Strike it Rich in Breckenridge Without Paying a Fortune

Posted October 27, 2009 by Kate Hamman

CO-Breckenridge-Town-DEF The town of Breckenridge, Colorado, was built during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, when prospectors' greed for gold and the settlers need to tame the West came head-to-head. Though Breckenridge is no longer the rough-and-tumble town of unrequited riches—nowadays most people are only after freshly fallen snow—you can still explore its past for less than the price of gold. Take a tour of an original mine, and after you return to ground level, treat yourself to a fancy dinner in an old Victorian home, or relive the Wild West at a historic saloon.

Country Boy Mine tour: The prospect of hidden treasure inspired men to work tirelessly underground in the most claustrophobic of conditions. Now you can experience what it was like to work the mines more than 100 years ago by traveling nearly 1,000 feet beneath the surface as you listen to the sounds of drilling, smell the freshly dug earth, and feel the lure of the shiny metal. Tours last about 45 minutes, and after you resurface, you can try your hand at panning for gold. Best part is that if you strike it rich, it's yours to keep. Admission costs $18.95 for the tour and panning.

Hearthstone Restaurant: Set in a 120-year-old Victorian home, the Hearthstone Restaurant creates a historical and upscale atmosphere for dining. The menu consists of regional American cuisine, which includes wild game, hand-cut steaks, and fresh fish. Locals and tourists alike have made this a favorite place to eat since 1989. Though it may be a splurge with entrees starting at $21, the combination of good food and romantic surroundings are well worth the cost.

Gold Pan Saloon: Walking through the swinging doors of this historic saloon is like stepping back in time to when the West was wild and gold was king. Rumor has it that Gold Pan has the oldest continuously running liquor license west of the Mississippi, and the decor suggests as much, with bullet holes in the original back bar. Wet your whistle as you mosey up to the bar, and enjoy live entertainment on weekends, typically costing between a $2 and $5 cover.

To search for flights and compare prices to Denver, which is home to Breckenridge’s nearest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Vail Resorts, 2008)

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