You’re dreaming of a laid-back ski town that embodies the true wild west spirit of America; a place that is home to bubbly hot springs and Champagne Powder®. A town that is easy to get to by plane, and a beautiful drive by car. Your dream is a reality – and it’s called Steamboat Springs.
Less than three hours away from Denver, Steamboat Springs, or simply Steamboat, is an idyllic Colorado ski town. Known for its mountain and iconic powder days, Steamboat is a must-visit place to experience the best of the outdoors.
Steamboat has something for everyone year-round, but a visit in the winter will not disappoint. Steamboat Springs Ski Resort offers endless opportunities for adventure in a heavenly setting. With an average of more than 300” a year of snowfall, you may experience some of your best skiing and snowboarding in this remote mountain town.
To maximize your getaway, you’ll want to plan ahead and book lodging for a couple nights. Tucked away in northwestern Colorado, you can travel to Steamboat via car with good 4WD or direct flight into nearby Hayden. And to experience the perfect day in Steamboat, one must wake up and go to bed in this dreamy town.
The Best Way to Experience a Morning in Steamboat
Your perfect day begins waking up to Steamboat’s signature fresh powder or its bright morning sunshine. Snowstorm or bluebird conditions, you will be stoked to get outside and get first dibs on the mountain.
Remember to grab your Ikon Pass and face mask on your way to the base village. Before hitting the slopes, stop by Gondola Joe’s for a quick yet satisfying breakfast. Enjoy a fresh pastry and a hot cup of coffee to get you pumped up for a day full of adventure.
As you travel up the mountain on the new gondola, it’s easy to daydream about which one of the 169 trails you’ll visit first. Once arriving at the top, take a moment and let it all soak in. As if the mountain ambiance isn’t enough, Steamboat offers endless views of the surrounding Routt National Forest and Flat Tops Wilderness.
Since it’s hard to choose a favorite ski run at Steamboat, you’ll have to experience them all for yourself. Vagabond and Heavenly Daze are top picks for intermediate runs. If you’re with the kids and wanting to slow it down a bit, Tomahawk is a favorite of the greens. For the expert skier or rider wanting to hike up their heart rate, Steamboat’s No Names double black diamond trail will not be forgotten.
Must-Do Activities for an Afternoon in Steamboat
After a few nonstop hours of adventure on the slopes, lunch will be calling. For a truly unique dining experience, Ragnar’s is the perfect place to stop for a bite to eat.
Located on-mountain inside Rendezvous Lodge, Ragnar’s is ski-in and ski-out only – and well worth the reward. This cozy, Scandinavian-themed restaurant offers a variety of pasta, seafood, and meat. From the Elk Burger to the Sleigh Ride Smörgasbörd, Ragnar’s will fill up hungry bellies with a warm meal. Advance reservations are required, and easy to book online through OpenTable.
If you’re up for more adventure but ready to take off your ski boots, check out the Outlaw Mountain Coaster. Located on the mountain, the Outlaw Mountain Coaster is 6,280 linear feet of fun. Open year long, this sled carries adults and kids down more than 400 vertical feet as it winds, dips, and turns.
Not all of Steamboat’s top attractions are based on or near the mountain. Strawberry Park Hot Springs – tranquil all-natural, spring-fed pools – is located less than 20 minutes north of town.
If you’re in need of a soak after your morning on the slopes, these hot springs will warm up and soothe the body. Be sure to plan ahead as advanced reservations are required, and spots fill up quickly as this is a must-visit place.
For an afternoon away from the mountain, head downtown for shopping, restaurants, and classic candy stores like Fuzziwig’s. During your stroll down main street, you don’t want to miss Steamboat’s famous and historical F.M. Light & Sons. You’ll find an assortment of classic western wear for men and women, including cowboy boots and cowboy hats – the perfect souvenirs for a trip out west.
It’s important to bring your mask as it is mandatory indoors in Steamboat and throughout the entire State of Colorado. It is also appreciated by locals and tourists alike to wear one outside when not able to properly socially distance yourself from others.
Steamboat’s Best Evening Activities
As the winter sun sets, take in the vibrant colors of the twinkling trees lighting up the night as you walk to the base village. Timber & Torch boasts a convenient après offering right at the base of the mountain. Enjoy delightful appetizers and cocktails while you sit indoors or outdoors, safely distanced from other tables.
Cozy up for dinner and head over to The Cabin, located inside the Steamboat Grand. Treat yourself and indulge in entrees like Pumpkin & Mascarpone Ravioli or Buffalo Short Rib Bolognese.
To cap off your already-perfect day with a wow factor, experience Steamboat’s horse-drawn Haymaker Sleigh Ride Dinner during sunset. This magical adventure starts with drinks and appetizers at the Haymaker clubhouse. Afterwards, you’ll venture on a sleigh ride pulled by two stunning horses.
After the sleigh ride, feast on a three-course meal and take in the scenery of Steamboat’s sunset views. While this fairytale jaunt isn’t available this winter, start planning your perfect day for winter 21/22 and book your reservations for next season.
With plentiful powder, an incredible mountain, and a distinctively western vibe, it’s easy to have a perfect day in Steamboat. There’s never an end to adventure for any age. At the end of the day, your soul will feel alive in this quintessential mountain town.