Autumn marks the height of ski pass purchases for good reason; Coloradoans have already begun taking their gear out of storage and marking calendars for their favorite ski resorts’ opening days. With thousands of acres of acclaimed ski and snowboard terrain in our own backyards, the Centennial state boasts many iconic ski towns, all ramping up for the first snowfall. DLM discovered these ski towns’ most quintessential and updated activities, accommodations, dining and more. From luxury, apres-ski dining in Aspen to extreme heli-skiing in Telluride, there is a ski town perfected suited to you.
Go Local in Breckenridge
Opening Day: November 7
Maneuver around tourist hotspots and discover how to “go local” in Breckenridge while discovering a tight-knit local community anchored in this Victorian ski town.
EAT: Recline on the outdoor upper deck of the all-new Czech it Out American, a Czech fusion restaurant serving lunch and dinner. Try the Chicken or Pork Schnitzel with a side of truffle oil fries.
STAY: Avoid impersonal resorts at the The Lodge & Spa at Breckenridge. Renovation on the 45 rooms, lobby and new Traverse restaurant will be complete in time to kick-off this ski season.
PLAY: Start the ski season early at the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival: Still on the Hill from October 24-25. Sip on spirits from craft distillers and participate in a grand tasting, restaurant specials, a downtown pub crawl and historic saloon tours. Watch or join hundreds of Santas charging down the street on December 6. The “Race of the Santas” benefits Adopt an Angel and coincides with the Lighting of Breckenridge. For huge competition with a local atmosphere, check out Dew Tour ion Mountain Championships from December 11-14 when snowboard and free ski competitions roll into big-name concerts. Spectator tip: Ski to the event using your lift pass, or hike or use the free lift access for foot passengers on designated chairs. The base area expo offers prizes, games, athlete autograph signings and more. Get out of the mid-season slump at the 25th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships from January 27-31. Watching cheery international and local snow artists transform 20-ton blocks of snow into a remarkable outdoor art gallery gets spectators out of post-holiday doom and gloom. Family tip: Kids can explore the snow and ice play area on the Riverwalk Center lawn. The light show is Saturday, January 31.
INSIDER INFO: Since opening last May, the craft beer has flowed steadily at Breckenridge’s newest brewery, Broken Compass Brewing. Tasteful décor incorporates regional wood details and Breckenridge Ski Resort’s old haul rope, denoting a local mountain town vibe. Brew choices include a Coconut Porter, Chili Pepper Pale, IPA, Stout and India Brown Ale.