Adventuring in Breckenridge
For two years in a row, James and I have driven out west to the little resort town of Breckenridge, Colorado during late June for a rare kid-free getaway. And I gotta tell you, this place does NOT disappoint. It has something for everyone, and you can’t do it all in one visit. Last year we only had one full day, plus an evening and morning. So this time, we gave ourselves five full days. So worth it.
I wanted to tell you a little about our trips and what we did on them without making it confusing since it covers two visits. We’ll see how well I do!
You would not believe the number of hikes surrounding the downtown area of Breckenridge. It can be a little overwhelming. Last year, we didn’t have much time so we only hiked once, and then the second morning we checked out the Blue Lakes/Monte Cristo Gulch area and we discovered there are TONS of mountains goats that call it home. This year, we went back and they were there again! I’ll just combine the photos of that to make it easier. And as soon as I get these posts published, they’ll be linked!
McCullough Gulch Trail
As you can see, we made the most of our time this trip – 25 miles in total over the course of four days! And we’ll definitely be back because there are still a ton of trails we haven’t explored yet. Many of them are best in the later summer months (because the snow has melted and the trail is easier to navigate), so we’re going to try to come back in late July or August next year.
For our first visit, we stayed at The Lodge at Breckenridge. It’s pet friendly (although we left our pup at home), and they offer a complimentary sunrise breakfast. It was perfect for an early hiking date, because we were able to get in there at 6am.
And look at that breakfast view!
This year, we stayed in an airbnb rental for the very first time, and ohemgee, it was SUCH a good decision. It was right on Main Street, the size was perfect for the two of us, and the neighbors were very friendly. (Plus, the price was amazing, and our host was great – tell her we sent you!)
This was our sunrise view from the studio.
And our little-bit-later-in-the-morning view. (Just as we were heading out to hike.)
And I don’t remember when I snapped this, but I couldn’t stop capturing it! And on top of the view, we were just steps away from restaurants and shops which meant we didn’t have to find parking!
Restaurants (& shops):
I really love Trip Advisor for dining recommendations, and the number one place in Breck is Hearthstone. So we had to give it a try on our first night there last year.
While the place had great service and delicious food, we quickly realized it might have been just a little too fancy for us. We’re definitely more of the pizza-and-burgers type than the elk, duck and lamb type. But I’m glad we tried it! It’s a good experience, and now we can say we’ve been there.
We really loved the food and vibe at Empire Burger. The fish tacos were killer. (The cocktails weren’t bad either.)
Our airbnb this year was two doors down from a cute little place that had great reviews online, so we hit The Canteen three times. (We totally intended to eat in daily, but it’s soooooo hard when everything is so close!)
Their pulled pork and margaritas were pretty much incredible.
I swear I can taste that sour/sweet deliciousness just by staring at this photo!
We also fell in love with Downstairs at Eric’s. Their french onion soup was perfection! And the pizza at both Fatty’s and Giampietro’s was tasty and cheesy. Very good stuff. We really didn’t have any bad meals during either of our visits!
We didn’t spend a ton of time checking out the shops either visit, but you could easily spend your afternoon(s) perusing Main Street. They have multiple big name brands, but there are also plenty of small gift shops with really cute souvenirs and outdoor gear. We were both able to find great shirts that were trendy and affordable.
On one of our afternoons this time (after hitting the trails), we tried the free Breckenridge Gondola. It was like a three minute walk from our studio.
I had no idea how long it would be, because the mountains are deceiving. There’s a whole other area “above” Breckenridge that I didn’t even know existed! (By the way, I was shooting these images through scratched plexiglass, so excuse any weird blemishes in the photos.)
The gondola stopped mid-air when we got here and I nearly had a heart attack. We just bobbed up and down repeatedly for what felt like an eternity before the cable finally calmed down. And then we started moving again.
We went up to the top and stayed on through the multiple stops (versus getting off and walking around). Then we headed back down again. Although I was scared to death, the ride was beautiful. (This is definitely a must-do attraction.)
I’ll take either one of those houses, please and thank you. (Side note, we seriously investigated the real estate situation while we were out there, and nope, definitely not in our budget any time soon.)
When downtown Breckenridge came back into view, it was astonishing. This place is so spectacular, and it’s crazy to think it’s only a few hours from our house!
The view just out of the gondola station.
And I think that about covers what we did over the past two visits. We were pretty much either hiking, eating, sleeping, or lying comatose in our bed recovering from an adventure. (It turns out we’re not getting any younger over here.) But we’d love to go back with the kids and I know there are so many other things available. We’d love to rent bikes and ride the paths, plus goBreck.com has a whole list of fun summer activities we need to try. And of course many people flock to this beautiful town for its ski slopes! (We haven’t quite gotten brave enough for that yet….)
If you’ve been to Breckenridge, we’d love to hear your favorite things to do and see there!