It’s impossible to walk around a magical place like Breck and think to yourself (with some envy, we imagine), do people really live here?
Naturally, you want to get a taste of what that’s like. Where do locals eat breakfast? Hang out? Grab a beer? Socialize? Take their families during peak times?
Saving you the trouble of approaching a local to ask, here are some of our favorites places to mingle with Breck town folk (or go ahead and ask a local):
There’s no shortage of places to find good coffee and a hearty breakfast, but slightly off the beaten path, Cuppa Joe on Ridge St., is a hot spot for coffee meetups and small business gatherings. They have what are arguably the best breakfast burritos in town, too.
Smack in the middle of Main Street, Clint’s has some of the best baked goods – muffins, bagels and brownies. Locals know it and so do a lot of other passers by. Expect a crowd. Bring your own to-go cup to look like a true local.
If you like healthy sandwiches, salads, wraps and bumping shoulders with bionic ladies, stop by Amazing Grace in the yellow house on French St. It’s owned by local Monique Merrill, who you can routinely find hauling herself up mountains at breakneck speeds as one of the world’s top adventure racers.
Indoor social spots:
The Post Office
As you may or may not know, there is not much at-home mail delivery in Breckenridge, so most everyone who lives here has a PO Box. The catch-up sessions with long lost friends, ex-coworkers and ski buddies can go on for hours.
Get your small talk game on and don’t worry about dressing up too much (if you haven’t noticed, we’re pretty casual around here). The Breck Ambassadors, sometimes in partnership with the Summit County Chamber, holds a two-hour social gathering with refreshments from 5 to 7 p.m. every month and anyone can come for $5. Check the schedule.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center benefit bashes
No, this has nothing to do with the hockey team. Avalanches (the destructive tumbling snow variety) are a very real danger in our mountains. CAIC is the organization that provides detailed information about snow conditions on various roads and aspects so that they may be avoided. These parties are as local as it gets. You’re likely to meet every ski patroller and mountaineer in the vicinity and probably even the mayor – possibly while dancing. The events typically cost around $40 and include beer, food and live music. They’re also sponsored by dozens of awesome outdoor brands, so there are stellar prizes and all proceeds go toward funding and maintaining the CAIC.
Now it’s time to talk about hockey. You’ll be shocked how much hockey goes on around here. More or less every other adult who lives in Summit County plays hockey. On any given night, teams from the A, B, C, D and E leagues (plus the Betties all-female league) are out on the ice duking it out. You can watch (and heckle!) for free. There are also public drop-in and figure skating sessions for hockey players and skaters of all ages.
Go here for details.
Outdoor social spots
Yes, we know … there are practically more dogs that live here than people. But where they socialize is where we socialize – the Carter Park dog park. While our culture of meet-and-greet doesn’t involve tackling or licking, watching our dogs engage in such behavior is highly entertaining. If you don’t have a dog, bring your sled (and your kids), because this is also the No. 1 sledding spot in town.
Everyone loves a bargain and after our work day, we locals have a tight rotation of our favorite early evening hot spots:
This cute little house on Ridge St. serves great food and cocktails at all hours, but the 4 to 6 p.m. daily happy hour features $5 and $6 seasonal small plates that range from some sort of decadent mac-and-cheese concoction to crispy, colorful salads. There is also a $5 daily cocktail and decent selection of wine and beer.
Arguably Breckenridge’s longest standing après ski spot (this winter, the place turns 35!), the Mi Casa cantina is popping between 3 and 6 p.m. every day with weary workers throwing back margaritas and eating Juan’s hot wings. Join the fiesta … Mi Casa es su casa!
It’s no surprise that Breck locals like bourbon (and yeah OK … vodka is pretty good, too), especially when it’s got a home base here. Breck Distillery might be off the beaten path, but a quick tour is worth the trip, especially for the free tasting that follows.
Broken Compass Brewery Potlucks
True that Broken Compass is situated a bit off the grid (out near Airport Rd), but with dogs parked at every table, an ACDC pinball machine and everyone knowing each other by name, it’s pretty local. Monday nights (starting around 6:30) are the new big thing at the brewery Here is your chance to impress the locals with your grandmother’s Cajun potatoes or bacon extravaganza. Every Monday, there is a vote for best dish and the winner gets a free growler. Good times!