Cool Off In Breckenridge

LA Family/2004

Deep in the middle of the Southern California summer, a trip to someplace cool sounds nice, doesn’t it? If you’re short on time and are looking for a place that’s pretty easy to get to for a weekend, consider Breckenridge, Colorado.

It’s a two-hour flight from L.A. to Denver, then another two hours in the car to get to Breckenridge. At 9,600 feet, this is a place that rarely sees the daytime mercury rise above 80 degrees, and the nights are wonderfully cool (don’t forget a jacket). A former mining town and home to North America’s busiest ski area, Breckenridge has no shortage of things to do in the summertime — although simply relaxing and strolling along its picturesque Main Street may be all you need.

But if you are up for some activity, there’s rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, four-wheeling, fly-fishing, hiking, hot-air balloon rides, chairlift rides and even boating on nearby Lake Dillon. The town has some great entertainment options, from the classical and pop music concerts at the Riverwalk Center to plays at the award-winning Backstage Theatre.

Unlike many ski towns, Breckenridge is “the real deal,” and this Victorian town boasts over 250 buildings on the Historic Registry. Just walking around town looking at some of the neat old homes and buildings is a lot of fun.

Here’s a list of some other things to check out that you may not find in the visitor guides:

•   Dodi Girvin’s flowers in front of the Bay Street Company on Main Street;

•   The tapas bar at Café Alpine;

•   Great Italian food at the St. Bernard and the funky Julius Caesar lounge in the back;

•   Mountain Java, full of great books and drinks;

•   Zuppa! soup kitchen near City Market;

•   The Speakeasy movie theater in the basement of Colorado Mountain College.

Breckenridge currently has some good deals for parents looking for a weekend away together. The “Night Under the Stars” package includes two nights’ lodging and a horse-drawn wagon ride and barbecue for $174 per person. For $314, you can enjoy a one-hour, sunrise balloon ride, plus two nights lodging. Another package includes lodging and a massage and/or fly-fishing excursion.

For August and September, Breckenridge has some fun weekends, starting with the Vettes on the Rockies event Aug. 7-10 for car buffs and the Toast of Breckenridge Aug. 15-17 for gourmands. The town’s excellent Breckenridge Festival of Film returns Sept. 10-14, and just before the snow flies is the Oktoberfest Sept. 19-21.

Breckenridge is also very close to other neat towns in Summit County, such as Frisco, Dillon, Keystone and Copper Mountain. If you’ve only been to Colorado in the winter, you should check it out in summer. You may not want to come back.

For more information, call 877-593-5260 or log onto http://www.gobreck.com.

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