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oSuJeff97

Vail (summer)

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So the GF (no pics) and I are going on a little Colorado trip this summer.  Staying with a friend in Denver for a few days but we also want to go stay in Vail for a few days to get some summer mountain time.

Any recommendations on places to stay?  I'm not Shaggy 1% but willing to stay at a decent place because we're getting the rest of the trip in for pretty cheap.

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Skip Vail and stay in Breckenridge.

Vail is basically just three shopping/condo areas along I-70.   If you're really lucky you can even look out your window and see the freeway.

We've stayed in Breckenridge and Vail but really prefer Breckenridge.   Vail is spread out along I-70 and doesn't really have a decent "downtown."   Breckenridge is also close to Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne.   These are more residential and not near the ski runs.   They have stuff like a Wal-Mart, Lowe's and other shopping.   Breckenridge has a decent grocery store so for the most part there's not much of a reason to be in Frisco.  Other than excursions, we have found ourselves content to hang out in Breck and relax at the house or go for a walk in the afternoon.  

 

Make sure to check the calendar before/when deciding to go.   There are festivals at different times and can cause traffic/congestion.   There is only one road from I-70 through Breck and one out the other direction (Colorado 9).   Westbound I-70 on Friday night and Saturday mornings is a beating.   Eastbound is bad on Sunday.   There's a beer festival in July.   Never been but have heard it draws a crowd.   There is also a fairly nice art festival in late July.   That doesn't shut down parts of town like the beer festival does.  

Main Street, as the name implies, is the main drag with restaurants, art galleries, t-shirt shops, etc.   It's a decent stroll with some stuff to look at/window shop.    

 

The area we've stayed in twice now is right at the south end of "downtown" in a three bedroom house.  Look up stuff on VRBO/Home away.   It's pretty easy to find a good 1 bedroom condo either just south of downtown or on the west (slope side).  There are some really good restaurants in Breck but they are pricey.   There is zero fast food in Breck.   You have to drive back to Frisco.   The main grocery store (called City Market but it's really a Kroger) has everything you'll need.  It's on the north end of town and not within walking distance of the neighborhood we stay but it's only a few minutes by car.   There is another grocery store within walking distance but it has Whole Foods vibe and is kind of over priced.   They do have a decent liquor store next door (as does City Market).   Friday afternoon and Saturday morning are the worst times to hit the store since Denverites are in town for the weekend.

 

Breck is within a 20-30 minute drive of several different hikes of various difficulties.   If you drive up to Boreas Pass there's a good hike from an old train stop.   BUT.... the drive up there is  little hairy.  About 2/3 of it is on a single lane road with occasional pull outs or wide shoulders for passing.   So you might end up having to back up or pull over to let a car pass.   If anyone is a white knuckle driver/rider, this may not be worth it.   Right at the edge of town is an old mining area (Iowa Hill) with a hike through the old equipment.   Pretty easy to do.   There is also Continental Falls.   This is a pretty hike and the falls are awesome but it's a trek.   A lot of the hiking will depend on what kind of shape your in.  McCullough Gulch is south of town and a pretty hike too.    From the Fun Park, you can take a ski lift up some trails.   One of these is a fairly level trail along the Ten Mile Range.   If you want to really wear yourself out, you can hike to the top of Peak 9.   The view is amazing.   You can see Rocky Mountain National Park to the north and look down into Copper Mountain.  Word of warning...  this was the hardest hike I have ever done and it's not really that far.   It up hill the entire way.   And the descent is a pain.   But the view is more than worth it.   

 

If you're really adventurous, the drive up Independence Pass toward Aspen is breath taking.   But other than the Maroon Bells hike (which is spectacular) there's not a lot to do over in Aspen and it's a good 2 hour drive each way.   The Independence Pass route, while two lane and in good shape, has some sheer drop offs that are a little scary.   I don't mind windy roads but I wouldn't drive this in the dark.   You can come back on I-70 from Aspen but that adds some time.

 

As with everything in a ski town, the paid activities can be a little pricey but the ones below are worth it in my opinion.  Weekends will be busier and more hectic since everybody from the Denver area flocks to the mountains then.        

