Girl’s Guide to Winter in Breck!
November 10, 2017
Moving to Telluride is the smartest thing I’ve ever done, as I’m completely obsessed with the mountains. Lucky for me & anyone that visits Colorado, this place is home to some of the best ski resorts around the world. Up until recently, I had never skied Breckenridge and it had been on my haute list for a good long time. It’s charming, gorgeous and the skiing is EPIC! This is a Vail Resorts property, so you can rest assured if you visit that your experience will be top notch on all levels.
Breck is home to the largest historic downtown in Colorado. Back in 1850, it was the gold rush base camp and in 1961 it opened as a ski resort. The Main St. is lined with candy-colored Victorian buildings that house funky and quaint boutiques, amazing restaurants & a tremendous après and nightlife scene. Breck to me feels like a college town with the benefit of being a ski resort. If they had a college there I would have gone! If you don’t ski, rest assured there will be plenty for you to do. If you just want to spa, shop, cafe and pub crawl then you will be entertained.
Breck has a generous amount of ski terrain to suit all levels. There are 5 mountains that are connected by a very simple to use lift system. The terrain is just as great for the first timer or beginner as it is for the black diamond junkie. There are also plenty of terrain parks if that’s your thing. I fell in love with the with the back bowls. No matter where you ski, you will be surrounded by majestic peaks and sweeping views. It is very possible to go from peak to peak in just a few hours.
I spent a day getting acquainted with the mountain with the help of a Breck Guide. I wanted to get to know the ski area like a local, so a day with the EXPLORE lesson worked best for me. When I ski, I like to get away from the hustle bustle to find the best powder stashes and the least traveled terrain. Explore is an on-piste experience, but in just 4 hours you really get to know the 5 pistes. Another thing I love about spending the day with a local guide is learning about all the après scene. They always give me the best insiders scoop on all things dining and social. When you have a lot of time on the chairlift together you learn a lot!
Breck is well known as a family-friendly resort, but it’s just as wonderful for couples, girl’s or guys trips, singles and any combination thereof! There are many ski pass options to choose from. As a local Coloradian, the best bet for me is always the EPIC Pass. This allows unlimited and unrestricted access to 15 US resorts and 30 international resorts. My plan is to get to all of them…someday!
Lined with sweet Victorian homes most of which have been converted for commercial use, the Main Street is a place to congregate throughout the day and well into the night. Make sure you book a long enough trip that allows you to spend time strolling the strolling the streets with time to duck into the coffee shops, stores, bars, and restaurants. Breck is a very casual ski resort. You will not find luxury boutiques here, but you will find some other charming options. Some of my favorite shops include Valleygirl & Ruby Jane and Overland. They are all easy to find when you stroll.
Since Breck is also a vibrant “full-timers” town you can also find many cultural options including Breck Create. If you are into the arts and feel like signing up for an art class or workshop this will be a great escape for you. Next time I visit I would love to take a painting class. There are also performances, so check out their calendar to see if your trip syncs up with anything of interest.
Dining, Après and Nightlife
Whether you are looking for a cocktail & a nap or an all-night rager there are many options. For Après there are a few basecamp, on mountain options and plenty of choices once off the mountain. Once you take your ski boots off for the day most things are walkable, which makes life so much easier. There are many patios available to soak in the sun, sip a cocktail and chat about the ski day with new and old friends. The people in Breck are super friendly, so I’m sure you will end up exchanging stories with a local or perhaps a new international pal.
The Tbar at the base of Peak 8 is a super fun place to people watch and chill. No matter what your style, there is a place for you.
One location that’s not walkable, but I highly recommend you go there is the Breckenridge Distillery. They say it’s the World’s Highest Distillery and it’s New American Cuisine is memorably delicious. There is a free shuttle available from downtown, so there are no excuses not to get there.
I enjoyed the most delicious dinner there with a friend along with a few craft cocktails. There are also Distillery Tours available, it might be smart if book ahead of time. I had skied all day & was ravenous so sampling a large part of the menu was a great thing! We had the Deviled Eggs, a Charcuterie Board, Squid Ink Pasta, Savory Dutch Baby, Brussels Sprouts and a dessert sampler. I left with a happy belly all ready to hit the sheets for a cozy night of sleep.
I also had a great dinner at the local’s favorite in downtown called Relish This is Colorado inspired cuisine & their margaritas rock! For dinner I had the Pistachio Crusted Ruby Red Trout, of which I had not one single bite leftover. I was on my own that night, sat at the bar and ended having the liveliest convo with the bartender and some locals. They taught me so much about the area!
For on-mountain dining, I highly recommend the restaurant Pioneer Crossing. They refer to this as rustic upscale dining and it certainly is a tasty break when you are on the slopes. My guide and I had the Skillet Mac ‘n Cheese and a delish Greek Lamb Pita.
Where to Stay
There are quite a few lodging options both in town and just outside conveniently located on the shuttle route. I prefer to stay close to the slopes and to town if possible. On this trip, I stayed very centrally located to everything at the recently renovated Marriot Residents Inn Breckenridge. My room was spacious, super comfy and the lifts were easily accessed with a short walk or via free shuttle. I fell in love with their rooftop pool that overlooks the ski mountain. Another great place to soak and après.
There are also plenty of ski-in/ski-out condos and homes you can book. Consider how many people, ages and what sort of proximity you want to town and slopes, you will find what you need!
Breck links to check out….