CSU Students: Steamboat Springs Staycation


Pack your bags and get ready for the ultimate weekend trip.

When people around Fort Collins normally talk about heading to the mountains, they talk about heading towards Denver or Boulder. Today, however, we will be turning our attention in a different direction: Towards Steamboat Springs!

Ahhh, the Springs. The Boat. Once you’ve been there, you’ll surely join the group of die-hards that have nothing but good things to say about it. Whether you visit in the winter or in the summer, there is always something for everyone – and here at ColoRADo Bound, we will do our best to make sure you leave feeling the same!

Things to Do in Steamboat Springs:

There are two shining gems that usually stand out when you think of Steamboat Springs, and those are: Skiing and snowboarding, and then relaxing in the Strawberry Hot Springs (and the lesser talked about Old Town Hot Springs).

…And while we also think those are great, that’s not what we’re here to tell you about. We want to tell you about unique outdoor activities! With spring closing in upon us, we’ve chosen to highlight some activities that might appeal to you as it warms up:

Yoga in the Yampa River Botanic Park

The Yampa River Botanic Park is a beautiful park that sits at the foot of Mt. Werner (the Steamboat Ski Mountain). It is a free park with many beautiful, differing sections to walk through and enjoy. Boasting water, trees, gardens, and sculptures, it is a popular destination for weddings and public events.

Starting May 1st, every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., there are yoga classes hosted in the middle of the park. All levels are welcome, and it is completely donation based ($10 is the suggested donation).

If yoga isn’t your thing, they also do “Music on the Green” at 12:15 p.m. every Thursday from late June to the middle of August!

Saddleback Ranch Horseback Rides

Saddleback Ranch is a fourth-generation owned ranch nestled on beautiful land near Steamboat Springs. If you packed a pair of long pants, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. For $55 per horse (no matter the experience of the rider!) you can go for a one hour scenic ranch ride – a perfect way to kill a beautiful sunny afternoon and to work on your cowboy or cowgirl skills. They offer other options as well, but they do climb in price – such as a horseback dinner ride for $95, and a full-blown cattle drive for $140.

If you’d rather watch all the action from the outside, make sure you check out their Pro Rodeo events, which take place every Friday in the summer.

Fly Fishing

The Yampa River. It starts at 12,000 ft in the Flattop mountains, and eventually runs, over one hundred miles later, into Colorado. Steamboat Springs is one of the places this beautiful river cuts through, and what better place could there be to fly fish?

This sport is enjoyed year-round by locals, and some of the best areas to go fly fishing near Steamboat Springs are the local state parks: Stagecoach State Park, Pearl Lake State Park, and Steamboat Lake State Park. If you aren’t sure where to begin, there are several local shops in town where you can rent equipment, or if you would like to take a fishing excursion with a knowledgeable local guide. Prices will vary, but local shops can be viewed here.

Image retrieved from Steamboat Chamber’s website

Best Places to Stay in Steamboat Springs:

Rabbit Ears Motel:

Although it may not have the most attractive exterior, Rabbit Ears Motel is a silent gem in the middle of Steamboat springs. Its location is right in the center of all of the action; within 5 minutes drive of the trails, a quick jaunt on foot from local bars and eateries, and across the street from Old Town Hot Springs (to which you get discounted tickets if you ask at the front desk). They offer continental breakfast, and room prices are fairly cheap. One queen bed costs roughly $99 for a night, but prices go down as you add more people to more beds (for example, a room with two queen beds costs only $119), so call all your friends to join you!

The Nordic Lodge of Steamboat Springs:

The Nordic Lodge is a modern motel with a distinctly rustic feel, and it is located near downtown Steamboat Springs. It has a wide range of budget-friendly room options.  There’s a free shuttle to Steamboat Ski Resort every 10 minutes, and the property claims to be within five blocks of 20 restaurants. Other amenities include the secluded backyard lounge area, indoor hot tup, and heated outdoor pool. Prices are similar to that of the Rabbit Ears Motel – a room with a double bed costs roughly $99, and then only goes up to $109 for a room with two double beds, and so on. You really can’t go wrong here!

Steamboat Lake State Park:

If you’d prefer staying outdoors for the entirety of the trip, this place is for you. This campground is a large, popular state park near famed Hahns Peak. At an elevation of 8,100, it offers amazing views of the surrounding peaks and valleys, plus easy access to the teeming lakes and streams above Steamboat Springs. Campsites are first come, first served all other times of year. It’s facilities include vault toilets, trash service, electric and RV hookups, and potable water and laundry service. Reservations are accepted during the summer high season – roughly Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Camping rates are as follows:

  • Electrical sites:  $26 / night May 1st through September 30th
    • $24 / night the rest of the year
  • Basic sites:  $20 / night May 1st through September 30th
    • $18 / night the rest of the year
  • Aspen Leaf pass holders receive a $3 discount on all Sunday-Thursday evenings other than holidays
Image retrieved from Nordic Lodge’s website

Best Places to Eat in Steamboat Springs

Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill:

Voted “the best hang out” in Steamboat Springs, the food and the drinks at Mahogany Ridge are drool-worthy, but pricey. However, here’s our little tip for you: Skip the meal and fill yourself up on their apps. They have incredible appetizers that still have all of the flair of their main dishes, but without the main dish price tag (pair together the tuna ceviche with a glass of wine and see how fancy you feel). From 4-5:30, they have half price drinks and discounted appetizers, so while it may be a bit busy, it’s worth the wait – and then you can come back for their exact same late-night happy hour if you need something to top you off!

Skull Greek Creek

Image retrieved from Skull Creek Greek’s Facebook Page

Voted the “Best of the Boat”, if you’re feeling something a little more exotic than your typical pizza or burritos, this is the place for you. Located right in downtown Steamboat, tucked under some great shopping, lies Skull Creek Greek. Touted for their fantastic Gyros, Greek Salads, Baklava, and more, this place is great for folks on the go. More than that, it’s incredibly affordable, with the most expensive item on the menu topping out at $10.50! It’ll keep you going back for more, without breaking your bank.

Best Places to Go Out in Steamboat Springs

Schmiggity’s Live Music Dance Bar

Just a four minute drive down the road from the Mahogany Grill is Schmiggity’s Live Music Dance Bar.  Schmiggity’s was the first music establishment in Steamboat built exclusively for live music. They pride themselves on their high sound quality as well as their friendly and fun atmosphere.  They offer free acoustic music every Friday and Saturday from 7:30-9pm and have happy hour everyday from 7-9pm! Schmiggity’s is a great end to an adventure-filled day!

The BARley

Looking for more of a low-key night? Check out The BARley! They offer over 30 beers from local breweries throughout Colorado along with “hoppetizers” and cocktails. The chill vibe and great people make for a relaxing night!

Image retrieved from BARley’s Facebook Page

 

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