Invigorating Ways to Experience Steamboat Springs
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Invigorating Ways to Experience Steamboat Springs

Getaway Staff

Steamboat Springs, Colorado is a feast for the senses, an adventurous destination filled with fervor 365 days of the year. Named for its famous hot springs, the town features 3,000 skiable acres surrounded by pristine nature.

Ranching heritage is alive and well too; the town was built as a gateway to the west, with streets designed to drive cattle. Along with robust history and culture, Steamboat Springs is a distinctly 21st-century metropolis, with bustling pubs, live music, and delectable cuisine at every corner. There's something for everyone here, making it a top spot to check off your bucket list.


01 Old Town Hot Springs

The town's namesake hot springs offer a rejuvenating experience year-round. In the heart of downtown, you'll discover eight hot spring-fed pools, waterslides, an assortment of fitness classes, and a world-class gym, all in one convenient location. Whether you're stopping by for a few hours or spending the whole day, the healing mineral waters provide an unparalleled oasis.

Swim laps or lie back and soak; there's an experience for everyone — the spacious kiddie splash pad and community pool make for a great family outing. Yoga, zumba, spin, cardio barre, and bodypump classes make the hot springs a fitness lover's paradise.


02 Scenic gondola rides

Take in Steamboat Spring's stunning scenery on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Get comfy inside an enclosed 8-person gondola and ascend into the skies, where panoramic views abound. Your ride draws you up Mount Werner for an unparallelled perspective of the 10,500 foot mountain.

Watch the leaves change color, see flowers bloom, and catch animals scurrying up the slopes as you ascend — there are sights for every season. The ride ends with truly breathtaking views from the Oasis Sun Deck, where you can gaze down on the expansive Yampa Valley.


03 Mountain Tap Brewery

Pub culture abounds in Steamboat Springs, and this charming brewpub/restaurant is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Savor 12 unique beers on tap, all of them produced in-house, including an authentic German-style lager and a Mountain Macaroon nutty brown ale that brings the ski slope experience directly to your dinner table.

For those craving a taste of the old world, an extensive selection of wines and ciders is also available. The menu harks back to traditional ranch culture, with hearty entrees such as bratwurst, Cornish game hen, and slow-roasted lamb leg. Wood-fired pizzas and delectable desserts round out the fresh, artisan-crafted menu.


04 Fish Creek Falls

A bridge over the river at Fish Creek Falls, Colorado Erik Cox Photography / Shutterstock

Experience classic mountain wilderness at Fish Creek Falls, which cascades an impressive 280 feet down Fish Creek Canyon. Along with countless photo opportunities, the falls offer something for everyone, including hiking, ice climbing, and picnicking with a view.

Gain access here to the renowned Routt National Forest and explore uncharted terrain, or take a tour to explore the area's must-see spots.


05 Steamboat Art Museum

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, this downtown museum houses rotating exhibitions highlighting the history and culture of the American West, with galleries featuring work from today's living masters. It's free to the public and displays an array of engaging exhibits, including Portraits of the American West, Photography and Pictorialism, and Moments in the Wild.

From paintings to photographs and quilts, the art takes center stage, but you can also sign up for classes, tours, lectures, and workshops. The museum store features timeless treasures from over 25 local artisans, so you can take a lasting piece of Steamboat Springs home.


06 Steamboat Ski Resort

As one of the state's most expansive ski resorts, this don't-miss location features 165 trails stretched over nearly 3,000 acres, giving you full access to Steamboat Springs' premier slopes. Access seven mountain peaks directly from the resort, but the area offers much more than just skiing. Traverse the scenery on snowshoes, glide through the crystal white blanket on a sleigh, or give snowkiting or ice fishing a go.

Adrenaline seekers can experience the ride of a lifetime on the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, which descends over 400 feet with dips, waves, and 360-degree turns. Equipment rentals, classes, and mountain tours are available on-site, and the resort houses 18 unique dining options.


07 Saddleback Ranch

This 8,000-acre working ranch expertly honors the town's history and heritage. Throughout the year, this fourth-generation destination hosts a wide range of outdoor events, including horseback riding through the wilderness, horseback dinners, and cattle drives, where you'll spend the morning moving cattle and conducting day-to-day tasks that keep the ranch going.

