4:55, 4:56, 4:57, 4:58, 4:59 … 5 o’clock on the dot! I hop on “Coco Loco,” my cruiser bike, and head from my office to downtown Steamboat via the scenic Yampa River Core Trail to start my Friday night.

The first stop is happy hour. Once I reach downtown I pull out my phone and check all of the local happy hour deals at www.exploresteamboat.com/specials/drink/today.

[caption id="attachment_2584" align="alignleft" width="250"]Friends enjoy Steamboat Springs' nightlife. Friends enjoy Steamboat Springs' nightlife.[/caption]

Although it’s always a difficult decision, I‘ve decided tonight to sit outside at Sweetwater Grill to debrief the week’s events with a delicious Gerry’s Berries cocktail. Sweetwater is a summer favorite among locals for its amazing riverside location on Yampa Street. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. featuring half-price drinks and $2 and $4 chef special appetizers while watching kayakers and tubers take on the Yampa River?

But we are a group on the go, and our second stop of the evening is Howelsen Hill. I ride my bike over the 5th Street Bridge just in time to hear the headlining band kick it into high gear. The Free Summer Concert Series is a gathering for all ages to listen to nationally recognized artists right in the heart of Steamboat Springs, with acts ranging from pop-rock to reggae and from bluegrass and blues to funk. These free concerts have become a true Steamboat summer signature. For a full list of free summer concerts, visit www.steamboatfreeconcerts.com.

Once I have danced my flip flops off, our group makes our way through crowds of dancers and families camped out on blankets back to our bicycles. Our final stop of the night is late night happy hour at Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill. We grab a table outside and order the 10 p.m. dinner special of a tuna ceviche with half lettuce, half tortilla chips and a pretzel with cheese. I know it’s a little late for dinner but all appetizers on the menu are half off after 10 p.m. and it’s well worth the wait and savings.

After a delicious meal the group parts ways. Some check out the nighttime music scene at Tap House Sports Grill and the game room at the Old Town Pub, while others wish to remain outside on the Yampa at Sunpie’s Bistro. I head home, because I have a race in the morning.

Friday nights in Steamboat in the summer can’t be missed!

Ashley Reed

Administrative Coordinator

Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association