Local's Guide to Breckenridge
Breckenridge is a small mountain town rooted in mining history and ski culture. If you’re a first time visitor to Breckenridge or want the most updated tips and tricks, chances are you’re looking for the top things to do, best places to eat, how to get around and more local secrets. The good news is that we have something for everyone, and you don’t actually have to be a local to explore like one. We’re here to give you the lowdown on Breckenridge activities, history and culture, transportation and parking, dining and so much more. Start planning your adventures with the first timer’s guide to Breckenridge.
Top Activities in Breckenridge
Breckenridge is home to world-class skiing and snowboarding, as well as amazing hiking and biking trails. But we’re also home to unique activities like dog sledding, whitewater rafting, historic and ghost tours, art workshops and classes and so much more. So if you’re planning a mountain vacation here, you definitely won’t get bored. To ensure you don’t miss a thing during your trip, check out our list of the top 10 things to do in Breckenridge that cover the full range of beauty, activities, history and culture that make Breckenridge so special.
Altitude & Weather
Breckenridge is higher than most Colorado resort areas and towns. At an elevation of 9,600 feet (2,900 meters) above sea level, Breckenridge enjoys around 300 inches of snow in the winter and mild 70-degree temperatures in the summer. While our high mountain climate provides breathtaking scenery and perfect conditions for outdoor activities, the elevation can affect people in different ways and visitors should take high altitude precautions.
At higher elevation, the sun is much stronger than at lower elevations. Be sure to protect yourself year-round by wearing sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and goggles, even if the clouds are out. For outdoor activities like skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and more, we recommend wearing warm winter jackets and pants, snow boots, hats, gloves and goggles/sunglasses.
While Colorado gets tons of annual sunshine, the snow has to come from somewhere. Throughout the winter, expect snow storms to roll through. Snow plows typically run throughout the mornings to clear main roads and sidewalks, but streets and walkways can be icy. Make sure you’re dressed properly and have boots with good traction.
If you have a car, be sure you’re comfortable driving in winter weather conditions, and familiarize yourself with current traction and 4-wheel-drive laws. Get updates for Colorado’s road and weather conditions prior to driving by calling 303.639.1111 or visiting the Colorado Department of Transportation. Don’t want to deal with the hassles of clearing snow from your car, driving on icy roads and finding paid parking? Go Carless in Breckenridge!
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bags & Bottles)
The Town of Breckenridge has a bag fee of 10 cents per bag at shops around town, restaurants and grocery stores. Visit like a local and bring your own reusable shopping bag or purchase one at the Welcome Center on Main Street. They make great souvenirs too! You might also notice that straws don’t come in your beverages at coffee shops and restaurants. That’s because straws are only available per request. Another item to keep in your day bag is a reusable water bottle. Breckenridge has water refill stations throughout town, not to mention, some of the best tap water in the country to fill up on in between adventures. With these local tips, you’ll save money and keep Breckenridge clean.
Transportation and Parking
You’ve heard of Sleepless in Seattle, but how about Carless in Breckenridge? Why worry about clearing snow off your car, sitting in traffic and finding and paying for parking? Let us handle the winter driving conditions while you enjoy the views and get to were you need to stress free. Getting to and around Breckenridge is easy and convenient, due to free transportation options and our easily walkable town.
Breckenridge Tips & Tricks
When Should I Visit Breckenridge?
Breckenridge is a great place to visit year-round, but knowing what types of activities and adventures you’re interested in may help determine the best time for your visit to Breckenridge.
Winter & Spring in Breckenridge
“Hibernation” is not a word included in a Breckenridge local’s winter vocabulary. The ample amounts of snow that our town receives (more than almost any other place in Colorado) provides the perfect playground for tons of great outdoor activities. With five huge peaks spanning 2,908 acres, skiing and snowboarding at Breckenridge Ski Resort is an awe-inspiring experience no matter your ability. But Breckenridge is more than just a ski town. With over 100+ winter activities, events and experiences to offer, there is truly something for everyone here.
Summer in Breckenridge
Ask any Breckenridge local and they’ll tell you that they came for winters but stayed for the summers. With days in the mid-70s, lots of sunshine, low humidity, few bugs and a laid-back mountain vibe, we make you feel right at home. Explore the hundreds of hiking and biking trails in and around Breckenridge, or cool off on the water with some whitewater rafting, SUP yoga or fly fishing. When we’re not getting after it on the trails, we’re dancing at concerts, hanging at festivals and cruising the local farmers market and art fairs.
Fall in Breckenridge
We’re still known for our gold. Fall means cooler temperatures and gorgeous colors on the mountains, making it the perfect time to escape the city and visit Breckenridge. The list of what to do in Breckenridge during the fall is long. Whether you’re interested in our endless outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking or fly fishing, taking part in a fall festival like Oktoberfest, Wine Classic or the Craft Spirits Festival, or simply enjoying the incredible fall foliage, fall in Breckenridge is an amazing time to discover everything our mountain town has to offer.
Explore Breckenridge by Season
Eat, Drink, Shop
The Breckenridge dining scene explodes with flavor. Expect to find worldly inspired cuisines, fresh takes on culinary classics and plenty of craft beer and cocktails made from our local brewers. From slope-side Après to cozy Victorian restaurants, our town offers unforgettable dining and nightlife options. Whether you’re looking for live music, high end flavors, local game nights or just a welcoming seat at the bar, you’ll find it each night right on Main Street.
History has made Main Street a colorful place to stroll and the perfect place to shop. With more than 200 stores to choose from, enjoy quaint storefronts featuring bookstores, chic boutiques, jewelry, antiques, sporting goods and more. Our specialty? Providing the latest styles and greatest gear for any outdoor outing and adventure.
Breckenridge is host to a variety of lively watering holes and restaurants. When you’re craving a local, laid back atmosphere, head to these lesser-known or secret-stash spots perfect for a mellow date night, girlfriends’ weekend or post-hike happy hour. Tuck away to one of these off-the-path nooks for a side of solitude- check out the local’s favorite hidden Breckenridge bars, lodges and lounges.
Where to Stay in Breckenridge
Breckenridge may be small, but it offers a large variety when it comes to lodging and activities for your spring, summer, winter and fall vacations. Make new friends and meet fellow travelers at a historic B&B, bring the whole family for a getaway in a large private home or settle in close to the slopes in a condo or a hotel. If you’ve got kids, choose a place with a pool or an arcade. If you’re looking to relax, choose a hotel with a spa or steamy hot tubs. If you’re looking for ski-in-ski-out, we’ve got that too! Whatever your flavor, Breckenridge lodging options have something for everyone.
Be a Breckenridge Tree-Hugger
You love to be an adventurist – but are you a responsible one? You know: Give more than you take? Embrace Mother Nature? Now you can find out with this short interactive “tree-hugger” challenge. Learn stuff. Win stuff. And then brag about it to everyone!