Happy Sunday loves!
I am finally sitting down today (currently sitting in the middle of nowhere while B is racing his dirt bike so no distractions) to share how amazing our trip to Colorado was! I am also spilling all of the details for any upcoming trips you might have to Breckenridge or Vail. Both places were absolutely breathtaking but a little different so I am very happy we spent time in both to compare and contrast. If you are able to book the trip and see both, I highly recommend it as they are only about 45 mins – 1 hour apart!
Forewarning: this post might be a bit long but I want to jam pack it with as much information as possible for you girls and share any tips that were sent to me from some of you! I’m including where we stayed in both places, where we rented gear, skiing tips, restaurants, what I packed, things I wish I knew before we went etc. To keep things organized I am going to break the post into two parts – first Breckenridge then Vail with what I packed at the bottom of the post.
To start off – we flew into the Denver Airport and rented a car to drive to Breckenridge. We stayed in Breck for the first 3 nights before we drove to Vail for the last 2 nights. First thing to share – I don’t think it is 100% necessary to rent a car as there are plenty of airport shuttles that can take you to either place. We didn’t know that prior and ended up paying for the car only to drive to and from the airport in it. Both places we stayed in Breck and Vail were also walking distance to everything.
Breckenridge was the cutest, coziest town ever! I love this one for family trips and can absolutely see B and I going back yearly to ski/snowboard. It is worth noting that we decided to book the trip very last minute and during the busiest week EVER in Breck (the week between Christmas and NYE) so it was very, very, very packed. Absolutely plan ahead no matter what time of year you go and book dinner reservations for the restaurants you want to get in to. This is my #1 tip for Breck! Plan everything ahead!
With out last minute planning the only ski in/out hotel available was Beaver Run Resort so that is where we stayed and let me say – we lucked out! The resort was everything we needed! It is located right on a ski hill with rentals, lifts, ski shops, food, restaurants, walking distance to town, pools, hot tubs, studio style rooms + suites, a game room and more. The resort is huge but spaced out and very quiet + comfortable. B and I rented a studio style room and had one of the best views of the mountains, it was perfect!
This trip was my very first time skiing so I loved the ease the resort gave us. We were able to rent my skis, poles, helmet and boots all at the hotel + Brysons snowboard and helmet. They have literally everything you need right there to go up the mountain and the convenience is amazing. Another tip is to do your rentals the day before you want to go out or very early in the morning as they do get busy quick.
Ski in/out at Beaver Run literally means the lifts and mountains are right outside the doors which was awesome. B and I skied/snowboarded both days we were in Breck and it was amazing! They have two bunny hills (which we took great advantage of) and tons of lifts for more advanced, expert skiers. No matter what level you are with skiing or snow boarding Breck is a great place to do either and the mountain at Beaver Run is highly recommended!
For food – this is the only area we struggled with in Breck as it was SO BUSY we really couldn’t get in to the places that were recommended to us as waits were upwards of 3 hours. Like I said before absolutely plan your dinners ahead and call for reservations. We ate at the hotel a lot – pizza, sandwiches, ect at the deli but a few places we did get into that I can recommend is #1 Mi Casa Mexican food. We waited about 45 minutes to get in but let me tell you it was worth it. B and I LOVE Mexican food and this one did not disappoint. It was about a 8 minute walk from Beaver Run right downtown and DELISH!
The second place worth noting is the Crêpes. Oh my goodness these came highly, highly recommend from you guys and I get why. Let me share what we learned tho – there is the Crêpe a La Cart downtown off the Main Street which is the original spot I believe to get these delish crêpes but we ended up waiting outside in the freezing cold for over an hour for these things. Worth it? YES but uncomfortable and frozen? Double yes. Little did we know there is another location which is a full sit down restaurant with a shorter wait a few blocks away known as the Crêpe Kitchen. Go to that one! Don’t wait outside and freeze like we did but absolutely add these crêpes to your must do/eat in Breck. We went with a dark chocolate one and an egg, bacon and cheese one. The perfect combo of one salty, one sweet!
As far as coffee – we never really found a coffee spot we loved in Breck and ended up having Starbucks 1-2 mornings. There are a few local spots we didn’t get to try but check out Yelp for those or try the ones recommended by you guys below. We did find a really great local grocery store (next to the post office downtown) where we stocked up on things like water, granola bars, fruit, green juice and oxygen tanks the first night. The altitude made it really hard for me to breath which did cause a bit of anxiety and a hard time sleeping for me so the oxygen tanks were 100000% a must for me and helped me feel better. You can find these at the grocery stores or really any store/ski shop.
Here’s a few more recommendations from you guys for Breck:
- Snow boots are a must
- 4 wheel drive is a must if renting a car
- Downstairs at Erics – food and games
- The Crown Coffee
- Snowmobiling, dog sledding or tubbing if you don’t ski/snowboard
- Dillion ice castles – outside of Breck but not far
- Good gloves! Invest!
