A magical wintry weekend away
A few months before the New Year I, like many others, was hoping to pin down my plans for bringing in 2017. Living in New York has its benefits, but staying in town to watch the ball drop with thousands of others isn’t one of them. Like many who live there, I was looking for a way to get out of the city for the holidays.
As luck would have it a group of friends decided to gather in Colorado for a long ski weekend/reunion at Breckenridge. Not as pricey as Aspen, but with a still-adorable town for the non-skiers of the group, choosing Breckenridge was something everyone in the group could agree on.
Photo credit: Tamara Johnson
I drove up to Breckenridge with a few friends from Boulder on Thursday, December 29th. Despite having a very careful driver who barely went the speed limit, we reached Breckenridge in under two hours. My late flight meant I hadn’t yet seen the Colorado mountains and I was feeling a little wary of flying all this way to spend more time on a dark highway, but driving into the town of Breckenridge was a balm for those weary thoughts. With a Main Street full of well-lit little shops and restaurants and tall evergreens coated with Christmas lights, it was like driving onto a movie set. Well-marked streets allowed us to quickly find our rental house, just a few blocks off the main street, and we settled in early to prepare for a long day of skiing.
Breckenridge the mountain is absolutely overwhelming. I highly recommend taking a look at their trail map before starting out—we didn’t. We started from Peak 9’s Quicksilver Superlift, a 6 person chairlift that takes you about halfway up the mountain to some nice and easy greens. These runs connect midway to chairlifts that bring you up to blues without having to battle the crowds at the base of the mountain. Luckily for us, Breckenridge has an army of employees happy to help around the chairlifts, directing us to appropriate lifts and trails for the various experience levels in the group.
Whether you’re an expert on the slopes, or on the massage table, you won’t need it to be reinvigorated by all Breckenridge has to offer.
We all managed to meet for lunch on Peak 7—all the way across the mountain. This plan worked great for those of us not already on the slopes, they took the free gondola up to the meeting point and experienced the great mountain views not always accessible to the non-skiers/boarders. Though using the crosswalks to cross the mountain wasn’t terrible for the skiers, the snowboarders didn’t love it. I would recommend starting from Peak 7 if you want to end up there. With a completely booked up restaurant we ended up with a much better view by grabbing a table and all of the available chairs outside. The food and drinks, though a bit pricey, did the job and fueled us back up for a few more hours on the mountain before the lifts closed at 4pm. With a map in hand that evening in our house hot tub we planned our strategy for our second day skiing, preparation dearly needed on a mountain as big as Breckenridge.
Photo credit: Tamara Johnson
Even those who don’t ski can find something to do at Breckenridge. With dozens of clothing shops, restaurants, massage parlors and salons everyone can find someway to enjoy themselves. On my last day we waited for two hours to get a crepe from a well-recommended crepe cart. Was it the best use of our short time in this great town? Probably not, but with good company and hot crepes in sight we pushed through and finally, with crepe in hand, set out to explore the town. Easier to navigate than the mountain, you can walk through town to reach the different peaks, or hop on one of the many free clearly marked shuttle buses.
In short, Breckenridge is spectacular, even when there aren’t fireworks lighting up the mountain range in celebration of the New Year. Whether you’re an expert on the slopes, or on the massage table, you won’t need it to be reinvigorated by all Breckenridge has to offer.
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