Just down I-70 from famed Summit County ski areas, snow riders find in Dillon a close place to stay after a day on the mountain, and summer visitors get close access to the shores of sparkling Lake Dillon.
The well-designed, environmentally sensitive town quickly sweeps you into the pines for year-round recreation, and its shops and restaurants are easy to come by.
Thanks in part to its pristine reservoir, Dillon has activities galore in the summer. With 26 miles of shoreline surrounded by a breathtaking mountainous backdrop, the reservoir is perfect for boating, sailing, walking and picnicking — and it gives the destination a decidedly beachy feel.
At the Dillon Marina — the highest deep-water marina in North America — you can rent water toys galore, such as pontoon boats, paddleboards and sailboats. Book a charter cruise, take a historical boat tour or plan a ride with Women and Wine on the Water. The marina additionally offers a sailing school, where you can sign up for beginner sailing and basic keelboat instruction. Or take a one-way, bike-friendly water shuttle that runs between the Dillon and Frisco marinas. It’s a great way to spend some time on the water and enjoy a one-way bike ride back to your home base.
Catch a free lakeside concert at the newly renovated Dillon Amphitheater every Friday and Saturday night from mid-June through early September. Taking place each weekend from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., concerts feature a wide variety of acts, including national headliners like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic to local favorites. You’ll find rock, jazz, folk and orchestral offerings throughout the summer.
The Dillon Farmers Market features many Colorado products including produce, artisan goods and crafts, plus live music gives it a festive flair. The Farmers Market runs every Friday from June through September, making it the perfect place to grab something to-go for a picnic on the reservoir.
In winter, skiing reigns supreme and Dillon offers an affordable home base for family ski trips, with downhill options just minutes away at Keystone and Breckenridge resorts. Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Copper and Vail ski areas are also only short drives away. Or head to Dillon Ice Castles, a spectacular, man-made ice playground created anew each year for its winter visitors. The interactive ice display is generally open from the end of December to early March.
Casual dining options also abound. If you’re looking for a pub, you can’t go wrong at Dillon Dam Brewery or Pug Ryan’s. The Arapahoe Cafe is known for its casual food with Southwest flair. In the mornings, there’s Lili’s Bistro to start the day right. Want to find that authentic, tucked-away place? Try Cafe Profusion, which offers gluten-free curries and other pan-Asian dishes. For fresh Hispanic cuisine, try Tacos Tequila.
For lodging: Dillon’s Best Western offers a central location with magnificent reservoir views. Vacation rental options — spanning condos and private homes — are plentiful as well. You may even consider camping along the reservoir.