I have enjoyed visiting Colorado in the winter in the past but it is no secret that summers are my favorite and when it comes to finding fun things to do, Steamboat Springs delivers.
And the word is out.
It used to be that the energy of the town and even that of the Steamboat Resort was limited to the colder months. Though it still is, when compared to the bustle of skiers and snow lovers the visit the mountain town annually, it is by no means sleepy. Here are some of the fun things to do, in photos!
Favorite brunch spots, such as the Creekside Cafe and Grill which offer plates such as the Wafflelaphagus, and Winona’s with cinnamon rolls as big as your head, often have a bit of a line for a table. Even the resort’s own restaurant, 10,330 – because that’s how high it is – requires a reservations for those wanting to indulge in its epic brunch. (I also recommend Johnny B. Goods Diner for ice cream and Sweet Pea Market and Restaurant for a farm to table experience.)
Finding a place to stay is still a bit easier (and maybe even a tad less expensive) than during the winter months, but you still should book early as a lot more families and event groups are starting to gravitate to the mountains for their summer fun. We stayed at the Bear Claw condominiums right on resort. These mountain side condos are perfect for family travelers. It accommodated my large family (kids and grandmother included) and we loved being able to take the local (free) bus to the market when we wanted to stay in and prepare a meal.
Because of this free bus you don’t really need a car to get around the center of town; it’s almost best if you don’t have one as parking can be difficult especially during holiday parades, like the 4th of July, or open market days.
But we definitely loved having a car to get to other must-see spots, such as Strawberry Park Hot Springs where we went for a hike before relaxing in the hot and cold spring waters. I would say to plan several hours there, if not a day. It is absolutely divine.
We also really loved driving over to Steamboat Lake where you can hike and even rent a pontoon for the day. The pontoons are fully equipped with an entertainment system for music, as well as grill! Pick up some fishing poles at the rental office and try your luck while enjoying the views of this magnificent lake. We didn’t catch anything, but we sure had fun trying!
We spent an afternoon watching the sunset while horseback riding and then dining with cowboys from the Saddleback Ranch. Those not wanting to ride a horse can jump into the horse-led wagon and still take in the beautiful views.
The Hot Air Balloon Rodeo happens every year around the 4th of the July week. Busses load up guests to drive them to the open fields early in the morning where they can watch the balloons being filled up and then raced across the lake. The blue skies filled with colorful balloons is quite a sight! The event continues in the evening at the base of Steamboat resort for the balloon glow, followed by a night of movie watching under the stars.
If it sounds heavenly, trust me, it is. Some of the most fun we had as a family was right on the mountain itself where we hiked, road mountain bikes, and visited with local artisans at the annual Art in the Park. My husband and I even had a romantic evening enjoying cocktails while taking in the sunset at 9,000 feet.
Even after being there for almost 2 weeks, we left feeling like we still had more to do, see, and enjoy. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to go back. New direct, nonstop flights have been added from New Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston and Denver. Pretty big deal, even for those of us coming from further East.
Our summer vacation at Steamboat Springs, CO still puts a smile on my face. If you’d like to see more from our fun time there, check out the hashtag #GGTinSteamboat on my Instagram, @GirlGoneTravel.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this fun video of our first ever rodeo during 4th of July.
In partnership with Steamboat Resort and partners.