Breckenridge, Colorado, US.
Sitting just below the Rocky Mountains’ Tenmile Range,
Breckenridge looks something like a spaghetti western town dropped
into an Arctic idyll, with its colourful saloon-style storefronts
surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
It’s just been pegged as one of America’s most affordable ski
destinations, which – in the era of low-cost sliving – is music to our ears. We’ll be
skipping Aspen this ski season and heading 2,500m high to explore
Breckenridge’s historic sites and tackle some of the US’s most
notorious double black diamond slopes.
Fancy yourself a black-run baller? Test your grit on the
adrenaline-inducing Peak 6. Spanning five peaks of the Tenmile
Range, Breckenridge Ski Resort offers a diverse terrain
suitable for all abilities, but is best known for having some of
the most difficult downhills in the US. Visitors only have to pay
one flat fee for all-day slope access to all 155 runs.
Weekends get busy. To avoid long lift lines, quit the slopes for
a stroll around the cute shops along historic Main Street. Our
favourite? The town’s only bookstore, Old Man
Where to stay?
Gravity Haus Breckenridge offers the full
ski-in, ski-out experience. Located below Peak 9, this Alpine-feel
lodge has all the cosy touches of a ski stay (open hearths and
wood-panelled walls included), plus a Japanese-inspired onsen spa
to soothe sore legs post-slopes.
Where to go for dinner?
It’s not uncommon for snow bunnies to sit down for dinner with
their goggles still on at happy-hour-haven Tin Plate. Tucked
into a 138-year-old mining cabin, this family-owned pizza joint
serves wood-fired pies made from scratch. Settle the
pineapple-on-pizza debate once and for all with its pineapple
pancetta number, topped with pickled jalapeño, red onion and lime
pearls. We recommend checking out the seasonal winter offerings at
chef Matt Vawter’s farm-to-table restaurant Rootstalk,
Gravity Haus Breckenridge offers a ski-in/ski-out
And for a drink…
There’s a big craft alcohol culture brewing in Breckenridge. Get
a taste of it at the Breckenridge Distillery. Take a tour of the
stills or, for an insight into the art of fine whiskey production,
splurge on the Blending Lab experience. Meanwhile, Carboy Winery has been making waves in the wine world
(and put Colorado on the map in America’s bottle business). Just
don’t forget the elevation – at this altitude, two or three glasses
of viognier will feel more like five.
Who to take with you?
A history buff. With its ghostly tales, gold mine hikes and
railroad museums, this town’s aesthetic is straight out of True
Essentials to pack
Colorado ski resorts enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine a
year, which is great for our serotonin; less so for our skin. The
higher you climb, the greater the risk posed by UV rays. Pack the
sweat-resistant Supergoop! PLAY Everyday Lotion to apply before you
start shredding the slopes.
How to get there
Breckenridge is a 90-minute drive from Denver International
Airport, which serves most international airlines, meaning you can
book a direct flight from London Heathrow.
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