New in Breckenridge this Summer
NOTE: Many local outfitters are continuing to adjust business models to address the coronavirus pandemic, and this information will be regularly updated as more offerings become available. For more information on what to expect when visiting Breckenridge, visit GoBreck.com.
As wanderlust planning starts to become a soon(ish) reality rather than a pipe dream, Breckenridge emerges out of pandemic as a leader in safe and sustainable travel practices and is a bucket list destination for those seeking a mountain escape. Guests visiting this summer and fall can feel confident that local businesses and town officials are doing their part to keep visitors and locals safe, and in return, those enjoying Breckenridge are asked to preserve what makes the area so special.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Breckenridge officials have reallocated nearly $3.5 million dollars to aid locally owned businesses and community members in everything from rent assistance to special financial support due to unexpected quarantines. This assistance has helped protect the local businesses that are a part of the independent, adventurous and charming framework that Breckenridge is known and loved for.
Tripadvisor recently named Breckenridge as one of their 2021 Travelers’ Choice Trending Destinations in the U.S., and for good reason. Breckenridge made the list based on the quality and quantity of reviews of destination offerings. Easy access to Breckenridge gives travelers a comfortable way to limit travel contact either on the road or in the air with the reward of fresh mountain air and space to safely explore.
Breckenridge Welcomes Regenerative Travel and Encourages Responsible Travel(ers): After travel was put on pause globally, the world’s eyes have been opened to taking care of our most prized and often back-burnered, Mother Earth. Summer travelers are planning to make the outdoors and open spaces the priority rather than an afterthought. Breckenridge is positioned perfectly with more than 60 miles of town-owned trails to explore, and plenty of avenues to get involved in the community and leave Breck a better place for future generations to enjoy.
- Forego the Fall Rental Car in Breck Saving Wallets and the Planet: NEW this year, United is making it easier for customers to travel to Breckenridge with convenient year-round ground transportation service connecting through its Denver hub so there is no need for a rental car. The airline is teaming up with Landline – a premium ground transportation company – to offer connecting service through Denver International Airport (DEN). Once landed in Breckenridge, there is no need for a car as the entire area can be explored via foot, hoof, pedal, gondola, or the Breckenridge Free Ride bus system.
- Breckenridge Certified as a Sustainable Mountain Resort Destination – Breckenridge is the third destination in the world to be certified to the Mountain IDEAL sustainable destination standard. Additionally, Breckenridge’s adherence to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) destination criteria makes it the third Certified Sustainable Destination in the United States certified by a GSTC-Accredited certifying body, Green Destinations. The certification marks the culmination of two years of leadership by the Breckenridge community in progressive environmental conservation policies and programs.
- Make it Official with Friends of Breckenridge Trails: The Friends of Breckenridge Trails offers a way to provide a helping hand in the upkeep of fragile habitats, open spaces, and trail systems unique to Breckenridge. Through vital volunteer efforts offered throughout the summer, open spaces, trails, historic sites, and ecologically sensitive areas are maintained and restored, thereby creating fun opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and abilities to make a unique memory and give back. When the snowy trails shed a layer after winter hibernation, the first opportunity to get involved is National Trails Day on June 5, 2021.
- Breckenridge Invites Guests to B Like Breckenridge: Born from the innovative 2019 Breckenridge Destination Management Plan, Breckenridge’s responsible stewardship initiatives focus on living everyday life in a kinder way to others and the environment. Everyone, no matter if a resident or guest, is encouraged to use less, walk more, leaving no trace, stick to the trails, respect wildlife, nature, and each other. By being a responsible steward of our communities, together we can champion a cause that is greater than all of us.
- Breck’s Gravity Haus Has a Focus on Stewardship: No single-use plastic on site. Eccentric about recycling, trash, and composting diverting as much waste as possible. Partnership with the National Forest Foundation and Protect Our Winters. Unravel Coffee co-produces and imports straight from farms in Ethiopia and roasts on-site with a Bellwether zero-emissions roaster and serves coffee in reusable and recyclable glass jars.
- Breckenridge Phases Out Plastic this Fall: While Breckenridge has had a disposable bag ordinance since 2013, guests can expect the destination to be rolling out and phasing out plastic as of September 1, 2021, to further the Town’s sustainability goals related to waste reduction. Between the adoption of the Sustainable Breck Plan (2011) and the Destination Management Plan (2019), Breckenridge seeks to mitigate the negative impacts of single-use plastics on public welfare and the environment and to help drive recycling markets in recoverable materials.
