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Breckenridge and Denver Itinerary

How long was your stay?

12 days.

How did you travel?

As a family.

Tell us why you traveled to this destination.

We try and get to the Colorado Rocky Mountains every summer. I grew up in Denver, so we also love to spend time here and visit with friends and family.

What was your itinerary?

Day 1: Drove 16 hours from Chicago to our VRBO in Breckenridge via I-80.

Day 2: Quick morning hike followed by lunch at Tin Plate Pizza, family time, and dinner back at the VRBO.
Day 3: Quick morning hike to Sawmill Reservoir, lunch at Kenosha Grill.
Day 4: Longer hike to Mohawk Lake then dinner and drinks at Blue River Bistro.
Day 5: Explored downtown. Breakfast at Crown Coffee and Crepes A La Cart. Dinner at Twist restaurant.
Day 6: Full-day hike of Mt. Huron. Walked through the ghost town of Winfield. Ordered Pizza for dinner.
Day 7: Quick hike then breakfast at Cool River Coffee House. Rented mountain bikes from Slope Style in Breckenridge. Dinner at Motherloaded Tavern.
Day 8: Played lawn games with friends and the dog at Kenosha Grill‘s “paw”tio. Dinner at Blue Fish Sushi.
Day 9: Departed Breckenridge for Denver, beware of Friday & Sunday traffic! Arrived at Cherry Creek Halcyon Hotel.
Day 10: Breakfast at Local Jones. Relaxed at the rooftop pool. Evening cocktails at Ay Papi.
Day 11: Coffee and breakfast at Aviano Coffee. Dinner at my favorite Sushi Den!
Day 12: Drive back home to Chicago.

Give us all the details! Tell us where you went and what you did on your trip.

Day 1: Travel road trip day! We left Chicago at 3 AM for our drive to Breckenridge. We planned to stop in Denver at the end of our trip, so we had 16 hours of driving ahead of us. We took I-80 most of the way through Iowa and Nebraska and arrived in Breckenridge around 7 PM. It’s incredible where you can be after 16 hours of driving. The mountains were lush and green from the heavy snowfall totals from winter.

Day 2: Our VRBO was right on Breckenridge Mountain with hiking outside our front door, and the town a ten-minute walk. I always look for properties where I can walk to everything. For me, vacation is about rest, relaxation, and celebration but also exercise. We started with a morning hike. We then met up with the family at Tin Plate Pizza in Breck. Such great Pizza!! Then a family dinner back at our house!




Day 3: Took our daily quick AM hike to walk our dog Auggie! We said goodbye to family and then took an easy hike to Sawmill Reservoir. This trail is the perfect family-friendly hike and begins 5 minutes from downtown Breckenridge. Superb lunch at Kenosha Grill on the dog-friendly “paw”tio.



Day 4: We woke early and headed to Mohawk Trailhead on our way to Mohawk Lake. This hike is challenging and so beautiful–you will walk through dense forest, see streams and waterfalls, a lovely meadow, and the spectacular lakes and view up top! We had an excellent reward dinner at Blue River Bistro. Excellent cocktails, service, and food!!

Day 5: The boys went off to fly fish, and we girls decided to shop in downtown Breckenridge. Started with Crown Coffee and Crepes A La Cart–I cannot recommend these enough!!! The guys had a great experience with “,” caught lots of fish, and worked on their technique! Fabulous dinner as always at the inventive Twist restaurant in Breckenridge!




Day 6: Off to climb Mt. Huron, a 14’er 50 minutes past Twin Lakes Reservoir. We left Breckenridge at 4 AM to get an early start around 6 AM. The hike was 7.7 miles and classified as hard! It was, but so worth it. Take your time! Spectacular views, my favorite 14’er by far. I loved peaking this with my husband and kids. Be sure to check out the ghost town of Winfield near the trailhead. We peeked in windows on our way out–there are many ghost towns in the mountains, a vacation in and of itself! We stopped at Twin Lakes Res to visit my mother’s memorial stone ❤️ before heading home and ordering a much-deserved pizza!!

