Monday, October 16, 2017

The Mountains Are Calling - Part 1

If you follow me on IG, you might already know that my little family has a slight obsession with Breckenridge, CO.  There's just something about Breck...well, Colorado in general...that keeps calling us back.  When we have the opportunity to get out of town, this is where we most want to travel.  There's definitely something to be said for being in the mountains!  

As for Breckenridge, it's a little bit of everything for us.  It's such a charming little town and so laid back (definitely our kind of vibe!)  Depending on where you stay, everything is either a quick shuttle ride away or in walking distance.  Our favorite little mountain town boasts gorgeous views, amazing hiking trails, our favorite ski spot, and the best food! It's also a really easy, short drive from the Denver airport.  We can make it into town in less than two hours pending no traffic snafus on the way.  It's a straight shot from Denver via I-70, but we prefer heading into town through Fairplay, so we take  Hwy 285 to get there.  

We typically stop at the grocery store in Conifer (King Sooper) and load up (especially during ski season!)  If we have time, we'll grab a bite at Anthony's Pizza & Pasta (in the same strip center as King Sooper).  But BEWARE...the pizzas are HUGE!!!  You'd definitely want to grab it by the slice instead of opting for the whole pie!!!  We learned that the hard...albeit delicious...way :)

Right before getting to this little strip center in Conifer, there's a bed and breakfast that I'm DYING to visit!!!  Arrowhead Manor.   It's just stunning from the roadside...and it's only about a 30 minute drive from Denver.  We've never been there, but every time we pass it up we swear we'll head there soon, you know, in all of our spare time with all of our unlimited funds, hahaha.

There's a little spot along 285 where we like to pull over and get out & walk around.  A river runs along the base of the mountain in this little area and it's so peaceful and serene.  The kids will hop along the rocks in the river and we'll just take in the beauty while we're there.  I don't know why we love this little spot as much as we do, but we do and it's a must stop for us every.single.trip.

Fall 2016

Spring 2017

Right along 285, you'll also hit a pullover for Pike National Forest. Plenty of hiking and gorgeous views.  This is one of those things you'll want to time just right, so you'd definitely want to plan for this.  I would suggest flying into Denver early and heading straight for the pulloff for a nice day hike with plenty of time to spare before heading into Breck before dark.

Now, if you head to Breckenridge in the Summer or Fall and you decide to take 285 to get there, you have the option of pulling off in Como and taking the back way up the Boreas Pass and then down into town.  I say Summer or Fall because I think it's only open from May to October.  We did this once and I'm not 100% sure I'd do it again because the back way up the Boreas Pass scared the crap out of us.

  Como is a historic railroad settlement.  It's a really small little town (blink and you'll miss it kind of small).  It's a cool little place to pull over and walk around...check out some of the historic markers, railroad depot, and whatnot.

Going up the Boreas Pass through Como is white knuckle driving at it's scariest.  INsanely gorgeous, but really scary (for us, anyway).  The driving path is narrow and treacherous.  I'm pretty sure neither Adam nor I could breath for a good 10-20 minutes of our ascent up the Pass.  Bless it.  Once we finally made it to the wider portion of the path, we were in total awe.  Just STUNNING.

If you keep on driving past Como 10 more miles along 285 you'll eventually hit Fairplay.  We LOVE Fairplay!  The Java Moose is a great spot to stop as soon as you get into town.  This darling yellow building greets you as you turn onto Main Street from 285  and it's a great little place to grab a cup of coffee and stretch your legs.  We recommend the latte!  It's delish :)

Fairplay is a charming little town home to the South Park City Museum.  The museum is a 50-year-old historic outdoor area with buildings kept intact from the 1800's and filled with furnishings and artifacts representative of that era.  If you're interested in visiting, make sure you head that way in the Summer.  The museum is only open from May - October (I believe).  

We love walking down Front Street and hitting up some of the little shops (all carrying South Park souvenirs) and ice cream/cookie spots.  Of course, photo ops are a must!  Especially if you're a fan of the cartoon, lol!

When I picked up my family from the airport this past summer, we headed into Breck through Fairplay.  My dad has always loved the show, South Park, so it was a must that we stop here before taking them to the house.  We stopped in at the Silver Scoop Creamery for ice cream/malts and a cookie.  This was the most darling little creamery and everyone seemed to love it.

After leaving Fairplay, you'll drive through a little town called Alma.  Each time we drive through we'll say that we want to stop at the South Park Saloon - the highest saloon in North America. We usually have the boys with us and since we don't make it a habit of taking them into bars, we always pass it up.  When we visited a couple of weekends ago (just the two of us) we stopped in for a visit and were SO pleasantly surprised!  I think this was our favorite stop of the weekend!!! 

Unbeknownst to us, this little gem is kid-friendly.  We told ourselves we were going to stop in for a beer and then head out.  We wanted to say we imbibed at the highest saloon in North America :) We loved it so much that we ended up staying for a couple of hours.  We sat at the bar and enjoyed a local beer, ate deep fried mozzarella, and talked to the friendliest bartender, Mary.  She told us all about the little town of Alma and we asked a million questions about the salooon itself.  We absolutely cannot wait to get back and visit it again.  I HIGHLY recommend stopping in if you're heading into Breck through me!!!  

After driving through Alma, you'll ascend a bit further into the mountains and there will be several places you can pull over to admire the scenery.  This little area is one of our favorites...

Fall 2016

Fall 2017

You can also pull over and check out Hoosier Pass.  It's an easy stop with breathtaking views and gorgeous hiking trails.  This is a great spot for a Continental Divide photo op, too.  
If I'm not mistaken, I think that the Hoosier Pass it the 9th highest mountain pass in Colorado.  Breathtaking is an understatement ;)  This is the last stop we usually make before finally getting into Breckenridge.  

Fall 2016

As you can see, heading into Breck via 285 & Fairplay can take a while if you stop to check out all the sights along the way.  Even though it's less than 2 hours from the Denver airport, it usually takes us much longer to get into town because we love all the little stops along the way.  A couple of weekends ago when we visited, we arrived in Denver around 7:30 a.m. and were on the road by 9.  After all of our little stops...and a flat tire on the way...we finally made it to Breck around 1:30.  My advice would be to start early and give yourself plenty of time to get into town so you can enjoy all the little things along the way.

I'm all about making the most of every trip we take, so in my personal opinion, the more stops the merrier.  Life is short.  Slow down and live it.  See the sights.  Take it all in.  Enjoy every second.  We've adopted this mantra and have some pretty great memories because of it.  I HIGHLY recommend getting into town this way if you're ever heading to Breckenridge.

I have a post all about our Breckenridge favorites (hiking, food, lodging, etc.) all ready to go for tomorrow.  Several of my IG friends have been asking for this one for a while, so I wanted to make sure I posted before time gets away!!  If you're interested in that one, stop by tomorrow to read more about it :) 

 Happy Monday!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! We are planning a trip with the kids next summer!!! Can't wait for the Breckenridge post.