Updated: Mar 23
Whether you're looking for a romantic getaway or traveling with your BFFs, here's an itinerary for folks who want to hit the slopes for a Black Ski Weekend in Colorado.
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Arias and I traveled to Colorado as a part of our own Black Ski Weekend Retreat in Colorado with some of our closest friends. We decided on Breckenridge, Colorado because of its popularity among ski enthusiasts and its relatively close proximity to Dallas. A round-trip flight for the two of us was only $140.00, so we couldn't NOT check out this awesome ski town.
Day 1: Arrival to Denver
Arriving in Denver is the first step to a fun and exciting ski weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado. Denver International Airport (DEN) is the closest major airport to Breckenridge, located about 105 miles away. From the airport, you can rent a car or take a shuttle to reach Breckenridge. Several shuttle services operate between Denver International Airport and Breckenridge, providing convenient and affordable transportation options for travelers.
If you decide to rent a car, like we did, be sure to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle if you plan to drive to Breckenridge to during the winter months. The mountain roads can be challenging, and snow tires or chains may be required. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the Summit Stage, a free shuttle service that operates throughout Summit County, including Breckenridge. The shuttle service provides an eco-friendly and stress-free way to get around town, and it also connects to the ski resorts and other attractions in the area. Whatever your transportation method, the scenic drive to Breckenridge is sure to be a highlight of your trip, as you'll take in stunning views of the Rocky Mountains along the way. The drive to Breckenridge takes about two hours. Before we headed to our accommodations, we did stop at a local grocery store to pick up a variety of groceries, snacks, beverages, and water to help cut down on food expenses for the week.
Finding the right accommodations is an important aspect of planning a ski weekend in Breckenridge. There are many options to choose from, including hotels, condos, and vacation rentals. Many of the accommodations in Breckenridge are located near the ski resorts, making it easy to access the slopes and other attractions.
Hotels in Breckenridge offer a range of amenities, from on-site restaurants and spas to heated outdoor pools and hot tubs. Some hotels also offer complimentary shuttle service to the ski resorts and other areas of town. If you're looking for a more independent and spacious option, consider booking an AirBnb. These properties often include a kitchen and living area, providing a more home-like experience. Additionally, vacation rentals can offer unique and personalized touches, such as stunning mountain views or ski-in/ski-out access.
For this trip, we stayed in a beautiful cabin AirBnb called the Pine Needle Lodge. The cabin was incredibly spacious with 5 bedrooms, 4.5 baths (the King rooms with large soaking tubs) and private hot tub--plenty of space for 6 people. The neighborhood that we stayed in also had a service that offered shuttle drop-off and pick-up to various locations throughout Breckenridge. The AirBnB was also about a 15 minute drive from Main Street. Additional features of the location included plentiful balcony space for mountain gazing, whole living room speakers for all of our media needs, and a downstairs (basement) entertainment lounge. We had a great time in this space.
When selecting accommodations, it's important to consider your budget and needs. Look for properties that offer convenient amenities and services, such as free parking, ski storage, and complimentary breakfast. It's also a good idea to read reviews from previous guests to get an idea of their experiences and any potential issues. By taking the time to carefully choose your accommodations, you'll be sure to have a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Breckenridge.
Day 2: Breckenridge Nordic Center
Our travel group varied in our skiing and snowboarding ability. Although I had been on a ski trip before, I had never actually tried my hand at skiing. Arias, on the other hand, was already a pretty decent snowboarder looking for new powder. During the first day of skiing, I headed to the Nordic Ski Center while Arias headed to Keystone for snowboarding. However, before heading to our respective destinations, we were fitted for our skis, snowboards, and the rest of our equipment at our AirBnb. We rented all of our equipment through rentskis.com and Breck Sports. We signed up for the option to get our equipment fitted and delivered to our accommodations during our online registration.
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The Breckenridge Nordic Center is a must-visit destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts. Located just a short drive from downtown Breckenridge, the Nordic Center offers over 1,400 acres of groomed trails that wind through beautiful forests and meadows. The center also features a full-service ski shop, where visitors can rent equipment and purchase gear, as well as a cozy lodge with a crackling fireplace and hot cocoa.
The Nordic Center offers trails for all ability levels, from beginner to expert, with options for classic cross-country skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing. In addition to the groomed trails, the center also offers guided tours, lessons, and clinics, making it a great place for newcomers to the sport to get started. I signed up for the Group Beginner cross-country ski lessons which were roughly $70.00. This included an all day trail pass, which gave me access to all of the different trails on the campus. Down-hill skis are different from cross-country skis, so I also rented the company's ski equipment. The skis and shoe rental was about $23.00 for one day. I brought my own ski goggles, gloves, and jacket. The actual lessons take about an hour and a half, but I stayed for an additional hour and a half practicing the different trails. I caught the AirBnb's shuttle back to the cabin after I was done. Visitors can also take part in special events and programs throughout the winter, such as moonlight snowshoe tours, full moon snowshoe hikes, and guided backcountry tours.
