain town. While I did ski a couple days, I spent the majority of my time exploring the town’s history, arts district, and non-skiing adventures.
I have friends who ski, but their families don’t. I also have friends who don’t ski and believe the idea of a cold-weather vacation is insane. To those friends, and all of you with similar situations and beliefs, I’d like to introduce you to Breckenridge, Colorado.
Even if you’re not a fan of cold weather, Breckenridge is magical in the winter. Nestled under the peaks of the majestic Rocky Mountains, the town gets an average of 300 days of sunshine each year! There are so many things to do on a crisp day under the bright sunshine or softly falling snow.
Breckenridge is also an amazing summer destination. Here’s what makes Breckenridge more than the ski resort.
The Town of Breckenridge
Breckenridge is a real town, not a village created to serve the ski resort. Their quaint and energetic main street dates back to the gold rush of the mid-1800s. With an abundance of shops and restaurants, horse-drawn carriage rides, and regular entertainment and festivals (Ullr Fest, Mardi Gras, International Snow Sculpture Competition), you’ll love exploring.
You could also learn about the history of Breckenridge with a tour from the Breck Heritage Alliance. I highly recommend the Breckenridge Haunted Tour. Ask for Trevor as your tour guide – he’s a paranormal investigator. With his personal experience stories and ghost-hunting tools, this was hands-down the best ghost tour I’ve ever experienced. I even had a creepy encounter of my own!
If you’re up for a bit of walking, don’t miss the Breckenridge Troll! This amazing wooden sculpture is accessible via a short trail that’s about a 20-minute walk from downtown. Check out my video below for directions.
Indoor Activities in Breck
Want to stay inside? Check out Breck’s spas, yoga studios, and recreation center, complete with steam room, hot tubs, sauna, and pool with water slide and kiddie fountain.
There’s also Breckenridge Creative Arts. Lovingly dubbed “BreckCreate,” it was developed to support and promote arts, culture, and creative experiences throughout Breckenridge. They offer a continuous and abundant slate of art workshops, classes, studio time, theater, walking tours, and musical events. Check their calendar of workshops before your visit and sign up for one – my kids and I participated in two workshops and loved them both.
Even if you don’t ski, there are plenty of snow adventures to be had. Dog sledding with Good Times Adventures is an experience your family will never forget.
There is also the beautiful Breckenridge Nordic Center which offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. You can venture out on your own or with a tour guide who will teach you all about the history, ecology, and wildlife of the area. We took a snowshoeing tour that was family-friendly and accessible for all ages.
Spend the day exploring the trails in the peaceful forest, then settle by the fire with a hot chocolate and homemade soup. Snowmobiling, sledding, sleigh rides, winter biking, and ice skating are also available nearby.
Food in Breckenridge
There are so many fantastic places to eat in Breckenridge. I’ve visited four times and still haven’t scratched the surface.
My family’s all-time favorite place to eat in Breckenridge is Crepes a la Cart. It’s literally a tiny cart with two people creating incredible, huge, crispy, made-to-order crepes. They have tons of options from breakfast to savory to sweet and each one is a meal.
Even on the coldest days, you’ll find a line down the street. Wait times can be one to two hours, and we’ve found that the after-dinner hours are the busiest. We’ve been lucky to wait only 20-30 minutes on a weekday around 4 pm.
The wait time is absolutely worth it though. My kids wanted crepes for every meal. Try the Philly Cheesesteak with jalapenos or the Banana Split with ice cream!
Some of my family’s other favorite places to eat in Breck include Briar Rose Steakhouse (their food is perfection), Downstairs at Eric’s (sports bar with an attached arcade), Empire Burger (awesome burgers and tons of crazy-good dipping sauces for your fries), Swiss Haven (fondue – you can’t go wrong), and La Francaise French Bakery (their creamy, chocolate beignets are to die for).
Breckenridge is much, much more than a ski destination. I hope I’ve given you some great reasons to consider Breck for your next vacation, winter or summer!