Summit County is known as Colorado’s Playground. There’s a saying in Summit County: “Come for winter and stay for summer.” Frisco, located in the heart of Summit County, has several lodging options to choose from when visiting during any season.
As an avid skier myself, skiing is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Colorado. And Summit County is one of my favorite ski destinations. With four diverse resorts to choose from (Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, and Arapahoe Basin), there’s no way you’ll be able to ski every run during a one-week ski vacation, but you’ll have fun trying.
Breckenridge is a great ski town to stay in. I love staying in a ski town with direct mountain access and nearby shops and restaurants. But since many ski passes cover the Summit County ski resorts, it’s likely you’ll want to ski other mountains during your stay — which means that you’re going to have to travel anyway.
So why not try a town like Frisco as an inexpensive alternative to Breckenridge?
Only 83 miles west of Denver International Airport on Interstate 70, Frisco is popular with tourists, locals, and weekenders from the Denver area. Sitting at over 9,075 feet, Frisco is encircled by the Arapaho National Forest and bordered by Lake Dillon – all located in the geographic heart of Summit County.
It’s got that ski-town feel, and you can walk to nearby restaurants in the evening (over 30 to choose from). If you don’t want to deal with a car during the snowy winter months, Frisco has a free transportation system, the Summit Stage, which provides free transportation to Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Keystone as well as the towns of Dillon and Silverthorne. Frisco is also convenient to access Vail and Beaver Creek.
While Summit County is great in the winter, locals will tell you that there’s even more to do in the summer. One great reason to visit Frisco in the summer is that lodging accommodations can be slashed to half the price of rates during ski season. Actually, two reasons — the crowds are fewer in number, so it’s not as bustling and is more relaxing.
Avid hikers will find challenging hikes to summits reaching over 14,000 feet. Seven of Colorado’s famous “fourteeners” are within 15 minutes of Summit County. The area also offers mountain bike trails, eight mountain golf courses within 35 minutes, fishing, sailing or boating on Lake Dillon, river rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, jeep tours, alpine slides, and plenty of shopping.
Frisco offers a variety of lodging options (approximately 35) for all budget categories. Here are just a few:
The Snowshoe Motel is an economy motel centrally located on historic Main Street. The free Summit Stage is right outside the door giving skiers convenient access to Summit County ski resorts. Discount lift tickets are available at the front desk. After an invigorating day on the slopes, the motel is within walking distance of a large selection of restaurants, bars, and shops.
The Snowshoe offers free deluxe continental breakfast, cable TV, wireless internet, and an indoor hot tub and sauna to soothe your tired muscles. There are a variety of lodging options ranging from doubles to queen beds, kitchenettes, suites, and a condo.
Bed & Breakfast / Inns
Galena Street Mountain Inn
As an alternative to a larger hotel, the Galena Street Mountain Inn offers a more intimate experience. The Inn offers 15 guest rooms all with 32 inch flat screen TVs, private bathrooms, and mountain views. The interior of the Inn was remodeled in 2008 and offers a variety of room options, from the King Tower to the Family Suite.
Guests can relax by the fireplace in the great room, play board games or curl up with a good book from their mini library. If pool or foosball is more your style, the Inn has a game room, too. There’s also a hot tub and sauna adjacent to the outdoor patio.
Start your day with fresh-baked breads, homemade granola with yogurt, fresh fruit, and a breakfast entrée. The Inn can be rented for special events such as wedding and corporate meetings.
The Woods Inn
The best way to describe The Woods Inn is part bed and breakfast / part condo. It’s comprised of two buildings. The Manor dates back to 1932 and was originally a hunting lodge. It’s now used as a common area for guests where they can have breakfast or relax by the fireplace. The Lodge was built in 1994 and has four, two-bedroom condos.
The Lodge is designed so each room can be locked separately. This creates up to 12 rooms complete with private bath. Each room has its own theme and varied décor (like the Oktoberfest Room or the Venetian Room).
Set in a quieter location, The Inn is located one block off of Main Street and is within walking distance of all that downtown Frisco has to offer. Amenities include a 24-hour hot tub and an outdoor brick terrace for guests to gather. Free cider and hot chocolate are available. Pets are welcome too!
If You Go
To get more information about the town of Frisco, including events and activities, visit www.townoffrisco.com.
521 Main Street
Galena Street Mountain Inn
106 Galena Street
The Woods Inn
205 South Second Avenue
Linda Steinmuller is a freelance travel writer and copywriter from Brooklyn, New York, who loves the outdoors and skiing, and visits Colorado frequently.