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Though every community has its watering holes, Breckenridge has the best nightlife in the area.

In the Arts District of Breckenridge, the Backstage Theatre, 121 S. Ridge St., Breckenridge (tel. 970/453-0199; www.backstagetheatre.org), has been presenting a variety of live theater since 1974. Recent productions have included Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, The Vagina Monologues, The Hobbit, Cannibal! The Musical, and Reefer Madness. Ticket prices vary, but most are $18 for adults and $10 for children under 12; reservations are strongly recommended.

Popular bars in Breckenridge include the Breckenridge Brewery and Pub, 600 S. Main St. (tel. 970/453-1550), where the microbrews include Avalanche Ale, a full-bodied amber ale, and my favorite, Trademark Pale, an American-style pale ale loaded with hops. The Salt Creek Restaurant and Saloon, 1101 E. Lincoln Ave. (tel. 970/453-4949), is a popular live-music dance club where you'll hear practically everything but country. For everything from live blues to reggae, try three20south (formerly Sherpa & Yeti's), 320 S. Main St. (tel. 970/547-5320; www.three20south.com); and the young, hip Downstairs at Eric's, a lively bar and restaurant at 111 S. Main St. (tel. 970/453-1401; www.downstairsaterics.com) that is popular with locals and the apr├Ęs-ski crowd alike and boasts 120 types of beer, including 22 on tap. The Cellar, 200 S. Ridge St. (tel. 970/453-4777), is a slick wine and tapas bar with contemporary art and an attractive red granite bar. Established in the 1870s and said to be the longest continually operating bar west of the Mississippi (local lawmen were afraid to shut it down during Prohibition), the Gold Pan, 103 N. Main St. (tel. 970/453-5499), is a rough-and-tumble, ornery place that's hard not to like.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.