Steamboat offers a great range of things to do when not taking to the slopes. There are all sorts of activities for the outward bound, and if you feel like taking things slow, then you can easily spend a leisurely day downtown browsing the shops, visiting museums, going bowling or catching a movie.
The main town wasn’t named Steamboat Springs for nothing, and there are some excellent natural hot springs in the area, perfect for relaxing and soaking those ski-tired muscles. There are also several regular events in Steamboat, including the Winter Carnival in February and the Downhill Cowboy in January, as well as spectacular torchlight parades and fireworks throughout the season to mark special events and celebrations.
Leisure activities in Steamboat
One of the most popular outdoor activities, especially with kids (of all ages), is snow tubing (AKA hurtling down a snowy hill on a giant inner tube). There are a few options, but by far the best tubing terrain is to be found at Saddleback Ranch’s Yee-Haw Hill, fifteen miles from the resort. You’ll need to book ahead and there’s a regular Saddleback Bus service to get you to and fro. The ranch also offers winter horse riding, sleigh rides and snowmobile tours. Other outdoor activities in and around Steamboat include snowshoeing, fly-fishing, ice climbing and ice skating, as well as taking to the skies on helicopter or hot air balloon rides.
Once you’ve tired yourself out on all of the above, then we highly recommend a visit to one of the area’s hot springs. There’s the Old Town Hot Springs in downtown Steamboat Springs, or the Strawberry Park Hot Springs, located a little way out of town amid tranquil natural settings. The latter is open to everyone during the daytime, but after dark, when clothing is optional, it’s strictly over 18s only.
Sightseeing in Steamboat
Steamboat’s two museums are small, but very well put together. The Tread of Pioneers Museum in a well-preserved Victorian townhouse has exhibits on the history of skiing in the region, as well as Native Americans and the early days of the town. The Steamboat Art Museum is an active little gallery space hosting interesting exhibitions and workshops, and is always well worth a look.