Breckenridge, Colorado, is a great place to visit at any time of year. This mountain town was established in 1859 and was incorporated in 1880.
Today, it’s the county seat of Summit County and is home to just over 5,000 residents. Historic downtown Breckenridge sits at 9,600 feet of elevation, but many of the vacation homes, resorts, hotels, attractions, and certainly the ski mountain are much higher than that.
People come from all over the nation and the world to visit Breckenridge and with good reason. It’s beautiful, friendly, and welcoming, and there and lots of fun things to do no matter what time of year you choose to visit. Read on to learn about some of the best places to visit in Breckenridge and the best things to see in Breckenridge, and get ready to start planning your trip!
- Best Place to Start: Breckenridge Welcome Center
- Best Free Museum: Barney Ford Victorian House
- Best Kids Activity: Mountain Top Children’s Museum
- Best Scenic Drive: Boreas Pass Road
- Best Easy Hike: Blue Lakes/Blue Lake Falls
- Best Challenging Hike: Mohawk Lake Trail
- Best Active Summer Attraction: Epic Discovery at Breck
- Best Place to Be All Day in the Winter: Breckenridge Ski Resort
- Best Place for Cross-Country Skiing: Breckenridge Nordic Center
- Best Paved Bike Path: Vail Pass Path
- Best Unpaved Bike Trail: Peaks Trail
Fun & Best Things to Do in Breckenridge, Colorado
In Town & Local Landmarks
1. Breckenridge Welcome Center
Address: 203 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
The local welcome center is always a great place to start when visiting anywhere. This fact rings especially true regarding the Breckenridge Welcome Center in particular. This 4,000-square-foot space is right in the center of town and is staffed with enthusiastic locals who want to help you get the most out of this quaint mountain town no matter what time of year you choose to visit.
You can find information about outdoor activities, shopping, dining, accommodations, area history, and so much more. A free, hands-on, interpretive museum is also fun for the whole family. Be sure to stop here on your first day to get an excellent overview of what you can expect from Breckenridge, Colorado.
2. Main Street
Breckenridge’s downtown area is centered around historic Main Street. You can spend an afternoon or even an entire day wandering up and down this thoroughfare, eating, drinking, and popping into the many local shops you’ll find there. This area is often packed with people, especially on weekends, so the people-watching can also be quite entertaining.
Fortunately, parking won’t be a problem. However, you’ll likely struggle to find street parking in historic downtown Breckenridge (it’s prohibited in most places), but there are plenty of parking lots to accommodate all the tourists. There’s a free lot on Airport Road with a free shuttle service downtown; the shuttle runs every fifteen to twenty minutes.
If you’d rather keep your car nearby, there are numerous city-operated parking lots just off Main Street. They charge per hour during the day, but most become free in the late afternoon or early evening. Check the town’s website for current information.
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Denver, Colorado
3. Carter Park
Address: 300 S. High Street/POB168, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
Carter Park is a popular town park just four blocks east of Main Street and adjacent to Breckenridge Elementary School. This park is eight acres in size and has a lot to offer residents and visitors, including great views of the picturesque Rocky Mountains.
In Carter Park, you’ll find picnic tables, a large natural gas grill, a playground, tennis courts, pickleball courts, sand volleyball courts, youth baseball diamonds, and more. In the winter, there’s also a very active sledding hill; you can rent an indoor, heated gathering area by reservation. The park’s bathrooms are heated, too.
Traveling with a dog? You’ll be happy to hear that there’s also a fantastic dog park in Carter Park, with a special, separate area for smaller dogs, so they don’t get barreled over by the larger puppies.
See Related: Best Family Road Trips in the US
5. High Line Railroad Park & Museum
Address: 189 Boreas Pass Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
Colorado is rich in railroad history. When the railroad first reached Breckenridge, Colorado, in 1882, it completely changed the town; it grew from a small mining settlement into the bustling mountain town it still is today. High Line Railroad Park and Museum celebrate this fact.
Even though train service to Breckenridge ended in 1937, you can view a variety of well-maintained old train equipment on display here, including a narrow gauge engine. Your kids will love the unique train and mining-themed playground, which are open all year.
6. Riverwalk Center
Address: 150 W Adams Ave, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
The Riverwalk Center is a 750-seat performance venue in downtown Breckenridge, Colorado, built in 2006. It replaced a seasonal, outdoor amphitheater that served the area in 1993. Thanks to donations from local individuals and businesses, the city built this beautiful, state-of-the-art venue that hosts concerts and other performances year-round.