- Keep Breckenridge Green and Clean: The Town of Breckenridge has recently installed more than 20 public electric vehicle charging ports located at convenient locations around town. In Fall 2021, when the South Gondola parking structure on Park Avenue is completed, there will be an additional 40 ports installed to support the growing sector of electric vehicles. Travelers are encouraged to take a shuttle or rent an electric vehicle when visiting Breckenridge.
A Welcoming To Everyone Kind of Town: Breckenridge has long been thought of as a welcoming and friendly community, but as awareness heightens around diversity, equity and inclusion, that accolade has taken on a deeper meaning and point of pride. As one of the nation’s premier year-round destinations, diverse travelers visiting Breckenridge feel safe, welcome, and are treated with respect in a town filled with genuine character.
- Breckenridge Launched Social Equity Advisory Commission: In 2020, Breckenridge Town Council unanimously passed a resolution creating a Social Equity Advisory Commission. The commission will bring together a group of people from varied backgrounds to work with the town council to identify opportunities for change and inclusion. Breckenridge knows that the process to achieve social equity will require continued long-term focus and attention, and the Breckenridge Town Council is committed to achieving successful social equity outcomes for all.
- Meet the first Black Business Owner in Breckenridge: The Barney Ford museum contains the backstory on Barney Ford and the preservation of his lovely historic Victorian home located in one of the largest historic districts in the State of Colorado. Ford, who escaped from slavery, became a successful businessman in Denver and the first Black business owner in Breckenridge in the 1800’s. Though well-respected in the Breckenridge community, Ford still faced racism and hardship and he became an advocate for civil rights and is now honored in the Colorado State Capitol building.
- BOEC Tackles Ability Inclusivity: Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) has provided life-changing outdoor learning experiences to people of all abilities, providing a sense of freedom to those who are routinely excluded from outdoor activity due to a disability or special need. After more than 44 years of existence, BOEC truly makes wilderness activity experiences like rafting, camping, and climbing possible.
- Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Male-Dominated Brewing and Distilling: Breckenridge Brewery Brewer, Suzanne Nance, and Breckenridge Distillery Liquid Chef, Billie Keithley, have spent their careers in male-dominated fields and worked tirelessly to grow their respective industries. Keithley was recently named the 2020 Bar Manager of the Year by Whisky Magazine and, while plans are underway for this summer, last year Nance debuted a Women’s Equity Day Sour that was produced by an all-woman team from Breckenridge Brewery.
- Breckenridge’s LGBTQ Past and Road Ahead: Two men in the 1960’s sought out Breckenridge to experience a deeper solitude and a safe space to be themselves and opened what is rumored to be the oldest LGBTQ organization within the state of Colorado. In addition to the vast mountain scenery, they were able to overcome adversity and slowly changed the minds and hearts of their neighbors. Nearly thirty years later (1992), that same community was one of only three in the State of Colorado to vote against Amendment 2, which sought to allow discrimination based on sexual identity.
Self Care Through the Outdoors in Breckenridge: Shutdowns and quarantines across the globe have enhanced Americans’ craving to be outside in nature. The Town of Breckenridge is home to hundreds of miles of area hiking and biking trails and nearly 270 acres of open space with ample opportunities for travelers to recreate while physically distancing. Breckenridge provides the ultimate landscape to finally check off bucket list experiences. The surrounding accessible nature and outdoors allow for visitors and their quaranteam to make up for time unconnected by reconnecting in nature.
- Colorado’s Most Popular Hut Offers Up Seclusion: Since opening to guests 25 years ago, Francie’s Cabin has become the most visited hut in Colorado. This relatively easy to access backcountry hut will undergo significant renovations in summer 2022 including sustainability upgrades to ensure a warm, dry and happy mountain experience for another 25 years. The Summit Huts Association will continue their COVID-19 protocol of only allowing single-booking groups to book the hut at a fixed rate for the upcoming summer.
- Find Serenity at an Alpine Lake: Explore the beauty of the Crystal Lakes. Beginning on an 1880’s wagon road, climb to treeline through a spruce forest and into a vast alpine meadow to the Lower Crystal Lake surrounded by towering, craggy peaks. For those looking for more adventure, hike to the Upper Crystal Lake at 12,900 feet.
- Everyone Knows 14ers – Climb a Lesser-Known Breck 12er or 13er: While peak-bagging 14,000-foot peaks (14ers) has some grandeur qualities, escaping the crowds that flock to their summits is one of many reasons to seek out Breckenridge area 12ers and 13ers. Summit County is home to bountiful options when it comes to ascending peaks, and most of these options are between 12,000 and 14,000 feet. Choose from mountains such as Peak 9, Crystal Peak, Wheeler Mountain, Peak 10, Pacific Peak, and the list goes on.