The Breckenridge Nordic Center is a great way to experience the winter wonderland of Breckenridge and enjoy the outdoors in a peaceful and tranquil setting. With well-groomed trails, breathtaking scenery, and a variety of activities and services, it's a must-visit destination for any winter sports enthusiast visiting the area.
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Day 3: Keystone
On Day 3, our group traveled to Keystone, Colorado to hit the down-hill slopes. The drive from Breckenridge to Keystone is very scenic and approximately 40 minutes.
Side Note: Breckenridge has its own ski slopes, but due to the availability of ski passes for that time frame, we decided to go to Keystone. We booked our ski passes through Epic Pass. The benefits of buying an Epic Pass is that these passes provide you with access to the ski lifts and slopes for multiple locations. As we traveled during COVID, there were restrictions on the number of people who could be present on the slopes during the day, so we had to make reservations for our specific ski days well in advance. We purchased our ski passes and reserved our days approximately a month and a half in advance.
Keystone, Colorado is a picturesque mountain town. Known for its world-class ski resort and scenic beauty, Keystone offers visitors a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy year-round. In the winter, the Keystone Ski Resort is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. With over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, the resort offers something for everyone, from beginner to expert, with a variety of runs, terrain parks, and backcountry options.
In addition to skiing, Keystone also offers a range of winter activities, such as ice skating, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. The resort's charming mountain village is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and accommodations, making it a convenient and enjoyable place to stay and explore.
When we arrived to the slopes at Keystone, lines were long for the ski lifts, but moved quickly, as there are a large number of gondolas available for skiers. Chair lifts are also available to get you to the top of the slopes.
Day 4: Breckenridge Main Street
On our last full day in Breckenridge, we decided to travel to Main Street. Breckenridge's Main Street is the heart of the town and a hub for dining, shopping, and entertainment. With its charming Victorian architecture, historic landmarks, and lively atmosphere, it's a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the area. The street is lined with unique shops, boutiques, and galleries, offering a variety of artisanal goods, clothing, and jewelry. Visitors can find everything from handmade crafts and locally sourced souvenirs to high-end fashion and outdoor gear.
In addition to shopping, Main Street also offers a range of dining options, from casual cafes and coffee shops to upscale restaurants and bars. Visitors can enjoy a wide range of cuisines, from hearty comfort food and classic American fare to international specialties and fusion cuisine. Many of the restaurants feature locally sourced ingredients, making it a great way to experience the flavors of Colorado.
Beyond shopping and dining, Main Street is also home to a variety of cultural and historical attractions, such as the Breckenridge Welcome Center, the Edwin Carter Museum, and the Breckenridge Arts District. Visitors can learn about the town's rich history, culture, and arts scene, and take part in a variety of events and activities throughout the year. The photo opps around Main Street are also extremely Instagrammable! We took the opportunity to capture gorgeous photos with backgrounds of snow-covered mountains and frozen ponds. With its unique charm, lively atmosphere, and variety of attractions, Main Street is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Breckenridge.
Day 5: Departure
As your time in Breckenridge comes to an end, it's important to plan for a smooth and stress-free departure. First and foremost, make sure to double-check your travel arrangements, including flight times, transportation, and accommodations. If you're flying out of Denver International Airport, plan to leave Breckenridge with enough time to account for traffic and potential weather delays.
Finally, take a moment to say goodbye to Breckenridge and reflect on your trip. Consider leaving a review for your accommodations, restaurants, and attractions to help future visitors plan their trips. If you have any time before your departure, take a leisurely stroll through town or visit any last-minute attractions you may have missed. Breckenridge is a beautiful destination with a lot to offer, and departing can be bittersweet, but with some planning and preparation, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable departure.
Ready to explore more activities near Denver and Breckenridge during your Black Ski Weekend? Click HERE.
Breckenridge, Colorado is a stunning destination that offers a wide range of activities, attractions, and natural beauty. Whether you're visiting for a Black Ski Weekend this 2023 on your first trip to Colorado or a summer getaway, there's something for everyone to enjoy. From the world-class skiing and snowboarding to the scenic hiking trails and mountain biking, Breckenridge offers endless opportunities to explore and experience the great outdoors.
Beyond outdoor activities, Breckenridge also offers a vibrant arts and culture scene, with a variety of galleries, museums, and events throughout the year. And, of course, no trip to Breckenridge is complete without a visit to the charming Main Street, with its unique shops, dining options, and historic landmarks.
Overall, Breckenridge is a destination that's sure to leave a lasting impression. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and wide range of activities and attractions, it's a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a memorable and enjoyable Black Ski Weekend. Whether you're traveling solo, with friends, or with family, Breckenridge is a destination that's sure to exceed your expectations and leave you with unforgettable memories.
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