 

Check out the Breck Fun Park.   In the summer this has a couple of fun things to do.   We normally only do this once and avoid going on a weekend day as that will be busier.  You can walk to the Gondola from town and ride that it up.   Some of things are more geared toward younger kids but the coaster, Alpine slide and zip line are a lot of fun for everybody.  You can also rent bikes and ride the trails.   I did that last time we were there and it was a blast.  But keep in mind, these are dirt paths and some times single track.   The last run of the day, I went down the hardest one and ate it several times before I decided that I was going to have to walk down a ways.   The other runs back toward the Fun Park are much easier. 

There are bike rentals places who will take you up to Vail Pass.  You ride down the pass back  to Frisco, Dillon, or if you're really ambitious, Breck or Keystone (depending on where you rented your bikes from.)   If you decide just to stop in Frisco, they'll pick you and take you back to where you rented from.   This is one of my favorite things to do.   It's almost completely downhill, paved and more than wide enough for passing.  Nothing stupidly dangerous but there are a few places where your going to use your brakes.  I've had my youngest on a tandem with me each time and it wasn't hard all.   There's a stream that runs along the path for a ways and some beaver dams.   We've seen big horn sheep and elk.    Overall, it's just a fun ride.   Highly recommended.  

 

There's an old mine that you can tour.   It's 10-15 minutes from Main Street by car.   Also a little pricey.   Just looked at the prices and I don't remember it being as high but it's kind of cool and you can try your hand at gold panning at the end.   This is actually a good thing to do if it's a rainy day.  

 

Speaking of rain, in the summer they have afternoon thunderstorms but it almost never rains all day.   But pay attention to the weather.   You do not want to be stuck out on a hike or somewhere outside when one comes in.   Been there, done that and it was one of the scariest moments of my life.  Weather forecasts are pretty spot on so if there's a chance of afternoon showers, plan your activity around it and you're good. 

There are power and pontoon boat rentals on Lake Dillon.   We brought lunch and drinks and rode around the lake.  There's no swimming (and the water is pretty cold any ways) but it was relaxing and every now and then we just cut the motor and drifted for a while.   

 

There's no white water rafting in Breck but there are several places within 60-90 minutes to go.   If you have never done this, I highly suggest it.   How much white water will depend on when you go.  By late July it's fairly tame but still worth it.   We've done Brown's Canyon and the Colorado River.  Brown's Canyon had more rapids but was not a massive amount of work.    

The Breckenridge Backstage Theater puts on some really good plays and musicals.  They're doing Monty Python's Spamalot and Annie this summer.   We've seen The Full Monty, Chicago and a couple of other things and enjoyed it.   They use two facilities; the theater and the Riverwalk Center.   The theater only has about 100 seats and is fairly intimate.   The Riverwalk Center has several hundred seats.   Tickets range from around $25 to $45.   There are also classical music performances ranging from string quartets to orchestra sized.   

 

There's a pizza place in town called Downstairs at Eric's.  They have a decent arcade with video games (classics like Galaga and Pacman), skee ball, pin ball and other stuff like that.   We probably do it 2-3 times during each trip.   You can play at the arcade without having to eat.   They have a fairly good beer selection too.   They advertise 30 beers on tap and probably 10-12 are local Colorado things or stuff you wont find down here.   

 

Broken Compass Brewing is on the north end of town.   They have a small tap room and brew some "different" things but it was all good.   Most of the places around town carry their stuff.  

 

The Breckenridge Brewery has pretty good food and I like their beer even if they did sell out to Bud.   They have some stuff on tap that you wont find anywhere else.  

 

The Breckenridge Tap House may have the best beer selection in town.   They also have fairly good street tacos and is reasonably priced.  

The Canteen has kind of a pub feel but good food and decent beer selection.  

South Ridge Seafood.   This is very good.  Pricey.   Maybe a place for you and the wife if the boys could be home alone.

 

Some stuff on getting there...   The drive is pretty damn boring until you get past Amarillo.   It's a two day drive unless you just feel like spending 18 hours in the car.  We like the Residence Inn on the west side of Amarillo.   They have 1 and 2 bedroom suites that are reasonable on price and you get a buffet type breakfast.   If you're coming from Houston, don't take any other route to Amarillo other I-45 to 287 and then I-40.   If you're coming from Austin or San Antoni, take I-35 to Fort Worth then grab 287 there.  There is a route that takes your through Abilene and other smaller towns.   Don't do that.    Unless there's some massive road closure or something, stick to the main route.   Coming out of Amarillo you can take I-40 west almost all the way to I-25 but this adds on a lot of time.   Take US 385 north out of Vega to US 87 in Dalhart.   This will eventually connect with I-25 at Raton, NM.   

