The Ultimate Ski Vacation: Steamboat Springs
It’s not every day you get to fill your lungs with the crispest air, bag the highest peaks, or shred some of the most badass terrain in North America. Whether you’re a guy who prefers a high-end, no holds-barred ski vacation, or you’re a ski bum turned corporate dude looking to relive your glory days, your annual ski trip is a sacred, time-honored tradition. In our winter Ski Series, we’re delivering you a go-to guide, so you know where to stay, what to eat, and, in some cases, how to discover things only the locals know.
Steamboat Springs is probably best known for its signature Champagne Powder, and chances are, most people who grew up in Steamboat, or have come to call it home, are some pretty epic powder skiers. Far enough away from Denver, but close enough to still have access to a major city, Steamboat delivers the magic to northwestern Colorado. Skiers: Prepare to enjoy the ultimate vacation.
Where to stay
The Steamboat Grand is the mack-daddy of ski hotels. It’s so incredible, in fact, that you might not even want to leave to go skiing. A premium outdoor pool, a relaxing and luxurious spa, and a restaurant that boasts a fine dining experience and an incredible ambiance to boot, the Grand has gained high praise for good reason. And what’s more? This luxurious spot sits right at the base of the resort.
Looking for a different vibe? Check out the Strawberry Park Hot Springs and its available cabins, for a unique take on lodging in a beautiful, rustic, more private setting. “What’s Strawberry Park?” you ask? Keep reading for more info on this magical spot below.
If you couldn’t have guessed it by the sprawling ranches that line the route into town, perhaps the cowboy hat-clad folks will give it away — Steamboat is a western town that’s not forgotten its roots. Although the town is famous for its world-class skiing and champagne powder, Steamboat has managed to preserve its ranching heritage and down-to-earth feel.
Where to eat
When you’re not only looking for great food, but a beer list that’s equally good, Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill is the spot. From delectable burgers to mahi mahi fish and chips, don’t leave Steamboat before grabbing dinner at Mahogany Ridge. And of course, no ski trip is complete without an indulgent, sit-down breakfast, and the hands-down favorite for a leisurely brunch is Creekside Café. Pull up a seat on the patio, enjoy the fantastic food from griddle favorites to hearty western classics, and relax as the gentle sounds of Soda Creek rush by.
Where to shred
Having earned the title of Ski Town, U.S.A., it’s a safe bet that skiing reigns supreme in this northern Colorado town. It’s hard to beat the famous Champagne Powder, sprawling tree skiing, and an overall happiness that exudes from the resort on a day when the getting’s good — and deep. Known more for its signature snowfall than an abundance of steeps, don’t let the terrain fool you. More Olympians call Steamboat home than any other ski resort.
Best après watering hole
Serving up an impressive list of beer and cocktails that pay homage to Steamboat’s cultural and farming heritage, The BARley offers a “farm to shaker experience in an American brew to barn environment.” At this joint, you’ll find a hip atmosphere and seasoned pros behind the bar, ready to pour your next drink. For a great local’s spot in the heart of downtown, Sunpie’s is the late-night go-to. Located right on the Yampa River, belly up to the bar or challenge your buddies to a round of super-sized Jenga in the back.
Talk of the town
It’s not called Steamboat Springs for nothing, and some of the most impressive mineral springs in the world are located along Hot Springs Creek. There’s only one way to describe Strawberry Park Hot Springs — magic. The 104-degree mineral water invites guests to soak, lounge, and relax as snow gently falls amidst the surrounded forest. With several springs at varying temperatures, along with a cold water pool to really get your blood pumping, the Strawberry Springs experience is a definite must.