Best of Summit County

Summit County's best skiing mountain: Breckenridge Ski Resort

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Breckenridge Ski Resort
  2. Copper Mountain
  3. Keystone Ski Resort

With its Imperial Express chairlift (the highest in North America), award-winning terrain parks and some of the most consistent grooming in the county, Breckenridge Ski Resort is the perfect mountain for any level of skier, whether you’re a never-ever or an extreme, big-mountain adrenaline seeker. The cafés, restaurants and shops give more than ample opportunity to rest up after a thigh-burning run, and this season, the biggest ski resort expansion in North America in more than a decade will take place as Breckenridge Ski Resort adds 543 acres on Peak 6 to its skiable terrain.

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Summit County's best Nordic skiing trail: Frisco Nordic Center

November 11, 2013 — 
  1. Frisco Nordic Center
  2. Breckenridge Nordic Center
  3. Boreas Pass

The Frisco Nordic Center, located along the shore of Dillon Reservoir, offers groomed cross-country ski trails and snowshoe nature trails in the White River National Forest. The Nordic Center offers beautiful scenery and approximately 45 kilometers of beginning to expert terrain, groomed daily for classic and freestyle cross-country skiing. The area also offers a log lodge, complete with rentals and a snack bar. Group and private lessons are available for locals and visitors.

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Summit County's best snowboarding mountain: Keystone Resort

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Keystone Resort
  2. Breckenridge Resort (won last year)
  3. Copper Mountain

Keystone Resort edged out last year’s winner, Breckenridge, to take the Best Snowboarding Mountain title for 2013. With night riding, snowcat-accessible terrain and a family-friendly atmosphere, Keystone has a little bit of something for every level of rider. The mountain also boasts the A51 Terrain Park — ranked as one of the best in the country year after year, with more than 100 features, including jumps, tables, half pipe, rails and jibs.

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Summit County's best apres ski spot: Mi Casa

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
  2. Dillon Dam Brewery
  3. Arapahoe Basin Ski & Snowboard Area

Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Cantina has been serving Summit County visitors and locals for more than 30 years. The cozy cantina provides a festive atmosphere to gather with friends apres ski or apres bike, and the bar serves a wide variety of bottled and draft beers, both Mexican and domestic, along with more than 100 tequilas. Enjoy a beverage with an award-winning duck quesadilla or queso fundido or their daily featured margarita prepared with agave nectar and fresh-squeezed lime juice.

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Summit County's best place for a romantic date: Ski Tip Lodge

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Ski Tip Lodge
  2. Hearthstone Restaurant
  3. Alpenglow Stube

A Summit County restaurant not to be missed, especially with your special someone, Ski Tip Lodge was originally an 1800s stagecoach stop and, later, the first skier lodge for Arapahoe Basin in the 1940s. It is now known for its restaurant, which features a revolving, four-course menu and out-of-this-world desserts. What’s most unique, however, is the atmosphere. Cozy, unpretentious and creaky, Ski Tip is the ideal place to wine and dine your romantic date. Executive chef Brian Baker brings a modern spin to the historic restaurant, building on classical foundations with creative combinations and nods to culinary trends, and certified sommelier Megan Morgan offers a wide selection from the restaurant’s impressive wine cellar.

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Best Breckenridge restaurant: Hearthstone Restaurant

November 5, 2013 — 
  1. Hearthstone Restaurant
  2. Blue River Bistro
  3. Modis

Housed in a 125-year-old home, the Hearthstone reflects the Victorian charm of Breckenridge while showcasing the best of the Rocky Mountains with creative farm-to-table cuisine, Western Slope produce, Colorado lamb and artisan cheese. The Hearthstone is known for high quality of service and warm hospitality. An extensive wine list and creative house-crafted cocktails complement unique entrees such as ginger sea scallops, blackberry elk and shrimp and grits. Between the food and the richly adorned interior, you’ll find Hearthstone’s ambiance and dining experience quite memorable.

