BEAT THE HEAT: BRECK’S SUMMER HOT SPOTS

As the rest of the country swelters in the summertime scorch, folks in the High Country are comfortably basking in Breck’s inviting warm rays and cool mountain breezes while enjoying activities on the slopes… or, while relaxing on a deck soaking in the views of the slopes…. with a refreshing mixy in hand. Why do these ten short weeks cause Breckenridge-lovers to fall even harder for these perfect peaks? Mother Nature serves up summer in Summit on a silver platter of ideal weather for all who enjoy having fun in the sun (which means there’s no need to roast in unbearable heat or lock yourself away in an air-conditioned basement). Because you guys rock, the BOB staff scrupulously scoured local watering holes and lapped up countless cocktails in the name of research, enabling us to confidently bring you the best of Breck’s summertime bevvys. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it, and we would never let you down.

  1. MODIS: Known for being one of the swankier places on Main Street, Modis has one of our favorite roof decks in town. Lounge on one of their comfy couches while you take in the uninhibited views of the mountains. We give their happy hour an A+!
    • Staff Favorites: Butcher Block appetizer and a French 75 cocktail.
  2. SOUTHRIDGE SEAFOOD: Now located in La Cima mall, Southridge is still serving up Breck’s finest seafood, but now boasts one of Breck’s best decks for dining (and drinking). With the only raw bar in Summit County and some of the best happy hour deals, you will want to make sure to stop in. 
    • Staff Favorites: P.E.I. Mussels (their signature dish) and a Watermelon Marg (or three).
  3. BURKE & RILEY’S: Enjoy traditional Irish fare, generously made libations and a second story deck in the heart of town. Burk’s is open late, making it a prime spot for nighttime munchies. This restaurant serves some authentic Irish foods like fish and chips as well as Shepard pie. They hae a large patio with some of the most amazing views of Breckenridge as well. If you’re looking for a great place to eat and mountains scenery, this place is the place to go! 
    • Staff Favorites: Irish Stew entrée and a traditional Moscow Mule.
  4. NAPPER TANDY’S: Warm up by the fireplace, play some pool, get a game of darts going or try to beat our high scores at Big Buck Hunter while enjoying one of town’s most popular spots. Napper’s has one of the tallest, most spacious decks in Breck and is a great spot to catch the sunset. Make sure to check out their sister restaurant downstairs, Salt Creek, for yummy breakfast and classic Irish meals. 
    • Staff Favorites: Chicken Finger Basket and a Green Tea Shot.
  5. BANGKOK HAPPY BOWL: It’s hard not to be happy when you’re admiring mountain views while munching on a plethora of authentic Thai dishes including curry, sushi and wontons. We also enjoy their happy hour pricing and occasional live music.
    • Staff Favorites: Pad Thai and Purple Haze Sake.
  6. BLUE STAG: This local hotspot offers both a back deck to view the sunset on and a front deck with a fire pit, where you can choose to eat or warm up by the fire pit. The Stag is one of the prime places to grab a wood-fired pizza, which is served until midnight. Play a game of stump out front if you’re feeling rowdy!
    • Staff Favorites: N.Y. Buffalo Wings and a nice tall B.Y.O.-LD Fashioned.
  7. FLIPSIDE: Boasting the best burgers in town and three floors of seating plus a full bar and outdoor patio, Breck’s new burger joint is as tasty as they come. The coolest part (pun intended) about Flipside is that they make MILKSHAKES. And, yes, you can get them with booze. As a matter of fact, they list suggested liquor pairings alongside their unrivaled shakes.
    • Staff Favorites: Blueberry Pie Shake (with Huckleberry Vodka) and the Flipside Burger.
  8. RMU TAVERN: Rocky Mountain Underground is definitely Breck’s most popular up and coming bar. Featuring a huge deck with tons of seating in the front and an entire yard to play in with another FULL bar, hammocks, lounge chairs, regular live music, and cornhole out back, you’ll never want to leave. Shop while you sip and enjoy the truly unique ambiance of RMU. Charlie is our favorite bartender and serves tasty drinks!
    • Staff Favorites: BYOF (grab a pizza from Giam’s) and the Ginger Spice cocktail.
  9. ROBBIE’S TAVERN: Nestled on the slopes in the Grand Colorado Resort on Peak 8, Robbies is quickly becoming Breck’s top ski bar and restaurant. Owned by locals who know their stuff, this spot comes complete with a huge deck lined by fireplaces. If you’re grabbing lunch while enjoying Epic Discovery or you’re hitting the bar after a long hike, Robbie’s is the place to go!
    • Staff Favorites: Mac N Cheese (with pulled pork) and their famous Bloody Mary.
  10. KENOSHA: This spot rocks one of the best and biggest decks in town with plenty of seating and Breck’s only horseshoe pits. Bring the whole family down for some fun in the sun while you enjoy their amazing happy hour deals and famous steak.
    • Staff Favorites: Brewhouse pretzels and the Dry Dock Apricot Blonde Ale.

