Recreation, Food, Events and Site Seeing at its Best
Summit County is amazing for golf. Its five courses all perch around 9,000 feet above sea level, including that high-altitude launching pad otherwise known as Copper Creek, which at 9,863 feet is regarded as North America’s highest 18-hole golf course. And Breckenridge Golf Club (pictured above) is the only 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed municipal course in the world.
Still, a week or weekend spent at this splendid vacation destination is much more than a long drives on the links. For never-forget adventure, relaxation, shopping and entertainment, Summit County delivers.
Here’s an insider’s perspective of the area, courtesy of Breckenridge Golf Club's Head PGA Professional Erroll Miller:
CAG: What makes Summit County or Breckenridge so popular with summer visitors?
MILLER: We have world-class activities up here. Not only is there great golf, but we also offer river rafting, four-wheel tours to the top of the Continental Divide, fly-fishing and lake recreation, timberline-high hiking and amazing festivals. That’s just a few of the things people just can’t experience at lower elevations.
What’s the first “must-do” after arriving in the Summit County?
If you’re not accustomed to high altitude, it’s really important to drink plenty of water. Hydrate. You don’t want to get run down when there’s so much to see and do. Put the adult beverages away, temporarily, and get ready for the outdoors by drinking water.
What’s the best scrapbook-saving “photo-op” in the area?
At the top of Loveland Pass (elevation 11,990 feet) and Hoosier Pass (11,542 feet) are wonderful Continental Divide photo-ops. It’s pretty special to think that up there, the water flows toward the Pacific Ocean and on the other it flows to the Atlantic. Families also really enjoy the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge, which is open for skating, hockey and curling year round.
What’s your “must-experience” summer event in Summit County?
Summer concerts at the Breckenridge Music Festival are amazing, as are performances from the National Repertory Orchestra. Concerts at Dillon Amphitheater or inside the Riverwalk Center—located right in the heart of Breckenridge’s historic district—are always don’t-miss affairs and are very special.
What’s your favorite non-golf activity in the area?
If you’re a thrill seeker, the Breckenridge Alpine Slide is absolutely mind blowing. It’s pretty exhilarating to race down the mountain on a tricked-out toboggan. Plus, the three ski resorts—Keystone, Breckenridge and Copper Mountain—all offer summer chairlift rides to the top of their mountains. If you love to hike and experience wildlife, wildflowers and even wilder panoramic mountain views, that’s a must-do.
Pictured above: Keystone
What’s your favorite breakfast eatery and menu item?
The coffee and the breakfasts at the Log Cabin Cafe in Frisco are pretty renowned. They’ve been here as long as I have. The prices are right, it’s cozy and comfortable wild-west experience, and the eggs benedict is fabulous.
What is the area’s most memorable dining experience?
That’s easy. Dinner at Breckenridge’s Hearthstone Restaurant is a big favorite. It has a wonderful wine menu, the fresh-fish entrees are outstanding, and the Victorian atmosphere really takes you back to when this historic mining area was in its heyday.
What is Summit County’s signature beverage of choice?
Breckenridge Brewery offers some really outstanding microbrews. The company was founded in 1990 by a former ski bum, Richard Squire, and today its products rate among the finest craft beers in America.
And where would I enjoy one of Breckenridge Brewery’s better drafts?
The outside decking at Breckenridge Golf Club overlooking the fifth hole of the Beaver Nine is a really special place. It offers a breathtaking view of Baldy Mountain, and the alpenglow sunsets bouncing off Tenmile Mountain Range are awesome.
Pictured Above: Breckenridge Golf Club, Beaver Course #8
Erroll Miller is a 30-year resident of Summit County. He, his wife and two sons live in historic Breckenridge, the county seat. For more information about the area, go online to summitcountycolorado.com.
Durango resident Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.