- Breckenridge Brewery
- The Motherloaded Tavern
- Sauce on Maggie
- Luigi’s Pizza
- Kenosha Steakhouse
- Blue Stag Saloon
- Ruby Jane and Beloved boutiques
Vail was like out of a Hallmark Christmas movie – the most beautiful place I have ever been! Not that Breckenridge wasn’t beautiful but Vail was more of a small village feel and just so so serene! Situated right around another mountain and lined with decorated streets, to say it was picturesque is an understatement. We also lucked out being in Colorado December 31st – January 4th still getting to take advantage of the Christmas decor.
As we were only in Vail for 2 nights we didn’t plan to ski + the mountains seemed a bit more advanced than Breck. For a family trip I would personally recommend Breck as it seemed more family friendly for the mountains but honestly you can’t go wrong with either option!
We also lucked out and we were able to book the Four Seasons Vail which was an all around amazing experience. Everything from the hotel, the service, the room, the food – everything was exceptional. This was first experience with a Four Seasons Hotel and highly, highly recommend this one. The hotel bar also came highly recommended from you guys as well as the setting is breathtaking with the mountain views. If you stay here don’t miss the hot chocolate (best I’ve ever had) and s’mores at the pool every day.
Our hotel room was one of the standard rooms with a mountain/pool view. The room came with a fireplace which was so dreamy, a small patio and a decent size bath + walk in closet. It was everything we needed and more. Also great to note both hotel rooms (Beaver Run and Four Seasons) came with a humidifier which I cannot stress enough how much that helped my nose from being dry + my breathing! Use those when you see them for any trip you take with high altitudes!
The day we got to Vail we had the prettiest snowfall as we walked to lunch. It truly felt like we were walking in a snow globe or again a Hallmark movie. So beyond beautiful! We ate at Vendetta’s Restaurant for lunch which you girls recommended for Pizza but I opted for fish and it was delish. Brysons brother had the pizza and said it was good! Getting into restaurants was a lot easier in Vail vs Breck as it didn’t seem as busy in Vail.
A few other places we ate at in Vail and loved were Almresi which was a German resturant and AMAZING. Probably my favorite meal we had the entire trip. I opted for the potato soup which was delish but we did a ton of appetizers like the pretzel and the fondue. Highly recommend this one if you’re in Vail + the space is the CUTEST! Like an Anthropologie store you can eat amazing food at.
The second place we ate at and loved was the restaurant in the Four Seasons called Flame. This one is a great option for a nice dinner – steaks, seafood, etc. Every single one of us got the Cacio e Pepe as it was a special and if you’ve been following me for a while you know that dish is my love language. If you go and it is still on the menu get it! They make it table side and it is beyond!
For my coffee lovers – DO NOT MISS Yeti’s Grind. This is hands down the best coffee I have ever had and I still dream of having another hazelnut oat milk latte. SO SO SO GOOD! They also had really good breakfast burritos, muffins and cute t-shirts. A Vail MUST!
Shop the Vail Village if you have time and some $$ to spend – there are SO MANY cute stores and boutiques. I picked up a few novelty sweatshirts/shirts at the Vail stores + we loved the candy store and the pet store. Aside from good eats and good shopping we did a lot of relaxing in Vail and enjoyed the sights. We absolutely want to go back and possibly ski the Vail Mountain next time!
Here’s a few more recommendations from you guys for Vail:
- Snow boots are a must
- 4 wheel drive is a must if renting a car
- Sebastian Hotel
- Mountain Standard – highly recommended
- Sweet Basil
- Big Bear Bistro
- Remedy Bar
- Westside Cafe
- The Ritz Carlton
- Bar inside The Four Seasons
What I Packed
Packing for me was pretty easy especially since we were coming off a trip to Michigan for Christmas with my family – it was essentially washing + repacking all my warm clothes! Tons of you recommended to pack warm so I did that! I brought a few heavy layering sweaters, jeans, Uggs, snow boots, OTK boots, mittens and most importantly undershirts + long underwear. These were KEY for skiing and even just everyday wear. We picked up some random ones from Dick’s before we left but I’m linking a few others from ASOS where I got the rest of my gear.
As far as ski gear goes if you plan to go on the mountain – I brought 2 full sets (jacket and snow pants) as we planned to ski 1-2 days. Gauge whatever you need depending on how many days you plan to ski/board. Keep in mind both spots Breck and Vail have tons of ski shops with adorable gear too! Next time I go I will pack 1 less set and plan to get a new one as something fun to do! Vail had AMAZING ski sets!
Heres my must haves for either spot to pack – gloves, hats, long socks, jeans, warm leggings, snow pants (no matter if you’re skiing or not it gets so cold we wore them to dinner one night), sweaters, long underwear (multiple sets you will wear them daily), warm pjs, fuzzy socks, waterproof boots, Ugg boots or something similar to throw on, slippers + the warmest jacket you own! Basically anything and everything warm that you own.
Ahh I hope this extremely long blog post is helpful for anyone who is planning a trip to either Breckenridge or Vail. We truly loved our trip to both places and can see going yearly to ski and make more memories. If I left anything out of this post and you have questions please email me – [email protected] and I am happy to help! Thanks for stopping by and reading this far and if you’re getting ready to go to CO – safe travels and have so much fun!