Breckenridge is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in the United States. The United States doesn’t get nearly enough credit for its stunning backdrops and landscapes, and I think Breckenridge is a perfect example of that. The mountain views here are absurd, the hiking is incredible, and the town is as beautiful as it is high.
We spent a week in Breckenridge and didn’t ski once, due to having our baby along. We weren’t sure how this would play out; would it be worth making the trip up into the mountains if we weren’t going to strap on any skis? The short answer is yes, visiting Breckenridge is absolutely worth it, even if you don’t plan on skiing. If you do plan on visiting, keep reading to find out all you need to know about Breckenridge, Colorado.
The Best Things to Do in Breckenridge
I don’t know about you, but it is very rare that I get to hang out in an alpine winter wonderland like Breckenridge. To be fair, the snow isn’t there all year long, and winter doesn’t last the entire year. This list of the best things to do in Breckenridge spans all seasons, as some things are winter activities, some are summer activities, and some are both. Regardless, here are the best things to do in Breckenridge for people who don’t ski.
1. Hike Some Trails For Stunning Views
Far and away, hiking is the best non-ski activity in Breckenridge. We went to Breckenridge solely for the hiking. We aren’t even avid hikers, but we knew that the mountain views here were bound to be incredible. There are hikes that are suitable for all skill levels, ranging from beginner half-mile loops to intense, spikes-and-icepick-required trails. We opted for some routes that fall in the middle, including the Sapphire Point Overlook Trail, Discovery Ridge to Gold Run Gulch, the Boreas Pass, and the B&B to Reiling Dredge. Whatever your level and desired difficulty, there are trails suitable for you. The best views are found by wandering out of the town, and you will not be disappointed with what you find!
2. Go Dogsledding or Horseback Riding Through The Mountains
If hiking sounds like too much work for you, you should consider either going dogsledding or horseback riding! Both of these are fun outdoor activities that most people can’t just do at home on a regular basis. Dogsledding is especially fun, as you really feel like you’re getting an experience that can’t be had at home. Naturally, dogsledding is a winter activity and horseback riding is more of a summer activity. Both of these things can be done for a relatively affordable price, and are can’t-miss activities when in Breckenridge.
3. Ride The Gold Runner Coaster At Breckenridge Ski Resort
If you want a bit of downhill thrill but don’t feel like strapping on some skis, you should check out the Gold Runner Coaster at Breckenridge Ski Resort! This alpine coaster has several different tracks that you can descend while feeling the crisp mountain air breeze by you. This coaster is an absolute blast, and it is great even for people who don’t typically love roller coasters! This is because there is a brake that you can apply on your own to control the pace at which you descend. This is a bit of a pricey activity, but it is well worth it if you’re seeking some thrill and adrenaline!
4. Explore Main Street And Its Shops
Not everything needs to be thrill-seeking when you visit Breckenridge. The town itself is very quaint and filled with adorable boutiques and shops that deserve some time to explore. Main Street is a bit over a mile long, and it is lined with stores, restaurants, cafes, and attractions. I highly recommend taking at least a couple of hours to walk along Main Street and check out some of the coolest places that it has to offer. Everyone needs a break from skiing and hiking anyway, right?
5. Fill Your Lungs At The O2 Lounge (Oxygen Bar)
Breckenridge is really high up in the mountains…like over 10,000 feet. They often say that Denver’s professional athletes have a competitive advantage because they train in the high elevation, where the air is thin. Well, Breckenridge is almost twice as high as Denver is, meaning the air is almost twice as thin! Getting altitude sickness is a real possibility here, and being short of breath at times is almost a guarantee. Going to the O2 Lounge is one fun way to help your respiratory system out as it acclimates to the new altitude! This lounge, much like a regular bar, allows guests to pull up a chair at the counter and pay for a tube of highly oxygenated air. You pay based on the amount of time that you stay, and you can even order coffees and smoothies while you’re there. This is a really unique place that I highly recommend checking out!
