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Publication: Weekend GetAways
Ski Town U.S.A.

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       WEEKEND GETAWAYS - Friday, May 30, 2008
    Make The Most Of Your Vacation - From Coast to Coast!


Greetings Getaway Lover,

Steamboat is aptly nicknamed Ski Town, U.S.A. Indeed, the 
town has "sent" more athletes -- several dozen -- to the 
Winter Olympics than any other ski resort in the nation. 
When viewing the Steamboat Mountain from the town, keep 
in mind that the part that's visible from the base area 
is only the tip of the iceberg, and much more terrain 
lies concealed in back. Steamboat is famed for its 
eiderdown-soft snow; in fact, the term "champagne powder" 
was coined here to describe the area's unique feathery 
snows. 

If you're looking for hellacious steeps and menacing 
couloirs, you won't find them in Steamboat, but you will 
find perhaps the finest tree skiing in America. Beginners 
and intermediates rave about the wide-open spaces of 
Sunshine Bowl and Storm Peak. Steamboat also earns high 
marks for its comprehensive children's ski programs and 
the Kidd Center for Performance Skiing, where you can 
learn demanding disciplines such as powder, mogul, and 
tree skiing. 

The modern Steamboat Mountain Village is attractive enough, 
if lacking in personality: a maze of upscale condos, 
boutiques, and bars. To its credit, though, this increas-
ingly "hot" destination has retained its down-home, 
Western friendliness, providing the trappings while avoid-
ing the trap of a premium resort. That may have to do with 
Steamboat Springs itself, a mere 10-minute drive away, 
where Stetson hats are sold for use and not as souvenirs. 
Steamboat's origins are not as a mining town but as a 
ranching and farming community, setting it apart from 
Telluride and Aspen. It has its share of Victorian build-
ings, most of them fronting Lincoln Avenue, the main drag, 
but they remain more functional than ornamental. 

Happy Trails,
Jan

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--DESTINATION: Steamboat Springs, Colorado

When to Go to Steamboat Springs 

Colorado is known for its winter pastimes, but what keeps 
most locals here are the summers, when meadows are 
blanketed with wildflowers and snowcapped peaks shimmer 
in the sunlight. In winter, keep in mind that driving 
conditions can be treacherous, and you may not be able to 
cover as much ground as in summer. Of course, if you're a 
skier, you'll want to spend at least a full day in such 
resorts as Vail, Aspen, Telluride, and Steamboat Springs 
to experience some of the best skiing in the country. 
Temperatures are warmest and wildflowers are at their 
peak in July and August, and amazingly, resorts are still 
uncrowded and prices off-peak, since most tourists still 
don't think of Colorado as a summer destination. Real 
bargains can be had in spring and fall, but you can count
on iffy weather, with at least some snow. Many residents 
say their favorite month is September, when the changing 
aspen leaves set the hillsides ablaze with gold. 

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--WHAT TO DO AND SEE:

Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Hot Springs 
Hot Spring/Spa, Steamboat Springs 
 
There are more than 100 hot springs in the Steamboat 
Springs area. In the middle of town, Steamboat Springs 
Health and Recreation Hot Springs gets its waters from 
the all-natural Steamboat Hot Springs. The modern 
facility has a lap pool, relaxation pool, water slide, 
and health club. COST: $8.50. OPEN: Daily 5:30 AM-9:45 
PM. 

Address: 3rd St. and Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, 
CO, USA
Phone: 970/879-1828

 
Tread of Pioneers Museum 
Museum/Gallery, Steamboat Springs 
 
The Tread of Pioneers Museum, in a beautifully restored 
Queen Anne Victorian home, is an excellent spot to bone 
up on local history. It includes ski memorabilia dating 
to the turn of the 20th century, when Carl Howelsen 
opened Howelsen Hill, still the country's preeminent 
ski-jumping facility. COST: $5. OPEN: Tues.-Sat. 11-5. 

Address: 8th and Oak Sts., Steamboat Springs, CO, USA
Phone: 970/879-2214
  
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Other Places of Interest:

Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs 
Hot Spring/Spa, Steamboat Springs 
 
About 7 mi west of town, the Strawberry Park Natural Hot 
Springs is a bit remote and rustic. If you're not sure 
of the way, go with a guide. After dark, clothing is 
optional. COST: $10. OPEN: Sun.-Thurs. 10 AM-9:30 PM; 
Fri. and Sat. 10 AM-10:30 PM. 

Address: Strawberry Park Rd., Steamboat Springs, CO, USA
Phone: 970/879-0342


Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest 
Nature Preserve, Steamboat Springs 
 
In summer, Steamboat serves as the gateway to magnificent
Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest, with a wealth of 
activities from hiking to mountain biking to fishing. 
Among the nearby attractions are the 283-foot Fish Creek 
Falls and the splendidly rugged Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area. 
To the north, two sparkling man-made lakes, Steamboat and 
Pearl, are a draw for those into fishing and sailing. 
During winter, the area is just as popular. Snowshoers and 
backcountry skiers are permitted to use the west side of 
Rabbit Ears Pass, whereas snowmobilers are confined to the 
east side. www.fs.fed.us/r2/mbr/. 
 