It can be closed up and heated for use in the winter or opened up in the summer onto a large grassy lawn. This is a great place to see music; check the schedule to see who plays while you’re in town. The Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra call it their home in the summertime.
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7. The O2 Lounge
Address: 500 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
Struggling to catch your breath while visiting Breckenridge? You’re not alone. After all, this mountain town is at 9,600 feet of elevation, and that’s before you even go up into the mountains.
The O2 Lounge on Main Street aims to help. This coffee shop and internet cafe is also an oxygen bar; you can sit, relax, and breathe this essential gas in their comfortable lounge area.
The 02 Lounge offers fifteen, thirty, and forty-five-minute sessions inhaling their gas which is about ninety percent oxygen. After, you’ll feel re-energized and acclimatized. If you like your experience here, you can even rent an oxygen machine to bring back to your hotel or vacation rental.
8. Barney Ford Victorian House
Address: 111 East Washington Ave, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
This free house museum is a must-do if you’re in downtown Breckenridge. Not only does a tour of this historic home allow you to step back into Victorian times, but you’ll also get to learn all about Barney Ford.
You may not have heard of Barney Ford before, but he was an amazing man. Born into slavery, Ford escaped at the age of twenty-six. He spent the rest of his life traveling and engaging in entrepreneurial adventures that made him a great fortune.
Despite facing much racism and adversity, he became one of the most successful Colorado businessmen of his time and is remembered as a civil rights leader. He had this home built in Breckenridge in 1882, and he lived there for several years before he and his wife moved to Denver, where he remained until his passing in 1902. You can tour the home independently or ask for a guided, docent-led tour if you prefer.
See Related: The Ultimate Colorado Springs Itinerary
9. Edwin Carter Museum
Address: 111 N Ridge St, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
Edwin Carter was born in New York and moved to Colorado in the mid-1800s to seek his fortune in mining; he was quite successful in this realm. However, after a few years, he began to notice that mining was already beginning to harm the environment of Colorado and the local wildlife in particular. Then, his life took a major turn.
Carter took it upon himself to learn as much as possible about Colorado wildlife. He became a taxidermist to preserve as many animals as possible through his art for future generations. Over several decades, he collected and stuffed over 3,000 animals.
In 1897, he traveled to Denver with his collection and convinced wealthy Denverite’s to found the Colorado Museum of Natural History. The museum still exists, but today is known as the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
The Edwin Carter Museum in Breckenridge is Carter’s restored Breckenridge cabin, where he studied and taxidermized all those critters. While today we know that this is perhaps not the best way to conserve local animal life, it’s interesting to learn about Carter’s life, his process, and his deep love of Colorado. This museum is free; you can tour it on your own or ask for a tour when you arrive.
10. Isak Heartstone Sculpture
Address: Trollstigen Trail, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
Danish artist Thomas Dambo is known for building large-scale, creative art pieces found worldwide today. Isak Heartstone is a huge wooden troll sculpture he built that sits in the forest near Breckenridge.
He was commissioned by the Town of Breckenridge and Breckenridge Creative Arts in 2019, and nothing indicates that he will go away soon. Isak the Troll is built from recycled materials, and visiting him is an important part of any trip to Breckenridge, Colorado.
See Related: Essential Tips for Hiking with Kids
11. Mountain Top Children’s Museum
Address: 100 South Park Avenue Unit C100, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
If you’re traveling with little ones, this museum should not be missed. The Mountain Top Children’s Museum, also known as the Mountain Top Explorium, was founded in 2001. It’s mostly geared toward kids ten and under, but older kids will likely enjoy it.
Kids can participate in creative play in the Mountain Top Medical Center area, and they can learn about local animals in the Rocky Mountain Wildlife exhibit. They can create art in the Creation Station area.
The Wonder Lab will allow them to participate in science activities centered around light, and the Kidstruction Zone will let them dig and build to their heart’s content. There’s also a STEM Lab and an Imagination Station area for dress-up. Your kids will love this museum, and you surely will too.
12. Breckenridge Distillery
Address: 1925 Airport Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
There are quite a few breweries in Breckenridge, CO, and honestly, they are all worth a visit if you love beer and have the time. Coloradans are picky about their beer, so if a brewery isn’t excellent, it won’t last very long.
However, while you’re in town, you might as well forgo the beer and do as the cowboys did; sit back and have some whiskey instead. The best place in town to do that is the Breckenridge Distillery tasting room. This Whiskey
14. Sapphire Point Overlook
Address: Swan Mountain Rd, Dillon, CO 80435, United States
The Sapphire Point Overlook is north of town, about fifteen minutes in Dillon, but it’s easy to hit on your way into town from I-70. If you missed it on your way in, it’s worth the short drive to go back and check it out.
