Start the day scoring deals and perusing nearly 70 name-brand stores, including the Gap, J. Crew, Banana Republic and Coach, at the Outlets at Silverthorne. The shops are separated into three villages and offer discounts of up to 70 percent on designer goods.
Need a break from retail therapy? Grab a fly rod (and a fishing license) and head down to the water. Silverthorne’s five miles of riverside trails run parallel to the outlet shops and provide easy access to the Blue River’s gold-medal trout-filled waters.
Watch how far your ball flies through the thin mountain air while teeing off at one of Keystone’s two 18-hole championship courses — Keystone Ranch and the Keystone River Course — complete with stretches of lodgepole pine and a nine-acre lake.
Head west to Frisco for an afternoon on Dillon Reservoir, where you can rent canoes, kayaks or paddleboats at the Dillon Marina. After exploring some the lake’s 25 miles of shoreline, stop off at the Peninsula Recreation Area for a round of disc golf and loads of picnic sites perfect for spreading out with lunch from one of Main Street’s tempting delis and chef-owned eateries. The Frisco Bay Marina also has a sandy beach and a lakeside watering hole that serves up delicious dark and stormy cocktails. The Frisco Bike Park has pump track, slope-style and duel slalom courses, and the town has access points to more than 80 miles of paved recreation path for miles of road-bike spinning.
Bring a blanket or lawn chairs to the Dillon Amphitheater for an evening lakeside concert. Throughout the summer, the pavilion hosts performances, a bluegrass festival and country dance lessons. Or head over to Copper Mountain, where a scenic chairlift can take you to a mountain-top barbecue restaurant or to the top of a downhill mountain-bike course or rugged hike.
Make your way to Breckenridge for some first-class mountain biking. Hundreds of miles of former wagon routes and mining trails have been converted to well-worn singletrack, terrific for beginner bikers, as well as hard-core trail busters.
For a moderate ride (or hike), try the Baker’s Tank Trail just southeast of downtown on Boreas Pass Road. Rolling hills take you through dense forest and past mining relics before looping back to the parking area. Or if you prefer pavement, jump on the family-friendly Ten Mile Recreational Pathway. Named for the adjacent mountain range, the 50-mile paved path connects the entire county and is always busy with bikers, runners and inline skaters. For more heart-thumping amusement, race down the slopes on the Gold Runner Coaster, an elevated alpine slide located at the Peak 8 Summer Fun Park, where you can also pick up a 4X4, off-road Segway or guided hiking tour, pan for gold, play mini golf and much more.
For a fun afternoon activity, throw on a hard hat and head underground at the Country Boy Mine. The restored mining site leads you more than 1,000 feet into the mountain for a realistic look at what it was like to be a miner here more than a century ago. After the 45-minute tour, climb on a steam shovel, browse the gift shop and shriek down a 55-foot ore chute. Pet the wandering donkeys and pocket what you find panning in Eureka Creek.
Any gold you find will serve you well in downtown Breckenridge. The town boasts a vibrant “made-in-Breck” food and beverage scene. Grab a bite at one of the more than 70 independently owned restaurants and stop into locally owned boutiques and entertain cravings for everything from designer cupcakes to designer jeans. A good way to see town is by horse-drawn carriage. Or explore the 200-structure historic district on foot.
Behold the town’s artsy side along the Riverwalk at dusk. A handful of sculptures live on the riverbanks — some even reside in the river. In warm weather, kids and dogs scramble over boulders and cool off in the river’s mellow sections, while adults lounge on the sidelines.
While Colorado rakes in praise for its craft-brewing culture (which you can experience at the Breckenridge Brewery), the distilled spirits bandwagon is starting to take on passengers. The Breckenridge Distillery was one of the state’s pioneers, and you can drop by for tours or step into its tasting room to sample their award-winning bourbon whiskey or its sipping bitters made from locally harvested herbs. Meanwhile, Après Handcrafted Libations has 30 craft brews on tap and a variety of spirits from Colorado distillers.
Visiting in Winter?
Keystone Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin are four reasons Summit County is known worldwide as a top winter destination. Just a short trek up scenic I-70 from Denver, find all types of ski and snowboard terrain (including Breck’s new 543-acre expansion on Peak 6), as well as other enchantments like snow tubing, sleigh and dogsledding rides, snowmobiling, Nordic trails and much more.