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The city of Steamboat Springs lies in the Yampa River Valley, located 160 miles from Denver, Colorado's capital city. It is the most populous city and the county seat of Routt County. The area was originally inhabited by the Yampatikas Utes, who were displaced to reservations in Utah by the United States Army. Summer activities include fishing, tubing, rafting, and kayaking on the Yampa Valley River, biking the Yampa River Core Trail, and hiking the trails at one of the four state parks in the area. But naturally, it is skiing that put Steamboat Springs on the map. Although its mining and ranching heritage are still important, the area has become known as a world-class ski resort town. Steamboat Springs is also home to several major events every year, including the Winter Carnival, the Steamboat Marathon, the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, and the Mustang Roundup.
Spend a day wake-surfing on Steamboat Lake or pan for gemstones at the family-fun park - those are only a couple of pursuits available to visitors. There is much to do in the not-just-a-ski-town of Steamboat Springs - try the family-friendly Alpine slide, a visit to a traditional rodeo show, or even stop by the town's scarce yet present cultural haunts.
The dining options of Steamboat Springs are vast in scope, mostly on the upscale side. Mostly absent are chain restaurants, which leaves room for many quirky independents and their palpable menu creativity, in both the spirit of competition and the search for gastronomy perfected. Enjoy everything from the simplest freshly baked cookies at The Bakery, to a palate-challenging Carrot and Black Truffle Gnocchi at Harwigs.
All across the city one can find a delicious cup of joe, bites for breakfast, or a quiet spot to have a beer with a burrito or sandwich. Try The Shack for a great, no-frills lunch spot, or Off the Beaten Path if perusing literature with your morning coffee sounds like something you'd enjoy.
Ski bars, pubs, and saloons dominate the nightlife scene here. Most of them are also restaurants, so a good bite of food is never too far away. Beyond bar games, a few venues host live music as well. Many bars in the area offer special discounts and/or offers between the hours of 3 and 6pm (the apres-ski hours) and sometimes later in the day.
Although the shopping may not be limitless, the quality is definitely above par. There are many stores specializing in outdoor gear, upscale boutiques offering everything from jewelry and clothing to home decor items, and touristy souvenir shops, plentiful enough to fill a full afternoon.
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