Breckenridge Colorado in the Summer: Guide to Summer Celebrations, Hiking, Activities, and Lodging
Breckenridge, Colorado: The Ideal Summer Vacation
Many people think of Colorado as a winter skiing destination rather than as a viable summer vacation option. But Colorado is a beautiful place to go in the summer and Breckenridge, Colorado is one of the premier locations. There are many options for lodging, numerous summer festivals and celebrations, and many things to do including river rafting, hiking, mountain biking, a kid's fun park, live entertainment, or just relaxing and taking in the beautiful scenery. Use this Breckenridge, Colorado summer travel guide to help you get the most from your Breckenridge vacation.
History of Breckenridge
The town of Breckenridge, with about 4500 full-time residents in 2010, was formally established in 1859. It sprung up as a mining town during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush when gold was discovered along the Blue River. Today, the gold mines are all shut down but some are open to tourists. You can still see the ridges from mining operations along the Blue River. In 1961, Rounds & Porter opened the first Breckenridge ski area and with the opening of the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 in 1973, the area became more easily accessible. Thus began a new recreation boom in Breckenridge. For those who are interested in learning more about the history of Breckenridge, the Breckenridge Historical Alliance offers more information and guided tours.
Getting To Breckenridge, Colorado
Most people arrive in Breckenridge by car after flying into the Denver International airport. Follow Interstate 70 West from Denver to Exit 203. Continue south on Colorado Highway 9 to Breckenridge. The 105 mile drive will take approximately 2 hours.
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Know Before You Go: Altitude Sickness
Before you go, keep in mind that the town of Breckenridge is located at 9600 feet above sea level. If you're traveling from a lower elevation, you need to guard against altitude sickness and acclimate slowly. Signs of altitude sickness include difficulty breathing, headaches, and nausea. Here are some tips:
- Keep hydrated by drinking a lot of water and avoiding excessive alcoholic beverages and coffee. High altitudes cause more loss of fluid so this is the number one thing you can do to prevent altitude sickness.
- Eat potassium rich foods like bananas, potatoes, broccoli and greens to replenish and balance electrolytes.
- Ease into exercising by starting with about half of the exercise you'd do at sea level.
- Get plenty of rest by either getting to bed an hour earlier or taking an afternoon nap.
Where to Stay in Breckenridge
There are many options for where to stay in Breckenridge. Choose from hotels, condos, private homes, bed & breakfasts, and townhomes. Also choose to stay in town, on the mountain, or on the outskirts of town. There's something for everyone from large, luxurious private homes to small, functional, and inexpensive hotels. Some of the more popular lodging options are listed below:
- VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner): Go to their website to find private homes, condos, and townhomes that you can rent directly from the owner. This is a great option if you have a large group to accommodate or if you need kitchen facilities.
- Resort Quest: A large vacation rental company, Resort Quest offers many rental options in Breckenridge.
- Resorts and Hotels: The Mountain Thunder Lodge has the number one rating on Trip Advisor. Other highly rated options include One Ski Hill Place, Valdoro Mountain Lodge, and Park Avenue Lofts.
- Maverick Sports Promotions :: Breck Crest
Breck Crest Marathon and Half Marathon
Breckenridge Kingdom Days: Held in June each year, Kingdom Days is a celebration of the history of Breckenridge with numerous free events. Take part in or watch an Outhouse race where participants push colorfully decorated outhouses across the finish line. Party at the Town Party on Friday night, take a historic hike to abandoned gold mines, take in some live music, or watch the Wild West Gun Fight on Main Street.
Fourth of July Weekend Celebration: The July 4th weekend is packed with activities for everyone. Start off your morning with a 10k Trail Race followed by an old-fashioned parade. Celebrate the arts with the Breckenridge July Art Festival and free concerts. Kids can participate in the annual water fight with the Fire Department and of course, the evening will end with fire works.
Breck Bike Week: Held July 6-10 this year, Breck Bike Week kick's off on July 4th with the Firecracker 50 Bike Race. There are led bike tours, bike demos, lectures, tune-ups, and more. All events are free and open to the public.
Labor Day Weekend: Close out the summer in Breckenridge with an Arts Festival, Wine Tasting, Rubber Duck Races, and The Breck Crest Trail Marathon and Half Marathon. For more information on the marathon, click the link at the right.
Download a biking and hiking trail map of Breckenridge.
River Rafting: There are several options for white water rafting near Breckenridge. Check out Brown's Canyon, the Numbers section of the Arkansas River, or the Blue River. There are options available that range from casual floats suitable for children to true white water trips that are sure to provide a thrilling adventure.
Hiking: The hiking options in Breckenridge are endless with easy to more difficult hikes available. Download the trail map at right for detailed information.
Peak 8 Fun Park: For family fun, head to the Peak 8 Fun Park where you can try out the alpine slide, rent a bike for a trail ride, try out the climbing wall or the Power Trampoline, play mini-golf, or ride to over 11,000 feet on the chair lift. Park at the Gondola South Parking Lot for the free shuttle to Peak 8.
Trail Bike Riding: Breckenridge was named one of the top 10 places to take your kids on a bike ride by USA Today. In addition, it offers numerous trails, including a section of The Colorado Trail. Pick on of many biking trailheads such as Watson Trailhead, Riverwalk Trailhead, or Snowflake Trailhead.
Breckenridge Recreation Center: The Recreation Center at 880 Airport Rd offers fitness classes, indoor tennis courts, rock climbing walls, racquetball, indoor and outdoor basketball, softball fields and a skateboard park. Or relax in the steam room, hot tub, or sauna after a long day of hiking. Children will love the pool with waterslides.
With so many options and such beautiful surroundings, traveling to Breckenridge on vacation is an easy decision. Even if you're on a budget, you'll be able to find affordable lodging with kitchens to save money on food as well as many free local activities.
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