An Aussie’s guide to Breckenridge
After spending the winter in Breckenridge for the last 6 years, I’ve discovered that it has far more to offer than just skiing and snowboarding. Australian cafe culture and our penchant for boutique shopping has made many of us a tad picky. This is not a problem if you’re visiting Breck. There are little gems to be found all over the place! Here’s a few hints to make sure you get to all the goods, even if you’re only in town for a short while.
Australians love their coffee and have become a nation of coffee snobs. I am constantly asked by my Australian friends how I survive in the US for so long without a good latte. My reply: Cuppa Joe’s. Owner and head barrister, Jo, never burns an espresso shot, froths the milk silky smooth and best of all — knows the difference between a latte and a flat white.
A big, hearty breakfast is key before an active day in the snow. Breckenridge has a multitude of early morning eateries, my favorite of them being Clint’s Bakery. In Australia, good bagels are hard to come by, which is why when I come to the U.S. they become a staple in my diet. I’ve become a little picky when it comes to this boiled American delicacy, which means you must trust me when I say that Clint’s does the best breakfast bagel in town.
Best Terrain for an Aussie
Born in the scorching out-back and raised to protect ourselves against flesh eating crocs and venom spitting snakes, us Aussies pride ourselves on being pretty tough…. right? Well what better place to test your caliber than by riding up and then schushing down the highest chair-lift in North America. The Imperial Chair will take you up to a dizzying height of 12,840 ft, from where you can drop right underneath into one of the funnest bowls in Summit County. If this is still too tame for your liking, you can further test your valor by traversing through the side country access gate to runs such as Whale’s Tail, Vertigo and Y-Chute. A fun challenge is to try to make it all the way down from the top of Imperial Chair to the bottom of Peak 8 in one run.
By the end of a high charged day of riding, I often remember that I haven’t had a substantial meal. It’s too late for lunch, but too early for dinner. What to do? Apres! The T-Bar on Peak 8 offers happy hour specials on wings, nachos and beer, which will hit the spot and tide you over until your next meal.
Even if you’ve had a large breakfast, a complimentary muesli bar (or four), a hot chocolate and cookie, plus an apres ski snack and beer, you’re still going to be starving for dinner. Skiing in the cold at high altitude burns a ton of energy and is a good excuse to eat a lot. If you’re looking for a casual, fun vibe, head to Angel’s Hollow. With biker gang memorabilia decorating the walls and some eccentric type patrons at the bar, this place has character to boot, but is not for the up-tight or faint-hearted, i.e. it’s perfect for a party of Australians! Make sure you try their signature margarita and the coconut ahi tuna.
Other must go-to spots in town
- Breck Sports: Great for rentals and ski gear.
- Mary’s Mountain Cookies: YUM!
- Slopestyle: My preferred shop for skis, boots, outerwear and accessories. Also a good place to mount bindings and have skis repaired.
- Meta Yoga on Ridge street: stretch out to recover from a big day riding
- The Rec Center: Breck has one of the best recreation centers I’ve ever been to. Equip with climbing walls, indoor tennis, squash, basketball, a lap pool and waterslide. It’s also a prime spot to meet attractive riding partners for the next day.
–– Anna Segal is on the Breck Pro Team and originally from Melbourne, Australia.