 

About 2-3 hours NW of Amarillo is the Capulin Volcano National Monument.  This is an extinct cinder cone volcano.   You can drive up to the crater and then walk the crater edge.   It's pretty cool, a good way to stretch your legs without being too strenuous and because the National Park system is awesomely cheap, $7 for a car load.  

 

Once you get to Colorado you can take I-25 all the way to Denver and then take I-70 into the mountains.  Unless you have some reason to be in Denver, skip this route.  There's a better than average chance that you will get stuck in traffic especially on I-70 during the weekend or I-25 on the week days.   The way to go is US 50 west at Pueblo to Colorado 9.   That takes you right into Breckenridge.   9 connects to I-70 at Frisco.   That takes you to Denver if you end up going that way.   

 

Also consider a detour along the way and stop at Great Sand Dunes National Park.  If you go there, you would take US 160 west at Walsenburg to Colorado 150.   We did this last time and stayed a night in Alamosa.   The Sand Dunes were pretty cool and there's a (relatively) easy hike to a waterfall (Zapata Falls) near there too.   The road to the trail head is unpaved, rocky and very bumpy.  But once you get to the parking area, it's a 30 minute or so hike to the Falls and you can walk right up to it.   We picnicked our lunch before the hike at the trail head.   There are picnic tables and a bathroom there.  

So, yeah, go to Breck.

 

 

 

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I would also skip Vail.  Just don't care for the faux-Bavarian vibe at all.  And it's full of Eurotrash, even in the summer.

 

Breck is a good, albeit expensive, choice.  I like Frisco a lot.  Only 10-15 min from Breck, but more reasonably priced and closer to other places if you want to venture out.  Aspen is  beautiful but $$.  Glenwood Springs is fun.  I love Winter Park area if you want to get off the I-70 corridor.

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14 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

Breck is a good, albeit expensive, choice.

Not necessarily expensive... ON VRBO there are A LOT of 1 bedroom condos right in town for less than $150 a night and some closer to $125.   I picked a random time in July (11th-14th) and got at least 35 possibilities. 

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3 minutes ago, Macanudo said:

Not necessarily expensive... ON VRBO there are A LOT of 1 bedroom condos right in town for less than $150 a night and some closer to $125.   I picked a random time in July (11th-14th) and got at least 35 possibilities. 

Are you going to eat while you're there?  Vail and Aspen are also expensive.

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Thanks for the replies.

Yeah I know about how I-70 can be a mess on the weekends with people going to and from Denver.   The good news is that this is a mid-week trip.  Will be driving west from Denver on a Sunday and back to Denver from the west on Wednesday.

So if we were to hit Breck, any recs on where to stay?  Is Air B&B the way to go?

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I agree Breck > Vail. Do not agree it's more expensive. I rented a condo near downtown during mud season 3 years ago for $800 a month. VRBO owners will negotiate on price especially if it's an extended stay during the off season. Also, Breck throws one helluva 4th of July.

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3 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

Are you going to eat while you're there?  Vail and Aspen are also expensive.

 

99% chance they can find a condo with a kitchen.   At a minimum they can eat breakfast at the condo.   

 

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Before you do all that shit mac recommended rememeber youre at high altitude.  Start of with short activities and see how you handle it.   AlSo for some season I get drunk easier at high aaltitude.

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6 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Before you do all that shit mac recommended rememeber youre at high altitude.  Start of with short activities and see how you handle it.   AlSo for some season I get drunk easier at high aaltitude.

He'll be in Denver for a few days first.   It's not like he's getting off a plane and driving straight out there.

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Drink a lot of water the first day or two. Really helps with the altitude adjustment.

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11 hours ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Before you do all that shit mac recommended rememeber youre at high altitude.  Start of with short activities and see how you handle it.   AlSo for some season I get drunk easier at high aaltitude.

It's why I prefer Aspen to Breck.  

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Breck> Vail, but Vail Village is fun in the summer time. I think Eurotrash can be interesting people watching.

