Out here in the Rocky Mountains, skiing is a way of life. And Breckenridge is a great place to be if that's what you're into.
Yes, millions of people visit Breckenridge and buy homes near the mountains for the endless ski runs spread across five breathtaking peaks, but the Breckenridge and Summit County area has so much more to offer!
So, if you're all skied out, nursing a sore ankle, or just not that into skiing in the first place, here are some great winter activities in Breckenridge other than skiing:
1) Explore the Backcountry (but not on skis)
There's more than one way to get around on snow, and in Breckenridge you can do all of them...
So if you still want to get out in the snow and see the mountain, then here are some of your options:
This is the best way to take it slow on the snow and Breckenridge has two world-class centers for snowshoeing...
Breckenridge Nordic Center and the Gold Run Nordic Center. Both offer rentals, tours, lessons, and maintain miles and miles of their own beautiful trails.
There's also the wonderful Breckenridge Nordic Center. Near Peak 8, and just a few minutes away from downtown, this is a great place to spend your time relaxing in the big warm lodge with a cup of coffee. Next up...
For animal lovers, and those interested in how people got around The Rockies back in the day, this is a great option for enjoying the sights and sounds of a Breckenridge forest trail.
Good Times Dogsledding on Tiger Road is a great option here. About 20 minutes from town, they will help you get started with your own team to explore the amazing Swan River Valley.
Want to go fast? Then try...
If speed is more your thing, then hop on to kick up some snow across Summit County and take in a lot more of the countryside.
But for the fitness fanatics out there, you might want to try something that gets you to do most of the legwork, which brings us to...
A relatively new activity that has taken off in Breckenridge in recent years.
This one is pretty simple: You ride a bike - on snow. They're snow bikes! And from what I hear, Breckenridge is one of the best places to do it.
And finally, for the romantics out there...
Up he class factor with tour packages that include dinner or a show. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and take it in.
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2) Try Out Some Indoor Winter Sports
Tired yet? Well, there's more...
If the weather outside is biting a little too hard, then check out the Stephen C. West Ice Arena on the south side of town for public skate sessions, drop-in or league hockey.
Rentals and lessons are available, as well as a great shop if you find out you love it so much that you'll be moving in.
The Breckenridge Recreation Center is a another huge facility for all kinds of sports. You can play tennis or basketball, hit the gym, or take a swim.
There are even dance studios, a sauna, and a waterslide. This is a great place to refresh, unwind, and stay healthy.
3) Take In the Local Culture
So how's that serenity?
I know that taking in the peaceful, natural splendor here can feel like a full-time thing, but if you look around town, you'll probably notice the people getting up to some interesting stuff as well...
For example, Breckenridge hosts a number of fun and quirky festivals every winter, like:
Lighting of Breckenridge
All the lights that adorn the streets during winter get turned on on this night in the first weekend of December.
Race of the Santas
On the same weekend as the Lighting of Breckenridge, watch hundreds of Santas take off in a spirited foot race, or don a red hat and join in yourself!
Around mid December this four-day event sees some of the best skiers and snowboarders compete at a variety of events. Free for anyone to attend.
Ever wonder how Breckenridge gets so much snow every year? We hold a festival to appease the norse god of winter, of course! This silly bit of fun packs in an amazing number of events over four days. Float parades, bonfires, and a daring ice plunge.
International Snow Sculpture Championships
Near the end of January you can marvel at artists creating some impressive sculptures out of solid ice. Checking out these pieces when the lights are up is a family treat.
And, if you're looking for something to take home, then explore the more than 200 stores on Breckenridge's Main Street. A lot of what's on sale is authentic, homemade and local.
Bookstores, antique dealers, art galleries - it's all here!
4) Learn About Breckenridge's History
Breckenridge wasn't always the ski-obsessed getaway that it is today. It used to be a rugged gold-rush town, and it still preserves its heritage from those wilder days.
For example, Main Street maintains the historic facades of its many buildings, so you'll have no trouble imagining scenes from when this was a frontier mining town.
The Heritage Alliance offers tours of the various historic sites and museums found throughout Breckenridge.
For the kids, the Mountain Top Children's Museum has interactive exhibits and educational programs. For kids ten and under, make sure to take in the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Exhibit, the planetarium, and the Kidstruction Zone.
Other Historic highlights of Breckenridge include:
The Barney Ford Victorian House
This museum honors Barney L. Ford who escaped slavery to become a successful businessman and civil rights hero.
High Line Railroad Park
Commemorating the town's mining and railroad past, this park hosts an original train engine, a snowplow, and a restored caboose.
The Edwin Carter Discovery Center
This was the home of prospector and early environmentalist Edwin Carter. It shows off just a few of the thousands of taxidermied animal specimens that he created.
Country Boy Mine
This gold mine is open for tours. Delve 1000 feet underground, try your hand at panning for gold, or take a slide down a 55-foot ore chute. It's a gold mine!
Breckenridge is more than just a ski town...
Really, this list could go on and on. There are just so many things to do in Breckenridge aside from skiing. Buy a home or visit here to find out what it really means to get the most out of the winter months.
If you're thinking about moving to the Breckenridge area or buying a vacation home, contact the local real estate pros at Colorado Mountain Retreats Realty.