Walkable downtown is great base for a visit to Ski Town USA.
I’ve visited Steamboat Springs, Colorado, innumerable times over the years — usually to ski (with luck, at the same time as the Steamboat Winter Carnival) but occasionally for special events like the Steamboat Wine Festival, to hike, to dip in thermal waters or to otherwise enjoy this northern Colorado ranching town turned winter resort that tenaciously holds onto its down-to-earth Western roots despite its growing sophistication. Over many visits, I’ve stayed at the Sheraton at the base of the lifts when if was the only lodging property at the ski area, the Steamboat Grand when it was new, assorted motels and condos scattered below the ski area and at fabulous guest ranches up in the Elk River Valley, but until this weekend, when my husband and I joined a group of serious eaters chomping our way through Steamboat Springs, I had never actually stayed downtown.
We spent two nights in a spacious apartment — or “residence” in real estate parlance — in The Olympian at 5th and Yampa. We live a few blocks from downtown Boulder, and also as a once-upon-a-time New Yorker, I really value places that are within walking distance of restaurants, entertainment, stores, places to walk and so on. We had a view of the Yampa River, the rodeo grounds and the ski jumps and slalom hill at Howelsen Hill ski area. There were short windows between meals to hike, bike or shop just minutes from our door. I especially enjoyed a late-afternoon stroll along the Yampa River Core Trail with a return along eponymous Yampa Street, and am sharing some images from that walk: