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-   -   Vail or Breckenridge (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/vail-or-breckenridge-1031880/)

Queenikynz Dec 10th, 2014 09:23 AM

Vail or Breckenridge
 
Hi all-

A couple girlfriends and I will be visiting Denver and thought it would be fun to explore Vail or Breckenridge for a long day.We would just be walking around the town, shopping, and eating. No snowboarding/skiing this trip.

Any recommendations of places to try? or Vail over Breckenridge?

Thanks!!!

BigRuss Dec 10th, 2014 09:45 AM

Breckenridge is a lot closer, and if the weather is iffy, that will make a big difference.

Don't do it on a Sunday - all the skiing weekenders jam I-70 going back to Denver.

Tabernash2 Dec 10th, 2014 09:46 AM

You could actually visit both Vail and Breckenridge, if you really wanted to, in a long day.

Vail is more upscale, so shopping and dining is more expensive. But Vail is "Vail", and you might want to see it if you've never been. It has a larger town area to walk around in. And a nice paved path in the trees to walk to Lions Head, along the creek.

Sweet Basil is a favorite for lunch or dinner in Vail. But there are lots of choices.
https://sweetbasilvail.com/

Breckenridge grew from a cute Victorian mining town, so has more history, but it's a smaller town to wander around. Maybe more family-oriented in shopping and dining.

Just my opinion on the two.

You could start with Vail, and stop in Breckenridge on your way back to Denver, if you want to.

Tabernash2 Dec 10th, 2014 09:48 AM

Good point about I-70 East on any Sunday evening. And if weather is bad, Vail Pass can be closed. You could play it by ear. When you get to Breckenridge turn-off, decide then if you want to go further. One a pretty day and dry pavement, I'd go on to Vail.

Gretchen Dec 11th, 2014 03:42 AM

If you want to shop you also might just stop in Frisco--OR do the outlets in Silverthorne.
Could go to Vail early, see the mountain and the ambience. Lots to do all along that corridor.

Bitter Dec 11th, 2014 07:59 AM

I'd recommend Breck, but I'm biased.

My take on Vail is more of a planned community, but very nice. Breck is (or a least was) an authenticate mining town, albeit every other store is a tshirt shop.

And I third the point that you don't want to return to Denver on a sunday.

I do like the outlets in Silverthorne. The Dam Brewery is nearby, and we enjoy it as well.

fmpden Dec 11th, 2014 09:11 AM

What is the timing of your visit? Is it in the next couple of weeks? Since you mentioned skiing, I am assuming it is in the near future.

If it is before the end of Dec you have a couple of other issues. Vail is a solid two and half hour drive from central part of Denver while Breckenridge is closer to 90 minutes. And you do have to climb Vail pass which can be a problem if snowing or recent snow. For for that reason along I would encourage Breckenridge unless there is a pressing desire to see Vail.

With the holiday ski crowd, a bigger issue will be parking. Parking at Vail is limited to a couple of massive and expensive day rate garages. And they can fill up so then it is find what you can. And parking is extremely limited and inconvenient beyond the parking garages.

Breckenridge is only slightly better but it is cheaper. There are some huge surface lots just behind Main street which makes it easy to walk to Main street. And street parking in Breckenridge is easier especially to the east of downtown. Lots of streets. Second if everything is full, there is parking north of town on the old airport property with shuttle service. That will be a pain but at least it is free and signs will direct you there.

A alternative you might concern would be a stop in Georgetown which at the base of the climb to the Eisenhower/Johnson tunnels on I-70. At this time year it is very pretty with Christmas decorations. Take a free tour of the old hotel. This is truly a Victorian mining town that time has ignored. Shopping is not extensive but does have a good ice cream and candy store and sandwich shops.

And if you really want shopping there is a huge discount mall shopping area at Frisco. In my male opinion typical "Factory Discount Mall." Frisco sits at the mouth of ten mile canyon off I-70 on the way to Breckenridge. Breckenridge is the other end of ten mile canyon. Frisco also has decent restaurants.

And to add to the others. You do want to avoid returning to Denver on a Sunday afternoon.


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