Off the Mountain: 7 Non-Ski Activities in Breckenridge

 

I love skiing and snowshoeing but there’s something so great about spending a day in town during a ski vacation. Whether it’s bad weather or sore muscles that keep you in town, here are my top 7 non-ski activities in Breckenridge, Colorado:

Stretch and get zen at 9600ft

What a view during class, right? Pinch me. 

After our road trip to Breckenridge from San Diego, my muscles were craving yoga. I tried in incorporate it every other day and went solo, brought girlfriends and even my husband joined.  Meta Yoga had a great selection of classes and teachers and I was lucky to bounce between advanced and more meditative classes.  118 S Ridge St #5, Breckenridge, CO 80424

Caffeinate with a handcrafted latte

Insider Tip: order the dirty chai, my favorite!

Each morning before hopping on the gondola or en route to our next adventure, we stopped by Kavabreck for delicious lattes and breakfast wraps.  The syrups are all made in house and if you want to splurge, their bag of donuts is to die for.

The staff are also complete sweethearts, making it such an inviting stop.  Kavabreck, 209 N. Main St. Breckenridge, CO 80424 

 Go shopping!

Breckenridge’s Main Street by Night

Main Street has a slew of boutiques and souvenir shops.

Narrow down the best of the best by checking out my top 5 list here for our favorite gear store, cute clothing boutiques, a great photography studio and more.

Order off the secret menu… Shhhh!

Thanks to some inside information from the staff at Carvers, we became addicted to the $ Dollar Burger $ at The Canteen Taphouse and Tavern.  This off the menu burger was my husband’s favorite and honestly, who doesn’t love feeling like an insider? They also have great plates to share and bowls for gluten free options if anyone in your party isn’t craving the beef.  The Canteen Taphouse and Tavern, 208 N Main St, Breckenridge, CO 80424

Take a Hike (or Walk)  

With the dog in tow, my girlfriends and I loved catching up while trotting down the Blue River Bikeway. Another friend braved the snowy steps of the Carter Park path to catch some beautiful view of the mountain. Both options are accessible from downtown, so no worries about using the car! More info and trail leads can be found on Best of Breck’s These Winter Boots were made for Hiking.

Beat your Friends at Jenga (and  Mancala and Apples to Apples)

We loved the craft cocktails and plentiful games at Après Handcrafted Libations. They have a lengthly list of cocktails, hot toddies and 30+ beers on tap.  Our favorites were the walnut old fashion and the teddy grahams toddy.  Après’ long high top tables let us take over small sections and have marathon games of Apples to Apples and Jenga.  Lastly, they also have fun events, so check their website to see if one of them overlaps with your trip to Breck.  Après Handcrafted Libations, 130 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO, 80424

Indulge in a Spa Day

Long ski days and cramping from high altitude make a spa day a must do in Breckenridge.  There are several options to choose from located downtown, and the Spa at Breckenridge also has a lovely facility with day pass access to their pool and outdoor hot tub.  I loved my deep tissue massage and can’t wait to try more treatments next visit.

Hope these top 7 non-ski activities fill your time with relaxation and everyday adventures.  Comment below with your favorite non-ski activities at Breck.

 

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Travel Guide: Winter in Breckenridge

Breckenridge is the perfect combination of charming town and epic skiing and I really can’t recommend it more!

Welcome to Breckenridge!

My husband, dog and I piled all our gear in the truck and headed to Colorado from San Diego. It was a long drive, but completely worth it. I also loved seeing the landscape change and the snow on the ground increase as we drove each mile.

We were missing our friends from back east so we rented a big house and had guests come in and out, keeping us laughing and exploring nonstop. Our house was close to the gondola that was walkable to bites, bars and boutiques which satisfied everyone who stayed with us.

Can you find me skiing?

The skiing and town of Breckenridge was heaps of fun, but another perk of making your home base there is that it is within quick driving distance of a bunch of other mountains including Vail and Keystone. This makes adventure always on the horizon and no one gets cabin fever.

Below are my highlights, I hope they lead you to fun times at Breck:

NOT TO MISS

The skiing and snowboarding can’t be beat. There are runs for every ski level and classes for newbies and advanced alike. Our group was mixed levels, so we started together in the morning and then split up after our mid-mountain chili break.