Day 7: Rest. Short morning hike and breakfast at Cool River Coffee House–a name that lives up to the experience!! It is a beautiful setting next to the river and the best breakfast sandwiches and smoothies. Francesca left us to live the ranch life near Grandby for a weekend with a friend. The rest of us rented mountain bikes from Slope Style in Breckenridge–these guys are the pros in town and gave excellent advice on where to go, and the bikes were the best quality! We could barely ride up the hill, so perhaps mountain biking the day after a 14’er isn’t wise. We were in pain but had a great time. Post-biking, we stopped at the patio of Motherloaded Tavern in Breckenridge for beers, cokes for the kids, and an order of fries (SO GOOD!). Great local feel and the “motherly” waitstaff made you never want to leave. The dude playing guitar was so good–I wish I got his name! We moved on to Blue Fish Sushi for dinner–very good for mountain sushi! Great atmosphere, mountain modern with beautiful views.



Day 8: Met up with friends at Kenosha Grill again!! The fantastic “paw”tio also has giant Jenga, cornhole, and other fun lawn games. Such a great spot for families and dog owners! We ended our evening at Blue Fish Sushi in Breck–a super beautiful space with great sushi (loved the Brussels sprouts app!).

Day 9: Early departure for Denver with a detour through Grandby to pick up Francesca and head to Denver, hitting Empire, and over Berthoud Pass over to I-70. Whoops on a Sunday afternoon–avoid mountain highways on Friday and Sunday! We were looking forward to some R&R at Denver’s Cherry Creek Halcyon Hotel. Our home away from home when visiting Denver! I love it because it’s very “Denver” in its aesthetic–modern with earthy touches, they care about sustainability by offering glass jugs and watering stations, and they are super dog friendly!! I still wasn’t sure why they had a few lingering plastic water bottles in the fridge, perhaps for the pool. Otherwise, every product throughout the hotel was very eco-friendly. Dinner at my Dad’s house was the perfect ending to a busy day.

Day 10: We began our day at Local Jones, Halcyon’s epic restaurant–rated the best breakfast in Cherry Creek for good reason. BEST breakfast potatoes you will ever have. Went straight up to the pool after a dog walk. Before heading to the pool, the front desk gave Auggie so much love. They gifted him a new bandana and gave him lots of hugs! My favorites are the rooftop pool and the service, cocktails, and food! I threw a last-minute surprise birthday party for Paul on the rooftop of Halcyon with the help of their excellent Ashanti–I took Paul out for cocktails at the sexy, nearby Ay Papi, a Cuban-inspired cocktail lounge that will TAKE YOU THERE! Leaving was hard, but I needed to get Paul to his party! The storms moved in, so our party was moved downstairs to Local Jones. We didn’t mind at all; they saved the day and it was a great celebration!



Day 11: We walked a few blocks over to Aviano Coffee, an open-air coffee shop with a great patio! Great burritos (from bacon to vegan) & gorgeous coffee! They also handed the coffee over sans lids and junk. Love they care! We headed to the pool and worked up our appetite for arguably the best sushi in the USA: THE SUSHI DEN. WE EXTENDED OUR VACATION to enjoy Sushi Den/Izakaya–two sushi sister restaurants next to each other, closed on Sundays and Mondays. Yes, we needed to leave Tuesday, but we didn’t for our favorite restaurant. It didn’t disappoint!!!! It was better than ever. The Sushi Den & Izakaya alone are reasons to visit Denver.

Day 12: We left at 3 AM the following morning. Great memories and missing friends and family already, but looking forward to getting home!

Would you recommend this trip to a friend?


What was the highlight of your trip?

Being with family away from home, all together. Our hikes. They were tough; it felt great to accomplish them together. Seeing family. Bringing Auggie our dog. Our VRBO, “Mountain Honey” in Breckenridge The Halcyon Hotel & Paul’s surprise party. THE SUSHI DEN.

If you were to take this trip again, is there anything you would add or do differently?

Mountain Biking when you are sore from a hike. Coming from mid-westerners of course. A buffer day would have been good! Would have been better to leave the mountains for Denver early Sunday rather than in the afternoon, the traffic was terrible.


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