Summer has been different this year. Quite different. And if there’s one thing we miss, it’s traveling. In Colorado, we’re fortunate to have breathtaking mountain towns surrounding us—in a relatively short driving distance no matter which corner of the state you reside. Maybe it’s time for a road trip. Pardon us, a socially-distanced road trip.*
Steamboat Springs has been a Rocky Mountain destination for decades. Home to Western heritage, outdoor activities, and great local establishments, Steamboat Springs is now open for business. For us Coloradans, it should be at the top of our list for in-state, socially-distanced travel. Here are some of the top-rated spots on Yelp to help you plan the perfect Steamboat Springs getaway.
Photo by: Matt C. on Yelp
283 ft. of cascading waterfalls greet you merely ¼ quarter mile into hiking at Fish Creek Falls Park. Accessible for the entire family and your four-legged friends, the roaring alpine water isn’t to be missed. If you’re adventurous enough for a more skilled hike, we recommend hiking up to the Upper Falls—where Aspen groves and majestic mountain views come in abundance. The legendary falls at the beginning garner it’s fair share of foot traffic, so arrive early to bask in the sights to lesser crowds.
COVID-19 pro tip: Wear a mask, especially during mid-day. The heavily trafficked trail also has many narrow paths where six-foot distancing is near impossible. Respect others by wearing a facial covering.
Photo by: Tony F. on Yelp
The quintessential way to celebrate a strenuous hike in Colorado is to cap it off at a local brewery. Storm Peak Brewing Company opened its doors in 2014 and has put Steamboat on the esteemed Colorado brewery map ever since. The 20-barrel brewhouse is constantly experimenting with new recipes, while keeping the fan-favorites top of mind. Like many a’ Colorado brewery, quality is their number one priority. We recommend their GABF Silver Medal Award Winning Hoochie Mama Guava Kettle Sour. The wild sour ale (brewed with 850 lbs. of guava puree) comes in at 5.6% ABV, and will become your go-to summertime brew of choice.
COVID-19 pro tip: Their taproom is currently open for dine-in and to-go orders during this time. Masks are required upon entry and when not seated tableside. Call them directly if you have additional questions, (970) 879-1999. And in their own words, “Be Excellent to each other.”
Photo by: Matt C. on Yelp
The adventure doesn’t stop there. Saddleback Ranch is a fourth generation working cattle ranch, 17 miles from Downtown Steamboat Springs. It sits within a secluded valley, shadowed by Saddle Mountain, with panoramic views all around. During the summer, horseback rides and cattle drives sell out quickly. Horseback riding on the 8,000 acre ranch is quite a sight to behold, where the eye can see as far as Wyoming. The knowledgeable tour guides, beautiful horses and scenic views make for a memorable vacation experience for the entire family.
COVID-19 pro tip: Saddleback Ranch offers tons of socially-distant summertime activities. Though their dinner wagon and dinner horseback rides have been canceled this summer (in compliance with Routt County Government and the State of Colorado), horseback rides and cattle drives are still offered.
Photo by: Emily N. on Yelp
In the heart of the Yampa Valley lies a true taste of Italy. Mambo Italiano (sister to their Steamboat restaurant, Bésame) features classic Italian cuisine with a twist. Like great Italian restaurants, Mambo is known for their scratch made, hand-crafted dishes that utilize locally sourced, seasonally relevant ingredients. Fan favorites are the Roasted Focaccia Garlic Bread, Rigatoni Alla Vodka, and Chicken Parmigiano. Add a wine from their curated list, a housemade dessert, or a to-go pie for the perfect Italian supper.
COVID-19 pro tip: Mambo is open for dine-in and take out orders during this time. Call the restaurant directly for takeout orders, (970) 870-0500. Credit cards preferred are preferred and masks are required. They also boast a daily happy hour until 5:30pm.
Photo by: Julie L. on Yelp
A wonderful way to conclude your Steamboat getaway is with a visit to Yampa River Botanic Park. The park is free and open to the public from the beginning of May through the end of October, though donations are strongly encouraged. The serene environment is home to the unique trees, shrubs, plants, and birds of the Yampa River Basin. The Botanic Park sits at 6,800 feet above sea level and welcomes more than 35,000 visitors annually.
COVID-19 pro tip: During this time, in-person visits are still encouraged. Social distancing is enforced by the staff, as well as facial coverings and gloves from all staff members. Call the park directly if you have additional questions, (970) 846-5172.
For more information regarding openings, closures, and travel restrictions, visit the Steamboat Springs Chamber traveler page to learn more and to be thoroughly prepared for a safe trip. Follow our growing collection on Yelp of local Steamboat Springs businesses to patronize. Don’t forget to tag @yelpcolorado on social media when experiencing the best and brightest in the Boat.