How To Get to Breckenridge
How To Get Around Breckenridge
CAR | SHUTTLE | UBER
Having a car makes visiting Breckenridge very convenient. You can drive to all of the places that you want to go without a worry, you can get to remote trailheads without much coordination, and you don’t have to rely on public transportation schedules. Frankly, those are the advantages of having a car anywhere.
With that being said, I was stunned by the amount of public transportation in Breckenridge. While I’m not recommending that you rely on public transportation instead of renting a car, I think you totally could. The city has a “Free Ride” shuttle system that takes you to most of the cities main spots. It’s actually pretty expansive. We would be at a trailhead that we thought was a bit remote, and 2 minutes down the road we would see a stop for the “Free Ride.”
The best part, if you couldn’t tell, is that it is free! The shuttles run typically from around 6:30am to 11pm and are very easy to use. If we were to go back to Breckenridge, I would definitely consider not renting a car. For more details on routes and times, there’s no better source than the Breckenridge Free Ride website. They update it themselves with the information, so you are in good hands!
On top of that, you can always rest assured knowing that rideshare services do operate in Breckenridge and the surrounding area. If you plan to rely on the free shuttle system and ever find yourself in a hurry, you can easily just call an Uber or hail a cab and you’ll swiftly get to where you want to go.
How Many Days Do You Need in Breckenridge?
Breckenridge has a surprising amount of things to do for what I thought was a pretty small town. There are many very cool activities, great restaurants, and endless stunning views and hikes. While you could get away with visiting for just a couple days, Breckenridge is one place that I would have loved to stay longer. The town is extremely welcoming and there was just always something more that I wanted to do. The hikes were incredible, too, and I didn’t want to stop! I’m not even an avid hiker. But wow, for those views, I would hike for days. I would say a weekend is enough to get a feel for the town itself, but if you want to experience some of the town’s activities and attractions, you need at least 5 days to do it justice.
Best Time of the Year to Visit Breckenridge
Breckenridge is known for its skiing. If you want to ski, the best time to visit is in the winter. Skiers typically prefer to visit between November and early April, as that is when the slopes are ready for heavy ski traffic and the snow is its best.
If you are visiting Breckenridge and don’t plan to ski, though, visiting in the summer is a much better bet. The weather is much more tolerable, the trails are not piled high in snow, and all of the stores are open for business. You also get to skip the massive crowds that come to hit the ski slopes.
The one time of the year when you do NOT want to come is between the end of April and the beginning of June. This is called the muddy season, because all of the snow is melting and the trails and slopes are all a muddy mess. As this is the time of the year that sees the fewest visitors, the shops mostly close down so that their owners can take their own, well-deserved vacations. This is a great time to visit if you are looking for peace and quiet, but beware that many of the best shops will be closed and many of the trails will be unnavigable.
Is Breckenridge Worth Visiting? (Even If You Don’t Ski?)
So, now to answer the question you were probably wondering before you read this post: is Breckenridge worth visiting, even if you don’t plan on skiing? Being that it is a skiing resort town, you’d think you need to ski to make it worth your while, right? Wrong. You can go to a beach resort city, like Tulum, and still have a great time without ever going to the beach! If you like local restaurants and beautiful scenery, you can have an absolute blast in Breckenridge, even if you never strap on a pair of skis.
At its core, Breckenridge is a ski town. I mean, it is located in the Colorado Rockies over 10,000 feet above sea level, so what would you expect? However, its wild popularity has caused the town to build up attractions to appeal to both skiers and non-skiers alike. As a result, there are endless fun activities, shops, restaurants, and hikes that could appeal to anyone. We would, without hesitation, say that Breckenridge is absolutely worth a visit, regardless of whether you plan to ski or not.
That’s all we have for you about Breckenridge! Hopefully this post accomplished its goal of proving to you that you can have a blast in Breckenridge even if you don’t ski. We sure did!
If you’re planning a trip to Breckenridge, let us know by commenting below! We’d love to answer any questions you have.