The neighboring towns of Silverthorne and Dillon, Colorado are the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. While known for their close proximity to Colorado’s ski areas, these towns come alive in the summer, welcoming visitors with scenic wildflower hikes, thrilling whitewater and lake adventures, and a vibrant arts and culture scene. This two-day itinerary highlights all there is to offer in scenic Silverthorne and Dillon.
This story was created in partnership with the Town of Dillon and the Town of Silverthorne. All photos courtesy of the towns of Dillon and Silverthorne.
Venture into Colorado’s Wild
The best—maybe only—way to start a weekend in Colorado is to explore the outdoors. One way to do that is to enjoy a hike up to Willowbrook Falls. This hidden gem will take you through wildflower fields with mountain vistas before you reach the falls, complete with killer views and great spot to grab a snack. It is a great destination for relaxation.
If you are more of an adrenaline junky and want to experience the wild side of Colorado, then taking a rafting trip down the Blue River is your best bet. The winding river takes you through the Rockies on action-packed rapids with breathtaking views of the Gore Range.
If you prefer the thrill of the chase to rapids, check out the world-class fishing holes along the Blue River. This river is one of the most scenic Gold Medal fisheries in Colorado. Silverthorne-based Cutthroat Anglers and the Colorado Angler are reputable guiding services that also offer rentals and lessons.
Fuel Your Adventure at the Dillon Farmers Market
The Dillon Farmers Market takes place every Friday from early June to mid-September on Lodgepole Street overlooking the Dillon Reservoir and Ten Mile Range. This impressive market is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some of the best flavors and culture from all over Colorado. You will find fresh produce, juicy Palisade peaches, sweet honey, live music, Rocky Mountain artists, yoga under the sun, and family entertainment. This is the perfect place to refuel for more adventures!
Have a Dam Burger and a Dam Beer
Head over to the Dillon Dam Brewery, the perfect restaurant for a hearty meal to send your weekend in the mountains over the top. You’ll get your fill of scenery, local brews, and great food. You’ll also have the bragging right of having visited the largest brewpub in the Rockies.
Time for some retail therapy at the Outlets at Silverthorne! With Buffalo Mountain as your backdrop and the award-winning Blue River gently winding its way through the villages, you are sure to enjoy the views just as much as the savings. In addition to the consistently low prices at the impressive collection of name brand stores such as Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, GAP, Coach, Banana Republic, J.Crew, and Columbia, get exclusive discounts with a VIP Savings Card from the Colorado Welcome Center (located at 246-V in the Green Village).
If you prefer golf to shopping, then don’t miss out on playing a round at The Raven. The challenging, but eminently playable Tom Lehman and Hurdzan/Fry golf design features lush rolling fairways and immaculate greens surrounded by towering stands of pine and aspen, snow capped 13,000 foot peaks, crystal clear creeks, and trout-filled lakes.
Dinner at Sauce on the Blue
This Italian restaurant is known to be Summit County’s favorite for a reason. With an old-world-influenced style, their menu offers a complete selection of Italian dishes to satisfy your palette. From classic favorites like spaghetti bolognese to more contemporary dishes such as penne gorgonzola, there is something for everyone. Insider tip: the wine list is not to be missed.
Weekend Evenings in Silverthorne and Dillon
If you time your trip right, you may get to experience one of the First Fridays that the Town of Silverthorne hosts. Locals and travelers come together and experience great food, art, and performances to celebrate what makes the community so special.
If you miss a First Friday, look out for free lakeside concerts at the Dillon Amphitheater. Look for nationally acclaimed, live music on the shores of Lake Dillon surrounded by unparalleled mountain vistas. The music infused with the beautiful sunset makes for a special experience that can’t be beat. Many of the concerts are free, but a handful are paid events. Visit the Dillon Amphitheater website to find out who is playing so you can schedule your visit accordingly.
Sunrise from the Trail
If you love watching that morning glow on towering peaks, then an early local hike is the perfect way to start your day! A good option is to hike the Oro Grande Trail. Once the sun is up, you will get to experience the beautiful scenery and the majestic Gore Range shining in the distance.
The Most Important Meal
Summit County locals take their brunch very seriously, and local favorites Sunshine Cafe and Arapahoe Cafe are not to be missed. The bloody Marys at A-Cafe are legendary, and you don’t want to miss Mike’s sandwich at Sunshine.
Whether your afternoon adventure includes hiking, biking, or water activities, head over to Blue Moon Bakery beforehand. They will prepare a delicious to-go lunch for your day out and about.
A Day on the Water
Get to the Dillon Marina early to rent a kayak or paddle board and enjoy the calm morning waters of Lake Dillon. Afternoons are good for boat tours or taking a sailboat out. Relax on a rented pontoon boat or take the summit shuttle across to Frisco. Bring your bikes and ride along the paved Rec Path for lunch at the Lakeside Tiki Bar.
Look for sandy beaches on the shore to claim your own private seating for lunch. If you want to stay away from the crowds, then head to North Pond Park. This hidden gem offers a sandy beach, warmer waters, and a great place for an afternoon picnic.
At the end of a day outdoors, stop by one of the four breweries to cool off with a locally crafted beer. If you want to stay near the water, then Pug Ryan’s Tiki Bar on the Dillon Marina is a great option! Or check out Angry James Brewery, the newest brewery in Summit. They offer their very own ‘Angry Hour’ of discounted beers along with great locally sourced food from the Cultivate Kitchen.
Watch Arts Come to Life at the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center
We saved the best for last: This brand-new, state-of-the-art, award-winning facility brings people in to experience a diverse lineup of incredible entertainment, public art exhibits, and community events. There has never been a more exciting opportunity to enjoy the arts and culture in Silverthorne! Home to the Lake Dillon Theatre Company, this facility hosts a number of plays throughout the year. Find a full schedule here. What a lovely way to balance adventure and arts over two days in the two towns of Silverthorne and Dillon.