When you plan a visit to Colorado, there’s anticipation, excitement and curiosity. Are there real cowboys? Can you breathe more easily with a clear blue sky? Will you see bears? When you get to Steamboat, that excitement turns into pure Rocky Mountain magic. Make the most out of your stay, and try planning your mountain sojourn at one of these unique venues where you can experience true Western hospitality, the National Forest, or pretend to be a Steamboat-ian.
Ride ‘em, cowgirl! Trade in your city slicker duds for a week on a dude ranch. One of the best things about Elk River is its intimacy. Bex, the owner, only hosts fourteen guests per week. With a 2:1 guest-host ratio, you’ll be a VIP all week long. Of course, you’ll be able to ride as much as you want at nearly all times of the day: morning, evening, afternoon, half or full day rides. The wranglers on staff will make sure you’re comfortable before taking you out to the Zirkels, and offer you tips all week long. When your rump needs a rest from the saddle, consider fishing and rafting on the nearby Elk and Yampa Rivers, biking, shooting archery or just dozing off on the porch before a hearty dinner.
If your main goal is R&R, consider staying at Strawberry Park Hot Springs. It is a mere twenty minutes outside of town on County Road 36 and considered one of the top natural hot springs in the state. Strawberry Park hosts a few cabins, a renovated train caboose, and tent sites for those ready to rusticate. The cabins are very simple and come only with beds (no linens), gas grills, and heat; the caboose offers the most amenities. Stays include unlimited hot springs access. The natural mountain spa features three different pools built out of rock next to a running river.
Imagine Western hospitality meeting a Gilded Age mansion. The elegant bed and breakfast hosts just six suites and guarantees a quiet, relaxed stay on the side of Mount Werner. The jacuzzi hot tub, pool table, and mini home theater provide plenty of entertainment if you just want to hang at the B&B. Or adventure out on Mount Werner; trail access just steps away. The Victorian’s happy hour, a complimentary glass of wine between 5-6pm daily, is an excellent opportunity to mingle with other guests in the living room or out on the expansive deck. When you’re ready to head out for some action, hop on the courtesy shuttle.
Did your jaw drop when you drove down Rabbit Ears Pass into town? Well, you can have that view for your entire stay if you book at Bella Vista Estate. Bella Vista sits on seven acres right near the bottom of the pass with views of Lake Catamount and the valley. It is the perfect place for a family reunion, wedding or corporate retreat, as the estate can comfortably host 35 guests in the main house, guest cabins and estate lodge. There’s barely any need to come to town between the great room, bar, catering, game room, fire pit, and tennis courts - but of course, a downtown visit will make your return to your retreat all the better.