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Steamboat Springs is located in the Southern Rockies in northwestern Colorado. A type of snow known as Champagne Powder is characteristic of this region and has made this small town a major winter ski destination, but visitors also travel to Steamboat Springs to enjoy its Western cowboy culture and to take in the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Renting a condo here means guests may have access to amenities not typically found in hotel rooms such as washing machines, fireplaces, hot tubs and outdoor grills.
Probably the top draw in Steamboat Springs is the smooth, dry snow that makes for great downhill and cross-country skiing. The gondolas that transport visitors to the top of Mt. Werner are a tourist attraction in themselves, offering scenic views of the aspen-covered valley in both winter and summer.
The variety of winter activities in Steamboat Springs is unmatched. Most of these take advantage of the snow, but some take place indoors like the on-ice bumper cars and public skating offered at the Howelsen Ice Arena. Winter sports found here include:
Summers here are green and gorgeous, and many visitors take to the mountains to enjoy hiking, zip-lining and mountain biking. Fish Creek Falls is a favorite destination among the locals for hiking and picnic lunches. Tubing and fishing on the Yampa River are fun activities in which the whole family can take part. As its name suggests, Steamboat Springs has natural hot springs, and enjoying a soak in one of these pools is also popular in the dead of winter. Taking advantage of the favorable wind conditions in Steamboat Springs, several area tour companies offer hot-air balloon rides; some include an in-air breakfast or champagne toast.
Some tourist spots in Steamboat Springs also present a chance to learn something new. The free Yampa River Botanic Park has separate gardens showcasing the native plants that thrive in different regional microclimates. It's great for a relaxing stroll or for taking in a summer concert. The Tread of Pioneers Museum has exhibits focusing on area history, Native American culture and local Olympians; some are housed in a Victorian-era home complete with period furnishings.
As can be expected in a ski resort area, winters in Steamboat Springs are cold and snowy with highs in the 30s and lows just above 0 degrees. Summer high temperatures rarely top 85 degrees and the nights dip down only into the 40s. Although winter is the prime tourist season, the lack of humidity in this part of Colorado during the summer and the warmer parts of spring and early fall results in comfortable temperatures for outdoor activities such as horseback riding. Summer is when the Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series takes place, featuring bull riding, tie-down roping, barrel races, BBQ, and calf and sheep scrambles for the kids.
The nearest airport to Steamboat Springs is Yampa Valley Regional Airport located about 30 minutes away. Non-stop flights on major carriers originating in Denver and other large cities such as Seattle and Dallas take place on a daily basis, but the important thing to note is that service into Yampa is seasonal. There are many more flights from a larger number of cities during the peak skiing season than during the slower summer months when airline choices dwindle down to one or two carriers. Private car service can be arranged prior to arrival, and there are rental car desks at the airport. Shared van ride service is available on a walk-up basis or with advance reservations. Taxis are another option for getting to Steamboat Springs; luckily, once there, the city has free bus service along downtown and ski resort routes.