- Find Your Breath Outside: Rediscover your breath and find freedom from the mask. Breckenridge yoga outfitters shift practicing models and expanded outdoor open-air classes to escape the mask, find your breath and connect with nature.
- Fly Fishing Welcomes Solitude: Fly fishing has always been about peace and solitude, and Breckenridge is home to some of the best fly fishing waters in the state of Colorado. Fall gives way to spawning Browns and freshwater salmon runs that are perfect for anyone looking to give the sport a try.
- Colorado Adventure Guides launches new “ACE” packages: Designed to showcase the fun biathlon that busy locals take advantage of every day. Short for A (true) Colorado Experience, ACE combines a morning activity like biking, climbing, or hiking with an afternoon experience like rafting. The peddle and paddle, rock and row and boots to boat packages allow for guests to experience the backcountry away from the crowds accessing locals-only secret stashes.
- Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails to Yourself (History Lesson Included): With hundreds of miles of area trails, it is easy to have a trail all to yourself. A few less-traveled routes include:
- X10U8 (Extenuate) is located in one of the most fertile mining regions in Colorado called the “Golden Horseshoe.” Here you can spot trees that are renowned for their distinctive golden yellow color that contrasts so vividly with deep blue skies. Oranges and reds are uncommon in the autumnal aspen forest, except east of Breckenridge in French Gulch. Here the minerals in the soil create burnished reds and coppery orange leaves among the forests of yellow creating fun diversity in the fall colors.
- Minnie Mine is located just across the valley on the shady side so expect spruce and pine forests, but the views across to the aspen groves make this a worthwhile hike or bike.
- The last thing to expect to see when walking through the dense forest is a relic dredge floating. The Reiling Gold Dredge has constructed over 100 years ago for the French Gulch Dredging Company to mine gold out of the area. In 2015, the Reiling Dredge was nominated to Colorado Preservation Inc.’s Endangered Places List and underwent preservation by the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance in 2018.
- Dog Sledding in Summer?! Yes, resident dog sledding dogs need their exercise when the snow melts and the trails are in their prime conditions. Rocky Mountain safari meets Arctic exploration in the midst of wildflower season with a new summer dog sledding experience from Good Times Adventures.
- Gravity Haus Breck Redefines Gear Ownership in a “Sharing Economy” with Launch of Haus Quiver: Gravity Haus has eliminated the barriers to new adventures with a new member benefit that gives access to a growing collection of premium outdoor gear, including paddleboards, bikes, kayaks, and more. Expensive gear purchases, maintenance costs, storage hassles, and baggage fees are a thing of the past as individuals share under-utilized outdoor gear items rather than purchase goods they’d only use from time to time. Haus Quiver does require a membership and is not accessed by hotel guests that are not members.
Shop and Dine More Thoughtfully With What’s New on Main Street: Breckenridge’s historic Main Street is made up of more than 100 restaurants and 150 shops and boutiques all with the same passion for the place. Amid the pandemic, many new restaurants and shops have opened their doors showcasing sustainable and socially responsible goods and fashions, forward-thinking foods, and award-winning craft libations with unparalleled views.
- New Interactive Spirits Lab at the Breckenridge Distillery: Ranked as one of 2021’s top Visitor Attraction of the Year by Whisky Magazine and named 4x Colorado Whiskey Distillery of the Year at the New York Int’l Spirits Competition, Breckenridge Distillery’s immersive experience takes guests on a journey through senses of sight, nose, temperature, mouthfeel, taste, finish and tingle. The Distillery’s new interactive spirits lab allows guests to not only taste award-winning spirits, but the opportunity to delve behind the scenes of spirit production and aging while thieving directly from barrels, blending their own bottles and sampling paired bites from the award-winning kitchen and producer partners. While blending, tasting and learning, guests can also take a peek into the active production facility including our 42-foot column still.
- Roots Reclaimed in Victorian Historic Building: Rootstalk is a new American restaurant welcoming its first summer in Breckenridge and serving Chef Matt Vawter’s take on elevated everyday dining in historic Victorian digs from the 1800s. Matt Vawter is returning home to Breckenridge to open Rootstalk after leaving his 13-year tenure in Denver with Fruition Restaurant and Mercantile dining & provision. Rootstalk will focus on lunch and dinner services, serving approachable and sustainable seasonal food, thoughtfully curated wine and beverage lists, and creative and fun libations.
