The Best Spring Ski Town
Not so fast, summer. Spring is our favorite time of year for skiing, thanks to milder weather, cheaper rates and fewer tourists per inch of powder. And Breckenridge, Colorado, known for its Victorian architecture and Wild West spirit, is the place to be this season. Worried it’ll be too warm? Fear not. Breck boasts the highest elevation in North America, meaning you’re guaranteed reliable snowfall well into April—sometimes even June.
Where to Stay
Posh lodging at the heart of the action
One Ski Hill Place
At the base of the slopes with ski-on-ski-off access and one of the best aprés-ski bars in America, this is Breckenridge's premier resort. In April, it's also the epicenter of the Spring Fever concert series (NOLA’s famous Trombone Shorty descends on the 17th) meaning you can entertain yourself even if an hour of navigating moguls is already too much for you. While the hotel has three fabulous restaurants, we love that every room boasts a full kitchen and fireplace, so you can always cook your own cozy dinners.
What to Do
Biking, snowshoeing and ski town shenanigans
You'll see horse-drawn carriages trotting the streets, but exploring by Fat Bike is so much more authentic. Rent a snow-tire cycle to cruise around town, ride up to the base of the mountain and even embark on a few forest trails.
Goldmine and Dredge Snowshoe
You’ll feel like you’re back in the gold rush as you snowshoe through the forest to one of Colorado's richest and most fabled mining sites, The Golden Horseshoe. An expert guide will lead you to incredible mountain vistas and Wild West ruins, including the gold-gobbling Reiling Dredge Boat. Consider it the most educational way to get your exercise.
SWINGING DOORS SALOON TOUR
In the 1880s, Breckenridge was booming with saloons. (Think John Wayne hunched at a bar, creaky doors a’swinging.) Visit the remaining watering holes, learn about the rough-and-tumble patrons and taste the spirits of Breckenridge Distillery (made from Rocky Mountain snow melt) on this 90-minute, Friday-evening tour.
Where to Eat
Because at 10,000 feet, you deserve more calories
While certainly not the fanciest, this is hands-down the best restaurant in town. Set in a charming Victorian home with views of the breathtaking Tenmile Range, Hearthstone embraces Colorado flavors, seasonal ingredients and dishes that don't over-complicate things. Go for a hearty dinner like Blackberry Elk encrusted in garlic granola or grab easy happy hour offerings like beef tenderloin tacos and ice cold Colorado microbrews.
Aprés Handcrafted Libations
The craft beer and liquor movement is practically ubiquitous in Breck, meaning a liquid dinner is entirely acceptable. At Aprés, you can choose from thirty draft beers, forty rotating craft bottles and dozens of small batch spirits, some of which are made right here in town. (Try the “Bartender’s Improvisation” to get the best new brews.) Hungry? Nosh on free snacks, order from local restaurants or even bring a picnic--it’s encouraged!
Before hitting the slopes, you need a breakfast fit for a lumberjane. Blue Moose is the diner that has your back: With cozy, big portions, bottomless coffee and bacon at the ready, it's a wildly popular place that somehow manages fast, unpretentious service. Don't miss Mike's Eggs Benedict, which is enough to get you through a day of black diamonds.
What to Pack
It's not cool to wear pompom hats on the slopes anymore. (Safety has prevailed, helmets are in.) But at the bar, a cute beanie is essential. Opt for a floppy knit for a flirty look that also hides the helmet hair.
Double Duty Boots
Boots take up a lot of luggage space. Make them worth their weight with a pair that can both traipse through snow and saunter into the saloon. Sorel makes a fabulous pair with solid traction and a svelte silhouette.
Spring skiing begs for a sporty backpack to store those extra layers, slope-side picnic supplies and ample water bottle. This one’s designed for a woman’s torso and has pockets for everything from your sunglasses to your ice axe. (What you don’t have an ice axe?)