This overlook is at 9,500 feet on Swan Mountain and offers incredible views of the Dillon Reservoir below and the White River National Forest on all sides. This is a great spot for Colorado photos, and there are picnic tables at the overlook if you’d like to eat your lunch, relax, and take in the beautiful scenery around you.
See Related: Best Camping Spots in the World
15. Boreas Pass
Address: Boreas Pass Rd & Boreas Pass, Colorado 80424, USA
Anyone visiting Colorado should take a real mountain tour and Breckenridge drive, and if you’re staying in Breckenridge, this is the one. Unpaved Boreas Pass Road starts in Breckenridge and travels south for twenty-two miles to some of the most breathtaking mountain vistas you’ve ever seen.
At the pass, you’ll be at 11,481 feet. Eventually, you’ll end up in Como, a tiny little railroad town you’ll simply adore for its inherent cuteness.
The bouncy dirt road journey is hardest on your body and your car at the beginning and the end, so don’t quit. Just keep going; it gets better, and it’s worth it. The journey to Como should take about an hour.
From there, you can loop around and take U.S. Route 285 West to Colorado State Highway 9 North (both are paved!) back to Breck. This scenic drive should not be missed, and the adventure will stay with you forever.
However, keep in mind that if you’re visiting Breckenridge in the winter, you’ll have to come back another time to complete this drive – Boreas Pass is usually closed from the first Monday of November until late spring.
16. Hoosier Pass
Address: Colorado State Highway 9
If Boreas Pass Road sounds like a little too much for you, you can still summit an 11,542′ pass by car on Colorado State Highway 9 – this peak is just twenty minutes south of town. This road is open and maintained all year – it’s the main thoroughfare between I-70 and Fairplay, so you can also drive this one in the winter. (And, don’t worry – if you choose to do Boreas Pass, you’ll also get to drive over this mountain on your way back to Breckenridge.)
State Highway 9 is steep and curvy at this point, but the views you’ll see when you’re not gripping the steering wheel for dear life are gorgeous. Just take it slow and steady, and you’ll be fine. Chances are that you’ll end up behind a slow-moving tractor-trailer anyway!
17. Breckenridge Alpine Garden
Address: 150 W Adams Ave, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
The town owns this small botanical garden, and the Summit County Garden Club maintains it. It’s on the shore of the Blue River, not far from the Riverwalk Center. This is a quiet and serene place to get away from it all.
In the late spring and summer, this garden is bursting with color, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn the names of some of the native Colorado flowers that you might see on one of the area’s hiking trails. You can follow an interpretive trail, or you can just relax and take it all in.
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18. Hiking Trails
If you’re in Breckenridge, Colorado, in the spring, summer, fall, or even in the winter, if you’re hardy, you must take advantage of some of the many truly epic hiking trails in this part of the state. There are hiking trails near Breckenridge for every ability, and you’ll be amazed at the beautiful things you see along the way. Here are a few trails to get you started.
Blue Lakes/Blue Lakes Falls
This short, flat, one-mile out-and-back hike is easy and is suitable for beginners and children. Expect company; this is a very busy area. Still, this trail offers wonderful views of Blue Lakes, Blue Lakes Falls, and the surrounding mountains.
Sawmill Reservoir/Sawmill creek trail
This is an easy loop trail that’s just 1.3 miles in length, and it shouldn’t take you much more than a half hour to complete it. Parking here fills up quickly, so you may want to do this early in the day before everyone else shows up.
The Burro Trail is a 5.9 out-and-back trail that gains 915 feet of elevation along the way. Dogs on leashes are allowed; you can expect to see great views, wildflowers, and wildlife during your hike. It’s very close to town.
This is a big one. This out-and-back trail is 6.4 miles long, and you’ll gain 1,607 feet of elevation on the way, but the reward at the end is spectacular. McCullough Gulch is gorgeous, and the views as you hike this route aren’t too shabby either. This is as picturesque as it gets, folks. You’ll love this hike.
Mohawk Lake Trail
The Mohawk Lake Trail will get you higher than you’ve ever been – this is Colorado, after all. This 4.3-mile out-and-back trail starts at 11,133 feet, but you’ll hit 12,395 feet somewhere in the middle. You’ll be above the tree line, and mountain goats will say hey as you pass them by. Wait until you see these alpine lakes.
