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First-Timer’s Guide: Frisco

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With more and more of the white stuff covering the Rockies—and Arapahoe Basin announcing it will open for the 2014-15 season this Friday—we’re thinking a lot about skiing. Which, inevitably, leads to the where-to-stay conundrum. Frisco’s convenient Summit County location—with easy access to four nearby ski resorts (Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, and A-Basin)—makes it a more low-key option on the I-70 corridor than Breck or Vail. Use it as a home base for your outdoor adventures, but make sure to spend time in the quaint town, which is packed with places to nosh, imbibe, and shop.

The Odometer: 71.3 miles, one-way

If You Do One Thing…: Foote’s Rest Sweet Shoppe’s building dates back to the 1870s and has been home to a variety of businesses. We like its current incarnation: A sweets emporium where you can buy old-fashioned candy by the pound.

Local Secret: Calling the 2.8-mile (round-trip) Lily Pad Trail a “secret” is a little misleading because it seems like everyone in town will recommend it as a quick hike for families. Who are we to argue? You’ll nab views of two lakes, get a nice uphill workout, and be back at your car with plenty of time left to explore town.

Where to Nosh: Load up on carbs during a pancake breakfast at the Butterhorn Bakery & Cafe. Keep up that trend with a midday snack of red beans and rice at the Lost Cajun. Complete the carb trifecta with a prosciutto di Parma pizza at Bagalis.

Get Outside: If you spend the weekend in Frisco, chances are you’re into water sports—either in liquid form at the Dillon Reservoir or of the frozen variety at the ski resorts. If you have newbies with you (i.e. lowlanders), try this easy hike near the water (it should be passable in any season) to help them acclimate to the thin air.

Stay: With so many second-home owners in the area, you’ll find plenty of chic condos to rent at VRBO.com.

Stroll: Main Street is chock-full of shops where you can nab early holiday gifts. Look for colorful scarves at Cornflower Boutique & Gallery, or pick up the latest paperback releases at the Next Page Bookstore & Tea Bar. If you’re in search of refreshment, sip on an Orval at Prost or a seasonal pint at Backcountry Brewery.

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