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Summit County's best place to people watch: Breckenridge Main Street

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Breckenridge Main Street
  2. Frisco Main Street
  3. Pug Ryan’s Tiki Bar

From extravagant furs to funky footwear, you never know what kind of fashions you’ll see on Main Street in Breckenridge. The town’s zany Ullr Fest parade in January and its Fourth of July parade are must-see events. Whether it’s a pro snowboarder or retired couples from Florida, you’ll see a diverse mix of locals and visitors. Our voters agree it’s the best people-watching place in the county. Just remember, it’s not very polite to stare, so try to keep the gawking to a minimum.

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Summit County's best steak: Pug Ryan’s Brewing Co.

November 5, 2013 — 
  1. Pug Ryan’s Brewing Co.
  2. Steak & Rib (won last year)
  3. Briar Rose Chophouse & Saloon

Even though the brewpub recently changed its name from Pug Ryan’s Steakhouse Brewery to Pug Ryan’s Brewing Co., the steaks are still the tops, according to Summit County readers. “We have a spice blend that’s made for the steaks that’s custom made for us by a local spice company, and the meat is choice, the top end of what we can buy,” said Annie Holton, co-owner of Pug Ryan’s. Pug’s famous prime rib is available in three cuts, ladies, regular and king, or choose a petite shoulder steak, flavorful rib eye or bacon-wrapped filet mignon. If surf and turf is your thing, try the crab filet, an 8-ounce beef tenderloin, grilled and topped with snow crab and béarnaise sauce.

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Summit County's best Asian restaurant: Nozawa Sushi

October 29, 2013 — 
  1. Nozawa Sushi & Teppanyaki
  2. Kemosabe Sushi
  3. Bamboo Garden Authentic Chinese Cuisine

Nozawa has made its reputation with its great sushi, but visit this Dillon hot spot for other Asian food, as well. One side of the restaurant features Japanese “teppanyaki” — a style of presentation cooking where diners assemble around hot grills while the chef jokes, slices and dices his way through an array of fresh sides and entrees ranging from fried rice to shrimp, filet mignon and Kobe beef. Great for family dining, as well, the teppanyaki is the only one of its kind in the High Country. In addition to sushi, also try Nozawa’s Thai-style curries — get it in a Bento box for lunch with soup and salad and discover one of the best lunch deals in the county.

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Summit County's best bloody mary: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

October 29, 2013 — 
  1. Arapahoe Basin Ski & Snowboard Area
  2. Arapahoe Café & Pub
  3. Blue River Bistro

While Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, or The Legend as it affectionately known, is a prime destination to ski or ride some of the best powder and most intense runs in the Rocky Mountains, it has also garnered a reputation as a great place to kick back and relax. This year, A-Basin was again named the best place to have a Bloody Mary. Make sure to sample their Bacon Bloody Mary the next time you get a chance.

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Summit County's best breakfast: Sunshine Cafe

October 29, 2013 — 
  1. Sunshine Cafe
  2. Butterhorn Bakery
  3. Mountain Lyon Cafe

Sunshine Café in Silverthorne has won “Best Breakfast” almost every year since 2004. Part of the reason it’s so popular in this category is that it serves breakfast from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week. And, it caters to every taste, from smoothies, muffins, fresh fruit and homemade granola on the lighter side to gourmet omelets of all kinds, pancakes, French toast and country-style plates with fun names such as the “Ski Tech” (two sausage patties and hash browns smothered with spicy pork green chili, topped with cheese and served with a tortilla) and “Snowboarder’s Jump Start” (a veggie breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, cheese and avocado on sourdough bread with hash browns).

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Summit County's best bakery/baked goods: Blue Moon Bakery

October 29, 2013 — 
  1. Blue Moon Bakery
  2. Butterhorn Bakery & Cafe
  3. Clint’s Bakery & Coffee House

It’s clear that Blue Moon Bakery — also a winner in our “Best Dessert” category — is the sweetest. With bread pudding, chocolate-peanut butter bars, chocolate mousse tortes, lemon-poppy seed bread, fresh fruit tarts and cream pies that are baked fresh, they serve a sweet tooth. But that’s not all: The locally owned business in its ninth year also serves breakfast and lunch. “It’s a little of everything,” co-owner Ben Reil said. “We wouldn’t be who we are if we didn’t do both.” Stop in for a local favorite, their $2.75 Blue Moon Special breakfast sandwich, or grab one to go. They also bake wedding and all-occasion cakes. “Thank you to our locals for voting for us for the last nine years,” Reil said.

