There are an endless amount of outdoor activities, special events and daily apres that happen each week in Breckenridge, Colorado. How do you decide what activities are a must vs worth a try on day five of your vacation? My recommendation is to visit at leave once every year until you’ve tried it all! The second best thing? This Ultimate Breckenridge Winter Trip Itinerary – filled with tips to save time, money and yourself from a lot of stress.
First things first – I am giving you my suggestions because you need to plan! Not so everything is programmed down to the last minute, but so you don’t miss out on some of the best things about Breckenridge AND get some of the best deals. I recommend making reservations for any activities you want to do well in advance. This will ensure your trip is filled with things you want to do and in some cases (skiing and snowboarding) save your hard earned dollars.
Most of you will arrive in Breckenridge in the late afternoon or early evening after traveling for the day. I suggest taking an easy night on the first night, drink plenty of fluids and ready yourself for your first day.
With that in mind, here’s my ultimate winter itinerary for our little town of Breckenridge!
Day 1 – Ski/Snowboard
No ski vacation is complete without a day or more of skiing or snowboarding. Breckenridge Ski Resort spans five peaks of the Tenmile Range (Peaks 6-10), which offer a variety of terrain. Three of the peaks have base areas (7,8,9) and two are home to Breckenridge Ski and Snowboard School (8,9). If you are a beginner, I recommend you book a lift and lesson package on Peak 9 – home to some of the best teaching terrain in the world, known for long, wide beginner runs that call it home.
Beginners: You can also arrange your rental equipment with ski school to get it done (and with help) all in one spot! It is important you book and plan this one in advance to get the lowest price on a lesson. There are a couple ski school locations at Breckenridge. If you aren’t sure which one is closest to where you are going, I definitely recommend giving their friendly staff a call.
Intermediate and advanced skiers and riders, same rules apply! To get the most bang out Breckenridge, have a guide take you to the stunning steep runs, great glades and badass bowls (all while skipping the line) on day one – so navigating the resort for the rest of your trip is a breeze.
Regardless of ability level, save time and money by purchasing your lift tickets online at least 7 days in advance!
Finish off your day with a little après (that’s French for post skiing entertainment) at the popular TBAR at the Peak 8 base area, on the deck at the Maggie Restaurant on Peak 9 or one of the many great watering holes in town. There is never a shortage of bar stools to pull up to share some mostly true skiing stories.
Day 2 – Take it “easy” with a XC Ski or Snowshoe
It would be easy to just tell you to ski for the duration of your stay, because that’s what Breckenridge is known for, right? However, Breckenridge is a true WINTER destination that includes more than downhill skiing.
Breckenridge is home to two beautiful Nordic centers, The Breckenridge Nordic Center on Peak 8 and the Gold Run Nordic Center on the north end of town at the Breckenridge Golf Course. Both offer amazing views, snowshoe and cross-country ski rentals and lessons. These facilities have great staff, great food and drink, and offer a great introduction to both activities. I love this as an alternative to the ski area because of the more intimate setting, quiet swishing of your equipment and refined glass of wine at the end. Once you get the hang of it, there is even more to explore on miles of multi-use trails in and around the town. When you can breathe in the fresh, crisp air and marvel at your surroundings alone or with your family and friends, you will see some of the magic of Breckenridge truly come to life. And keep an eye out for wildlife too!
Day 3 – The Main Event!
Many winter destinations claim to be cute, authentic and easy to navigate – but Breckenridge is all of those and more! Breckenridge is only two miles wide and seven miles long; two chairlifts and a gondola are just off Main Street, so you can literally ski to the heart of town from three of Breckenridge’s five peaks. The mountain is always in sight, with Main Street nestled up against it. Main Street is what you think of when you think of Colorado mountain towns at their best. The 150-year-old avenue is the heartbeat of town and the crown jewel of the largest historic district in the state. Authentic and colorful Victorian buildings pepper this central corridor alongside newer ones, filled with locally owned businesses, coffee shops, restaurants, pubs and more. Each cross street offers a little look uphill toward historic homes, local offices and more eateries (Ridge St. has several). It’s the perfect place to dine, stroll, shop and people watch.
I suggest a full afternoon to explore, especially during one of the many signature winter events like Ullr Fest, the International Snow Sculpture Championships or Mardi Gras. You will find locally-made gifts like soap, glass art, winter accessories, kids apparel as well as skis, whiskey and locally brewed beer. Leather goods, winter gear, logoed souvenirs and smells wafting from local bakeries are as plentiful as the twinkle lights shining when the sun goes down. I have traveled the world – six continents and dozens of iconic destinations – and there is no place like my home Main Street for a stroll and a breath of fresh air.
Day 4 and Beyond in Your Breckenridge Winter Trip
Individualize your experience according to the things that inspire you – dog-sledding, ice skating, yoga classes, spa days, interesting historic tours, creative art endeavors, live music, lively events and more. Or take three days to explore what you might like best about Breckenridge, then go back for seconds and thirds if you want –just like the upper bowls on a windy day, there are always refills of snow and magic to find.