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8 Apr 2024
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Founded during the gold rush and nestled amidst the majestic peaks and stunning landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge, Colorado is nationwide known for great outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, fishing, and kayaking. But what do the locals think is the best about their town?

As with anywhere else, a local perspective can reveal lots of hidden gems that sometimes go unnoticed. These spots provide a sense of authenticity and reflect the local culture and traditions deeply. Besides, they are often more tranquil spots and activities, away from the tourist crowds.

Are you wondering where these hidden gems in Breckenridge are? You're in the right place. This blog will bring you 10 locals' secrets for exploring Breckenridge. These places are lesser-known but equally stunning and will allow you to appreciate the local beauty in a new and unexpected way.

Just remember to keep it a secret, okay?

1. The Crown

In downtown Breckenridge, there's no shortage of breakfast options to fuel your day. Nestled in the heart of Main St. for 14 years, The Crown is a top choice for locals seeking a quick and high-quality breakfast experience. The cozy, rustic, and vintage atmosphere, complete with comfy couches and a fireplace, makes it a beloved spot. On warmer days, you can opt for their patio at the back.

Their delicious coffee and food, including famous paninis and croissants, make them a standout. Among their many great sandwiches and burritos, The Watson steals the show – an egg, bacon, cheese, and avocado bagel sandwich. Not only is their food top-notch, but their commitment to the environment also earns them enthusiastic support from the local community.



 2. McCullough Gulch trail

While Breckenridge boasts many hiking trails, there's one that locals cherish as a well-kept secret: the McCullough Gulch trail. This moderate hike spans 2.9 miles round-trip and offers panoramic views alongside rushing waterfalls, making it a favorite among those in the know.

Winding through high alpine terrain, this hike treats adventurers to a diverse array of landscapes. Traverse through lush forests, verdant meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers, and captivating waterfalls that will leave you breathless.

If you find yourself stopping frequently to capture the picturesque scenery in photographs, plan for roughly 3 hours to complete the hike. Along the way, you'll be treated to stunning vistas of lakes, cascading waterfalls, and majestic mountains. This is nature in all its glory!


 3. Breckenridge Nordic Center


Looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Colorado mountains in a truly authentic way? Just a quick 5-minute drive from downtown Breckenridge, the Breckenridge Nordic Center awaits with its array of cross-country skiing and snow adventures suitable for all levels.

With offerings including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and thrilling snowcat adventure rides along historic mining routes, the Breckenridge Nordic Center promises an unforgettable experience. Expertly marked trails ensure easy navigation, while professional instructors and local guides stand ready to enrich your journey with insights into the area's unique history and ecology.

Don't miss the chance to step inside the center's lodge, a true labor of love crafted from 90% recycled materials. With stunning detail and craftsmanship, the lodge offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. Take respite by the large stone fireplace, perfect for thawing out between outings, and treat yourself to some delicious homemade soup served at the tavern bar.


4. Country Boy Mine

Just a couple of miles east of downtown Breckenridge, you'll find Country Boy Mine, one of Summit County's oldest and most famous mines, dating back to the gold rush days of 1877.

Known for its gold and silver production, as well as its role in supplying high-grade lead and zinc during World War I and II, the mine offers daily underground tours. Visiting it is a great way to dive into the area's mining history.

But it's not just about the tours. You can also try your hand at gold panning, a fun and interactive activity. And if you're in the mood for some thrills, they offer extreme sledding and snow tubing. This is really a one-stop spot for both education and entertainment, no matter your age.


5. Breckenridge Arts District

The Breckenridge Arts District is a vibrant and bustling hub for creativity and culture in Breckenridge and a great way to spend an afternoon in town. Located on a block-long stretch of historic Breckenridge dating back to the 1800s, the Arts District is home to a rotating lineup of public workshops, exhibits, open studios, special events, and more.

It features a live-work art space for visiting artists, galleries, performance spaces, historic landmarks, and public art, making it the center of creativity in the city. If you're interested in art or if you are a creative soul, this is a must-visit, and it's worth checking if there's a special event on, like a performing arts show or maybe a studio visit to see artists at work.