We were there on July 4th, and the parade going through the village was a lot of fun. Bowling alley next to the ice skating rink was a blast with friends. Whit water rafting just down the road in Avon was ok, but I would have like a more difficult set of rapids. It all depends on the flow at that time. 

Nightlife in Breck is better, but I can only speak for the ski season, actually.

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9 hours ago, LonghornJones said:

Breck> Vail, but Vail Village is fun in the summer time. I think Eurotrash can be interesting people watching.

We were there on July 4th, and the parade going through the village was a lot of fun. Bowling alley next to the ice skating rink was a blast with friends. Whit water rafting just down the road in Avon was ok, but I would have like a more difficult set of rapids. It all depends on the flow at that time. 

Nightlife in Breck is better, but I can only speak for the ski season, actually.

It’s been a decade since I cared about nightlife. But we had a house in Breck from the time I was a kid until I was 30.  I spent a lot of time there during ski season and during summers. Always thought the nightlife sucked unless you brought your own women. 

Vail used to be pretty rocking at The Club during ski season.  And used to love Apres at Pepi’s. Must have gotten drunk 100 times there listening to that guy Rodney Powell sing covers

Edited by Johnny Sack

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Can’t go wrong with Frisco, Breck or Vail. I’ve spent summer time in all three. If kids are involved, I’d go Breck to be close to the mountain activities. If you’re Surly 1%, Vail has some great lodging and food/beverage options. Stay in Vail Village only. Otherwise, Frisco is awesome. Find a place close to Main Street. 

Bernard

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Can’t go wrong with Frisco, Breck or Vail. I’ve spent summer time in all three. If kids are involved, I’d go Breck to be close to the mountain activities. If you’re Surly 1%, Vail has some great lodging and food/beverage options. Stay in Vail Village only. Otherwise, Frisco is awesome. Find a place close to Main Street. 
Bernard
Cosign on Main St. area in Frisco.

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I haven't been to Vail since the early 70's. I hear that it has grown a bit and become a bit of a ski destination. My cousins owned a bunch of mountain property there that they had bought dirt cheap. It was okay.

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Hey update!  I ended up taking advice and went to Breck instead.  It was fantastic.  We spent 3 nights there, then one night in Golden (the night of the Turnpike Troubadors show at Red Rocks, which we attended) and then a couple of nights in Denver.

We stayed at the Mariott Mountain Valley Lodge at Breck, which was great because it was just a block off Main Street.

This was the view right outside our room:

0ZPNFEx.jpg

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Glad you enjoyed it.  We're goung up to Denver on the 5th to see my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, niece and brand new niece on the 5th.     Gonna go up to Breck on the 8th and stay til the 12th.  Can not wait.

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Wow, never thought I would get so many great ideas on what to do in Breck. 

We are going to be there next week and will use this thread for advice.  Staying at Residence Inn next to Brckenridge brewery  (yeah points!).

One thing we are going to do is climb up Quandary peak.  Easy access and incredible views. Anyone done the zipline tour at th fun park?

Edited by CrownKing

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Just got back from Breck.   Had a great time.   All the information in the thread above is very accurate and helpful.  Highly recommend the white water rafting on the Arkansas river.  We used Independant Whitewater which is a small rafting company and had a blast.  https://www.independentrafting.com/

Edited by Chicken fried bacon

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On 6/20/2018 at 3:11 PM, oSuJeff97 said:

Hey update!  I ended up taking advice and went to Breck instead.  It was fantastic.  We spent 3 nights there, then one night in Golden (the night of the Turnpike Troubadors show at Red Rocks, which we attended) and then a couple of nights in Denver.

We stayed at the Mariott Mountain Valley Lodge at Breck, which was great because it was just a block off Main Street.

This was the view right outside our room:

0ZPNFEx.jpg

I stayed in a condo about 1/2 a block south of there. Great location. Highly recommend walking down to La Francaise and eating breakfast sitting next to the river.

