Breckenridge is known for adventure. But some might argue that half the fun of summiting a peak, reeling in a trout or charging whitewater is the time we spend after — meeting over a meal and retelling the tales with friends. These are our favorite adventure and après pairings for summer.
Big hikes, big appetites
Hiking is one of Breckenridge’s top summer activities, and when the day is done, you’re sure to be hungry for a huge late lunch. We suggest the short (2 miles one way), steep hike to Crystal Lakes. The upper lake sits at 12,850 feet, which means you’ll be huffing and puffing up the glacier-carved mountainside; excuses to stop and take photos are plentiful.
When you untie your dusty hiking boots and release your feet into flip-flops, head to Giampietro’s, where it’s unlikely that you’ll finish a calzone in one sitting. Start with the antipasti plate, reward yourself with Chianti and close the meal with a cannoli and LaVazza.
There’s no need to drive to the trailhead when you bike in Breckenridge. This also means you can roll off the trails and straight to Main Street. Keep it simple with a quick climb from Carter Park. Or, go big and climb, climb, climb toward American Gulch and the Colorado Trail – the reward is a sweet singletrack descent.
After, head to the back deck of Kenosha Steakhouse. Helmet hair and dirty bike jerseys are acceptable here, where more than 15 taps boast craft brews from Boulder, San Diego, Bend and more. The cheese dip and pretzels will disappear just in time for a half-pound Hoosier Daddy burger.
Wellness blend: SUP yoga and fresh juice
What better way to enjoy cool mountain mornings than with a standup paddle yoga session on Maggie Pond? Classes are geared to mixed levels, so whether you’re perfecting downward dog or working on inversions, students will find just the right amount of challenge.
Wrap up the SUP yoga session with a seasonal organic juice blend or healthy lunch option from Lolo Juice. One of Breckenridge’s newest eateries, they’re located in Main Street Station (the area surrounding Maggie Pond).
The 19th hole
Breckenridge’s golf course is one of the world’s few Jack Nicklaus-designed municipal golf courses. At approximately 9,325 feet, golf balls soar farther, due to less air resistance, which makes the game a bit more exciting.
When your round comes to a close, swing by the clubhouse bar – they’re known to offer live music on weekends. But if you’re heading back to town, toast the day with happy hour at Relish. Two for $10 and Two for $12 specials let golfers (or anyone) pair a drink with one of their most popular appetizers. Go classic with wine and a cheese plate, or try the Fate Pale Ale with pork belly sliders.
Casting and Colorado cocktails
In addition to the downtown stretch of Blue River (perfect for a quick cast or beginners looking to hone their skills), Breckenridge sits within easy access of five major rivers: Arkansas, Blue, Colorado, Eagle and the South Platte. Spend the day floating or wading with the experienced staff at Breckenridge Outfitters, the most decorated Orvis-endorsed outfitter in the country.
Follow up a day on the river at The Canteen – choose from all-Colorado brews on tap, or cool off with the Snowmopolitan featuring locally-made Breckenridge vodka.
Whitewater and cold margaritas
Something about paddling Colorado’s most classic stretch of river – Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas – makes us yearn for margaritas in the sun. Tackle the rapids in June for the biggest water, or book later in summer for a tamer trip.
When the day is done, head to family-friendly Mi Casa for fresh Mexican fare. We love the deck seating, where Mom and Dad can toast with margaritas, and the whole family can choose from classic dishes or house specialties (like the mango duck quesadilla).
Summer dogsledding and strawberry milkshakes
Snow Caps Sled Dogs trains their pooches all summer and travelers can hop on board a summer cart to feel the power of these magnificent huskies. Visit with the dogs, tour their home in the mountains and ride along in a cart or on a high-adventure scooter.
Chances are, you’re going to get a little dusty, but the crew at Empire Burger is accustomed to hungry travelers fresh off the trail. We like the classic cheeseburger and hand-cut fries with a strawberry milkshake. But, you can’t go wrong with the long list of toppings and sauces (staff favorites include the sweet mango chutney and jalapeno ranch).
Want more summer activity ideas? Check out what to do this summer in Breckenridge.