Written by Kelsey Michal
Few things comfort the soul quite like the mountains.
The crisp air, the unadulterated nature, and the sound of wind whipping through leaves are a form of instant therapy.
When the stress of work, the noise of the city and the anxiety of the grind of life become a little too much, we can self-soothe by retreating to the mountains.
There aren’t many—if any—states that rival Colorado when it comes to mountains. With 54 mountains over 14,000 feet (the “Fourteeners,” as they are lovingly called), Colorado is nothing if not a mountain state. The only real dilemma with going to Colorado for a mountainous vacation is choosing where to go out of the countless mountain towns that pepper the Rocky Mountains.
Breckenridge is a town of about 4,500 located at the base of the Tenmile Range. It’s a 90-minute drive from Denver and is one of the most well-known ski towns in America.
More Than a Ski Town
But Breckenridge is well worth a visit in any season.
Breckenridge has a surprising number of excellent restaurants, breweries, and coffee shops for a town so small. Mountain biking, road biking, and hiking are great year-round (or most-of-the-year-round) activities. There are concerts and art fairs throughout the summer, and the Breckenridge Film Festival happens every September. Winter brings the obvious appeal of endless skiing and snowboarding, but also includes the International Snow Sculpture Championships.
While there are many lovely small towns in the United States, Breckenridge is peaceful, magical, and calming in a way that’s hard to beat. There’s a tranquility to the town—with its sweeping mountain backdrop and quaint streets—that is nourishing for the mind, body, and spirit. For the healthy and outdoors-inclined, “Breck”, as it’s affectionately referred to, is an ideal spot for a restful, restorative retreat away from the noise and bustle of our day-to-day routines.
Healthy Eating Options
The Crown is a cozy local coffee shop with delicious coffee and a great selection of food. The wood-accented decor, comfy sofa, and fireplace make this the perfect spot to hang out on a chilly Breck day.
LoLo Juice is an eco-friendly, organic spot serving juices, smoothies, and a variety of bowls. Their food is yummy and healthy—and it’s a great business to support because of their commitment to keeping their carbon footprint as low as possible.
Piante Pizzeria is vegan pizza heaven. It’s definitely some of the best vegan pizza in the state—if not the country. And to the dairy-eating, vegan cheese skeptics out there: this will not disappoint. Piante is a must-visit when in Breck.
What to Do
Meta Yoga Studios is the oldest yoga studio in Breckenridge. They’ve got lots of class options every day—including Yin, Vinyasa, and Restorative. This beautiful and welcoming space is the perfect studio away from home.
Dillon Reservoir, or “Lake Dillon,” is a 3,233-acre fresh water reservoir and is a 20-minute drive from Breckenridge. It’s a great place for sailing, hiking, camping, picnicking, or just taking in the breathtaking mountainous backdrop.
McCollough Gulch Trail is one of the best hikes in the area, and is only 15 minutes from downtown. It’s a 6.2-mile, dog-friendly trail, complete with waterfalls and multiple lakes. It’s a good workout but not overly strenuous.
Where to Stay
Situated within walking distance of downtown, this apartment is perfect for anyone wanting to stay right in the heart of Breckenridge. The fireplace and large balcony with beautiful views make this an ideal in-town getaway.
This gorgeous A-frame is close to town but secluded enough to provide a quiet and relaxing retreat. The cabin has panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and mountains. The beautiful floor-to-ceiling wood and rustic decor create a cozy environment for some out-of-the-city restoration.
This three-story cabin is a gorgeous getaway within minutes of downtown Breckenridge. Large windows, carefully designed rooms, and a large patio with a BBQ grill make this a restful, mountainous escape.
Kelsey Michal is an Editor and Writer for Elephant Journal, currently based out of Boulder, Colorado. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher and a Certified Personal Trainer. Outside of work, she spends her time running, doing yoga, singing, dancing, hiking, reading, and being a dog mom to her pup Francis.