- Award-Winning Brews of Broken Compass Expands to Main: Breckenridge’s Broken Compass Brewing Company welcomes its first summer on Main Street with a new taproom. Guests can expect eight taps of their award-winning brews, a beautiful wooden wraparound bar to belly up, and front-seat views of the Breckenridge Ski Resort steps off of historic Main Street. Broken Compass Brewing opened in 2014 and quickly developed a cult following by winning regularly at the Great American Beer Festival and a business model of non-distribution – where guests can only get their brews in Breckenridge (other than a few bro-deals around the state).
- Sustainable fashion is about more than just being planet-friendly: The newly opened Folcland boutique offers a selection of sustainably and ethically produced clothing, accessories, jewelry, and apothecary goods from emerging and established independent designers, available online or at the brick and mortar shop on Main Street. Every brand has a discerning sense of timeless, effortless style and produces its collections by partnering with socially responsible factories domestically and abroad or collaborating with local artists and craftsmen using natural, responsibly sourced, and recycled materials. Don’t miss their apothecary offerings as they are always toxin-free, cruelty-free, and use only sustainably harvested ingredients.
- Beach and Mountain Attitudes Collide at Ohana: Inspired by a love for the mountains and outdoor adventure, Ohana is a mountain lifestyle shop featuring a line of Colorado-designed and hand-printed apparel and home goods inspired by the mountains, beach, and adventure. In addition, Ohana offers goods from more than 30 different Colorado artisans and small-batch makers including jewelry, leather goods, crafts, and more.
Mountains of Creativity: While true of so many art forms during this pandemic, music, and in-person entertainment have been muffled to prioritize the safety of patrons. Breck Music, the National Repertory Orchestra, and many other Breckenridge arts and cultural organizations are prepared for a safe and surprising encore this summer sure to quench the thirst of what felt like a year on pause. Guests can also expect to leave Breckenridge with new skills learned from local makers in the town’s award-winning arts district in hands-on workshops like metalsmithing, welding, or jewelry making.
- Experience Arts In the Outdoors: There’s no need to pack into a museum to experience incredible arts and cultural offerings. Breckenridge Creative Arts, or BreckCreate for short, weaves arts into the town’s natural environment through art installations in Breckenridge’s outdoor landscape and historic downtown.
- Isak Heartstone, the large-scale, wooden troll sculpture created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, can also be found along the specially constructed one-way Trollstigen Trail. Dambo specializes in making imaginative art pieces from recycled materials.
- The Breckenridge Public Art Collection engages passersby from all walks of life, inciting conversation around topics that are quintessentially Breckenridge, from the picturesque mountain environment to rich local history. There are more than 30 pieces seen on a self-guided tour in the permanent collection that occupies carefully-selected public spaces throughout town.
- Breckenridge Music takes concerts outside, on the road, and into neighborhoods with its new mobile stage, the Breck Music AirStage. Silver Bullet Trailers retrofitted the 1975 Airstream Ambassador Travel Trailer to accommodate a 14.5-foot wide by 9-foot deep stage. Performances at the AirStage will include neighborhood concerts, family-friendly pop-ups, artist residencies, and special donor events as well as programming that supports Breckenridge Music Festival. Events, by and large, will be free with the goal of connecting neighbors within the communities of Breckenridge and greater Summit County. Attendees will be encouraged to social distance and wear masks so that all can enjoy these much-needed concerts safely and without worry. Blankets and folding chairs are encouraged to help make the concert experience more comfortable.
- Orchestra Brings the Music Back to the Mountains: After a season away, the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) intends to welcome over 45 musicians for their amended summer season (late-June – late-July) based out of the Riverwalk Center located next to the bustling Blue River. The National Repertory Orchestra is a preeminent intensive summer music festival that creates diverse, thoughtful, and socially conscious musicians by breaking barriers between education, performance, and community to develop 21st-century musicians. While the concert schedule is still to be announced, NRO practices are heard in the center of town and add an amazing ambiance to any picnic or meal outside.
- 2021 Summer Farmers Market – every Sunday this Summer – The Breckenridge Sunday Market is back and bigger and better than ever with a unique selection of artistic creations, handcrafted and homegrown items, live music, a live broadcast from American’s Veteran’s Radio, and free children’s activities courtesy of the Mountain Top Children’s Museum every Sunday.
- Private Creative Maker Workshops: At the Breckenridge Arts District’s core is a lively arts campus of renovated historic structures that now function as studio spaces for classes, workshops, affordable rentals by local artists, and visiting artist-in-residence programs. In a pivoting pandemic world, BreckCreate offers private workshops highlighting local makers specializing in ceramics, crafts, and artisanal products, drawing, glassblowing, metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, textiles/sewing, welding, and woodworking.