Bluebird day for my first Colorado Black Diamond

Après ski is often my favorite part of a ski trip, where the whole crew unwinds and shares stories from their days. Whatever you’re indulging in — beer, hot toddies or hot cocoa — be sure to partake in the fun!

There are also plenty of activities for times when you aren’t on the mountain. Check out my Top 7 Non-Ski Activities here.

SAVOR

Breckenridge does not disappoint in the restaurant and bar department. We ate through the whole town and these were our top picks:

LODGING

We rented a big house in Breckenridge complete with rooms to spare, a fireplace and hot tub — the perfect retreat. It was made all the better by the location, just two blocks from the gondola and one street over from main. Using VRBO we were able to secure a deal and hope to return to this same house next year.

Insider tip: keep location and activities in mind when booking a place in Breckenridge. Our location allowed guests to ski or play in town without having to worry about cars and transportation in the snow.

All lit up! Our pup sure loved the snow

SHOPPING

Like all great ski towns, Breckenridge has no shortage of stores specializing in souvenirs, ski gear and leather goods.  Check out my top 5 stores here.

MORE HOT SPOTS / INSIDER TIPS

  • Book out activities and restaurants around Christmas and New Years well in advance as things book up.
  • Look into an Epic Pass versus individual ski days if you plan to stay 3 days or more.
  • If you have non-skiers in your group, have them take the gondola one day to meet you for lunch in the lodge. It will include them more and
  • Half day classes are perfect for those skiers that need to brush up on skills. Be sure to encourage people in your group so they get the most out of the trip!
  • Every January / February there is a giant snow sculpture competition located at Riverwalk Center at 150 West Adams Avenue, Breckenridge, CO 80424.
  • Check out dogsledding and snowshoeing for more mountain fun. Our favorite ski shop, Carvers also rents snowshoeing equipment.

Comment below with your Breckenridge favorite memories and not to miss adventures!

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Top 5 Places to Shop in Breckenridge

Find this and more of Gary Soles’ work in his studio on Main Street.

 

Like all great ski towns, Breckenridge has no shortage of stores specializing in souvenirs, ski gear and leather goods.  Here are my top 5 favorite shops on Main Street in Breckenridge. Full disclosure that I frequented them far too often during our two weeks in Breck. 😉

Carvers Ski Board and Sports

203 N Main St, Breckenridge, CO

Service, service, service. The customer service and prime location close to the gondola make Carvers Ski Board and Sports our prime sports gear pick for Breckenridge. Carvers has been family owned since 1995, so they know this mountain and their gear.  During our stay I tried new skis out (and purchased them!) and treated my husband to some new Burton clothes.

Be sure to check out Carvers’ ski and snowboard rental program which easily spells out everything you need based on your skill level.  You can also rent specific items if you forgot a key piece of gear or one of your bags was delayed — unfortunately this happened to one of our guests!

Ruby Jane

232 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO

I brought all the ladies on the trip here for impulse purchases on sweaters and the cutest crystal ornaments that now adorn my tree. They have a sister store, Valley girl, where I picked up two birthday presents!

 Patagonia at Breckenridge

133 S. Main Street, Breckenridge, CO

I loved this boutique which so many fleeces and vests to outfit our group in a rainbow of colors.  I purchased this light purple Patagonia Women’s Re-Tool Snap-T®  Fleece Pullover and the rest of the trip it was hard to get me out of it.

The Breckenridge Photo Shop

300 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO

Take a peak at Breckenridge through the seasons at Gary Soles’ shop on Main Street. This shop is open late so it makes it fun to stop by after a cocktail and maybe you’ll even be able to take home. There’s also a charming selection of historical ski pictures which make me giggle and also feel so nostalgic. (The top picture on this page is one of Gary Soles’ as well!)

 Olive Fusion

318 S Main St, Breckenridge, CO

Stop in this olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting room on Main Street for samples, and I guarantee you’ll walk away with a bottle or two. Our favorite was the black cherry balsamic and it certainly added a little zing to our aprés ski snack plates.   They also have recipe kits which make cabin cooking a breeze.