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--WHERE TO SLEEP:

Best Western Ptarmigan Inn 
$111 to $200, Steamboat Springs 
 
Situated on the slopes, this laid-back lodging couldn't 
have a more convenient location. The steeply sloped roof 
and wood railings add a touch of Western charm. The modest 
rooms, decorated in pleasing pastels, have balconies with 
views of the surrounding mountains. www.bestwestern.com. 
77 rooms. Restaurant, refrigerators, cable TV, in-room 
VCRs, in-room data ports, pool, hot tub, sauna, ski shop, 
bar. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 

Address: 2304 Après Ski Way, Box 773240, Steamboat Springs, 
CO 80477, USA
Phone: 970/879-1730 or 800/538-7519
Fax: 970/879-6044
 

Rabbit Ears Motel 
$111 to $150, Steamboat Springs 
 
The playful, pink-neon bunny sign outside this motel has 
been a local landmark since 1952, making it an unofficial 
gateway to Steamboat Springs. The location is ideal if 
you're visiting the springs (across the street); the ski 
area (the bus stops outside); and the downtown shops, 
bars, and restaurants. All the rooms are clean and 
attractive, and most have balconies with views of the 
Yampa River. Continental breakfast is included in the 
rate. www.rabbitearsmotel.com. 66 rooms. Refrigerators, 
in-room data ports, laundry facilities. AE, D, DC, MC, V. 
Continental breakfast. 

Address: 201 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, 
USA Phone: 970/879-1150 or 800/828-7702
Fax: 970/870-0483
 

Vista Verde Guest Ranch 
Over $200, Steamboat Springs 
 
Set on a working ranch, the luxurious Vista Verde provides 
city slickers with an authentic Western ambience. Lodge 
rooms are huge and beautifully appointed, with lace 
curtains, Western art, and lodgepole furniture. Cabins are 
more rustic, with pine paneling and old-fashioned wood-
burning stoves, plus refrigerators, coffeemakers, and 
porches. Three-, five- and seven-night packages are avail-
able. www.vistaverde.com. 3 rooms, 9 cabins. Dining room, 
gym, 10 hot tubs, sauna, fishing, horseback riding, cross-
country skiing. No credit cards. Closed mid-Mar.-May and 
Oct.-Nov. 3 meals. 

Address: 3100 County Rd. 64, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477, 
USA Phone: 970/879-3858 or 800/526-7433
Fax: 970/879-1413
 
--WHERE TO DINE:

Antares 
Eclectic, $13 to Over $25, Steamboat Springs 
 
The owners of this hot spot cut their culinary teeth at 
some of Steamboat's finest restaurants, including Harwig's 
and L'Apogée. With fieldstone walls, pressed-tin ceilings,
and beautiful stained-glass windows, the splendid 
Victorian building attracts all the attention at first. 
Then Paul LeBrun's exciting, eclectic dishes arrive. You 
might feast on elk medallions with a Bing cherry-merlot 
sauce, or Maine lobster over chili pepper linguine. Doug's 
encyclopedic knowledge of wines is reflected in the 
comprehensive, fairly priced list. Reservations essential. 
AE, MC, V. No lunch. 

Address: 57½ 8th St., Steamboat Springs, CO, USA
Phone: 970/879-9939
 

Riggio's 
Italian, $13 to $25, Steamboat Springs 
 
In a dramatic industrial space, this Italian eatery evokes 
the old country with tapestries, murals, and landscape 
photos. The menu includes tasty pizzas (with toppings such 
as goat cheese and clams) and pasta dishes (sciocca, with 
rock shrimp, eggplant, tomatoes, and basil, is superb). 
Standards such as manicotti, chicken cacciatore, and 
saltimbocca are also well prepared. Try the house salad 
with Gorgonzola vinaigrette. AE, D, DC, MC, V. No lunch. 

Address: 1106 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO, USA
Phone: 970/879-9010
 

Harwigs/L'Apogée 
French, $19 to Over $25, Steamboat Springs 
 
Steamboat's most intimate restaurant, L'Apogée charms 
you with rose-color walls, flickering candlelight, and 
hanging plants. The classic French cuisine, with subtle 
Asian influences, is well crafted. Especially fine are 
the half roast duckling glazed with orange-blossom honey, 
the Alaskan King-crab cakes, and pan-seared foie gras 
topped with warm chèvre. Still, the menu takes a back 
seat to the admirable wine list. Oenophile alert: owner 
Jamie Jenny is a collector whose magnificent wine cellar 
-- cited by Wine Spectator as one of America's best -- 
contains more than 10,000 bottles. www.lapogee.com. 
Reservations essential. AE, DC, MC, V. No lunch. 

Address: 911 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO, USA
Phone: 970/879-1919 

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