With dinner wagon rides, you'll head directly toward the sunset, enjoying a three-course meal and beverages before you head out. Other alluring adventures include hunting, tubing, and snowmobiling for an authentic Colorado experience.


08 Tread of Pioneers Museum

Housed in a 1908 Victorian home, this charming museum preserves Steamboat Springs' rich heritage. Explore diverse aspects of the town's storied past, including its founding families, the history of the hot spring, the lives of the original Native American residents, mining, and every aspect of pioneer life, from raising a family to work and leisure.

Hands-on exhibits for kids include a replica of a child's bedroom from 1900, where kids can try on authentic pioneer garb, open historic books, and play with period toys, from china dolls to stereoscopes. Engaging events offer fun for the whole family: history happy hours, steamboat walking tours, an Olympic heritage tour, and a storytelling series are all on the schedule.


09 Steamboat Symphony Orchestra

This professional ensemble features talented local musicians who are fully dedicated to their craft. Concerts are designed to be engaging and joyful, with guests becoming part of the process. Bring your own beverages, clap along, or get up and dance — this orchestra is all about audience participation and excitement.

Check the performance schedule to grab tickets to one of their upcoming shows, or attend an immersion weekend to learn and perform new skills alongside professional musicians.


10 Yampa River Botanic Park

This can't-miss natural attraction features six acres of lush botanical gardens located 6,800 feet up in the Rocky Mountains. Explore an impressive selection of gardens that highlight the region's abundant flora and fauna. The park is open from dawn to dusk, giving you plenty of time to connect with colorful beauties in the Butterfly and Hummingbird gardens, discover where your favorite flavors come from in the Culinary Herb Garden, watch fish glide through the ponds, and discover one of 40 other engaging garden experiences.

Prevalent labels teach the story behind every site. With so much to explore, this is a true gem of the Colorado Northwest.


11 Steamboat scenic gondola: a sky-high adventure

Young boy looking at the view from gondola. VisualCommunications / Getty Images

Experience the grandeur of Steamboat Springs from a bird's eye view on the Steamboat Scenic Gondola. This nine-minute journey takes you over the stunning landscapes of Mt. Werner and Yampa Valley, offering breathtaking panoramic views. Regardless of whether you're a skier or not, the gondola ride is a unique experience that allows you to appreciate the beauty of Colorado from a new perspective. Don't forget your camera to capture these unforgettable vistas!


12 Vista Verde Ranch: a luxurious getaway

Woman horseback riding in autumn Sitikka / Getty Images

Located about 30 minutes north of Steamboat Springs, Vista Verde Ranch offers an all-inclusive vacation experience in a luxurious setting. From snowmobiling and snowshoeing to horseback riding and hiking, the ranch offers a plethora of activities to keep you entertained. The ranch also offers chef-prepared meals and a variety of relaxation options, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a blend of adventure and relaxation.


13 Outlaw Mountain Coaster: a thrilling ride

Rollercoaster Justin Collins / Getty Images

For adrenaline junkies, the Outlaw Mountain Coaster is a must-try. As the longest roller coaster in North America, it offers a heart-pounding ride over 6,280 feet of tracks at speeds of up to 27 miles per hour. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or prefer a more leisurely pace, this roller coaster offers an unforgettable experience with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.


14 Routt National Forest: an outdoor paradise

Wildfire Smoke Over Mountains Marek Uliasz / 500px / Getty Images

Routt National Forest is a camper's paradise, offering a diverse range of terrains for outdoor enthusiasts. With an array of hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for lake and stream fishing, you'll never run out of things to do. The forest's vast landscapes and stunning views make it one of the best locations in the state for camping and hiking, offering a true wilderness experience.


15 Tread of Pioneers Museum: a journey through history

Looking at the display Mypurgatoryyears / Getty Images

Step back in time at the Tread of Pioneers Museum, housed in a historic Victorian-era house. This museum offers a fascinating insight into Colorado’s rich agricultural history, local Native American tribes, the evolution of skiing, and more. With hands-on exhibits and interactive scavenger hunts, it's a fun and educational experience for all ages. Whether you're a history buff or simply curious about the region's past, the Tread of Pioneers Museum is a must-visit.


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