Want to break up the drive from Denver to Steamboat by sprinkling in some incredible cultural experiences? The best part? There’s something happening every weekend throughout the summer. The Rocky Mountain Tour de Art Journey includes art walks, theater, opera, historic walking tours and so much more. Enjoy visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, and learn about Northwest Colorado’s history and heritage.
Instead of telling you what to do day by day, we’ve organized this road trip by sections and provided various options for you to choose your own adventure.
Denver → Silverthorne → Steamboat Springs → Silverthorne → Denver
Day 1 and 2: Silverthorne
Start your art adventure in Silverthorne, Colorado, the heart of Summit County! Silverthorne delivers endless outdoor adventure, a thriving arts and culture scene, and some of the most welcoming residents in the Rockies.
• Stay in the centrally located Hampton Inn & Suites that features stunning views of Buffalo Mountain
• Rent a private home from Summit Resort Group that meets all of your group’s needs.
• Coming soon to Silverthorne is Colorado’s first pending B-corp lodging property, The Pad, a 36-room boutique hotel with hostel-style rooms.
BREAKFAST: Start your morning with a cup of joe and a specialty biscuit at one of Silverthorne’s newest eateries, House of Vibes Coffee & Curio. While waiting for your morning beverage of choice, check out the curios and local art that make House of Vibes one of the coolest new hangouts in town. Or, fill up on a breakfast burrito or the trout and eggs at local favorite Sunshine Café.
LUNCH: Enjoy lunch outside at Enza’s Delicatessen & Market and savor a modern twist on deli and market items from this new Italian deli and see why Enza’s has quickly become one of Silverthorne’s most popular restaurants. Or, if you are looking for some of the best tacos around, head to Mercado La Perla for delicious street tacos and browse the market shelves while you wait.
DINNER: Treat yourself to something special at dinner time with handcrafted cocktails and American classics featuring global inspiration from Timberline Craft Kitchen & Cocktails. If you’re looking for a traditional Colorado meal, head to the historic The Mint Steakhouse and grill your own steak.
DRINK: Cap off your evening with a locally crafted brew from Angry James Brewery. The brewery has live music every Wednesday, or on weekends, simply sit back and enjoy the mountain views from the patio.
PERFORMING ARTS: Enjoy theatre under the stars with an outdoor performance from the Lake Dillon Theatre Company. The Theatre will be performing SHOUT, The Mod Musical Wednesday through Sunday July 14-25 and 8-TRACK, The Sounds of the 70s Wednesday through Sunday August 11-22. On select Fridays throughout the summer, the Summit Community Orchestra Concerts will be performing free concerts on the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center outdoor stage. Check the schedule to see when the harp duo, string quartet, woodwind quintet or brass quintet take the stage.
VISUAL ARTS: Explore the Art walk in Silverthorne and see the town while also experiencing the variety of public art located throughout town. Don’t miss the fox mural outside the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center.
EVENTS: Attend one of Silverthorne’s signature First Friday community events. From arts and food to music and fun, First Fridays showcase the community’s talented makers, artisans and performers.
HIT THE WATER: Take in the Blue River with a guided fly-fishing trip from Cutthroat Anglers, which backs right up to the Blue’s famous waters. Or rent a paddleboard from Colorado Adventure Guides and test your balance on the waters of North Pond Park.
HIT THE TRAIL: Silverthorne is surrounded by the Gore Range mountains, the White River National Forest, and the Eagles Nest Wilderness and Ptarmigan Wilderness areas, making it an ideal destination to hit the trail. Explore a new path with trail options like Mahan Lake, Acorn Creek or Harrigan Creek.
Photo Credit: Elaine Collins
Day 2 and 3: Steamboat Springs
Welcome to Steamboat Springs where arts and culture have been thriving since the first settlers arrived with an organ and paints. Today Steamboat is home to the oldest continuing performing arts camp in the country, numerous galleries and a vibrant performing arts, music, and literary scene.
$ Rabbit Ears Motel. Iconic Steamboat Motel in the Downtown Creative District
$$ The Steamboat Grand. Near the base of the ski mountain.
$$$ Moving Mountains. Luxury Home Rentals. Treat yourself to a luxury stay in Steamboat Springs with all amenities included.
BREAKFAST: Sit by the creek at Creekside Cafe and listen to the water flow by as you eat food prepared from locally sourced ingredients. Or, enjoy time outside under the morning sun or in the bustling atmosphere of Freshies with unique combinations of food and down-home hospitality as you start your day.
