Thursday, October 23, 2014

Travel Thursday: Steamboat Springs

Downtown Steamboat Springs, CO.  October 2014.
It's time for my Travel Thursday series and this week I'm bringing you somewhere I've visited recently.  The last couple of Thursdays, we've gone out of the country (Brazil) and we've gone somewhere challenging (Grand Canyon), so this Thursday we're going to take a trip that's a little more laid back.  Although I've lived in Colorado for a little over a year now, we're still exploring our new state.  This past weekend, we decided to check out another ski town during the shoulder season -- it hasn't started snowing yet, and summer is officially over, so most of the ski towns are hibernating right now so to speak.  It's the quiet before the (winter) storm that will bring skiers, both locally and from out of state.

Destination: Steamboat Springs, CO
Date of Travel: October 17-19, 2014
Fun Fact: Steamboat Springs is not named so because there were ever any steamboats in the town.  The area is home to many natural hot springs and the story goes that early trappers thought they heard a steamboat chugging in their direction.  When the trappers learned there was no steamboat coming and that the sound was coming from a spring, they named the spring Steamboat Spring and the town was later named after that spring.

Steamboat Springs is about a 2.5-3 hour drive from Denver CO (more like 3.5 hours if you have a toddler that needs several breaks from the car).  We headed out on a lovely Friday morning.  The highlight of our roadtrip was this cool coffee shop in the town of Kremmling.  Not only did they have ice cream and all variations of espresso drinks, but their ceiling was plastered with race bibs of all sorts: ski races, running races, cycling races, you name it.

We made it to downtown Steamboat right around noon and walked around the downtown area to check out where we'd be hanging out for the weekend.  We found lots of ski and outdoor shops, souvenir stores, restaurants, an independent bookstore, and a very much appreciated ice cream & candy store.

By 2pm it was time to check into our hotel and try and get a nap in for both the toddler and the pregnant mama.  We stayed at the Steamboat Grand.  Although it was pretty quiet while we were there, I could imagine this place bustling with skiers and snowboarders once the season got going.  The suite we stayed in was quite affordable during this off season weekend, but we did look up the rate for the winter and saw that the suite would go for somewhere around $350-$450 a night during the high season.  It is the kind of suite you would want if you were staying here with three kids or skiing with friends and wanted a nice place where you could all hang out together...

While my son and I took a nap, my husband went out for a run and got some great shots of Steamboat Springs in the fall.

After a good long nap, we went back downtown, walked around a little bit more, and then tried some Southern food for dinner.  Low Country Kitchen made me feel like I was back in Charleston, SC, where we spend every other holiday visiting family.  We had fried green tomatoes and fried chicken among other lovely delights (a mint julep for the husband).

Saturday started off with a delightful brunch (which I won't share, as I don't want to overload you with too many food photos) but I can say that Steamboat has a good share of great brunch options (wait til I share Sunday morning's food).  The highlight of Saturday was our morning hike at Fish Creek Falls.

The rest of Saturday included lunch downtown, another delightful afternoon nap, and a low key dinner closer to our hotel.  We also checked out the local Ski Haus (every ski town seems to have a ski shop named Ski Haus) where my son enjoyed driving a retired snocat.

Sunday we tried one more brunch place in Steamboat Springs and were more than impressed with our meal at Creekside Cafe & Grill.  Eggs benedict for me, an omelet for the husband, and an amazing nutella & strawberry stuffed croissant for the toddler.  We packed ourselves into the car and started the trip home with our bellies full.

As you leave Steamboat Springs, there is some beautiful scenery, but we could not find a good spot to turn off the road to get a good photo.  However, there were some other shots I did get later...not quite the scenery we saw as we were leaving, but still beautiful.  I love the sense of vastness in this part of Colorado.  Having lived in California for most of my life, there is a different sense of openness out here.

We took a different route home so that we could make a stop in Winter Park for a short hike and a quick lunch.  The hike was disappointing after our scenic hike in Steamboat, so I won't share photos of the hike.  Lunch was good, too, but nothing worth sharing.  I will leave you with a photo of the Winter Park runs pre-snow.  It looked like a good ski mountain.

Because I'm due with child numero two this Christmas, I won't be skiing or snowboarding this season, but it was fun to see two different resorts before the snowfall.  We may go up for a weekend or two this season, especially if friends or family come to visit and want to ski, but I'm going to have to wait until the 2015-2016 winter season before I can contemplate winter sports at Steamboat Springs or Winter Park.

I hope you enjoyed visiting with us!

Are you a skier or snowboarder?  Have you ever come to Colorado for skiing/snowboarding?


  1. Looks like such a cute town! I have never visited CO, but I have family in Denver and Boulder and I really really want to! I am a skier, but we haven't gone much since having kids. Last year we didn't go at all because of the lack of snow since we're in a drought. It takes us about 3 hours to get to our extended family's cabin that's close to a ski resort and 4 hours to get to Lake Tahoe, so that's not too bad for a weekend trip. Hopefully they'll be more snow this year because I really want to get my son on skis!

    1. When we lived in the Bay Area (before we had kids), we were always making that drive up to Tahoe: up on Friday after leaving work a little early, back on Sunday with the traffic. I haven't been to the snow much since becoming a mom, but after I have number two, I'm really looking forward to getting back out there!

  2. O my what a great little trip :) The scenery is really beautiful. I am not a skier, but it looks like great hiking to me :) The suite looked very impressive :) I want a mudslide and a run in Steamboat :) The hubby did good with the pictures. You have the best adventures

    1. Karen, I think you would be a great travel companion! So positive about my Travel Thursday series, and you always see something you would love to do. I would totally go for a run in Steamboat with you and then enjoy a mudslide afterwards...


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