Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and its lakes, rivers, forests, and waterfalls, the old mining town of Breckenridge is a great place for nature enthusiasts to spend a day. Whether you’re visiting in summer or winter, there are a variety of ways to enjoy 24 hours in this family-friendly destination.
The Colorado lifestyle is an active one, so start the day off right with an outdoor activity: Hike to a mountain lake (try the McCullough Gulch Trail), zip line above the Arkansas River, or go stand-up paddleboarding on the Colorado River. Even whitewater rafting—the ultimate summer adventure in this neck of the woods—can be done in just half a day if you choose a morning departure time. If you’re visiting in winter, you’ll want to hit the slopes early to get as much time as possible on Breckenridge’s five peaks, which offer skiing and snowboarding terrain for all levels.
Breckenridge also boasts a charming downtown, a National Historic District where buildings from the late 1800s house restaurants, bars, and boutiques that provide plenty of places to refuel and relax after a calorie-burning morning outdoors. Stroll along Main Street and the surrounding blocks to find the perfect spot for an alfresco lunch, then browse for souvenirs and outdoor gear in the neighborhood’s many shops. Later in the afternoon, you can get to know the local brewing scene on a bike tour that takes you to both breweries and distilleries, such as Broken Compass Brewing and Breckenridge Distillery, where you can try their vodka, gin, and several whiskeys.
While Breckenridge is chock full of restaurants, you shouldn’t miss the chance to do something a little different for dinner: enjoy an evening float on the Arkansas River. You’ll paddle an inflatable raft through mild rapids to a riverside restaurant. If you’re looking for after-dinner entertainment, opt for a ghost tour to learn a little about Breck’s history, which dates back to the Gold Rush mining days of the 1880s. If you’ve spent the day skiing, enjoy the local après scene at bars and eateries, such as Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant and Breckenridge Brewery, at the base of the mountain.