A snow-capped Victorian town in Colorado

Take a Break in Breckenridge

Dreamy drizzles of snowfall, tree-lined streets bathed in lights, quaint restaurants housed in old Victorian buildings… Breckenridge is the romantic getaway every pair of lovebirds needs to fall in love all over again at 9,600 feet. Escape to the Rocky Mountains into this charming Colorado town for a weekend full of skiing, fancy dinners, and a little slice of local charisma you didn’t know existed in this corner of the state.

Where to Play:

A focus on learning new skills together is one way to bond while in Breck. Start off your weekend with a Culinary Adventure Class offered at Colorado Mountain College, which has a Breckenridge campus. Couples will enjoy an evening of tasting enchanting culinary dishes such as Alsatian Onion Tart, Sausage with Sauerkraut and Potatoes, Pork Stew with Juniper Berries, Traditional Fleischschnacka (a handmade pasta rolled with ground beef), and a fresh fruit tarte. The class includes cooking demonstrations so you can learn how to master these fancy foods yourself, as well as take home recipes. 107 Denison Placer Rd.

Even for those who do not ski, there are ways to enjoy the snowy landscape. A magical one-hour sleighride through the woods complete with hot cocoa and homemade cookies, snuggled close under a blanket, is one way to spend an evening with Two Below Zero (616 Recreation Way) or Golden Horseshoe Tours, the latter of which boasts a cherry-red sleigh pulled by Belgian draft horse through the White River National Forest. 6061 Tiger Rd.

If you’re looking for that experience you can’t get just anywhere, consider a Snow Cat Tour instead. These scenic, guided tours load guests into a heated, state-of-the-art Prinoth Snowcat after a quick drink at the starting point. Along the way you’ll hear tales of old mining families, catch glimpses of the local wildlife, and learn more about the secluded forests surrounding Breckenridge’s lively downtown. Halfway through the tour, you’ll stop for hot cocoa and smores at a little cabin in the woods. And while this is a great way to spend your time on a couple’s vacay in Breckenridge, it’s also a fun family activity. Book through Breckenridge Nordic Center. 9 Grandview Dr.

Exploring downtown Breckenridge is a must while in town, and it just so happens that exploration is another way to increase feelings of closeness with a partner. One upside to the Breckenridge National Historic District, running primarily along Main Street, is that most of the attractions are located within a few blocks of each other, making it easy to catch a shuttle in from the property and spend your day walking along the shops, restaurants, and galleries. Solve puzzles together at Escape Room Breckenridge where you can work as a twosome to get out of a precarious situation or team up with strangers to get out together. 233 S. Ridge St. C

Après ski shopping may be our personal favorite Breckenridge pastime. At the base of the mountain, right after you step off the slopes, you can explore small shops selling boutique goods. Belvidere & Hern is slang for His & Hers and perfectly depicts the lovely items snuggled into the shelves of this quaint shop—a little something for everyone (308 S. Main St.). Woodland carries a similar air, located on the quieter side of Main Street, stop here to bring home something mountain-esque (211 N. Main St.) In between you’ll find a little of everything, from clothing stores to trinket shops to big names like Lululemon (505 S. Main St., Ste. A2).

Where to Ski:

Look, a lot of people come to Breckenridge to discover the ski culture. Here, it’s just a way of life. Throughout town you’ll see boarders and skiers lugging their gear from the slopes to shuttle buses, or back home. The system for getting up to the mountain is fun—think the big gondolas at Heavenly Village. Simply hop on at the base of the mountain and ride it to the top. There are a few places to get off, signaling different slopes for varied skill levels, but the very top is where you’ll find the lodge and other amenities of Breckenridge Ski Resort. Check in and pick a chairlift.

In addition to skiing and boarding, the full-service recreational facility has on-site restaurants, a quaint breakfast and cocktails spot, and lodging. On the grounds there is an ice skating rink (with available rentals) as well as outdoor games such as cornhole and life-size chess, making it easy to spend a full day—or a full weekend—at 10,000 feet. 1599 Ski Hill Rd.

