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26 Mar 2024
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Nestled amidst the majestic peaks and stunning landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge, Colorado, offers a picturesque backdrop that's perfect for indulging in a good book. Whenever you decide to take a break from the great outdoors, there's no better way to enhance your Breckenridge experience than by unwinding in one of the charming cafes or curling up under a blanket in your rental with a good read in hand.

Wondering what book titles go well in a mountain destination? This blog is here to guide you with a curated vacation reading list, featuring great books to read on a trip to Breckenridge and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

All you have to do is grab your favorite blanket, cozy up by the fireplace, and let these literary gems transport you on an unforgettable journey!

Great Book Ideas to Enjoy on a Trip to Breckenridge, CO

Breckenridge: 150 Years of Golden History by Mary Ellen Gilliland

For those eager to explore the captivating history of Breckenridge, this title comes highly recommended. Published in 2009, this meticulously researched book offers a compelling narrative tracing Breckenridge's evolution over a century and a half.

From its humble beginnings as a mining town to its success as a world-class ski destination, Gilliland expertly captures the essence of Breckenridge's journey. Through detailed storytelling and a wealth of historical photographs, you'll gain insight into the town's colorful past and the individuals who left an indelible mark on its development.

Mary Ellen Gilliland is reputable as a skilled historian, and her dedication to preserving the heritage of Colorado's mountain towns, including Breckenridge, shines through in this great work. For anyone with a keen interest in the rich tapestry of Breckenridge's history, this book is invaluable.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Since we find ourselves in mountainous surroundings, this travel memoir also comes highly praised as a discovery of the great outdoors. "A Walk in the Woods" recounts Bill Bryson's attempt to hike the Appalachian Trail, which stretches over 2,100 miles from Georgia to Maine. 

The book chronicles his misadventures alongside his old friend Katz and their encounters with colorful characters, and the physical and mental challenges they face. It all amounts to an insightful look at the history and ecology of the Appalachian Trail.

Bill Bryson is a renowned author known for his engaging, humorous, and informative travel writing. Even if you're not roaming the Appalachian region, "A Walk in the Woods" will definitely make you want to grab your boots and hit up Colorado's wild side.

The Guide by Peter Heller

Now back to Colorado and with some literary thriller. "The Guide" is a suspenseful novel that follows Jack, a young outdoorsman and fishing guide, as he takes a job at an exclusive, high-end fishing resort in the Colorado Rockies. When Jack begins to notice strange and unsettling occurrences at the resort, he sets out along with other characters to solve the mysteries, putting themselves in danger in the process.

From acclaimed author Peter Heller, "The Guide" is a sequel to the best seller "The River," though it can be read as a standalone work. Both works provide immersive descriptions of the outdoor setting and the art of fly fishing in the stunning Colorado wilderness.

The Shining by Stephen King

What about a proper horror, by none other than the master of terror himself, Stephen King?

The 1977 classic "The Shining" is set in the fictional Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Rockies, centering around the Torrance family — Jack, Wendy, and their young son Danny — as they become the caretakers of the isolated hotel during the off-season. However, the Overlook Hotel has a dark and violent history that begins to exert its influence over the family.

"The Shining" is widely regarded as one of Stephen King's greatest and most iconic works, praised for its atmospheric tension, complex characters, and exploration of the human psyche.

This one had to make the cut, didn't it? And mark our words, once you dive into the novel, you'll see the 1980 film, with Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, in a whole new light! It's like unlocking a secret bonus level of scares and thrills!

Forgotten Tales of Colorado by Stephanie Waters

And for an extra dose of horror, especially stories often missed by the mainstream, check out "Forgotten Tales of Colorado." This book explores the state's rich heritage from a ghostly standpoint that includes wild characters, diverse cultures, and spooky myths.

Penned by Stephanie Waters, who was raised on a cattle ranch in southern Colorado, this collection of ghost stories is truly captivating. The writing is lively and entertaining, filled with puns and playful language that will surely leave you wanting to uncover more about these intriguing tales.

A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Lucy Bird

Considered an early classic of American travel literature and a pioneering work of nature writing, "A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains" is a collection of letters written by Isabella Lucy Bird during her travels through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado way back, in 1873. 

Bird was a renowned Victorian-era English traveler, writer, and photographer. She was one of the first female travelers to explore and document the American West in the late 19th century, and her book offers a unique female perspective on the American West during a time when it was still a largely unexplored frontier.

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami

From the mountains of Colorado to the mountains of Japan, Haruki Murakami's "Killing Commendatore" follows an unnamed 36-year-old painter who, after his wife leaves him, moves into a remote mountain house that belongs to his friend's father, a famous artist. In the attic, the narrator discovers a mysterious painting with a homonymous title of the novel, an incident that sets off a series of strange and supernatural events in his life.

The narrative explores themes of art, creativity, and the nature of reality, as the narrator becomes entangled with his eccentric neighbor, Wataru Menshiki, and encounters a mysterious, Yoda-like figure who emerges from the painting.

Murakami is a renowned and acclaimed Japanese author known for his unique style of magical realism. His books are usually atmospheric, enigmatic, and intriguing enough to keep you turning page after page non-stop.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

On to the wilderness of the West Coast, with another memoir: "Wild" follows Cheryl Strayed's 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the Mojave Desert in California to the Bridge of the Gods on the Oregon-Washington border. This is the journey Strayed embarked on after the devastating experience of losing her mother to cancer.

Through flashbacks, the narrative revisits Strayed's struggles, such as her failing marriage, battles with addiction, and feelings of sadness and insecurity.

Strayed is an acclaimed American author known for her deeply personal and introspective memoirs. This is her best-known work. It became a New York Times bestseller and in 2014 it was adapted into a film starring Reese Witherspoon.

Great Book Ideas to Enjoy on a Trip to Breckenridge, CO

Great Book Ideas to Enjoy on a Trip to Breckenridge, CO

Picking one or two titles from the list above is sure to add an extra layer of enjoyment to your mountain vacation in Breckenridge, CO. Picture yourself reading a few pages between exploring the town, feeling the cozy ambiance of a local café and the warmth of your favorite drink in hand — it sounds amazing, doesn't it?

Here are some extra tips for reading while traveling on vacation:

  • Explore Local Bookstores: Seek out independent bookstores or local shops at your destination. Not only will you find unique reads that offer insight into the culture and history of the area, but you'll also be supporting local writers and businesses.

  • Research Local Authors: Before your trip, research authors from the region you're visiting. Look for novels, short stories, or poetry collections that capture the essence of the destination. Reading works by local writers can provide a deeper understanding of the culture and landscape.

  • Find Inspiring Spots: Seek out scenic spots where you can immerse yourself in a good book. Whether it's a cozy café or a peaceful park, finding the perfect reading spot can enhance your vacation experience.

  • Try Audiobooks for Convenience: If you prefer an alternative medium or want to multitask while traveling, audiobooks are a great option. Download audiobooks onto your smartphone or portable device to enjoy while sightseeing, during long journeys, or maybe as you take a long hike up the mountains.

  • Embrace Digital Books: You can also opt for digital books while traveling to save space and weight in your luggage. Plus, you'll have a wide selection of titles at your fingertips wherever you go!

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, some of which are pet-friendly.

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