Ski towns have a reputation for being expensive. And that reputation is not unfounded.
In peak season, you can expect to drop an easy $500 a night on even the most basic lodging in many ski towns.
But your visit to Colorado's beautiful ski towns doesn't have to drain the bank. And it can leave you feeling healthy and active -- but still with a good dose of relaxation and indulgence, too.
Head to Breckenridge for this getaway, one that will leave you and your wallet both feeling good.
Time it right.
The spring (also known as mud season) is the cheapest time to visit Colorado's ski towns, but you can find great rates late summer and early fall, too. As long as you arrive before the slopes open, you can score a good deal.
Location, location, location.
The vast majority of lodging options in Breckenridge are condos. Look for one located within walking distance of Main Street, and one with parking included. Then you won't need to drive the whole trip.
Breckenridge is totally pedestrian-friendly, and its lengthy downtown is entertaining and charming to walk through. Look for various, unique sculptures and public art scattered throughout town.
Breckenridge also has excellent, free, public transportation. Hop on the free bus and cruise along downtown and all the way to Frisco.
The Wyndham Vacation Rentals' Main Street Station condos are only one block off Main and Park, one of the most happening intersections in the town. While the interior is pretty outdated, you can expect big balconies, a fireplace, plenty of underground parking and the best location in town. Guests can also access a pool and hot tub. In the fall, rates per night may be as low as around $160.
Book your stay at Main Street Station here.
Get zen in the mountains.
The perfect way to start your healthy vacation in Breck is to walk from Main Street Station to Meta Yoga Studios, the town's only dedicated yoga studio. It offers a wide range of classes, from hot yoga to vinyasa to kundalini. Guests can even sign up for special workshops on stand-up paddleboard yoga and meditation.
Mix and match classes and put together a personalized mini yoga retreat in this cozy studio with views of the mountains.
We recommend trying a vinyasa class with instructor Leslie Glenn, a competitive snowboarder.
Bike and brew.
Like any good Colorado town, Breckenridge is ripe with local breweries and distilleries, and it'd be a shame to pass through without stopping for a taste. Make your brewery-hopping more exciting and active by signing up for a Bike and Brew Tour offered by At Your Pace - Freestyle Cycling Adventures.
At Your Pace offers custom bike tours around the state, and the Breckenridge brewery tour will take you 10 miles along the stunning bike path, alongside the river, with three stops.
First, you'll visit the small Broken Compass Brewing, which comes out with unique new flavors every Wednesday. You can only buy these beers here, so try them all with a flight sampler. Take it to the outdoor patio and sip on benches made out of former ski lifts.
Then, you will head to the award-winning Breckenridge Distillery for a tour, complete with free samples. The distillery recently released some new vodka flavors that are worth trying -- especially the coffee-flavored vodka. Try the smooth pear on ice alone and the spicy chili vodka in your Bloody Mary to give it an extra kick. The distillery has a good-sized outdoor bar and patio area with games and occasional live music.
The final stop on your bike tour is the (bigger, well known) Breckenridge Brewery. This place also has a full menu, if you need to refuel for the final stretch back home. The nachos are a naughty indulgence, but hey, you earned it.
See what's new.
This fall, the Breckenridge Distillery will begin offering food -- much different than the bar food offered at the Breck Brewery. The distillery's farm-to-table menu, crafted by the reputable chef Daniel O'Brien, promises bold flavor pairings and great cocktails -- but of course.
Dine at Giam's.
One of Breckenridge's most beloved restaurants is Giampietro Pizzeria, known (obviously) for its pizza and calzones. But for a healthier fare (and yes, a gluten-free option at an Italian restaurant), don't miss the meat and cheese plates. Order everything and you'll have more than enough for a romantic dinner for two, served up on fun wooden boards.
Giam's recently expanded its seating, menu and bar. Sample fine wine via the new wine taps.
This restaurant doesn't take reservations and it's often packed, so plan on grabbing a drink at the bar while you wait for a seat to open up.
Eat a historical breakfast,
The best bet for breakfast is Amazing Grace, tucked a bit off the main drag in a historic house built in the 1800s. This quirky, locally owned bakery specializes in freshly baked pastries and rolls, but you can find a full menu here, from omelets to breakfast burritos to our favorite, breakfast tacos. "The Grace,” as its called, is owned by local extreme athlete Monique Merrill.
While Breckenridge's weather is mild to even warm even early fall (the average temps in September are 65 during the day and about 30 at night), the altitude throws many visitors off. Breck is perched at 9,600 feet above sea level, so make sure you drink extra water (even before you arrive) and wear sunscreen. A hat wouldn't hurt either.
Breckenridge is a little more relaxed than other Colorado ski towns, like Vail, Beaver Creek and Aspen, so don't worry about fancy attire, even if you go to a high-end dinner. Casual attire is welcome just about anywhere.
You will want to dress in layers, though, since temps can fluctuate and the sharp mountain breeze can cut pretty deep. Pack a rain jacket or umbrella, swim suit, warm sweater or jacket -- yeah, basically pack for all seasons year-round.