Spruce Creek Trail
If you’d rather make a challenging loop, try the Spruce Creek Trail to Mohawk Lake and Continental Falls. It’s six miles and includes 1,712 feet of elevation gain. You’ll see forests, makes, rivers, waterfalls, wildflowers, and wildlife, but it sure ain’t easy. Be sure to come prepared, and remember – if you’re not acclimated to the elevation, altitude sickness can KILL you. Please be careful.
Adventure & Sports
19. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Address: 1599 Ski Hill Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
Most people know Breckenridge because of the skiing. Most people come to Breckenridge to go skiing. Isn’t Breckenridge a ski town? Why haven’t we talked about skiing yet? There’s much more to Breckenridge, Colorado than just skiing.
But skiing is a huge part of what this town is all about, so if you like skiing (or snowboarding!) even just a little bit, you’ll love Breckenridge Ski Resort. It’s one of the most popular ski resorts on earth.
Breckenridge Ski Resort opened on December 16, 1961. Since then, it has grown into one of the most visited ski resorts in the western hemisphere.
This ski resort began with just one mountain and chair lift and has grown to include five peaks with 187 trails over 2,908 acres and thirty-three lifts. It also offers four terrain parks and two half pipes.
Breckenridge Ski Resort consistently wins lots of awards, and people come to Breckenridge to ski and snowboard from all over the world. If you want to learn to ski or snowboard, Breckenridge Ski Resort is a great place to do it.
If you have been skiing for years, Breckenridge Ski Resort will thrill and challenge you on some of the very best powder in the nation. If you want to train for the Olympics, Breckenridge Ski Resort will make you a better skier or snowboarder, and you’ll never run out of new trails and runs to learn to perfection.
You will love Breckenridge Ski Resort. Everyone does. Once you ski Breck once, you’ll want to come back every year. You should!
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20. Epic Discovery at Breck
Address: 170 Watson Avenue, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
If you visit Breckenridge, Colorado, in the summertime, you will have no skiing. However, you can still enjoy Breckenridge Ski Resort even during the warmer months. Once the snow is gone, this ski resort transforms and offers area residents and visitors LOTS of great things to do.
At Epic Discovery at Breck, you can ride alpine slides, play mini-golf, and pan for gemstones. You can hop around in the bounce house or jump on the bungee trampolines. You can try the Alpine Challenge Course or go mountain biking – they’ll even drive you to the top, so all you have to do is coast down. And, you can ride the gondola to the top and back down for FREE.
There are even more fun things to do at Epic Discovery at Breck, but you should discover them yourself. This place will keep you and your family busy all day.
21. Breckenridge Nordic Center
Address: 9 Grandview Dr, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
So, you’re not into downhill skiing or snowboarding? That’s okay! What about cross-country skiing instead? If you’d rather stay on mostly flat terrain but still want to get out there and enjoy Breckenridge, Colorado, in the wintertime, then you should visit the Breckenridge Nordic Center.
You can rent cross-country skiing equipment, take lessons, explore the trails, go snowshoeing, or take an adventure tour in a snowcat. You’ll love the Breckenridge Nordic Center – the views are fantastic, and you’ll be on 1,400 acres of this incredible winter wonderland. At the same time, you ski, snowshoe, and adventure to your heart’s content at an elevation of 9,800 feet.
22. Gold Run Nordic Center
Address: 200 Clubhouse Dr, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
Even if you love the Breckenridge Nordic Center, maybe you’ll want to try somewhere different next time you go cross-country skiing in Breckenridge. You’re in luck! The Gold Run Nordic Center is also very close by, offering even more incredible outdoor recreational trails.
It offers a chance for all abilities to cross-country skiing trails, snowshoe trails, fat bike rentals, sleigh rides, and skiing lessons. You can enjoy all of this adventure and fun surrounded by the exceptional White River National Forest.
See Related: Best Things to Do in Estes Park, Colorado
23. Breckenridge Recreation Center
Address: 880 Airport Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424, United States
The Breckenridge Recreation Center is the local recreation center for the residents of the town of Breckenridge, Colorado, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it. This rec center is great. It offers a lap pool, a leisure pool with a two-story slide, a rope swing, an in-pool rock climbing wall, an indoor spa, an outdoor spa, a steam room, and a sauna in the pool area.
Outside, there’s another non-pool rock climbing wall in the main lobby and a free skate park. The Breckenridge Recreation Center offers daily fitness classes, too. The Breckenridge Tennis Center is adjacent. You can purchase a punch card for discounted visits if you plan to stay in the area for a while or pay the day rate as a visitor to access all of the above.
