The charming and historic town of Breckenridge, Colorado, sits 9,300 feet above sea level in a U-shaped valley on the western slope of the Continental Divide. The small town has a population of 4,749 residents (2014 census), but that number swells to 39,000 during the busy ski season with visitors and the many second home owners. Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of the most visited ski resorts in the western hemisphere, but the town with its natural year-round beauty, also attracts outdoor enthusiasts during the summer months for its wildflowers, hiking, fly-fishing, mountain biking and white water rafting on nearby Lake Dillion. Locals are known to say “ I came for the winters but stayed for the summers”.
Breckenridge was founded during the Gold Rush to serve miners working on gold deposits along the Blue River. The gold mines around Breckenridge are long gone, although some are open as tourist attractions. Today, the small town boasts over 200 shops, many restaurants, and historic sites. Breckenridge has also been designated as a Gold level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" was filmed here, as was "Dumb and Dumber". Photo of A view of Breckenridge (bottom) and Copper Mountain (top) Taken from the ISS on October 24, 2008, courtesy of Wikipedia and NASA (public domain).