Whether you’re outdoorsy in the sense that you like drinking on patios, or you’re an enthusiastic mountaineering activity junky, the decks of Breck have just the thing to quench any thirst you might work up as you celebrate the locals’ favorite season. This is REALLY good news for those of us who like to keep it cool while sipping on scrumptious seasonal fusions without a care in the world (well, maybe one: reapplying sunscreen after activities… or, in between rounds). It’s time to grab your drinking shoes and maybe even pack some biking, climbing, hiking or water shoes, too. The best time of year in Breck is upon us, and anyone who doesn’t get up here will be thirsty (and sweaty) until those flakes start hitting the ground.

Gardening in the High Country Made Easy

Alpine Garden 2Summit County’s high-alpine climate is no match for even the greenest of thumbs. The harsh environment that creates much of what we love about the mountains can also limit plant growth significantly. But, there’s hope for your garden after all. It wasn’t easy, but the staff at BOB has broken down the four most essential Do’s and Don’ts of gardening in the high country with the most success and simplicity.

  1. DON’T SLACK ON YOUR SOIL. In case you didn’t notice, it’s super dry up here. Therefore, the soil lacks water and nutrients, making it tough for vegetation to mature, so give your soil a little TLC. Use premium topsoil mixed with manure, compost, nutrients and mulch. For overly acidic soil, throw in a little bit of wood ashes, too.
  1. DO BREED SPECIFIC BUDS. With Breck’s beauty comes thinner air, cooler temps, sudden changes in weather conditions and many other challenging factors for a green thumb. Certain types of plants are more likely to succeed in such a climate, especially if purchased locally, making them more likely to have adjusted to the extreme conditions. What should you fill your flowerpots with?
  • HERBS:
    • basil, chives, dill, lovage, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary sage and thyme
  • BLOOMS:
    • ANNUALS: clarkia, cosmos, dahlias, pansies, petunias
    • PERENNIALS: aster, catmint, columbines, edelweiss, flax, irises, lupines, lilies, poppies, tulips
  • VEGETABLES:
    • arugula, beans, carrots, chard, garlic, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, potatoes, spinach, turnips (avoid tomatoes!)
  1. DON’T CARELESSLY PLACE YOUR CROP. DON’T GROW YOUR GARDEN JUST ANYWHERE. Pay attention to where you position your plants. Is there a draft nearby that could lead to an untimely wilt? Are there windows close enough by to give it sun? How much sun, though? Is it direct or indirect? If you’re plant needs to be outside, how are you combating issues like wind, animals and varying temperatures? This is all crucial for getting your bulbs to blossom.
  1. DO SET YOUR SPROUTS UP FOR SUCCESS. Take heed of the type of plants you are growing. Research the different plants in your garden. Take note of how they’re affected by environmental conditions like weather and seasons, and find out how much water and direct or indirect sunlight maximizes their growth at high altitudes. Use fertilizer regularly, monitor your seedlings and re-pot or add soil as needed. If you’re trying your luck with herbs, they’ll excel when kept well-drained, in the sun and protected from wind. When growing blooms, note that seeds can take two years to mature. Plant seeds in the late fall and/or flowers no earlier than mid-June. Veggies grow best with proper irrigation and in risen beds.

Now you’re ready to get growing! For more specifics on how to care for each type of plant, check out High Country Gardens and the Summit County Garden Club. You can even become a member, meet some pretty cool people, share gardening tips and recipes, as well as purchase a community garden plot. As your plants flourish, so will your green-thumbing skills, so get up here and get started!

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Wildlife in Breckenridge: Do’s and Don’ts

Spring has sprung in Breckenridge and that means wildlife is out and about. With the abundance of critters here in Breckenridge, don’t be surprised to see a family of foxes scurrying through town or a moose taking a stroll down the road while you’re visiting.  These animals, although majestic and exciting to spot, are on an agenda of their own. Spring is a delicate time for the wildlife here and respecting our trail closures and wilderness areas are critical. Here are some guidelines you should be aware of to protect both the wildlife and yourself!

Don’t feed the wildlife.

Under no circumstance should anyone be feeding a wild animal. A bear’s main goal is to get fat enough to live through the winter, so be very cautious about what you are leaving around. Leave no trace. A bear can smell food up to 5 miles away, and so during the months of mid-March through early November, don’t leave anything that smells of food in your vehicle or outside near your home. Foxes hang around most lodging properties looking for scraps as well as in town. Be mindful that human food is actually unhealthy for these animals and can prevent certain species from foraging for themselves. When wild animals are fed human food, it will likely result in that animal’s death. If you care about our furry friends, please do not feed them. Our best advice: stay back and observe these creatures in their natural habitat.