Breckenridge’s Accessibility Makes it a Road Trip Must Stop or Extended Stay for Virtual Nomads: Breckenridge is located in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, about 90 miles west of Denver, approximately 90-minutes of an amazing scenic drive or shuttle ride from nearby major airports. No matter if the planned road trip is a couple of hundred miles or a couple of thousand miles, Breckenridge is a must, convenient stop to add to the itinerary.
- RVer’s find peace near the Colorado Trail: Nestled right outside of Breckenridge, and conveniently accessible from interstate 70, Tiger Run Resort overlooks the Ten Mile Range and sits at the intersection of Blue and Swan Rivers – it’s not shocking to see a moose resting or taking an afternoon drink right outside the camper door. Tiger Run accommodates motor coaches, travel trailers, and 5th wheels while also offering chalet rentals that come with the most magical backdrop and wide-open trails right out the backdoor.
- United Becomes the First Airline to Service Breckenridge – United Offers Seamless Travel from Denver International Airport to Breckenridge: United is making it easier for customers to travel to Breckenridge with convenient year-round ground transportation service connecting through its Denver hub. This is the first time Breckenridge has ever been served by an airline. Beginning March 11, United will start daily service to Breckenridge (QKB). The airline is teaming up with Landline – a premium ground transportation company – to offer connecting service through Denver International Airport (DEN). Customers can book their travel on United.com.
- Road Trip to Breckenridge, but Ditch the Car When you Get There: Road tripping will most likely be the preferred mode of travel once again this summer, and a drive through the Colorado Rockies is an awe-inspiring experience in and of itself. Once landed in Breckenridge, ditch the car, stretch the legs and explore with your own two feet. An expansive network of hiking and mountain bike trails is easily accessible right from the center of town, quiet roads for road biking abound and a paved bike path that extends to neighboring towns runs right along the Blue River from town. Hikers can hit the trails directly from several trailheads including The Burro Trail and Sawmill Creek Trail. Or, take the FREE BreckConnect Gondola from town to the Breckenridge Ski Resort and access hiking and biking trails, a variety of lodging properties, and summer fun at Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8 with scenic chairlift rides, the Gold Runner Coaster, alpine slides, and more. The Breckenridge Free Ride bus system provides eco, efficient, courteous, and reliable transit service to visitors. Shoppers and diners will love strolling up and down historic Main Street with quaint local shops and handcrafted bites and sips from area restaurants, breweries, and distilleries.
- Rise of Adventure Lodging: Breckenridge’s new accommodations put a twist on under-one-roof amenities. Gravity Haus debuted in December 2019 and is a boutique property designed to activate a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Also opened in December 2019, The Ranahan by Welk Resorts is a ranch-inspired resort set on six acres with a lively pool and outdoor adventure offerings perfect for multigenerational travel. This past winter, Breck’s Peak 8 base area was transformed and includes Breckenridge Grand Vacations’ third and final building of Grand Colorado on Peak 8 complete with a rooftop terrace, a 15-person private movie theater, an escape room, and more. Breck’s new LOGE delivers a welcoming outdoor-adventure vibe-focused experience in a renovated motel steps off the famed Colorado Trail.
- Co-Working Spaces and Unique Offerings for Virtual Nomads: The appeal is simple – work from anywhere “telecommuters” live like they are on vacation instead of dreaming about it all year. Working and limited-living from Breckenridge allow for a lunch break to be an iconic hike or an epic bike ride with the ease of jumping back to work without the need to take a flight or drive hours to get to the mountains. Digital nomads can make Breckenridge their (for now) home-base with offerings like Gravity Haus’s StarterHaus complete with fiber-fueled internet and remote work packages offered through Beaver Run Resort. Breckenridge recently completed a million-dollar fiber install project, Fiber9600, throughout the downtown allowing lightning-fast internet speeds that use light instead of electricity to carry a signal.
Returning Summer/Fall Events Include:
Breckenridge Wine Classic – September 16-18 – The Breckenridge Wine Classic pairs wine with adventure, from Sept. 16-18, 2021. The Rocky Mountain region’s premier wine and food festival, the Breckenridge Wine Classic showcases wines from around the world throughout a weekend of tastings, seminars, and demonstrations created with food and wine in mind. Full-fledged foodies and everyday wine drinkers alike are invited to join master sommeliers and culinary greats in beautiful Breckenridge, Colo. to enjoy more than 500 different wine, beer and spirit samples. For more information, including a full schedule of events, visit www.BreckenridgeWineClassic.com.