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Summit County's best bar: The Moose Jaw

October 29, 2013 — 
  • The Moose Jaw
  • Ollies Pub & Grub
  • Dillon Dam Brewery

The Moose Jaw in Frisco is no stranger to the Best of Summit bar categories, landing the top spot for both Best Bar and Best Bartender. “It feels like your bar away from home,” said owner Lynda Colety. “People come in and say, ‘Oh, we have a bar in so and so place that reminds me of this place.’” Colety also complimented her staff, whom she said makes everyone feel very welcome. “All they have to do is behave themselves and they can have a good time,” she said with a laugh. “We have a lot of loyal locals that come in, and they have a good time, and the visitors and tourists come in and kind of join in with the good fun. Basically, I think it’s the whole décor and the vibe they feel when they walk in that it’s a downhome bar, nothing fancy.”

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Summit County's best health food: Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage

October 30, 2013 — 
  1. Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
  2. Park & Main
  3. Alpine Market & Deli

The national chain of Vitamin Cottage has been bringing shoppers high-quality, natural food and nutritional supplements at affordable prices for more than 50 years. And now, Summit County is benefiting — and obviously appreciating — its selection and prices. The local store is dedicated to customer service and offers a 100 percent risk-free guarantee, meaning you can return a product within 90 days if you’re not completely satisfied. Education always has been a cornerstone of the Vitamin Cottage, so you can rest assured that attentive staff will point you in the right direction.

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Summit County's best margarita: Hacienda Real Mexican Restaurant

October 31, 2013 — 
  1. Hacienda Real Mexican Restaurant
  2. Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Cantina (won last year)
  3. Carlos Miguel’s Mexican Bar & Grill

Hacienda Real Mexican Restaurant in Frisco has been a Summit County staple for almost 11 years and has been a repeat winner in Best of Summit for both Best Mexican Restaurant and Best Margaritas. Customers keep coming back for the massive selection of margaritas. “We have almost 35 flavors of margaritas for the customer to choose from,” said Luis Flores, manager at Hacienda Real. The No. 1 seller is the margarita originale, made with fresh lime juice, sour and Cointreau, or try the agave margarita, with agave nectar and fresh lime juice.

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Summit County's best martini: Blue River Bistro

October 31, 2013 — 
  1. Blue River Bistro
  2. Hearthstone Restaurant
  3. Blue Spruce Inn

In honor of so many years in a row earning the title of “Best Martini,” the Blue River Bistro has made the best even better. From the bartender who’ll stuff olives with blue cheese at the drop of a cocktail napkin and the house-made infusions and syrups to the perfectly executed classics, the Bistro’s martinis can shake a rough day at work or on the hill right out of you. The seasonal list is the epitome of refined refreshment and will make a believer out of even the staunchest anti-martini drinker.

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Summit County's best Mexican restaurant: Hacienda Real Mexican Restaurant

October 31, 2013 — 
  1. Hacienda Real Mexican Restaurant
  2. Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
  3. Fiesta Jalisco

This is the real deal: an authentic Mexican restaurant run by what may arguably be the best wait staff in the county. No matter how busy Hacienda Real is during the lunchtime rush, they’ll have your order and food on the table in no time — usually in less than 15 minutes. For those taking lunch during work, it’s a relief to get such great food and service in such a short amount of time. Of course, what really makes Hacienda Real sing is the food, starting with their extraordinary salsa (hot, but not too hot) and house-made tortilla chips. From there, the reasonably priced entrees range from the excellent chimichangas to a steak-filled burrito asado that’s out of this world. You won’t leave hungry — and you’ll be back soon.

