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Breckenridge has built a reputation for its adrenaline-pumping adventures, from snowboard parks to wild mountain bike rides. But it’s also a laid-back mountain town that’s attracting more and more retirees to enjoy its cool, entertaining summers and active winters. Here’s a guide to relaxing activities in Breckenridge for retired guests and residents — or those who want to take it easy, or not, in the sunshine-drenched Victorian town.
Relaxing Activities in Breckenridge:
Step Back in History
On August 10, 1859, the first gold nugget was discovered along the Blue River, and that’s all it took. Men built a fort, and within three months, the new town of “Breckinridge” took root.
The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance celebrates Breckenridge’s history by preserving, restoring and presenting the history of Breckenridge to locals and guests.
5 Ways to Experience History in Breckenridge
- Tour a museum – All of the museums, which are restored homes from the late 1800s and early 1900s, are free, with donations accepted. The museums are filled with facinating characters who impacted the development of Breckenridge like Barney Ford, an escaped slave, who became a prominent businessman in Breckenridge Edwin Carter’s a conservationist ahead of his time.
- Explore the archives – Peruse newspapers, photographs, maps, records and rare books totaling more than 1,400 in number of the 1800s and early 1900s in Breckenridge. History buffs can also order prints for personal use. A great way to add art to your home.
- Take a Tour – Several tours will tickle your imagination of what life used to be like in the rough-and-tumble land of Breckenridge. Behind Swinging Doors Saloon Tour takes you both into historic bars like the Gold Pan, as well as new sites like the Breckenridge Distillery. The Haunted Tour brings to life female apparitions spotted hanging out on second floors, and more. Or check out the Tombstone Tales at Twilight Tour in Breckenridge’s historic cemetery. Gold panning and miner’s hikes abound, with dredge hikes, ghost town tours and gold and silver mine tours.
- Pan for Gold – Head to Country Boy Mine to explore one of Breckenridge’s most popular gold mines. This 1,000-foot expedition into the mine includes mining history, stories of a miner’s life and finishes the experience with gold panning outside the mine.
For Breckenridge Heritage Alliance tours on the fly, stop into the Breckenridge Welcome Center at 203 S. Main Street, which, in and of itself is a cool ski and mining history museum.
Experience Art and Culture
The Breckenridge art scene has been taking off. The new Arts District campus offers more classes than a person could possibly take in a month, from drawing and creative writing, to dance, metal smithing, jewelry making, ceramics, textiles and more. Each class takes place in a restored historic building, making it an even more unique and memorable experience.
3 ways to enjoy art scene in Breckenridge
- Public Art Tour – Public art around the Riverwalk Center and Sculpture on the Blue feature realistic and abstract sculptures using a broad range of subject matter and materials. The sculptures invite public interaction, so don’t be afraid to touch. As you walk around town, you’ll see a variety of public art. You can event take a free self-guide tour of the art and scultpures around town.
- Art Galleries – Breckenridge’s Main Street also offers a few good galleries, including a local co-op called Arts Alive at the south end of town, and Art on a Whim, on the northern end of Main Street. Other galleries in town feature nature photography, as well as exceptionally fine art, like Breckenridge Gallery.
- Cultural Events – Breckenridge Music Festival and the National Repertory Orchestra both present grand orchestral and chamber music. Renowned and up-and-coming musicians spend their summer weeks filling Breckenridge with rousing music — and making it fun and accessible to people who otherwise would not find themselves in a concert hall. Breckenridge’s WAVE: Light + Water + Sound features interactive artworks curated around the themes of light, water and sound, and offers a variety of temporary installations, musical performances, screenings, digital art and eye candy of all sizes for the whole family to experience.
Find R&R Outdoors
Breckenridge offers plenty of laid-back — and awe-inspiring — outdoor recreation opportunities, including summer options like biking along the Blue River, fly fishing on the Blue and hiking.
Top 5 Relaxing Outdoor Activities
- Free Gondola Ride – During the peak of summer (mid-June through mid-September), you can take a free gondola ride up to the base of Peak 7 or 8, and perhaps enjoy a stone hearth pizza or drink at Sevens Restaurant (Peak 7). This ride offers 10 minutes of uninterrupted views that include Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve and the Ten Mile Range.
- Fly Fishing – Fly fishing services like Breckenridge Outfitters and Mountain Angler offer expert guides year-round; they’ll tell you what and where the fish are biting and teach you how to cast, if you need tips. Cast, relax and listen to the river.
- Coast Downhill – The secret to a relaxing bike ride? Making sure it’s all downhill! We recommend renting a bike in-town and coasting downhill to Frisco or signing up for a Vail Pass Bike Shuttle for a smooth downhill experience. Vail Pass Bike Shuttles, drive you and the bikes to the top of Vail Pass and let you bike down 14 miles of smooth, paved bike path. This scenic ride takes you through forests and along a river, is one of the best ways to experience the high elevation adventure, without getting out of breath. Most bikers end their trip in Frisco where the rental company picks them up and delivers them back to Breckenridge.
- Golf – Breckenridge’s Jack Nicklaus designed 27-hole golf course offers plenty of challenge as it rolls through the valley. Elk nine provides the most elevation change. Bear’s fairway slopes right to left and is a fairly easy par four. On the Beaver Course, downhill putts add a bit of treachery. And, on the Elk 9, play strategically to avoid any hits over the water. Bonus: The Club House deck offers sweeping views of the course and a great selection of apps and drink specials.
No matter where your interest lies — be it historical or architectural, nature-oriented, arts and culture, or shopping and dining — Main Street Breckenridge provides plenty of activities for those who want to kick back.