History, Gastronomy and the Great Outdoors – Breckenridge Colorado:
Until last year, like many Brits, the focus of my visits to the USA had been New York. For the most part, those people I know from the UK who travel to the States tend to visit New York, Florida or if they are a little more adventurous perhaps San Francisco, Washington or Las Vegas. My trip last year to the States took me to South Carolina and to Kentucky – two States I’d never have considered without encouragement. I was smitten – outside of New York there’s a lot more to see – and now I want to visit and discover more.
Colorado is right up there – it’s the Goldrush State and in the USA of the Goldrush era, Breckenridge was right at the heart of the action. About 31,000 kg of gold were extracted from the mountains surrounding the town when the gold mines and gold dredging operations were in full swing – and Breckenridge was a thriving centre for prospectors from around the world. The heritage of the Goldrush is a town with great food, locally brewed beer and local wines.
So, with some kind of romantic idealism, what I want to do is Mine for Gold. If I get to visit Breckenridge I’ll be heading over to Eureka Creek, trying my luck in the same place where the largest gold mass ever found in Colorado, Tom’s Baby, was discovered. You don’t have to be a full-time prospector to join in the fun, the Creek is managed by Country Boy Mine; if you bore of searching for gold, you can go on a mine tour or just get to know the burros a bit better.
If your luck isn’t in, then there’s plenty more to do. Breckenridge is surrounded by mountains with more than gold – there’s a wealth of wildlife – flora and fauna – and it’s a great place to explore the great outdoors. There are even hikes you can start from the town itself – the burro trail, Carter park and the sawmill trail are all routes you can take starting in Breckenridge itself. Great for people who prefer not to drive when they travel overseas. Within minutes, you’ll be out in the countryside. For those looking for something a little more hardcore, there are plenty of mountains to climb! Quandry Peak is a six-mile trail that will climb over 3,000 feet and take you between three and nine hours to complete.
Want to try your luck at whitewater rafting – just like you saw in those cowboy and Indian films? There are more than five rivers running through or really close to Breckenridge and you can try everything from an easy float trip or paddleboarding through to a full on white water experience through. Or for an altogether gentler experience, there’s sailing, kayaking or fishing trips on Lake Dillon. And, if you just want to be on the river – why not try The Dredge, a restaurant on a stationary riverboat.
In fact, you’ll find a wide variety of options for eating and drinking in Breckenridge – a town known for gastronomy. You can find a lot more about the food and drink offerings of the town on the Go Breck website here. I know I’d be heading for Breckenridge Brewery and I’m sure I’d find myself indulging in a crepe or two at Crepes a la Carte, Breckenridge’s renowned crepe cart. I’d also head off to D’Vine Wine in the heart of Breckenridge for a wine tasting and tour.
But for me, the main draw of Breckenridge has to be the heritage of the town, from the Gold Rush days. I’d be booking myself in for a walking tour of the town, though I’m not sure if I’d go for the ghost tour option. And, I’d love to visit some of the historic houses and museums. I love the sound of the ‘Red White and Blue Fire museum which has on display a restored hose cart, an original human-powered ladder cart and more – all from the Breckenridge fire department founded in 1880. And, I’d be heading to William H. Briggle House, to see the home of the town’s mayor in the early 1900s, now restored to its original Victorian style and giving a glimpse into the life of a wealthy family in Breckenridge in the Victorian era.
I was invited to write about why I’d like to visit Breckenridge as a sponsored post by the Breckenridge Tourist Board. All views and opinions are editorially given.
First image – Bob Winsett
Second Image – Carl Scofield
Third image – Liam Doran
Fourth image – Adventure Company
Fifth image – Jessie Unruh
Sixth image – Breckenridge Tourist Board
Seventh image – Bob Winsett