Where to Eat & Drink:

If you’re after ambiance, look no further than The Canteen Taphouse & Tavern. When I think of grabbing a bite in between slopes or after a long day on skis, Canteen is the place I imagine. Settled into a wooden lodge, the large menu has a little of everything from shared plated such as smoked salmon dip and loaded fries (overflowing with bacon, cheese, scallions, and sour cream) to flat bread pizzas, sandwiches, and even entrees including grilled salmon and mahi tacos. The real draw here is the beverages though. Signature cocktails are served in metal canteens, and they are delicious. If you’re really feeling festive, ask the bartender about the shot ski hanging on the wall. This wooden ski is drilled with holes that hold shot glasses so you can knock a few back with friends (and get a picture doing it, of course). 208 N. Main St.

If you’re looking for a dreamy locale to stare into each other’s eyes over candlelight, the downtown spot Hearthstone Restaurant has the right stuff. The fare here is fully elevated—think crisped duck breast garnished with confit pearl cous cous, huckleberry wholegrain mustard, sweet pea puree, baby arugula, apple cider vinaigrette, and Colorado apples or Alaskan black cod served with misoyaki sauce, sticky black forbidden rice, and sweet soy hazel dell organic wild mushrooms. Essentially every item on the menu is a work of art waiting to be devoured course by course. And to make it even better, you’ll be able to enjoy the serene surroundings from large windows inside the historic house. 130 S. Ridge St.

Another popular après ski activity is drinks. After all, what tastes better than a cold brewski after a morning hitting the powder? Stop by Broken Compass Brewing for a line-up of easy drinkers including an aptly-named Slope Sipper Kolsch and fragrant Ginger Pale Ale and heavy sips like the Coconut Porter or Nitro Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. Even when it’s chilly, a seat on the outdoor patio won’t feel unreasonable. 68 Continental Ct., Unit B-12

One of the best ways to explore the libations in Breckenridge is to make your way down Main Street and stick your head in anywhere that looks inviting. That’s how we landed in Breckenridge Cheese & Chocolate, a two-story outpost that offers wine flights (as well as wines by the glass) and cheeses and chocolates to pair with them (304 S. Main St.). Here, the wine quality rivals the ambiance. Ultimately, it’s exactly what you would expect to find in a mountain town like this one, all charming staff and good conversation tucked along a side street. And if you want to say you’ve visited the world’s highest altitude winery, well that also sits in Breckenridge (with a second location in Fairplay). Continental Divide Winery crafts its wines in Fairplay, CO, at over 10,000 feet in the sky, and it all makes sense because these wines are heaven sent. 505 S. Main St., Unit A-4

Looking for a casual meal on your way in or out of town? Which Which Superior Sandwiches is a sandwich shop chain available in select states, and while it’s not a Colorado staple, it’s still worth a stop, especially if you’ve never stepped into a Which Which before. The ordering process is simple. Grab a paper bag from the wall and mark off all the ingredients you want, whether that includes three sauces and two meats or four different kinds of cheese and a menagerie of vegetables. Hand the marked-up bag over to the counter server and wait for your one-of-a-kind sandwich to be served! 984 10 Mile Dr., Frisco

Where to Stay:

There is something magical about staying in a large, rustic resort set against a backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The Ranahan (a Welk Resorts property) opened in 2018 to high praise. Just a beat off the main stretch, it offers a quiet luxury—and plenty of amenities and travel options—to make a stay here worth the couple extra miles. Appointed rooms feature large balconies, over-sized showers, and deep soaking tubs big enough for two. Plus, on-site there are hot tubs as well as a heated pool with an indoor-outdoor entryway and a waterslide. Slip downstairs to the Blue River Lobby Bar & Lounge for morning coffee and pastries before you hit the slopes, and don’t forget to pick up a calendar of property-hosted events for couple-centric activities like a chocolate making class or guided snowshoe tour. 557 Stan Miller Dr.

Getting Around

One of the best perks of a weekend in Breckenridge is the ability to skip a rental car. Shuttle services make it easy to get just about anywhere in town. At The Ranahan, the on-site driver will take you to the mountain and pick you up with just a quick call, and he’ll even be your designated driver for dinner—just make sure you ask what time he stops ride service in case you’ll need to catch an Uber back. Other businesses around town give into shuttle service, too, meaning you’re likely to see it advertised everywhere from the mountain to breweries.

Getting into Breckenridge is also hassle-free. Summit Express offers rides directly from the airport to the town of Breckenridge, dropping you right at your hotel door. Keep in mind you’ll likely be flying to Denver for the vacation and Breckenridge is a roughly 90-minute trek away southwest. SummitExpress.com

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