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Spent the week in Colorado with the family (kids are 11,11 and 14).  Got to CO Springs on Saturday.  Hit Garden of the Gods, US Olympic Training Center (we had an extraordinary tour guide there which probably makes all the difference...he knew every athlete we saw by name and could tell us what he or she was up to, medals they may have won etc etc), USAFA and Pikes Peak (that drive up and down will put a little hair on your chest if you are a flat land Texas dude) among other things while there.  Really enjoyed time there.  Then headed up to Breckenridge on Tuesday.  Stopped by Leadville (wildfires closed highway 285 that straight shotted us to Breck so decided to detour)  Mining museum in Leadville was way more enjoyable than I ever thought it would be, good eats at Tennessee Pass in town and grabbed a few beers at Periodic Brewing (the IPA was very good)  before heading out.  

Love Breckenridge.  There were no fireworks this year due to the massive wildfire problem CO is currently having but this town knows how to do the 4th with bike race, parade, etc.  Even with extra crowd coming in on Tuesday for the holiday the grocery store Mac mentions was easy in and out (and damn if they don't have a lot of options) . We are in a condo on Ski Hill (AirBNB) a block from Main Street that was pretty reasonable in my mind when we booked earlier this year.  Downstairs at Erics was great for adults and kids.  We took the kids up to Peak 8 and let them roll through Alpine Slide, Alpine Coaster, ropes courses, zip lines, etc while we sat down at the base and had a beer or three.  Today we drove back down to Buena Vista (about an hour and 15 minutes each way) and rafted Browns Canyon with River Runners (Class III rapids which was more than enough for everybody but me who was a first timer.....and yet I was the one who found myself tossed in the river at one point)

Canteen is a solid food recommendation in town as well...thanks Mac.  Enjoyed that one all the way around.  Taking my younger daughter on a trail ride tomorrow (she is big into horseback riding back home) and then may hit Distillery and Broken Compass later in the day.  

Oh and as I type this it's 54 degrees at 10:30....on July 5th.  Can't do wrong with that.

 

 

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Breck does 4th of July right. Best parade I've seen in a small town. The gondola ride is free and there's a summer fun park up top at Peak 8 that's not too pricey. Kids should like it.

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10 hours ago, RPM said:

Breck does 4th of July right. Best parade I've seen in a small town. The gondola ride is free and there's a summer fun park up top at Peak 8 that's not too pricey. Kids should like it.

Used to do that parade every summer growing up.  The Texas float was always the best.  

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In Denver right now and will head up to Breck tomorrow.   We walked around the Cherry Creek Art Festival yesterday and I barely broke a sweat.   it was in the low 90s.   dont miss Houston humidity at all. 

Edited by Macanudo

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There will be a cross post to the 2018 Beer thread when I get home and have a laptop but I'm at 18 new beers (to me) as of today.

Did the Vail Pass Bike ride to Dillon today.   18 miles with the first six to Copper Mountain requiring minimal effort other than hitting the brakes some, the 2nd six to Frisco was a bit more  effort because of a headwind blowing back up the pass and the last 3rd along the lake and dam was an ass kicker because of the 10-15 mph headwind over the dam. 

Had dinner a South Ridge Seafood tonight and enjoyed it.   They moved from the old house location on South Ridge Street to one of the multi-business buildings at Main Street and South Park.  Scottish salmon bruschetta and heirloom tomato salad to start with Red Trout as the entree and a pear crostata to finish.  Great end to a long day.

Edited by Macanudo

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Where'd you end up staying, Mac? Heading to Breck next week for a long weekend, and trying to narrow in on rentals on VRBO. 

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I can recommend Timbernest condos on Columbine Rd. Small building in good shape, pool & spa, laundry, walking distance from downtown. 

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17 hours ago, Macanudo said:

There will be a cross post to the 2018 Beer thread when I get home and have a laptop but I'm at 18 new beers (to me) as of today.

Did the Vail Pass Bike ride to Dillon today.   18 miles with the first six to Copper Mountain requiring minimal effort other than hitting the brakes some, the 2nd six to Frisco was a bit more  effort because of a headwind blowing back up the pass and the last 3rd along the lake and dam was an ass kicker because of the 10-15 mph headwind over the dam. 

Had dinner a South Ridge Seafood tonight and enjoyed it.   They moved from the old house location on South Ridge Street to one of the multi-business buildings at Main Street and South Park.  Scottish salmon bruschetta and heirloom tomato salad to start with Red Trout as the entree and a pear crostata to finish.  Great end to a long day.

You're not supposed to start the ride from the top of Vail Pass, you cheater!