LUNCH: Seedz is all organic, all delicious and tucked downtown on the main street. You can find it by the white picket fence that surrounds it. Backdoor Grill has the best burgers in town with combinations you never thought of.
DINNER: Located on the Yampa River, Aurum is a summer favorite to watch the tubers float by as you sip a Moscow Mule or dive into their brussel sprout appetizer or duck wings. For an intimate dining experience head to a staple of Steamboat, Cafe Diva, for some of the richest, most flavorful food in Steamboat.
• Steamboat Creates: Frida Kahlo’s Garden exhibit. This National Endowment of the Humanities exhibit, presented by Opera Steamboat and hosted at the historic Depot Art Center landed here through a few lucky circumstances. Don’t miss it! And don’t forget to visit the botanical exhibit at the Yampa River Botanic Garden.
• Artwalk: Explore Steamboat’s galleries from western heritage to modern western to completely Steamboat. World-class artists exhibit in over 17 galleries.
• Mural Walking Tour – Take a walk downtown and discover vibrant murals that explore the themes of heritage, arts and culture and nature.
• Opera Steamboat – Opera Steamboat enriches the well-being of our community through innovative, educational, and collaborative musical arts programs. Opera season runs July – August 2021.
• Piknik Theater – Don’t miss Shakespeare on the green with Piknik Theater. They produce diverse and professional quality performing arts for the Yampa Valley. Season runs July – September 2021.
• Steamboat Symphony Orchestra – World-class symphony music can be discovered on-line or during their fall performance.
• Strings Music Pavilion – Music on the green, drive-in concerts and live performances this summer. Don’t miss one of the iconic steamboat institutions bringing world-class music to the valley. Performances throughout the summer.
• Tread of Pioneers Museum – Join Tread of Pioneers for a walking tour of Historic Downtown Buildings, Iconic Steamboat, Mineral Springs Tour, Olympic Heritage tours and more, or visit the museum to learn about Steamboat’s history and heritage.
AUTHORS AND POETS
• Off the Beaten Path Bookstore – There’s nothing better than a good cup of coffee and a good book. Off the Beaten Path Bookstore has both. Discover local authors as well as nationally acclaimed authors.
NATURE WALKS AND TALKS
• Yampatika - From edible feasts to educational talks on Steamboat’s native plants, you’ll discover more than nature, you’ll discover a whole new world at Yampatika.
• Yampa River Botanic Gardens – One of the most peaceful places in Steamboat with plants blooming throughout the summer.
• Flat Tops Recreation Area – Fishing, hiking and biking, this area was once beloved by president Theodore Roosevelt for the hunting. Challenge yourself on the Devil’s Causeway or cast a line in the cool waters. About 30 minutes from town.
• Fish Creek Falls – Located just a few minutes from downtown, the falls have captured the eye and hearts of many an artist. Take a short walk to the lower falls or embark on a moderate hike up to the second falls.
• Bike Town USA - Named Bike Town USA for the endless trails, find the best challenge for your style of biking.
• Boating & Rafting – On a hot summer’s day float on Stagecoach Lake or Steamboat Lake. Boat rentals, kayaks and paddleboards available.
Day 3 or 4: Silverthorne
After waking up and enjoying breakfast in Steamboat, break up your drive home to the Colorado Front Range with a stop in Silverthorne for the day!
LUNCH: A trip through Silverthorne isn’t complete without pastries from Blue Moon Bakery. Stop by for a sandwich and some to-go goodies to enjoy on your drive home later in the day. If you’re looking for an extra caffeine boost before your drive, head to Red Buffalo Coffee & Tea and peruse the works of local artists while drinking your coffee or tea.
DINNER: If you are looking to stick around Silverthorne for the evening, head to dinner at Sauce on the Blue while you wait out traffic and make the most of your day! Sauce on the Blue offers delicious pizzas and Italian fare and has plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the Blue River
EVENTS: Enjoy the Silverthorne Sunday Art Strolls along the Blue River trail on select Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. Experience pop-up artists and musicians while taking in the sounds and sights of the Blue River. If a Sunday Art Stroll isn’t being held, take a walk along the Blue River Trail outside the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center to see the various public art displays.
OUTDOOR RECREATION: Grab your bikes and ride down the stunningly scenic and family-friendly Bike the Blue River Trail, a 3.5-mile paved path with plenty of spots to enjoy a riverside lunch. Explore a Silverthorne park or the Silverthorne Recreation Center. Soak in the views while kids explore the playgrounds at Rainbow Park. After a busy trip, relax sore muscles at the Silverthorne Recreation Center aquatics area, featuring several pools and an indoor hot tub and sauna.