Breckenridge with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

by Cathleen Shaffer, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Sep 6th 2010 05:22 PM

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Breckenridge with Teens: A Family Vacation

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No, you don't need to know how to ski to take advantage of all that Breckenridge, Colo. has to offer. Yes, Breckenridge is a major Colorado ski resort in Summit County and ranks third in size when compared to other Colorado ski resorts. But, if skiing is not your thing and off-peak prices are, Breckenridge is a great place to explore with teens, for a perfect family vacation day.


Morning


Breckenridge Underground

It was hot outside but a cool 45 degrees in the Country Boy Mine where we took a guided tour to start off our day in Breckenridge with teens. This 100 year-old mine is 1,000 ft. below ground and it was really fun to see the mining exhibits and listen to stories about what it was like during those peak mining years.

The mine area has an old restored blacksmith shop and you can pan for gold in Eureka Creek also. We all tried our hand at panning and it isn't quite as simple as it looks. None of us struck gold but we did have our picture taken with a burro. Tours are $18.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids.

Find the mine at 0542 French Gulch Road. Call 970-453-4405 for more information.

River Rafting

My teens had been dying to try white water river rafting for years, and I quite frankly, had been avoiding it for just as long. We went on a 1/2 day rafting trip down the Blue River and despite my misgivings and outright fear, it was a fantastically fun trip. The Blue River runs right through Breckenridge and on into Frisco, Colorado. There are quite a few rafting companies based in Breckenridge that go this route.

There are full day trips also. On the day we went in the summer, the rapids were moving fast and high. You get training, gear and helpful information from the river guides. The cost was $50 for adults and $40 for children. Prices vary slightly depending on the rafting company.

Kodi Rafting; 877-747-7238 www.whitewatercolorado.com
The Adventure Company; 800-497-7238 www.theadventurecompany.com

Breckenridge Main Street

Most of the downtown area of Breckenridge is on the register of National Historic places. It's a 19th-century mining town and it is obvious that the town is loved and carefully preserved. You can take a guided tour or just walk it yourself. There are over 200 historic buildings in the area and many of them are small museums, restaurants, bars, stores and galleries. The shops blend well into the Victorian era buildings. Our whole family loves books, so we popped into Hamlet's at 306 S. Main St. which is a bookstore housed in an old Victorian Home. It felt like a bookstore should feel, literary and old.

We walked out of Breckenridge Hat Company (411 S. Main) with some of the funniest hats we've ever seen, we even wore them around town not looking at all like tourists. While you can certainly walk and view the historic town of Breckenridge, a guided tour will fill-you-in on the specifics of each building. The Summit Historical Society gives guided tours in the Summer ($3 per person) and tickets can be purchased at the Breckenridge Resort Chamber Welcome Center, 309 N. Main St.

For more downtown information; visit www.townofbreckenridge.com.


Horseback Riding


I lost the coin toss to do nothing and sit at an outside cafe downtown and people watch. So, we were off to Breckenridge Stables to see if out of their 100 horses they had available to ride, one would be slow and easy for me. There was. They are located on Village Road, (970-453-4438) and offer 90-minute rides for $55. There are some commanding views of the mountains from the vantage point of a horse. They have a breakfast ride at 8AM daily in the Summer. This also includes a breakfast fit for a cowboy/cowgirl. Horseback riding is seasonal and you need reservations. For reservations call 970-453-4438.

Afternoon

Breckenridge Brewery and Pub

We were all so hungry that we could have eaten a buffalo. Instead, the two of us settled for buffalo meatloaf. We also tried their pork spare ribs and sesame ahi tuna. The food was fantastic and all desserts were homemade. The restaurant portion of this place was designed around its brewery, and you can still watch the brewing process. They have many award winning beers, it's a hard choice. Even though this is a pub, you needn't feel uncomfortable bringing teens in. It is such a local hang-out that you see plenty of families eating dinner here. Breckenridge Brewery and Pub is open daily from 11AM to 10PM; the bar is open later. The pub is located at 600 S. Main in downtown Breckenridge.

Evening

Main Street Station

We decided that since we loved Breckenridge's quaint downtown and we were already downtown eating at the pub, we would find a place to spend the night. We decided on Main Street Station. The location was perfect (505 S. Main St.) right downtown, and the summer prices ($179-$299) for one and two bedroom condos are bearable. The units are full condos complete with kitchens and gas fireplaces. The feel is luxury ski lodge.

There is an outside Olympic size swimming pool, two restaurants, lounge, fitness center, outdoor hot tubs, wi-fi, a shopping arcade and a whole lot more. My plan was for the kids to go swimming and the parents to check out one of the 7 hot tubs. It worked like a charm!

For reservations call 800-506-7621.

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