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Got back from a week and then some in Denver/Breckenridge.   Have family in Denver and stayed with them (Stapleton area) for a few days.  Sister in law had a baby in early June so we hung out with them for a couple of days then went up to Breck for 5 days.   While in Denver, we went to the Botanic Gardens.  Very pleasant surprise.

Stayed in a townhome on the south side of Breck (off of Broken Lance...  A brisk 10 minute walk from the south end of Main Street.)   It was was adequate but had two glaring problems (one the owner could fix and one they can't.):   The upstairs bedrooms had ZERO window coverings and the master bedroom had a massive skylight.    Nothing like having the bedrooms light up at 6:00 in the morning.   We actually noticed a few properties around us that had skylights as well.   WTF?   The other issue was a new home being constructed above us on the hill.   They started work before 7:00 am and worked until after 6:00 pm.   Lots of backhoe work on the foundation and rocks.   Nothing like coming back from a long day hiking and then sitting on the porch listening to construction.  

Restaurant report:

We ate at several place but these were the standouts:

South Ridge Seafood - They moved from the old house they used to be in closer to the northern end of Ridge Street to the Cima Mall area on the south side.   Still very good and IMO, the best restaurant in Breck.  Had a salmon-avocado bruschetta appetizer, red trout main dish and peach crostini dessert.  

Downstairs at Eric's  - Pizza place mentioned above.  Still fun to go to even if the Macanudo-ettes weren't with me.   Good pizza with lots of beer.

Hearthstone - Went here before going across the street to the Breck Playhouse to see Monty Python's Spam-a-lot.     Had the lobster appetizer and the braised lamb shank.    Very good but our waiter was a turd.   

Outdoor stuff:

Rode down Vail Pass.  This ride is almost all down hill for the first 6 miles to Copper Mountain.   The nest 6 to Frisco require a little peddling but not much.   Usually, when the Macanudo-ettes are along, we finish in Frisco.   This time, I rode on to Dillon along the lake and dam.   It was pretty nice until the section along the dam.   Easily as 15 mph head wind that kicked my ass.   The ride back into Keystone (where we rented the bikes) is another 6+ miles and slightly/mostly uphill.    Probably wont't ever do that.  From Frisco, you could ride back/to Breck and that's another 10 miles (mostly on a slight uphill grade.)   It might not seem like much but when you're at 7,000 feet above sea level, it can kick your ass.  

Hiked from mid way up Peak 8 to Peak 7.   Took the Gondola from downtown Breck to the Fun Park then the Colorado Superchair up to Vista Haus.   This is a pretty easy hike as the trail tends to run fairly perpendicular to the ridge line.   The only drawback is the $20 per person charge to ride the Superchair.  We got a later start than I wanted and the consequence was getting stuck at Vista Haus due to thunder and lightning.  Had to be shuttled down the mountain as the lifts were closed down.

Hoosier Pass Loop - Trail guides show this as a 180 foot elevation gain on the 3 mile loop.   I call bullshit but maybe it really is only that far.   But it's not a hard hike and the 1.3 mile along the ridge on the way up gives awesome views.  You can go another half mile or so farther north towards Quandary Peak and the double back to the loop.   

Loveland Pass West Ridge Trail - This is the easier of the hikes from Loveland Pass.  Grizzly Peak and Mt. Snitkau are more challenging to the east but you're already at 11,990 feet above sea level when you start on either trail.   

Cross posting my favorite Colorado beers from the trip:

Upslope Rocky Mountain Kolsch (Boulder)  Very good Kolsch.  Very smooth and very bummed that this is only a spring seasonal.   

Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale (Denver) Excellent Scotch Ale.  Really good example of this style.  

River North Pils. (Denver)  Very easy to drink and is a lot like a Czech pilsner.  A definite session ale.  Liked it a lot.

Telluride Tempted IPA (Telluride).  Liked as well and another one I wish I could get down here.   A really good IPA 

Broken Compass Czech Pilsner(Breckenridge) Very nice pilsner.   Simple but a good beer.  If you’re in Breckenridge, swing by their tap room south of town. 

South Park Ranch Hand Cream Ale.  (Fairplay) Might my favorite beer of this trip.   Smooth and easy to drink.   The rest of the South Park lineup doesn’t intrigue me all that much but I will seek this one out the next time I’m up there.