 

Hope you love these boutiques as much as I did! Let me know if you have any other favorites for winter time shopping!

 

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Ugly Sweater Boating & Santa Loves Travel Accessories

Happy Holidays! I wanted to share a little fun happening around here…

Ugly Sweater Boat Captain reporting for duty

My family and I kicked off our annual Christmas festivities by adding in an ugly sweater boating trip around the San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge. We piled on our santa hats, festive attire and antler ears to take in the sights. It was a great way for out of towners to experience the city plus a fun way to add everyday adventures into a family visit.

Taking in the San Diego skyline from the harbor

Santa also loves travel and active-life accessories, and I was lucky enough to receive presents to increase my adventure presence. 😉

Travel essentials from Santa

I’m especially pumped about my new Canon Digital SLR and can’t wait to bring it on all my adventures in 2017.

What gifts did you most love to give or receive? Hope you and yours celebrated with love, laughter and champagne.

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Travel Guide: Big Sur Getaway

Travel is my ultimate adventure, keeping my adrenaline pumping and eyes wide open trying to soak in as much as possible.  Last month I visited my 34th country and am dreaming about the day I move from 6 to 7 continents visited.

One of my favorite recent getaways has been Big Sur — nothing quite compares to the beauty of this place!  We had the most incredible visit, taking in this California escape along Route 1. Our days were filled with hiking and relaxing at the pool, and our nights with cocktails and star gazing. Below are some of my favorite memories and travel tips for your next adventure.

NOT TO MISS

McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Seemingly endless coastline of cliffs at Big Sur

Spectacular views from McWay Falls Trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  This is the quintessential viewpoint for Big Sur and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The trails were very easily marked and you can’t miss the entrance due to the small crowds and parked cars. If you’re lucky there will even be some seals splashing around below.

VIEW FROM ABOVE

Besides our hiking views, we couldn’t get enough of the infinity pool at the Post Ranch Inn, where the pool met the Pacific in the most relaxing atmosphere.

Infinity pool relaxation at the Post Ranch Inn

GET ACTIVE

There are so many trails to explore when visiting Big Sur. Our two favorites were the McWay Falls and Ewoldsen Trail.  Ewoldsen Trail was a great recommendation from a friend because we pretty much had the trail to ourselves and there were heaps of great views of the mountains and ocean. Insider tip: If you come to a fork in the trail with one path leading to your right (and seemingly straight up) – definitely follow it – as incredible views away just 200 yards up.

Looking through the tree tops on Ewoldsen Trail in Big Sur
Catching those Pacific blues on the Ewoldsen Trail

Don’t forget to stretch those sore muscles from hiking with a yoga class in a yurt. This was a bucket list item for me, and a great way to start the day.

SAVOR

  • Coffee at Big Sur Bakery with delicious cinnamon buns.
  • Grab a glass of wine with lunch at the Nepenthe for the best view in town.
  • If you don’t stay at the Post Ranch Inn, consider joining for breakfast or a sunset dinner, as the edge of the restaurant is all windows and gives the appearance of floating over the ocean.

LODGING

Post-Ranch Inn at Big Sur

We couldn’t recommend the Post Ranch Inn more! Every detail was considered and it was truly a memorable splurge. The outdoor tub was one of my favorite parts of our room where you could relax and look at all the stars.  The Post Ranch Inn books up quickly and several other places in town come highly recommended by my friends including: Ventana for luxury, Adobe Motor Lodge at Glen Oaks Big Sur where you can rent your own mini cabin and Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn for the romantics.

OTHER HOT SPOTS

If you have extra time be sure to indulge in a spa treatment, check out the Bixby Bridge and visit the Esalen Hot Springs.

MORE INSPIRATION

Comment below with your Big Sur favorite memories and not to miss adventures!

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Cedar Creek Falls to Devil’s Punchbowl

We all hike for something, be it for strength building, gorgeous viewpoints, to clear our minds or burn calories. But what about hiking for floaties? That’s right, FLOATIES!

