Seeing fall foliage in Colorado was finally a possibility this past September/Early October 2017! The primary goal was hiking among some of my favorite trees with their white trunks and golden leaves: the Aspens. This year, the timing worked out just right, thankfully. I’ve been to Denver, Colorado Springs, Morrison, Eldorado Springs and Beaver Creek but this was a first trip to Breckenridge, Colorado; I absolutely loved it and will return!
Traveling is a favorite pastime of mine so I usually put quite a bit of effort into researching places before committing to going somewhere. Sometimes the places don’t meet expectations, but other times, they end up even better than expected. This visit was one of those times, so I’m sharing what we did and hoping it’s helpful to you in planning a trip to Breckenridge, Colorado in the near future. The lodging and location was the only thing I researched, but what we did while we were there, just happened along the way, after talking with people and using the All Trails and Bands in Town Apps. I never like to be too structured, it’s more fun to “go with the flow.”
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the Grand Timber Lodge and loved everything about it! The location was excellent: we were within walking distance of Downtown Breck, with shops, restaurants, and live music entertainment! Free Shuttles were also provided to the Downtown area and several nearby attractions. The hiking trails could also be found within walking distance from the lodge (we didn’t use the car during our stay). Speaking of the car, it was nice having a heated underground parking garage, especially when it snowed during our stay. There was an onsite restaurant: Lodgepole Bar and Grill, multiple hot tubs and pools throughout the property, an onsite spa, game room, fresh baked cookies and complimentary coffee. We loved having operable windows in the suite we had for fresh air.
Shops: You will find any outdoor clothing you could possibly need at the numerous shops in Breck. We stopped by a family owned shop called Olive Fusion, and ended up ordering various flavored olive oils, shipping them home. It is a cute family run store with nice items for gifts.
Nearby Hike: Burro Trail in the Arapahoe National Forest: we used Google Maps to get there, but once we got to the point where we were supposed to find the trail-head, we didn’t see it! So we asked some nearby workers and found the trail-head just on the other side of the ski lift path and it was marked, just not extremely visible. Along the hike were streams, tall pines and patches of Aspens; it was gorgeous. We had plans to do more hiking during this visit, but it rained one day and snowed unexpectedly and we weren’t prepared for that, so on to plan B.
Food and Drinks: There are so many interesting restaurants to visit in downtown Breckenridge, with beautiful scenery, we didn’t stay long enough to visit very many, but the ones we did visit we enjoyed!
The Canten-Tap House and Tavern: This was a perfect first stop for us, of course we had to order the famous Colorado Moscow Mule along with an appetizer, but we had no idea the appetizer could feed about 6 people! The Moscow Mule was served in a canteen mug, not the usual copper mug, and one was plenty! Maybe it was the elevation, but wow!
Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro and Sushi was an excellent choice for dinner one night.
Broken Compass Brewery: We took the shuttle from the Grand Timber Lodge; this was a nice way to end the late afternoon after a long hike. We decided to try the beer flight, and it was hard to choose a favorite for me. The laid back atmosphere with the garage door opened, music playing and filled with Patrons and their dogs was so relaxing.
Breckenridge Distillery: This was a good way to spend a rainy day, we wished we would have paid attention to the hours the restaurant was open because they are known for excellent food, but the day we visited the restaurant was closed, so we sampled their featured vodka and bourbon. We were also able to take a free shuttle to this location which was great!
Columbine Cafe was what we craved after trudging through the newly fallen deep snow: a big hearty breakfast and this food definitely hit the spot!
Nightlife: Live music was our destination, and we certainly found it…EVERYWHERE! Sometimes it’s hard to find live music, but that was not the situation in Breckenridge; it reminded me of Nashville!
Something I don’t see all the time, but in Breckenridge you might: Moose Crossing the street in downtown
The Gold Pan Saloon had a late night DJ; there is something about the excitement of a new place on that first night that just gives me extra energy, and we certainly used up the energy here, shutting the place down and dancing.
Blue Stag Saloon was our last night out and such a cozy Colorado venue for drinks, dinner and live music! While we were there, we were entertained by Michael Bauer, an excellent photographer and adventure seeker, who shared a crazy rafting story; check out his work on Facebook!
This was such a fun weekend trip, I’m ready to back right now! We started out with beautiful fall vistas and ended with snowcovered landscaping! By the way, often we are so excited about getting to our destination that we end up passing phenomenal sites along the way. Between the Airport and Breckenridge, here are a couple of those places (and the reason we took a red eye flight back home!):
Train passing through the Mountains along side a scenic overlook on the highway heading back to Denver.
Breckenridge is a highly recommended fun town to visit, even during “mud season” when we were there!