Truth be told, I think about Colorado each and every day…the sunny skies, fresh air and scenes of natural splendor. I still haven’t brought myself to remove my name from e-mail blasts marketing all the ‘fresh powder’ they received and the glowing temperatures to boot. I’m already daydreaming about the possibility of heading out there in the Summer months to hike, swim and bask in the glorious sun (apparently present 300 days/ year…? How?!). Until then, I want to chronicle the details of how we got there, where we stayed and the best places we chowed down in Breck.
Fly into Denver International airport
From there, you have a couple options for the approximately 2 hour journey to this special Rocky Mountain town: 1) Rent a car 2)Take a shuttle
After much deliberation we chose to take the Summit Express shuttle for the sheer convenience of it all, not to mention setting our minds at ease if a snow storm hit and we were hauling ass in a budget car on I-70! For $45 a person (one way) we were picked up right outside baggage claim, effortlessly transported to Breck, and dropped off right down the street from our B&B at the Transfer Station.
In my mind, there is no other option than the Fireside. Originally found on this NY Times post, from the first e-mail I was in love with this spot. We booked one of the private B&B rooms in opposed to the dorm rooms which are quite the value at < $40/bed, shared bathroom. The B&B rooms are perfectly cozy and yes…small! We booked the Sweetheart room and it was exactly what we wanted… a queen sized bed, small dresser, fridge, TV and a bathroom behind a pocket door with a claw foot tub. It was very clean and possessed a fabulous view of the mountains.
Each morning we were greeted by the owners, Andy and Nikki, and their perfect hot breakfast (included in B&B rates, extra charge for dorm goers). My favorite combination remains the french toast and scrambled eggs served with fresh fruit and French press coffee. We met so many interesting people at breakfast- from Israel, England, and Brazil. Mornings were probably one of my favorite memories of this trip.
There is ample ski gear storage inside the hostel that most everyone takes advantage of. The Fireside is right down the street from Main Street and Ridge Street- both equipped with great restaurants and shops and grocery stores.
Parking is included for those who have cars but for those who don’t, the Gondola is within walking distance, the Free Breck Shuttle to Peak 9 is across the street and the Summit Stage that will take to you anywhere in Summit County is a few blocks away.
It is, remember, a B&B…in an old house on the corner of an idyllic street. The walls are a bit thin and you may at times be disrupted so bring your earplugs for sleeping and enjoy the experience.
I already mentioned our fabulous breakfast each morning starting at 7:45 or so. Before that I’d typically head over to Cuppa Joe on Ridge and grab a cup of exceptional coffee and get two sandwiches to go. They are so accommodating and wonderful there. Johanna, the owner, was fabulous and recommended so many great restaurants and areas of town to explore. We’d bring these sandwiches along with fruit and some chips and store them in the lodge at Peak 9. At 1:30, after the lunch rush, we would meet and have a a little picnic. Every lodge has complimentary cups and water so take advantage of that.
After a day of skiing and a quick pick me up of tea and cake at the B&B we set out to enjoy Breckenridge’s dining scene. Keep in mind, we were sticking to the more budget friendly options but there are certainly some higher end choices that looked fabulous (think: Elk medallions and local lamb chops).
Coffee and lunch to go for early risers: Cuppa Joe, 118 South Ridge Street
Straightforward, hole-in-the-wall Mexican: Lucha Colorado Cantina, 500 S Main Street
Best low-key apres ski: with 1/2 off wine: Warming Hut, 207 N Main Street
Higher-end on a budget apres: Twist, 200 S Ridge St
Central lunch spot with a close to perfect, vegetable filled menu (they even wrapped up 2 orders to bring to the airport!) : Park and Main, 500 S Main Street
Awesome burgers, enough said:Empire Burger, 500 S Main Street
‘Only-in-Breck experience’: Crepe Cart, 307 S Main St