A Weekend in Summit County: Breckenridge, Keystone & More

Located in the heart of the Rockies and surrounded by breathtaking views of the Tenmile, Mosquito and Gore mountain ranges, the Summit County towns of Breckenridge, Keystone, Frisco, Dillon, Copper Mountain and Silverthorne offer heart-pounding adventures for every kind of traveler.

By: Colorado.com Staff Writer
Updated: February 19, 2024

You can have it all in this region — dine at top-notch restaurants in Breckenridge or visit your favorite brewery in Keystone, hit the slopes in Copper Mountain or the adventure parks in Frisco, pick up a paddle boat in Silverthorne or catch a concert in Dillon. The best part is, you can experience all of these destinations in one short trip (though you’ll likely be back for more), as all six towns are close enough to move easily between by car, bike or the free Summit Stage bus. So visit the beautiful landscape and charming mountain towns of Summit County and experience for yourself why the area is aptly nicknamed “Colorado’s Playground.”

Days 1 & 2

Start your trip in Silverthorne with a relaxing walk along the banks of the Blue River, a Gold Medal fishery, and spot trout in the crystal clear waters as you meander the Blue River Trail scenic walkway.

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. Or bring the family to Keystone Resort for the bike park, scenic chairlift ride, summer snow-tubing, horseback riding, mountain-top yoga and more.

Then, head west to Frisco for an afternoon on Dillon Reservoir. Make a stop at Sapphire Point Overlook for stunning views, then continue toward Frisco Bay Marina, where you can rent canoes, kayaks or paddle boats. After exploring some of the lake’s 25 miles of shoreline, bask in the sun at the marina’s sandy beach or drop by a lakeside watering hole for delicious dark and stormy cocktails. Make your way to 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, breweries (including the acclaimed Outer Range Brewing Co.) and chef-owned eateries. While in the area, you’ll also find several maker spaces, including a drop-in art studio, a glass-blowing shop, a millinery, a guitar maker and more.

For a little fast-paced action, hit the Frisco Bike Park, where you’ll find pump track, slope-style and dual-slalom courses in addition to the town’s access points to more than 80 miles of paved recreation paths for road-bike spinning. Get some much needed R&R at Frisco’s Mount Royal Spa where add-ons to massages and facial treatments include time at the oxygen bar, helpful for a destination where the air is thin, and leg-compression recovery therapy for those who perhaps went too hard on the trail.

Continue to wind down for the day by grabbing a blanket and backtracking to the newly revamped Dillon Amphitheater for an evening lakeside concert, truly one of Colorado's best-kept secrets. Throughout the summer, the pavilion hosts performances, concerts and dance nights. For those who appreciate a little drama, Theatre SilCo has a new home at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center, where it debuts shows of different genres all year long.

Alternatively, head over to Copper Mountain, where a scenic chairlift can take you to a mountain-top barbecue restaurant. Run the kids blissfully ragged on the zipline, bumper boats, climbing wall, go-karts, hydro bikes, summer-snow park sessions and more.

Day 3

Breckenridge boasts a vibrant “made-in-Breck” food and beverage scene. Grab breakfast at one of the more than 70 independently owned restaurants, or some caffeinated inspiration at The Crown coffee shop. Then, hop on your mountain bike and hit the trails; many of them are converted wagon routes and mining paths. If you prefer pavement, jump on the Ten Mile Recreational Pathway, a 7.2-mile trail named for the adjacent mountain range. If you’ve got energy to burn, the trail is just a small portion of the 55-mile long Summit County Recreational Pathway System that connects the entire county.

For more heart-thumping amusement, race down the slopes on the Gold Runner Coaster, an elevated alpine track that’s part of the summertime Epic Discovery program. You can also test yourself on the Alpineer Challenge Course, reach new heights on the Gold Summit Climbing Wall, embark on several hiking trails and much more.

In the afternoon, head to historic downtown Breckenridge, where locally owned boutiques provide something for everyone from designer cupcakes to designer jeans and imported olive oils and vinegars to imported cigars. Explore Breck’s Certified Colorado Creative District, which hosts art walks and a growing number of studios, galleries and shops holding workshops on subjects like metal-smithing and green beauty.

And just south of town, pay a visit to Isak Heartstone, a friendly and gigantic wooden troll that’s captured hearts and social media posts throughout the land.

While Colorado rakes in praise for its craft-brewing culture (which you can experience at the Breckenridge Brewery), the distilled-spirits bandwagon has been taking on passengers. 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, as well as sipping bitters made from locally harvested herbs. The distillery also operates a farm-to-table dining experience (with a killer cocktail menu, of course) for a more indulgent affair! Meanwhile, The Cheese Shop of Breckenridge is the perfect spot to pick up all the fixings for a picnic — cheese, cured meats, chocolates and more.

Quick Tip:

Breckenridge’s Free Ride Transit System makes it easy — and complimentary — to get around town, complete with its own app showing real-time bus locations and maps; the town is also quite walkable and very bike friendly. Use Summit Stage buses to venture to other parts of Summit County, also at no charge.

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 543-acre expansion on Peak 6), as well as other enchantments like snow tubing, sleigh and dog sledding rides, snowmobiling, Nordic trails and much more. Amtrak also operates its Winter Park Express route January through March, between Denver's Union Station and Winter Park Resort for skiers and boarders looking for a relaxed ride to the slopes. Check out the Summit Huts Association’s new Sisters Cabin for a backcountry hut experience in Weber Gulch. An 8-mile groomed recreation path also links Breckenridge with the Frisco Adventure Park, perfect for cross-country skiing and winter fat biking.

Want More? 

Check out related Colo-Road Trips itineraries: 5 Days in Summit County: Silverthorne, Dillon, Frisco, Breckenridge & Keystone, Summer in Frisco and Your Adventurous Summer in Breckenridge.