Devils Punchbowl at Cedar Creek Falls in Ramona, California

One of my favorite hikes of the year has been Cedar Creek Falls Trail to Devil’s Punchbowl. Located in Ramona, California, this 5.2 mile out and back trail has a fantastic midpoint complete with 75 foot cliffs and an active waterfall.

My friend and I quickly made our way down to the waterfall and were so excited for shade and the cool water.  Be sure to go in the springtime when water is flowing and plentiful and bring (or wear) your bikini. Other hikers were so sad not to partake in the fun!

Ta-da! 5.2 mile reward

After our relaxation in the falls we headed back up to our cars. The return is straight up, so be sure to keep extra water on hand and take breaks as needed. Ramona is about 40 miles from San Diego and the temperature reflects this more dessert-like climate. That’s when we spotted the rattlesnake.  A good reminder to keep your wits about you and stay on the path — they’re there for a reason.

It was a such a fun adventure and a wonderful day exploring a new trail. Check out my quick and dirty review below:


CEDAR CREEK FALLS TO DEVIL’S PUNCHBOWL

Best Time of Year To Go: Springtime when there’s plenty of water in the basin and it’s not too hot

Hiking Distance: 5.2 miles out and back

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Insider tips:

  • 75 Permits are allotted per a day and easily acquired online for $6 here.
  • Be sure to bring or wear your bikini and an extra quick dry towel.
  • If you bring your dog in the summer you will be turned away — it’s just too hot for the pooches.
  • Be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen as the hike down and back from the Falls is shade-free.
  • Watch out for rattlesnakes along the path. We spotted one!

Rating: Loved it! (4.5/5 stars)

Maps & additional reviews: All Trails, Modern Hiker, San Diego Magazine


Let’s connect…What was your experience like at Devil’s Punchbowl? Any waterfall hikes in your town I should add to my wish list?

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Double Peak Trail in San Marcos

Hiking for me has become addictive! I love being outside, pushing my legs and lungs to my max and of course catching epic viewpoints. That last part isn’t surprising to anyone who knows me and my love for rooftop bars and city views.

Hiking is also a great way to add in everyday adventures into your life, since each trail is a new challenge and pushes you out of your bubble and everyday routines. This year I’ve been working hard to complete the 2016 52 Hike Challenge where I will complete 52 hikes in 52 weeks. I’m well on my way and just recently added this hike to my list.

Double Peak Trail is a 4.1 mile loop located in San Marcos, California.

Sitting pretty at the top of Double Peak Trail in San Marcos, California
Discovery Lake at the Trailhead

The trailhead starts at Discovery Lake and winds up through a neighborhood until you start gaining elevation. Parts can be loose and gravely and not well marked, but all that is worth it for the 360 views from the top where you can see mountains in the distance (pick your next hike out from the skyline!), the Pacific Ocean and great North and East County San Diego views.

I was so happy about finding this new spot to add to my local repertoire and I rewarded myself afterwards with some delicious green tea boba!

Check out my quick and dirty review of the hike below:


DOUBLE PEAK TRAIL

Best Time of Year To Go: Accessible all year round

Hiking Distance: 4.1 mile loop

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Insider tips:

  • Bring lots of water because there is minimal shade until the top at Double Peak Park.
  • There’s a bathroom at the top, which is very convenient!
  • If you want to meet a friend they can drive to the top and for a picnic lunch on the benches.

Rating: Great hike (4/5 stars)

Maps & additional reviews: All Trails Map, Modern Hiker Review, San Marcos


Let’s connect…What was your experience like at Double Peak Trail? Any other favorite viewpoints in Southern California that I should add to my wish list?

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Make Adventure a Lifestyle

Welcome to Adventure Appeal!

I have a crazy passion for adventure — whether that’s traveling the globe, hiking new trails or experiencing small adventures in everyday life — and I want to share it with you.

The travel bug hit me early as an exchange student in high school and I have been to six continents, am on my way to completing the 52 Hike Challenge for 2016 and absolutely love trying new things. Adventures are the spice of life and by adding them in big and small ways they keep me active and with a fresh perspective.

Follow all my adventures and join the community of living life to the fullest by making everyday an adventure!  @adventureappeal #adventureappeal.

Happy adventuring! ❤️

 

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