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Why Breckenridge, Colorado, should be at the top of your fall travel list

Aug. 22, 2022
6 min read
A beautiful drone photo of Breckenridge, Colorado.
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If you’re like me, this summer’s travel nightmares — like what happened with checked luggage in Europe — have made you look ahead to fall and much easier trips. Crisp autumn air, hot apple cider and the changing of the leaves are just a few of the things that make this part of the year truly special, and I can’t wait to slow down and enjoy it.

There are a lot of places within the U.S. where you can experience the beauty of fall, and Breckenridge, Colorado, should be at the top of your list — if it isn’t already. That’s because Breckenridge is so much more than a mountain town to visit in the height of ski season.

Keep reading to discover more about the Rocky Mountain destination and why now is the perfect time to plan your first fall trip.

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More about Breckenridge

Breckenridge is a year-round haven for those that love to spend time outdoors. Summer visitors will love the endless outdoor water activities such as whitewater rafting and fly-fishing. As the temperatures begin to drop, you’re sure to find yourself mesmerized and excited by the beauty of Breckenridge in the fall (more on that later). In the winter months, cold-weather sports enthusiasts and snow lovers descend on the mountain town for skiing, sledding, snowboarding and more.

All year long, visitors can enjoy delicious cuisine and unique beers from Breckenridge’s foodie scene.

While the scenic views will take your breath away, it’s the town itself that sets this Rocky Mountain destination apart. Full of history and character, Breckenridge shares an incredibly laid-back charm that makes you feel like a local – no matter the season.

(Photo courtesy of Amygdala_imagery/Getty Images)

Part of feeling like a local is acting like one. The town asks travelers to act sustainably and practice “leave no trace” principles — like leaving plants and historical items where you find them, picking up not only your trash but trash you see on trails and keeping your distance from wildlife. There’s also a “bring your own bag” policy along with water refill stations around town to discourage single-use plastics.

Related: How to leave no trace when hiking

Now that you know a little more about Breckenridge, let’s talk about all there is to do there this fall.

Things to do in Breckenridge this fall

With the end of summer fast approaching, it’s only right that we talk about how great Breckenridge is in the fall.

(Photo courtesy of Nick Brundle Photography)

Leaf peeping

Thanks to its high elevation, Breckenridge is one of the first places in the U.S. where you can see the leaves change from green to golden shades of orange and yellow. Aspen trees can be found throughout Breckenridge and the surrounding areas, as well as spruce and pine trees. You can make your way across miles of breathtaking trails and roads to catch a glimpse of the annual changing of the seasons.

Related: Explore Breckenridge’s leaf peeping guide

Hiking and biking trails

There are hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails in (and around) Breckenridge for all activity levels. History buffs will especially enjoy the Minnie Mine Trail & Reiling Dredge, where hikers and bikers alike can take a journey to the past and catch a glimpse of some of the town’s first mining structures.

Alternatively, you can find spruce and pine trees on the B&B Trail, while Summit County Recreational Pathway is paved and a great option for wheelchair users as well as families with strollers.

For the most up-to-date trail maps, you’ll want a copy of the Breckenridge and Summit County trail map.

Fall events in Breckenridge

From the Breckenridge Film Festival to the Breckenridge Wine Classic and even a Dia de los Muertos celebration, you’ll find plenty of outdoor festivals from which to choose throughout the fall season.

Who says you have to go all the way to Germany to experience Oktoberfest? You can partake in all of the traditional festivities (including collectible steins) at Breckenridge Oktoberfest, taking place the last weekend in September.

Want to learn more? Check out this guide to fall in Breckenridge.

How to get there and where to stay

Breckenridge is located about 95 miles from Denver International Airport (DEN) and 116 miles from Colorado Springs Airport (COS); both airports are serviced by all major U.S. airlines. The most popular way to get to Breckenridge from either of these airports is by shuttle, which takes between 2 and 2 1/2 hours (you could even connect right to a bus from your United flight during the winter months).

Once in town, getting around Breckenridge is easy and convenient, due to free transportation options and the easily walkable and bikeable downtown.

(Photo courtesy of Breckenridge Tourism)

Once you arrive, there are plenty of hotel options to book with points. The Hyatt Residence Club Breckenridge, Main Street Station has rooms available starting at 21,000 World of Hyatt points per night all throughout September. Meanwhile, Marriott's Mountain Valley Lodge at Breckenridge and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Breckenridge have intermittent availability throughout September starting at 48,000 Bonvoy points and 54,000 Hilton Honors points per night, respectively.

Bottom line

Breckenridge, Colorado, is a fall travel destination that should be at the top of your list. Its high elevation makes it one of the first places in the country to witness the changing of the leaves, with the area’s aspen trees taking center stage.

Fall visitors can enjoy an array of hiking and biking trails as well as scenic drives to take in the scenery. Upcoming events in Breckenridge include Breckenridge Oktoberfest and the Breckenridge Film Festival, but you can enjoy the foodie scene and mining history all year long.

And with frequent flights along with lodging options from major hotel loyalty programs like World of Hyatt, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, a visit doesn’t need to break the bank.

Start planning your fall trip to Breckenridge today.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Cons

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  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more