The town of Breckenridge feels like it is always buzzing with activity. It seems like every time I go there, the town is hosting a wonderful festival, fantastic music or a vibrant market. My favorite festival has to be the Oktoberfest (this takes place in late September). Main Street gets closed to vehicle traffic for 6 blocks and this space is filled with awesome vendors offering fantastic food & drink temptations, great music and of course folks are resplendent in their lederhosen.
For the grown-ups among you, a visit to the Breckenridge Distillery is a must. A host of craft spirits are created on-site, and tours of the facility are offered 7 days a week. For those short on time just visit the tasting room that is in downtown Breckenridge for a quick sample.
Breckenridge is also steeped in a rich in history. The Victorian-style architecture of many of its buildings gives a feeling of walking back through time. I love that Breckenridge is proud of its Historic downtown and embraces its gold mining heritage. To get a full flavor of Breckeridge’s story, book yourself on the County Boy Mine tour. This authentic tour is not just a history lesson – you and the family can enjoy gold panning, sliding down a 55ft ore chute, pet the burros and see exhibits of the actual equipment that was used in the mine. It’s a truly unique way to enjoy and informative and fun family adventure.
Winter in Breckenridge is a must, especially for beginner skiers, and those with young families. Breckenridge has some of the best beginner terrain in Colorado – try Bonanza which is a designated slow skiing zone off of Peak 9, or Springmeier on Peak 8. That’s not to say that Experts aren’t welcome too! Check out Horseshoe Bowl, Contest Bowl, Snow White, Mine Shaft or The Burn for a challenge like no other.
In addition to incredible terrain, Breckenridge also offers many great activities for the family, in particular the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster. This runs all winter and has 2,500ft of elevated coaster track. For those looking for a slightly different ski experience, the Breckenridge Nordic Center has 1,400 acres of cross country ski terrain to enjoy. Near the end of January Breckenridge hosts the Snow Sculpture Championships. The sculptures are take hours to create, and are impressively detailed and ornate.
Park City is an authentic mining town located in the Wasatch mountain range. Today, Park City is a unique blend of the old and new. Park City’s main street has everything from casual family-style eateries to award-winning fine dining establishments. The town offers a vibrant nightlife with many bars, pubs and nightclubs to choose from. If you are looking for après-ski, live music or a quiet table at a wine bar, this is the place. One of my favorite establishments is High West Distillery. This is located in a historic livery stable and garage building that is at the end of the Quit’n Time ski run and next to the Town Lift. High West Saloon is the world’s first and only ski-in gastro-distillery. The venue has a wonderful saloon / bar feel to it as well as great libations and food available. I always feel like I have walked into the old west when I go into High West.
Park City boasts an incredible architecture, with 64 of Park City’s buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many of which are located along Main Street. Like Breckenridge, visitors to Park City can enjoy a fantastic Historic Walking tour during the summer from mid- June through Labor day.
Summer in Park City is wonderful and full of activities for the entire family. The Adventure Pass allows you to enjoy many wonderful activities on the mountain including: Alpine Slide, Climbing Wall, Flying Eagle Zip Line, Mountain Coaster, Mini Golf, Legacy Launcher, Gem Panning, Kids tubing, Kids Rope Course and Zip Line, Scenic lift rides. Park City also has many beautiful hikes and mountain bike terrain to enjoy. Summer also has the infamous Silly Sunday open-air market and festival. Main Street gets packed with all types of vendors, there is music and the people watching is fantastic!
Park City is also home to the Olympic Park. This is open during the summer from mid-June until late October. There are so many fun things to enjoy here – Extreme Tubing, Extreme Zip Line, Zip Line Tour, Discovery Course, Canyon Course, Summit Course and Summer Bobsled Experience just to name a few. You can also watch the ski aerials training as athletes practice and train their flips and twists into the pool. It’s awe-inspiring to watch these amazing athletes so close up. In the winter you can also experience the Bobsled ride with 103 feet of vertical drop of icy exhilaration down the track with a guide. Or visit the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center, featuring tonnes of memorabilia and collectables from the 2002 Winter Olympics.