Left Hand Kolsch.  (Longmont) Super tasty kolsch.   Might be the best Left Hand offering out there and their Milk Stout is one of my favorite beers ever.   

I didn't take as many pictures as I thought:IMG42492122475_91cd9603dc_k.jpg

 

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Edited by Macanudo

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Had a question from a poster but thought I'd share my reply here too.   

Couple of questions and then some ramblings...

Where are you coming from?   Elevation is a beast if you're not used to it so some of what I suggest below should be taken with a grain of salt.  I'm not in the best shape and so the elevation does get to me if I push too hard.

How old are you kids?    This also affects what you'll do in three days.   If you have one younger than 7-8 I recommend having them tandem with you on the ride down.   That makes things a lot easier.   It's not that much harder for you and you don't have to worry about them.  

Where are you staying?    If you're within walking distance of town and the kids are old enough to go on their own, let them.   Main Street is very pedestrian friendly.  Lots of t-shirt shops, a few ice cream/treat places and even a decent candy shop.  We normally stay just up the hill from the Breck Brewery.   This a 5 minute walk from the south side of Main Street.   This past week we were on the other side of CO 9 off of Broken Lance.   A little farther away but still a decent area.

We rent from Mountain View Sports in Keystone.   Used them three times now and their crew is friendly and nice.   Every place costs about the same.   The ride is a lot of fun but if you choose to push on to Dillon, it gets harder if you're not used to the elevation.  I had been in Denver for parts of 4 days before we went up to Breck and did the ride on our first full day up there.   The ride down to Frisco was easy peasy.   The section from Frisco along Lake Dillon was challenging but not too bad.   But the last bit over the Dam was tough because of the wind.  Rewarding and worth it but tough.  

The hike from Peak 8 to Peak 7 took less than 2 hours round trip.  It costs $20 per person to ride the Superchair from the Fun park.  Not a ton of money but something to consider.  This is a particularly easy hike as it does a bit of up and down but nothing major.   Single track path but nothing too hairy overall.  

The Hoosier Pass trail took maybe 20-30 minutes to drive to  from Breck.  The hike took more than 2 hours.  You can either take a trail that kind of materializes going up the ridge about 10 minutes after you leave the trail head parking lot.   Take the Forest Service Road and go left at the junction.   About 1/10 of a mile on the right, you'll notice a path leading up to the right.   You can take that or just stay on the road for as long as you like.   That road goes on for several miles but I'm not sure how far.  We did the trail section then came back down the road.  The trail dead ends up on a small peak but there is a cut back down to the road that's kind of hard to see but you'll notice it after about 1.5 miles on the left.   

There's a great hidden waterfall/hike down the valley toward Alma/Fairplay from Hoosier Pass.   Go south and turn right on County Road #4.  The first turn off for CR #4 is right before the road to starts to level off.   You can catch it again farther down but all you end up doing is driving on unpaved, bumpy road for a longer stretch if you go that far.   Follow this (staying right) to get onto the N/NE shore of the Montgomery Reservoir.   If you hike the Hoosier Pass trail above you'll see this off to your left as you go up.   The road dead ends at an old mine.   The reservoir is for Colorado Springs and it flooded the mining town of Montgomery after all the mining played out.  You can walk along a tiered waterfall (and even get in water for a little wading or cooling off in certain places.)   You can also go up past the old mine and hike up to Wheeler Lake.   This is along a jeep trail so be prepared for some road traffic.   Doubt you'd make it all the way to Wheeler as it's a 32 mile round trip unless you planned on having a real hardcore 4x4 vehicle.  But the area around the falls is pretty.   We did the Hoosier Pass loop then drove down to Fairplay and had lunch at the Soup Pot before going back up to the Reservoir.   The South Park Brewery is in the same parking lot area....   I'm not saying....   I'm just saying.    

Loveland Pass is down US 6 from Keystone about 15 minutes (35-40 minutes from Breck).   The hike up the left hand spur is taxing but nothing impossible.   It's an out and back trip with nice views around.   Didn't do the right hand side as those are a lot more up.   

There are other hikes in/around Breck like McCullough Gulch (moderate according to trail guides) and Continental Falls (moderate as well).  If you're all in shape, you could do those.    The Iowa Hill trail just north of downtown takes you around an old mining area.  It's not a tough walk but it does do some up and down.  

