Playing Favorites Back To Breckenridge For Another Season Of Fun

written by Heather KW Brown

On command, I leaned hard to the right. Our team of Siberian Huskies careened in the same direction, along with my friend, who had just taken our level of trust to a whole new level by letting me steer her through the flocked backcountry of Breckenridge, Colo.

No sooner had we laughed, half thrilled and half relieved to make the tight turn, when the guide called, “Haw!” Suddenly, we were going left and slightly downhill.

Aside from holding on for dear life, I had been content to let the dogs do all of the work, but coming back up the incline, they were tired and it was time for me to start mushing. I kept one foot on the runner and pushed the sled with my other as if riding a skateboard. When they caught their breath and regained momentum, our 6-mile dogsledding adventure continued, stopping at strategic spots to let them rest  in the snow while drivers and riders swapped roles.

Some places resonate more than others and any extra push it takes to revisit is well worth it. Breckenridge is that place for me.

On and Off the Mountain     
My introduction to the mountain town of Breckenridge came in the summer of 2011 with my husband and our then 3-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. From our hotel, we saw snow melting in the distance and knew a winter wonderland would have to wait. Donning sandals instead of snow boots, we busied ourselves with everything under the sun and loved every minute, but I left feeling like something was missing.

If my adventures in Aspen provided any indication, I had every reason to be biased and in favor of summertime in the mountains, but with only two days in town, I put on my big girl bib and clicked into a pair of skis.

Breck’s expansive long runs and family friendly slopes proved to be exactly what I needed to regain my mojo — steep enough to feel challenged without feeling like I’d be making my way down the mountain when ski season reopened the following year. Breckenridge offers plenty of slopes to suit skiers of all levels.

Non-skiers have copious options for their fair share of fun, ranging from dogsledding with Good Times Adventures and winter fly fishing with Breckenridge Outfitters, the most decorated Orvis-endorsed outfitter in the country, to fat biking. New this winter, nearly all groomed trails at Breckenridge’s Gold Run Nordic Center will be open to fat bikes, adding nearly 25 kilometers to the 13 kilometers already available on ungroomed snowshoe trails.

In Town    
The next best thing to a busy bluebird day is dinner at Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon. Nestled near shops and other popular spots in downtown Breckenridge, Briar Rose lassoes the heritage of the Wild West with the culinary prowess of a high-end restaurant. Legend has it that the storied backbar is the centerpiece of the Saloon, where guests can choose between the full menu and small plates. No offense to small plates anywhere, but when arguably the best of American beef arrived at our table, my vote swayed toward the Cervena elk medallions with wild mushroom demi glace and the Emerald Valley Ranch buffalo short ribs with whipped Yukon gold potatoes.

Of course, no mountain town is legit without a coffee shop that makes lattes worth posting on Instagram and breakfast burritos so large, to-go boxes come standard. Enter Cuppa Joe, an independent, locally owned coffeehouse where everything is made to order and happiness is served daily.

Offering convenient ski-in/ski-out access, as well as an uncanny knack for attention to detail, the stylishly designed BlueSky Breckenridge is an exceptional place to call home. Resting between Peak 8 and Peak 9 in the Tyra Snowflake neighborhood, BlueSky Breckenridge is a luxury, boutique resort boasting 52 well-appointed residences, making it an intimate property just three blocks off Main Street. The graciously sized condominiums differ in décor and in number of bedrooms, but undeniably cater to the comforts of home.

Apparently, it doesn’t matter which season you visit Breck, it will beckon you back eventually.

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