Summer survival guide: Make sure the whole family is happy with these fun adventures
It’s that time of the year again, when you need to escape the hot, humid weather and slip into the cool, high altitude of Summit County.
With the whole family in tow, it can be tough to figure out how to keep everyone happy, but we’ve got you covered. Here’s you survival guide for a Summit vacation.
Keystone is festival central. There are options for everything, whether you like sipping wine and listening to jazz or getting down with some bluegrass and beer. Just about all of these festivals include free live music and vendor booths, with a paid admission. After browsing the festival, grab yourself a drink at one of the many local hot spots to mix and mingle with other fun people.
You can also take the River Run Gondola to the top of the mountain (bring last year’s season ski pass or you’ll be out $20) and check out a view of Lake Dillon, the Gore Range, the Tenmile Range and the Continental Divide that will blow anyone’s mind. Nothing says summer in the Rockies like getting a photo on top of a big snow pile, and then swapping stories at the Mountain House.
You can also hike, mountain bike, practice some yoga or enjoy Friday Afternoon Club with free live music and games for everyone. Did we mention you can go snow tubing in the summer, too?
Save one day for shops, restaurants and parks on Main Street Frisco. If you time it right, hit up the free concerts in the historic park (near Second Avenue and Main Street) at 5 p.m.
A perfect day in Frisco starts out with a hearty black truffle scramble at Bread and Salt, followed by a comfortable walk along the bike path and old mining trails to Rainbow Lake. When the afternoon rain arrives, stop by the Escape Room and challenge your mind. If you’re in the mood to bike and want the poor man’s bike shuttle, hop on the bus to Copper with your bike and get the thrill of a downhill ride from Copper back to Frisco on the Tenmile Canyon recpath, all with no fee.
Frisco’s Adventure Park also offers biking and hiking trails, a bike park, a disc golf course and wagon rides. Catch your wind and grab some fish tacos at the Frisco Bay Marina for lunch. Afterward you can try paddleboarding or kayaking on the water.
Spend a morning on the water by renting a pontoon boat for the whole family. Bring some food and your fishing poles and you’ll have a morning well spent, and maybe some lunch. Once you dock, head over to the Tiki Bar to tell some fishing stories and grab a legendary rum runner.
Just a short walk away, kids can let loose on the brand-new playground at the park or the whole family can grab a seat on the grass for free Friday and Saturday nights at the Dillon Amphitheatre. Check out Arapahoe Café to grab some family-friendly barbecue for dinner after the concert.
Copper is a one-stop shop for multiple adventures. No matter how old you might think you are, you will get a laugh out of going in circles on the go-kart track in Center Village — it will turn anyone, even your parents, into Mario Andretti. If high-speed turns aren’t enough, get in touch with your inner ninja on the Wrecktangle obstacle course.
The best day to spend browsing Copper is Friday. Take a leisurely day to play tourist with the all-day adventure pass ($59-$69), then hit up some more free music at Brews and Tunes, held every Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Burning Stones Plaza at Center Village.
Known for dozens of free hikes and historical tours, there are also great happy hours and lunch deals throughout town.
Parents love to get a little adrenaline in the mountains, but instead of sending them whitewater kayaking down Tenmile Creek, why not intrigue them with a daytime Breckenridge Haunted Tour? Learn about the eerie, the unexplained and the creepy as your stroll the historic streets of town.
Pedego, also known as pedal-assisted bikes, is another great option in Breckenridge.
Kids and parents can both enjoy an art class at Breck Create, or maybe a guided tour of local mining history with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. From the Main Street welcome center to the Backstage Theatre, it is impossible to be bored in Breck.
Breckenridge Ski Resort brings a whole new kind of fun to the mountain in the summer with Epic Discovery. From a climbing wall to zip line tours, kids and parents alike will feel the rush.
VAIL PASS TO COPPER
While the idea of sharing epic singletrack thrills at the Keystone Bike Park sounds enticing, depending on your experience and fitness level, it could land casual bikers in the ER.
However, a safer alternative to mountain biking is a downhill bike adventure from Vail Pass to Copper and on to Frisco. It’s good for a little adrenaline, not to mention amazing views and fresh air, and a few local outfitters offer a free shuttle to the top of the pass with bike rental.
“No matter how old you might think you are, you will get a laugh out of going
in circles on the go-kart track in Center Village.”
Try your best to find a way out of the Escape Room, or enjoy biking on Summit’s paved recpath.
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