Cannot recommend Downstairs at Eric's enough for the kids if they're in the right age range.   I always enjoy taking the kids and playing the games.  Skeeball, the skiing video game, etc.  Hell, they have Galaga, Donkey Kong and Pacman too.  Pizza is good, beer is cold and they love playing the games.   I usually make a little tournament and we spend an hour or two in the arcade.  

 

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One other thing and this is more Denver but over by where the original Denver Airport used to be (Stapleton) is the Stanley Hangar.   This is used to be the maintenance hangar for a company that built ejection seats for military aircraft (among other things).

After the airport moved out to eastern CO, the hangar got converted into mixed use development with shops and restaurants.   check it out.

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If you're headed to Vail, avoid Tivoli Lodge.  I've had better service at La Qunita, and for a place that bills itself as "luxury," it's a bad joke.

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Cannot recommend Downstairs at Eric's enough for the adults if they're in the right age range.   I always enjoy taking the bros and playing the games.  Skeeball, the skiing video game, etc.  Hell, they have Galaga, Donkey Kong and Pacman too.  Pizza is good, beer is cold and they love playing the games.   I usually make a little tournament and we spend an hour or two in the arcade.

FIFY

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We're heading up this weekend for 10 days as long as Colorado doesn't cancel short term rentals.  Staying up on the hill opposite the skiing (Charter Ridge).

Even if all I do is sit on the balcony all day and drink it still beats being in Houston this time of year.   At 7:00 it was 91 with a feels like of 100 in Houston.  It was 6:00 in Breck and felt like 75. 

I can not get there soon enough.

Some one mentioned skipping Vail/Breck and going to Estes Park.  Yes, RMNP area is phenomenal in the summer but there's an inverse price relationship for these locales between winter and summer.  Breck is freaking expensive in the winter but Estes is dirt cheap.  Vice versa in the summer.  Obviously RMNP is partially closed in the winter and you cant drive through to parts of the Park. 

I'd love to spend my summers in Estes but when Breck is cheaper by far, I go there.

 

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If you are coming up, please just hang out at your place and stick to the outdoor activities. Skip eating at restaurants and shopping. That’s shit you can do in Texas.

I’m pretty much resigned to the fact all of the mountain communities are going to get hammered though. We were weathering the storm pretty well, then the summer crowds started showing up and things are spiking.

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11 hours ago, Macanudo said:

We're heading up this weekend for 10 days as long as Colorado doesn't cancel short term rentals.  Staying up on the hill opposite the skiing (Charter Ridge).

Even if all I do is sit on the balcony all day and drink it still beats being in Houston this time of year.   At 7:00 it was 91 with a feels like of 100 in Houston.  It was 6:00 in Breck and felt like 75. 

I can not get there soon enough.

Some one mentioned skipping Vail/Breck and going to Estes Park.  Yes, RMNP area is phenomenal in the summer but there's an inverse price relationship for these locales between winter and summer.  Breck is freaking expensive in the winter but Estes is dirt cheap.  Vice versa in the summer.  Obviously RMNP is partially closed in the winter and you cant drive through to parts of the Park. 

I'd love to spend my summers in Estes but when Breck is cheaper by far, I go there.

 

Same. In Houston. FTS. Think we have settled on Beaver Creek. I was going to drive, but will get a one way ticket and rent a car. Beaver Creek is settled dunno where I will head the following week.

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If you are coming up, please just hang out at your place and stick to the outdoor activities. Skip eating at restaurants and shopping. That’s shit you can do in Texas.
I’m pretty much resigned to the fact all of the mountain communities are going to get hammered though. We were weathering the storm pretty well, then the summer crowds started showing up and things are spiking.


This cannot be emphasized enough. Go hiking, go biking. Get takeout. But please do your part to keep our cases from spiking like Texas is.

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5 hours ago, Chewbacca said:


 

 


This cannot be emphasized enough. Go hiking, go biking. Get takeout. But please do your part to keep our cases from spiking like Texas is.

That's my plan.  I'm gutting my pantry in order to bring as much stuff to make meals and minimize my time at King Soupers in town.  I plan on having as little contact with anyone as possible. 

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