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Steamboat Springs Vacations with Skiing, Sleigh Rides, and Snow Shoeing. Known by many as “Ski Town USA,” community maintains old-fashioned charm and conveys a friendly welcoming atmosphere. More than 40 Olympians call Steamboat home and smile at the mention of Howelsen Hill, their in-town ski hill.
 
Steamboat Ski area is the second largest ski area in Colorado and receives more than 300 inches of snow on average, and has plenty of room and terrain for skiers and riders of all levels. A free shuttle service transports visitors from town to the base of the mountain. In addition to being one of the top family ski destinations in the U.S.A. providing great skiing and boarding for all ages, there are plenty of other reasons for families to select Steamboat Springs for a winter holiday.

Where’s the steamboat? The town was named Steamboat Springs because early explorers thought that the bubbling of the springs sounded more like the sound made by a steamboat. No boat, but for centuries the hot springs, now located in town, have been gurgling. In addition there is also a private, natural Strawberry Park Hot Springs well suited to relaxing after a strenuous day in the snow. The natural mineral hot spring pools range in temperature from 101º - 105º. To enjoy the springs a towel, swimming suit, warm clothing, boots with good traction and mineral water complete the list. (44200 County road #36 Steamboat Springs, 80487. (970) 879 - 0342 or www.strawberryhotsprings.com)

Rent an adventure in a box.
In town you will find Yampatika, a terrific natural and cultural connection with the area. They actively provide visitors with a sense of place. In addition to an impressive menu of activities for families, the selection of books, toys, puppets and puzzles is a bonus. They also offer several free snowshoe tours. Bonus Points: Yampatika offers Discovery Boxes, designed to help families get the most out of their visit. The boxes include field guides, hiking guides, area maps and resources for kids' exploration and discovery of thelocal environment. All are available at Yampatika's Nature Store, located in the US Forest Service building, or can be shipped to your home before departure. Buying a Yampatika package will save you money, help you find your way in our area and support their mission of inspiring environmental stewardship through education. (925 Weiss Drive Steamboat Springs. (970) 871-9151 www.yampatika.org)

Snowshoe with the bison.
Snow shoeing is growing in popularity among families that love to be out of doors together. Rocky Mountain Ventures makes the experience even better by providing a half day snowshoe tour of a bison (buffalo) ranch and prime elk habitat. They guarantee seeing bison and there is a very good chance of seeing herds of elk. They often also see deer, fox, coyotes, rabbits and bald eagles. In addition they offer guided rock climbing, ice climbing, snow shoeing, backcountry ski and snowboard tours. All levels are accepted, kids and adults. Equipment is provided as well as instruction and guiding. Bonus Points: Five nights out of each month this company also has full moon nighttime snow shoeing. The midpoint of the trip is at an igloo where refreshments are provided. ((970) 870-8440 or www.verticalgrip.com)

Travel by sleigh to a teepee.
Elk River Guest Ranch provides door to sleigh to teepee service for a unique western outing. Escorted to the ranch the adventure begins with drinks and hors d’oeuvres served in the ranch saloon followed by a sleigh ride to the teepee for dinner. The sleigh ride travels through the surrounding wilderness, as years seem to melt away. The dinner destination is a ring of cozy teepees each with a central warming fire surrounded by overstuffed couches and pillows. Lighting is a warm blend of candlelight and oil lamps. After dinner, guests are treated to a return sleigh ride back to the saloon for dessert. (29840 RCR 64 Clark. (970) 879-6220 or www.elkriverguestranch.com)

Ride horseback in winter. For those that love horses and riding a sunny winter ride can’t be beat. Del’s Triangle 3 Ranch provides horseback riding excursions along deer and elk trails in a wilderness area on their 1000-acre ranch. Once riders depart the corrals, all signs of civilization disappear. The trails lead over snowfields and along hillside pathways. (55675 RCR 62 Clark. (970) 879-3495 or www.steamboathorses.com)

Have fun of eating out.
Johnny B. Good's is a 50s style diner with great burgers and shakes. Lyon's Drugstore features a real old fashioned soda fountain. And Toys in the Attic located between the town and the mountain has a great arcade, pool tables, foosball, and other games in a fun casual environment. It's the only place in Steamboat you can get a Vienna beef hot dog. It's also non-smoking in the main room. Better yet: Try the “Pilgrim” at Back Country Provisions the home of awesome cranberry chutney. Bonus Points: For food and action on the mountain, take the family up on the gondola for the Western BBQ Buffet with great food and live country music with a dance floor. The perfect chance to try boot scootin’. (2500 Village Drive, Steamboat Springs, 80487. (970) 870-8400 or www.johnnybgoodsdiner.com)

Enjoy story time for toddlers. Spending quiet time with a small child or grand child can often make a holiday truly special. For many kids, a familiar library setting is ideal and for adults it is often a bonus. The Bud Werner Memorial Library offers story time for toddlers on Tuesdays and for pre-schoolers Wednesdays. Bonus Points: Inviting everyone to “get real!” the library website has an impressive teen reading list. (1289 Lincoln Avenue Steamboat Springs, 80487. (970)879-0240 or www.steamboatlibrary.org)

Make it happen. Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation, 2305 Mt. Werner Circle, Steamboat, CO 80487.  (970) 879-6111 or www.steamboat.com
 


Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Copyright 2016. 
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