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Steamboat Springs: Why here for a Family Vacation?

September 12, 2019

Steamboat Springs: Why here for a Family Vacation?

September 12, 2019

Why Steamboat Springs?

We picked Steamboat Springs as our Summer 2019 trip over a year in advance in the same way most of our good ideas come up – sitting together at a table, having drinks together and talking. Sara had never seen real mountains and Travis mentioned wanting to visit Steamboat. Justin had been there as a kid when visiting family, but remembered nothing except shooting guns in the woods 🙂

Steamboat is described on the Chamber’s website as “off the beaten path but still within reach” and ” an authentic mountain town, steeped in adventure, history and culture yet full of modern amenities”. After a quick Google Image search, we were sold. It appeared to meet all our criteria when choosing a location and looked like plenty of activities for our kid’s ages.

Where to stay in steamboat springs?

There are two location options in Steamboat Springs – downtown vs. Steamboat Mountain Village. They are about a 5-10 minute drive apart, so it depends on your priorities. When searching, we found there were more options that met our needs in the Steamboat Mountain Village area.

Downtown Steamboat Springs

  • Good selection of restaurants – mix of casual and higher-end options. See our dining post on where we ate.
  • Shops lining Lincoln Avenue – many are tourist and souvenir shops. Our favorites included:
    • Ohana – locally designed apparel, home goods, jewelry and more
    • Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory – the kids (and Sara!) had fun picking out their own bag of treats in this tiny shop packed with goodies
    • F.M. Light & Sons – endless entertainment for the kids with all the western-wear and unique toys
  • The Yampa River runs right through downtown Steamboat – a plus for fishing or commercial rafting trips
  • Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo is located right downtown (we didn’t go to this since the rodeo didn’t start until 7:30pm and that’d be pushing the limits on our overtired kids)
F.M. Light & Sons shop in downtown Steamboat
Studs in Stetsons

Steamboat Mountain Village

  • Located at the base of the ski hill
  • Fewer dining options than downtown, but still a great variety
  • “Land Up Activities” like the Mountain Coaster and Burgess Creek Beach were a BIG time favorite of the kids + adults (plus alcoholic beverages are allowed! See itinerary and dining
    posts for more details) The Gondola under construction while we were there, but would’ve been really fun to ride and take in the mountaintop views
  • All the amenities in close proximity – grocery/liquor, Walmart, Starbucks
  • Mostly consists of condos/townhomes, some private houses tucked throughout neighborhoods
  • A free shuttle (winter only), also a free city bus to take you downtown
Burgess Creek Beach with ski lifts in the background
Cocktails along the Creek
Live music on the lawn at Slopeside Grill, in the Mountain Village
The Mountain Village must be so pretty in the winter! (Hmm….Winter 2020?)

We rented a townhome through a rental agency in Steamboat called Resortia. We chose a 3 bedroom / 3.5 bath corner unit with two living rooms and a shared pool and hot tub on the grounds. Each couple had their own bedroom and private bathroom, and the 3 big kids shared a bunk room (with a sleeping bag on the floor for the youngest). We rented a Pack N Play through Yampa Valley Baby Gear Rentals (highly recommend as well!) for the toddler and put him inside the large walk-in master bedroom closet that featured a window. Cannot say enough good things about this rental townhome! It was perfect – a great walkable location, full of amenities, plus nicely decorated and clean! There were so many rental options we poured over for months and are so happy with the one we picked.

Note: most rental units do not have air conditioning, which we found odd at first. However, with windows open at night when it cools down , it provides the perfect temperatures inside during the daytime

Cornerstone at the Moraine complex pool
Walking home after a night in the Mountain Village, about a 10 minute walk to townhome

If (actually, when) we go back to Steamboat some day, we all agreed that we wouldn’t change a thing. The rental home exceeded expectations, as did the Mountain Village area and what it had to offer for walk-ability and kid-friendliness. Plus, it was beautiful and that’s all you really need besides good friends to enjoy it with :).

View from the townhome parking lot, before the sunrise at 6am

Check out some other posts about our week in Steamboat:

Family-friendly Restaurants in Steamboat Springs, CO
Kid-Friendly Hikes and Outdoor Activities in Steamboat Springs
A Week in Steamboat Springs, CO – Our Itinerary
One Day in Rocky Mountain National Park with Kids

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