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Summit County's best pizza: Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria

October 31, 2013 — 
  1. Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria
  2. Jersey Boys Pizza and Deli
  3. Peppino’s Pizza & Subs

There’s nothing better than reliably delicious pizza, and that’s a promise that Giampietro’s delivers — especially for transplanted New Yorkers in need of a fix or anybody else who likes a slice reminiscent of the Big Apple. Giampietro’s makes its New York-style pizza in a traditional stone deck oven, in addition to offering a menu of other Italian classics. The food is prepared fresh daily, and the ingredients are all top quality, which is what owner Ken Nelson says keeps people coming back again and again.

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Summit County's best barbecue: Arapahoe Cafe & Pub

October 29, 2013 — 
  1. Arapahoe Cafe & Pub
  2. Moe’s Original Bar B Que
  3. Q 4 U Barbecue & Catering

“The only secret to good barbecue is to start slow and never go faster,” said Doug Pierce, owner of Arapahoe Cafe and Pub, a Summit County favorite since 1945. Located in a homey, historic building moved from the original town of Dillon, Arapahoe Cafe is known for having a great atmosphere and excellent service, in addition to award-winning cuisine. Try the “bloodies” at breakfast or lunches on the patio in summer. For dinner, choose from entrees such as Pierce’s award-winning house-smoked ribs, buffalo meatloaf and nightly pub specials.

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Summit County's best Italian restaurant: Tuscato Ristorante Italiano

October 29, 2013 — 
  1. Tuscato Ristorante Italiano
  2. Giampietro Pasta & Pizzeria
  3. Adriano’s Bistro & Deli

Got a hunkering for the crispiest calamari in town? How about a sumptuously silky veal scaloppini and a perfectly paired bottle of wine? Rest assured, an evening at Tuscato Ristorante will satisfy all your Italian cravings. The family-owned and operated establishment has occupied some of Frisco’s choicest Main Street real estate for more than two decades. The hip, sophisticated atmosphere is a perfect complement to comforting Italian classics, from fresh salads to perfectly cooked pasta, seafood and steaks. And the bar is a perennial go-to spot for locals looking to meet up with friends at the end of a long work day.

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Summit County's best fishing spot: It's a secret

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. It’s a secret
  2. Blue River
  3. Lower Blue

Where’s the best fishing hole? That’s a silly question. Unless you’re paying the big bucks for a guide, any true angler will tell you that a secret fishing spot is something one rarely reveals. But luckily in Summit County, the Blue River, Colorado River and Ten Mile Creek offer gold-medal waters packed with brown, brook and rainbow trout. So grab your waders and head to the closest river, and you might just find that special spot. And if not, you’ll still enjoy the scenery.

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Summit County's best golf course: Breckenridge Golf Club

November 11, 2013 — 
  1. Breckenridge Golf Course
  2. Keystone Ranch
  3. The Raven at Three Peaks

The only public, 27-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course in the world, Breckenridge Golf Course provides a test for every level of golfer. Nestled at 9,324 feet above sea level, the course has been named the toughest mountain course by “Colorado Golfer” magazine, and its pro shop has earned a spot in “America’s 100 Best” by Golf Shop Operations. From the rolling greens to the variety of wildlife seen about the course, Breckenridge Golf Club has everything a golfer could want, including the Clubhouse Restaurant, which offers appetizers, meals and cocktails on a spacious deck.

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Summit County's best hiking trail: Mohawk Lakes

November 11, 2013 — 
  1. Mohawk Lakes
  2. Lily Pad
  3. Buffalo Mountain

Just south of Breckenridge and a short jaunt off Highway 9, adventurous hikers can find one of the best intermediate day hikes in the county on the Mohawk Lakes Trail. The 7-mile loop meanders through historic mining ruins replete with abandoned ore cars before rewarding your climb upward with scenic waterfalls made by the Continental Falls spilling out into Lower Mohawk Lake. Continue onward to enjoy a victorious lunch accompanied by glorious views.

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Summit County's best art gallery: Breckenridge Fine Art Gallery

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Breckenridge Fine Art Gallery
  2. Art on a Whim
  3. Buffalo Mountain Gallery

Breckenridge Fine Art Gallery isn’t quite a museum, but it’s not just a gallery, either. The Breckenridge retailer carries the work of both American and international masters in an atmosphere that achieves luxury without pretension and proudly caters to all, from buyers to observers. The gallery specializes in impressionism, particularly Russian and Eastern European, and carries both the modern and historical work of museum-featured artists. Breckenridge Fine Art Gallery also publishes exclusive books on the work of certain late masters and invites living artists to turn the gallery into a studio on occasion throughout the year so customers can watch them work.

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Summit County's best entertainer: Arnie J. Green 

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Arnie J. Green
  2. National Repertory Orchestra
  3. Leon Littlebird and Mark Schlaefer, Delta Blues Jazz

Arnie J. Green has been a staple of funky soul and blues in Summit County for years. His powerful vocals and sweet guitar licks wake and shake up any bar scene or venue. He grew up in California, where his mother’s daily singing and the Bay Area’s secular and religious music inspired him to make music his life. Though he’s released two albums, he thrives on live shows, which have led him to perform with the likes of the Subdudes, Shakedown Street, Melvin Seals, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and many others.

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Summit County's best entertainment venue: Dillon Amphitheatre

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Dillon Amphitheatre
  2. three20south
  3. Breckenridge Music Festival

The Dillon Amphitheatre is undeniably a stunning venue by virtue of its location on the shores of Dillon Reservoir, but as the years pass, it continues to get better. Free acts range from funk and old-school rock to country and mellow jazz. Acts ranging from Hot Buttered Rum and The Stormcellars to the National Repertory Orchestra and U2 tribute band Under a Blood Red Sky played the venue to big crowds this summer, and Dillon rounded off the season with a performance by Abba Fab and fireworks, proving yet again that the amphitheater remains top in the hearts of concert-goers across the county.

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Summit County's best playground: Rainbow Park

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Rainbow Park
  2. Marina Park Playground
  3. Carter Park

Rainbow Park is a seven-acre park on Rainbow Drive containing a skateboard park, multi-purpose field, tennis courts, basketball court, sand volleyball courts, picnic shelters and public restrooms. Its bowl-shaped field, which lies slightly below the rest of the park, also serves as an amphitheater for spectator events and community festivals. But you can’t miss the playground, which has been voted Summit County’s best. It has lots of cool things to climb on and enjoy. Little ones will find things to do, as well as the older kids. It’s right next to a soccer field, so there is a lot of space to run around.

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Summit County's best place to see a show: Dillon Amphitheatre

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Dillon Ampitheatre
  2. Riverwalk Center, Breckenridge
  3. three20south

For locals, the Dillon Ampitheatre is the premier outdoor venue for concerts in Summit County. Combining a stunning backdrop of Peak One and the shores of Dillon Reservoir with a relaxed summertime atmosphere on the lawn, the amphitheater showcases artists and musicians for all tastes and ages. Free concerts rock the stage on the weekends in the summer, and the family-friendly, community vibe invites dancing and dialogue and promises good times for all.

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Summit County's best rafting company: Kodi Rafting

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Kodi Rafting
  2. AVA
  3. Performance Tours

Located on Main Street in Frisco, Kodi Rafting holds permits on all nearby stretches of whitewater, from adrenaline-pumping rapids on Clear Creek and the Arkansas River to lazy family floats on the Upper Colorado. A unique offering of this Summit County company is its two-hour happy hour on Ten Mile Creek, where rafters can enjoy a wet and wild trip through Frisco, emerging at the Dillon Reservoir before heading over to Frisco Bay Marina’s Island Grill. Led by professionally trained guides, both day trips and overnight experiences are offered at a variety of locations.

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Summit County's best acupuncture: Chiropractic Health & Acupuncture

November 12, 2013 — 
  1. Chiropractic Health & Acupuncture
  2. Ivo Waerlop, DC, DABCN, Summit Chiropractic & Rehabilitation
  3. Frisco Acupuncture/Mountain Rose Acupuncture

Kevin T. Waldron, MSAOM, LAc, has been practicing at Chiropractic Health & Acupuncture in Frisco since 2005. He has a master’s degree in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine from Bastyer University and is nationally board certified in the field. He also completed an advanced internship at Shuguang Hospital in Shanghai. Waldron utilizes various treatment methods in his holistic approach to health care.

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