Things to do in Breckenridge, Colorado when you’re not skiing

Breckenridge, is one of the Colorado ski towns with which I am most familiar, and it’s a personal favorite. It is a unique ski town because the ski area and the town blend together making it easy for skiers and non-skiers to enjoy the offerings of downtown Breck.

Breckenridge, Colorado decorated for the holidays.
Downtown Breckenridge, Colorado alight with the glow of the holidays.

Breckenridge Arts

While in town, visit the Breckenridge Arts District (see map of all locations here). Be sure to stop by the Tin Shop at 117 E. Washington Avenue. Here you’ll find an artist in residence. This program brings artists from around the world to ply their trade in Breckenridge for one week to one month.  Last winter, I stopped by and met artist Jonathan Clark of Houston. He made cool art with office supplies.

The Tin Shop guest artist residence and studio in Breckenridge, Colorado.
The Tin Shop guest artist residence and studio in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Jonathan Clark, artist. At the Tin Shop in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Jonathan Clark, artist. At the Tin Shop in Breckenridge, Colorado.

A full calendar of all the artsy things to see and do in Breckenridge can be found at

Breckenridge Eats

We tend to get stuck in restaurant ruts and it’s no different when we travel. Our two favorite dinner places in Breckenridge are Fatty’s Pizzeria and Giampietro Pasta & Pizza. Fatty’s is popular with locals and you’ll be treated like one when you visit, and their pizza is pretty darn awesome.

We’ve been going to Giampietro’s for years before the founding of HeidiTown. Here it’s all about the ambiance. You’ll snuggle up to your neighbors in this small, authentic Italian eatery, but the food is worth being a little cramped. Order whatever they’ve got as a special – you won’t be disappointed.

Breckenridge Drinks

Breckenridge is an idea place for folks who love booze. There are two breweries, Breckenridge Brewery and Broken Compass Brewery. I know the buys at Broken Compass and they are making damn good beer. There’s also Breckenridge Distillery serving up one of my favorite Colorado whiskeys. I recently tasted their smokey chili vodka and it’s delicious.

Beer at Breckenridge Brewery.
Beer at Breckenridge Brewery.

There are lots of great watering holes in Breckenridge, including Fatty’s, but we always end up at the bar at the back of The Motherloaded Tavern with the rest of the fun Breck crazies. The Gold Pan Saloon, a Breckenridge tradition since 1879, is another place where a lot of locals cozy up to the bar. You may even run into Ullr himself here.

Cross-country ski in Breckenridge

While I no longer downhill, I love to cross country ski and my favorite course in Colorado is the Breckenridge Nordic Center. I have fond memories of swishing through the snowy forest here. They have good trails for all levels, so whether you want a leisurely cruise or you want to sweat, this place has got you covered. They also seem to work round the clock to keep the trails well-groomed.

Breckenridge Festivals

One of the reasons that I love Breckenridge so much is that their festival scene is spectacular. There’s always something happening here, whether it’s a beer festival or town party, like Race of the Santas and Ullr Festival, which I’ve covered for the last two years (see pics here). This winter I’ll be covering the International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge January 27 through February 8, so watch HeidiTown’s Facebook page photos.

Heidi & John Forsberg, aka Ullr. Photo by Ryan Schlaefer at Ullr Fest 2014
The Mayor & Ullr at Ullr Festival 2014 in Breckenridge, Colorado.

The best place to keep track of what’s happening in Breckenridge during the winter or summer is

This is part of my series, Things to do at Colorado ski resorts with you’re not skiing. These are not paid advertisements and all opinions are my own.  

Other posts like this one:

Steamboat Springs when you’re not skiing  (posted 12/18/13) *the inspiration for the series*

Things to do in Vail, Colorado when you’re not skiing  (posted Jan. 6, 2015)


  1. Sounds fun to be skiing right now (or not skiing)! Where do reccomend for Breakfast?


    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown! Haven’t seen you around for awhile.

      For years and years I was a die-hard Blue Moose Restaurant fan for breakfast in Breckenridge, but last winter we discovered the Columbine Cafe and it’s our new favorite. You’ll likely have a wait, but it will be worth it. Their corned beef hash breakfast is probably one of my favorite dishes on the face of the planet!

      Blue Moose is still good and I think they have better coffee, but if you go there just remember to bring cash – they are a cash only establishment.


  2. We got married in Breckenridge in December 7 years ago, in a small B&B with just the two of us. It was magic! We did go skiing the next day though. Breckenridge will always hold a special place in our hearts, especially during winter time. 🙂


    1. Hey Birthe,

      Somehow I missed this post!

      Breckenridge weddings are the best. I stood in one once. It’s such a lovely town.

      Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for stopping by HeidiTown!


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