While in the area, you can make a stop by the Barney Ford House Museum to learn about life in the 1800s, and the life of Ford himself, who went from being a runaway slave to a wealthy entrepreneur and then a famous civil rights leader.


6. Continental Divide Winery

A few steps from Main Street, you'll discover the tasting room of a lovely family-run winery that proudly claims to be the highest in the world. And their business motto? "Using Altitude to Make Naturally Better Wine." Spot on!

You can sample their award-winning creations in the indoor tasting room, and you can sign up for a wine blending class. Their classes feel like boozy science experiments and are undeniably a fun activity for a night out.


7. Breckenridge Distillery

We've mentioned the world's highest winery; now let's delve into the world's highest distillery. Nestled on a mountainside, this coveted tasting room and bar works alongside a restaurant helmed by a celebrity chef. This unique pairing allows for private tours where you can sample their award-winning bourbon, vodka, and gin, followed by a delightful dinner. 

They're particularly renowned for their blended bourbon whiskey, crafted in the American high-rye mash style. Additionally, they offer private tastings paired with chocolates and more. With knowledgeable guides and exceptional tastings, it's an experience not to be missed.


8. Ghostly Tales Tour

How about delving into some of Breckenridge's ghostly secrets that only locals know? Breckenridge Ghost Tours offers an original ghost tour that explores the darker side of local history.

Led by very knowledgeable and engaging tour guides, you'll uncover stories from the Wild West past, the Gold Rush era, and the inhabitants of haunted homes. Prepare to be chilled as they share tales of ghosts said to roam the town. 

Are you brave enough to check it out for yourself? Taking a ghost tour is a fun, interesting, and quite spooky activity to experience while in town.




 9. Moose Watching 

Breckenridge is a hotspot for wildlife sightings, and when it comes to majestic creatures, moose definitely take center stage. With around 2,000 of these magnificent animals roaming Colorado, you're in for a treat.

Here's a little local secret: dusk is when they come out to play, especially in marshy areas and lakes like the Cucumber Gulch Wildlife Preserve near town. So, keep your eyes wide open because spotting moose in their natural habitat is like stumbling upon a hidden treasure! Get ready for an unforgettable wildlife adventure right here in Breckenridge.





10. Ice Skating or Ice Fishing at Maggie Pond

Maggie Pond, nestled in the heart of Breckenridge, isn't just a picturesque spot for activities like paddleboarding, kayaking, and picnicking — it's also a winter wonderland offering ice skating and ice fishing opportunities.

From December to February, when the pond freezes over, it transforms into a playground for ice skaters. Rent skates or bring your own for a fun-filled family outing on the ice.

For fishing enthusiasts, Maggie Pond is a hotspot for ice fishing, offering the chance to reel in trout and perch from its frozen depths.

Surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas, Maggie Pond's allure only intensifies in winter, though it remains a serene retreat in any season—a perfect place to unwind and soak up the great outdoors.


Local's Secrets for Exploring Breckenridge, Colorado

While Breckenridge boasts its fair share of well-known attractions, there's a whole world of hidden gems waiting to be discovered beyond the usual tourist spots. Like many destinations, the best tips for exploring Breckenridge often come from word-of-mouth, shared among locals through casual conversations with friends.

So, next time you're chatting with a local, keep your ears open for those nuggets of insider knowledge. And if you stumble upon something truly special, don't forget to share it with us – we'll keep it a secret, promise!

Want more vacation tips? In our destination blog, we've covered extensive information about Breck, including the best coffee shops in town, where to go fishing and hunting, and a guide to local nightlife for some fun libations. And soon enough, more interesting content awaits you with great tips to make your travel experience even better.


How can you make your trip to Breckenridge, CO even better?

While in town, it's a great idea to stay in style with the breathtaking backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. At Great Western Lodging, we offer a superior selection of luxury properties, ski-in/ski-out options, and downtown lodgings.

Staying in one of our properties, we guarantee you'll have nothing less than a 5-star experience during your trip to Breckenridge.