This weekend getaway guide to Breckenridge, Colorado is dedicated to helping you find the best spots in and around town. Because, when I first visited Breckenridge, I did very little research. From food to nightlife to trails – I cover just about everything for your perfect weekend escape. Let’s get to it.
How to get there
Breckenridge is about an hour and a half from Denver and 3 hours from Grand Junction, off i70. Most people visit this mountain town by way of Denver. If you’re arriving at the airport, add an extra half hour! If you have some time to kill, consider stopping at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, it will add an extra half hour but if you haven’t seen it before – it’s iconic!
While there are shuttle services from Denver to Breckenridge (my personal favorite is Epic Mountain Express), I highly recommend getting a rental car. It’s so nice to be on your own schedule and some of the spots mentioned in this weekend getaway guide to Breckenridge are just outside of town so having a rental car is definitely recommended. I’ve always had great luck renting from Hertz and Sixt!
Surrounding Breckenridge are Frisco (right off i70 and you will drive through on your way to Breckenridge), Silverthorne, Dillon and Keystone!
This is definitely something to consider when visiting Breckenridge. Everything highlighted in this weekend getaway guide to Breckenridge can be experienced year-round (except skiing/snowboarding of course). Here are some things to consider when planning what time of year you visit Breckenridge.
If you prefer to hike on dry trails, I recommend visiting in July and August, our peak summer season. Higher alpine areas (like the 13ers and 14ers) tend to be driest then and nearly free of snow. During the late spring and summer months, everything is in bloom, including wildflowers. Best seen the first couple weeks of July! Mud season (the month of May and early June) is the quietest month of the year here. While some shops and restaurants close, the trails, Main St., restaurants and shops (that are open) tend to be very quiet. Which means less people on trails and in town. The trails this time of year tend to be muddy and sometimes snowy. And of course, if you’re skiing or snowboarding, November through March is best. Winter hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and dog sledding are some other great winter activities too! Cooler temps can be experienced in the Fall, as well as Fall foliage! The best time to see foliage is late September/early October but that all depends on the summer season that preceeded Fall.
What to see on your weekend getaway to Breckenridge
Now that we’ve covered the basics here’s what you can’t miss during your trip to Breckenridge, Colorado!
Breckenridge has the quaintest Main St. area. Although there are some mainstream stores (like Northface and Patagonia) there’s so much charm to it! The only chain restaurants you’ll find are Subway and Starbucks but you’re better off trying locally owned Amazing Grace and Cool River Coffee House. My favorite local shops on Main St. are Marigold’s Farmhouse, Vintage Sweet & Chic, Overland, Cabin Fever, Ambika Herbal Apothecary, and Breckenridge Candle Cabin. After walking and shopping your way down Main St., perhaps the most popular thing to do is visit our resident troll.
Isak Heartstone is a 15-foot wooden troll by Danish artist Thomas Dambo. It was originally part of the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts and quickly became the towns mascot. So much so that the town created the Trollstigen Trail. Today, visitors can walk the .3 mile, flat trail and see Isak for themselves! Note on the trail that’s linked above, the trail to the troll is well marked with troll signs and is an out and back. The other option is to complete the entire trail (as linked above). Because Isak is such a popular guy, I recommend visiting in the early morning or later evening. This is a great arrival day activity because its low key, right in town with no elevation gain.
For dinner, I recommend trying Piante. It’s a plant-based pizza joint with indoor and outdoor seating. The pizza is some of the best gluten free, vegan pizza I’ve ever had. No joke. If plant based isn’t your style, head to Briar Rose. This spot is definitely a splurge, and I recommend making a reservation ahead of time. Everything on this menu is delicious, especially the brussel sprouts and potatoes. Good for date nights and girls nights.
I mentioned Cool River Coffee House above, if you didn’t get the chance to try this on day one head here for coffee and breakfast! They have delicious coffee, burritos and donuts (gluten free/vegan pastries too!). I adore the outdoor seating at this place! On cooler days they turn on their outdoor heaters so you can still enjoy the outdoor seating and mountain views.
Although it’s not in Breckenridge, about 30 minutes West, I tell everyone I know to visit Mayflower Gulch. Before moving here, Mayflower Gulch had been a location I saved on Instagram but could never locate it- that is until I moved here! Mayflower Gulch is a heavily trafficked 6.1 mile out and back trail. To get to the iconic 1800’s mining cabins, it’s about 1.5 miles (3 miles RT) with 597 feet of elevation gain. You can continue on to higher parts of the trail, as the map linked suggests, or just stop at the cabins.
You can visit this trail any time of year though in the winter, depending on conditions, to reach the cabins spikes and/or snowshoes are recommended. It’s also a very popular backcountry ski/snowboard area! If you’re visiting in the winter, please be aware of snow conditions, namely avalanche safety. The CAIC is a great resource. Although the cabins are not above tree line, please note that weather conditions any time of year can change instantly- especially in the summer. The mountains tend to have thunderstorms around noon, nearly every day, so I always recommend being back at the trailhead, or at least below tree line, before then.
If you’re not feeling up for a hike, some other things you can do in the Summit County area are drive Loveland Pass, Hoosier Pass or explore the towns of Keystone and Frisco.
After an adventurous day, dinner at Yo Momma’s Cantina is a must. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu, but might I suggest their famous bucket margaritas? Yo Momma’s also has outdoor seating! After dinner, if you’re feeling up for it head out for a few more adult beverages at my favorite spots: RMU, Broken Compass, Breck Brewery, Après, Modis, Kenosha, or Blue River Bistro.
Assuming this is your final day in Breckenridge, let’s keep it local. If you want to try a new breakfast spot, head to Cabin Coffee Co. or The Crown. After you’re all fueled up, head to Blue Lakes Trail. This is a heavily trafficked, 1 mile out and back trail. It provides some pretty incredible views for the little amount of energy exerted! Some other options are Loveland Pass Lake, Iowa Hill, Sawmill Reservoir, Lower Crystal Lake, and sunset at Sapphire Point ( a must).
If you’re not up for a hike, rent a bike and bike the Dillon Lake loop or head back to Main St. and do some more perusing! For dinner, head to Breckenridge Distillery. The menu rotates regularly but you can expect big and bold flavors in a steakhouse atmosphere. For drinks, I hiiiighly recommend trying the whiskey flight and the Permafrost Pear.
Where to stay
There are so many options when it comes to accommodations here in Breck! A staple is Gravity Haus Breckenridge. This boutique style hotel is located at the base of Peak 9 and is right in town. The interior is mountain modern and the amenities are top notch with a dry sauna, soaking tub, Japanese inspired onsen, and its own restaurant, Cabin Juice. If you’re looking for something with a little more space and a kitchen here are a few Airbnb options:
- This A-Frame was voted one of Colorado’s best Airbnb’s by Conde Nast Traveler
- One bedroom condo close to Main St.
- Condo in town with hot tub access
- Classic Breck Neighborhood Stay
I shared some of my favorite spots in this weekend guide to Breckenridge, Colorado. Just like visiting anywhere else in the world, please be respectful and follow Leave No Trace principles when recreating in our pristine wilderness! It’s so important to keep these locations as we found them. Brush up on your wildlife knowledge, too. We’ve got quite the variety here and it’s important to know what to do should you encounter an animal on trail! Here are some wildlife safety tips. Don’t forget to check trail conditions and what’s open (or closed) in town. Sometimes shops and restaurants close in low season and trails are closed for maintenance. Finally, if you’re planning other Colorado adventures, head here for some trip inspiration. Happy trails!