Chill Out in Frisco

With 25 miles of nearby freshwater shoreline, the “Main Street of the Rockies” takes the edge off the summer heat

Lake Dillon attracts thousands of Colorado aquatic enthusiasts. Photography: Todd Powell

Lake Dillon attracts thousands of Colorado aquatic enthusiasts. Photography: Todd Powell

You may solely recognize the town of Frisco as a designation on a freeway sign as you whiz past on I-70 West headed for Colorado’s veritable mountain towns. However, this tiny town of 2,697 year-round residents is a quiet refuge from the roaring highway and big-name cities brimming with summer visitors.

The search for an unassuming, small-town gem ends when you arrive in Frisco. With a budding restaurant, bar and shopping scene, as well as countless activities at your doorstep, residents welcome guests with authentic warmth and hospitality. A short driving distance from Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin and Keystone, this mini ski-town-of-sorts boasts one nearby attraction that none of its alpine contenders have: Lake Dillon, a 3,233-acre freshwater reservoir reflecting the forested shoreline and snowcapped mountain range. When Denver’s summer heat proves to be too much, head to Frisco and cool down for the weekend.

GET WET
Lake Dillon’s Frisco Bay Marina rents canoes, kayaks, powerboats, sailboats and stand-up paddle boards. Though the boating season can be testy with Colorado’s ever-changing weather, water enthusiasts are usually cooling off on the lake from June through September. At 9,017-feet of elevation, Lake Dillon hosts many weekend regattas and sailing competitions.

Next to Frisco Bay Marina is The Island Grill, an al fresco dining spot reminiscent of distant, tropical eateries. With a relaxed atmosphere and live music, this infamous go-to spot serves island fare and tropical cocktails, facing the water to give guests the quintessential marine moment.

GET ACTIVE
In addition to Frisco Bay Marina’s aquatic offerings, the Frisco region offers horseback riding, mountain biking, a self-guided Historic Park, scenic drives and hiking trails through White River National Forest to numerous alpine lakes and meadows. The Frisco Adventure Park includes a bike and skate park and an 18-hole Peak One Disc Golf Course. Blue River Anglers is the local trusted source for fly-fishing instruction and guided trips to the nearby Blue River, Arkansas River, Colorado River, South Platte River and others.

Though the town’s epic Fourth of July bash has passed, there are many anticipated events occuring this summer and fall. Frisco’s Concert in the Park series on the Historic Park lawn concludes on August 14 with a performance by the Brothers Comatose. With the impending autumn chill, visitors celebrate Fall Fest and the Mt. Royal Hill Climb, both on September 6. The former is an all-day festival with an art show, harvest market and live music. The latter is a more extreme endeavor; registered racers run up the less-than-two-mile trail to Mt. Royal with a 1,500-foot elevation gain. In June 2015, Frisco will celebrate the 22nd annual Colorado BBQ Challenge, a three-day event with more than 70 teams competing for the Grand Champion title. Festival visitors can load their plates with the best in barbeque and enjoy live music, chef demos and a whiskey tour.

Frisco's Concert in the Park is an annual summer-long series of visiting musicians who perform each Thursday at the Historic Park. Photography: Todd Powell

Frisco’s Concert in the Park is an annual summer-long series of visiting musicians who perform each Thursday at the Historic Park. Photography: Todd Powell

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