Not far away, at 189 Boreas Pass Road, the Breckenridge Recreation Center also operates the Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Residents participate in ice skating lessons, hockey leagues, and curling leagues here. Still, as a visitor, you might be interested in the ice skate rentals and indoor and outdoor ice skating sessions offered there. Indoor ice skating is offered year-round, and outdoor ice skating is available from October to April.
24. Mountain Biking
Anyone who enjoys road or mountain biking will tell you that the Breckenridge area is one of the best places in the country for both. There are countless paved loops for road bikers to try and dozens, if not hundreds, of mountain bike trails in the area that mountain bikers will love. Here are a few to get you started.
Blue River Bikeway
The Blue River Bikeway starts north of town by I-70 in Frisco. It’s paved, and you can take it the entire 8.8 miles from Frisco into Breckenridge; it’s downhill in that direction and is quite easy, but if you also take it back to Frisco afterward, the incline in that direction is not too steep. If you’d prefer, you can take the free shuttle back instead.
Part of this bikeway is along busy Colorado State Route 9, so be aware of that, especially if doing it with kids. However, this is a great way to get an overview of the area and bike while surrounded by beauty.
Vail Pass Bike Path
The Vail Pass Bike Path is eighteen miles long from end to end, but thanks to the fact it’s downhill from Vail Pass to Breck, you can do pretty much all of that portion without having to pedal hardly at all. This bike path runs along I-70 and is paved the whole way.
It was designated a National Recreation Trail in 1980 and is well maintained. You’ll be treated to spectacular views along your way down (or up, if you choose). Bikers aren’t the only people who use this trail, so stay alert and be on the lookout for rollerblades and hikers.
If you’re looking for more off-road biking experience near Breckenridge, Colorado, there are many trails from which to choose. However, one of the most popular is the Peaks Trail. This trail is 6.9 miles long (double that if you want to also take it back) and is open to hikers, runners, backpackers, and people with dogs, but you’ll find more bikers on this train than anyone else.
The views on this trail are an excellent overview of what this area offers. You’ll pass meadows, mountain vista viewpoints, aspen forests, and creeks, and it’s rarely so steep that you’ll have to walk your bike. You’re going to love this trail.
See Related: Best Bike-Friendly Cities in the World
25. Dog Sledding Tours
There are numerous providers in the Breckenridge area that offer dog sledding tours. There’s nothing quite like traveling along a snow-covered path being pulled along by eager dogs who love to run. A sledding excursion can be a fun and relaxing way to spend a cold morning or afternoon on a day you are too worn out to ski.
26. Fly Fishing
The Breckenridge area is also quite popular with fly fishing enthusiasts as there are quite a few rapidly running rivers and streams full to the gills, no pun intended, with fish. If you’re an experienced fly fisherperson, you can head out alone; don’t worry about bringing all your stuff on the plane.
There are lots of places that will rent you gear. Alternately, if you’re new to the sport, many places in Breckenridge, CO, offer lessons to newbies. You’ll have a blast, even if you don’t catch a thing.
27. Whitewater Rafting
Whitewater Rafting is another great way to spend a spring or summer afternoon, and there are quite a few rafting providers in Breckenridge and surrounding areas. Whether you want a calm and serene trip that’s mostly a float or a rip-roaring adventurous thrill ride, there’s something for you in Colorado. There’s no better way to experience Colorado rivers and gorges than by raft.
What is the best time of the year to visit Breckenridge?
As you can see from this list of things to do in Breckenridge, any time of year is an excellent time to visit. If you want to participate in winter sports, then you should come in the winter.
If you want to go hiking, camping, and rafting, then mid-summer is a perfect time. However, keep in mind that both summer and winter can be very busy in Breck; if you want to avoid the crowds, try the shoulder and off-seasons instead.
Is Breckenridge, Colorado safe?
Breckenridge is very safe. You won’t have to worry about much in this town. However, due to the heavy tourism in this area, you should be conscious of the possibility of petty theft. Don’t drop your guard when out, and keep valuables out of sight in your rental car.
What other Colorado mountain and ski towns are worth a visit?
There are so many! And, they are all so different from each other. If you like Breckenridge, you might try Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, or Telluride next. If skiing and snowboarding aren’t a factor, then check out Leadville, Ouray, Pagosa Springs, Nederland, or Glenwood Springs. Colorado is a wonderland and it has so much to offer you.
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