Mind your dogs.

We aren’t saying you need to leash your dog on a trail where they are able to run free, but please be aware of the rules around you, especially during mud season/spring when the trails and preserves are being carefully monitored to host an atmosphere for these animals. A run in with a moose, mountain lion or porcupine could put you and your dog at serious risk. Not only could we be endangering the habitat for these animals, they could also be potentially dangerous to you and your fur baby.

The types of wildlife you will *most likely* see and general facts about them:

  1. Fox – Foxes are typically between 12 and 16 inches tall and about 31 inches long including their white-tipped signature tail. They weigh about 6lbs on average and can run up 30mph! A fox’s typical lifespan is about 3-4 years.
  2. Bear – When standing up, bears can be up to 7 feet tall and weigh in at about 500lbs for males and 300lbs for females. A black bear’s lifespan is around 10 years.
  3. Moose – The tallest mammal in North America! Male moose, called bulls, have enormous antlers that can grow up to 6 feet wide from tip to tip! A moose can run up to 35mph and can actually stay under water for 30 seconds!
  4. Mountain goats (watch for these guys on your hikes!) – Super agile, these animals are about 3.5 feet tall and 5.5 feet long. They can weigh anywhere between 100-300 pounds and live anywhere between 12-15 years.

Facts provided by defenders.org

How to interact with the larger wildlife of Breckenridge.

Bear – If you feel as though you may be in bear territory, make noise while you walk. Clap your hands or whistle loudly to help prevent yourself from surprising a bear. Don’t run from a bear! They will think you are prey and could potentially chase you. Also, avoid climbing trees as bears are skilled climbers.

Mountain Lion – They say you don’t see a mountain lion; it sees you first. So, if you are placed in this terrifying situation, the best way to conduct yourself is to stay calm (we know…). Talk firmly and make eye contact. You want to make yourself look as big as possible, so whatever you have on your person, use it to your advantage. NEVER RUN – but step or back away S L O W L Y. We hope you never have to use this advice.

Moose – If a moose charges you, we finally give you permission to RUN. Trying to put something between you and the moose is the best advice we’ve heard. Moose are trying to drive you away, so the faster you can get further away, the better. The moose will feel comfortable as soon as you are a safe distance away and should leave you alone.

So there you have it. A few tips on how to protect the wildlife in Breckenridge, and some fun facts to leave you with a bit more knowledge about these animals. We ask that you try to listen to these rules, and PLEASE: do not feed the wildlife. Enjoy Breckenridge and also, please leave no trace. Use #bestofbreck when you post your camping and outdoor adventure photos of Breckenridge to be featured on our Instagram!

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Pace your Oktoberfest with this Hopping Hike!

Photo: Colorado Lifestyle

Photo: Colorado Lifestyle

Town will be buzzing with Oktoberfest this upcoming weekend and this Breckenridge highlighted event is one you definitely shouldn’t miss! However, if you need a small break in between the brats and beers, we have the perfect place for you to burn those calories and escape the crowds for a couple hours. This hike is known for beautiful scenery through the base of Buffalo Mountain and ends at South Willow Falls with beautiful views for your backdrop.

The Hike: Willow Falls/Mesa Cortina – Located just 9 miles North of Breckenridge in the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Area of Silverthorne, this 8.7 mile roundtrip hike is moderate with about 800’ of elevation gain. If you are looking to explore but possibly still acclimating to the elevation (or those beers from Oktoberfest caught up with you!), this is a great hike for you!

Useful Tips!

  • Bring water and something to snack on! Even though this is a moderate hike, you should plan on at least 2 hours RT and you will be happy to have the energy resources.
  • Moose are common in Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Area, so keep your distance!
  • Dogs and horses are allowed. Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Mesa Cortina Trail or Gore Range Trail.
  • Bring sunscreen! When you’re two miles closer to the sun, you can get burnt (even on the cloudiest of days).

How to get there: From the junction of Interstate 70 and Highway 9 in Silverthorne, drive north for 0.3 miles and turn left on Wildernest Road. Proceed 0.5 miles before turning left onto Ryan Gulch Road. Drive up the base of Buffalo Mountain for 3.7 miles and stop at the Buffalo Cabin Trailhead, parking on the left side of the road.

If you want to ride to the trailhead with the Summit Stage transit bus, stay on Highway 9 north and park near the station on Fourth Street in Frisco. The Wildernest bus departs at a quarter past each hour and reaches the trailhead by half-past the hour. (Directions supplied from Summit Daily).

For a detailed outline and directions for the trail itself, visit Pro Trails!

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