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Steamboat Vacation Tips

Getting ready for your trip to Steamboat Springs and need some advice on what to pack, where to go and what to do? Here's a quick hit list of our top Steamboat vacation tips to get your Steamboat Springs vacation started on the right foot!

Pack The Right Wardrobe

The weather can change greatly from day to day, or even hour to hour in Steamboat Springs. In the winter it’s all about layers. Pack non cotton base layers (cotton is rotten!), several mid layers, and a waterproof outer layer. Don’t forget a good pair of gloves, a hat and sunglasses. In the summer, be prepared for chilly evenings with a sweater and there’s always a chance of afternoon showers, so bring a good rain jacket. Don’t forget a swimsuit year-round for the river/hot springs/hot tubs and pools. All restaurants, no matter how fancy, are ok with fairly casual attire in Steamboat. No need to pack the heels! Check out our blog about what to pack for your winter vacation.

Plan Your Transportation

There’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck somewhere because there are no Ubers or your shuttle stopped running. Especially if it’s really cold out! Whether you are renting a car, arranging a GoAlpine taxi to and from the airport, or using an on call shuttle/city bus, a helpful Steamboat vacation tip is always plan the ride prior to needing it. Get details on the best transportation options here.

Hungry? Thirsty? 

Have your home stocked before you arrive and hire out the tough tasks. Take advantage of services like Steamboat Grocery Mom, Baby’s Away, Steamboat Babysitting Company, Ski Town Gourmet, Drunken Onion to make sure you aren’t scrambling last minute when you get to town to fill your fridge with groceries, to equip your home with cribs and baby gates or to arrange last minute childcare. These vendors will have what you need delivered to your property prior to your arrival or come to your home to provide their services.

So Much To Do! 

Do your research about restaurants, activities, and events in Steamboat. Finding out a little information about these things prior to your vacation can go a long way towards a fun and stress free trip. Take advantage of the local knowledge and ask our vacation planner or guest experience team for advice and favorites. Also check out the Happy Stays Guest App or our Events and Activities Page for suggestions.

Make Reservations. Seriously.

Whether it's for restaurants, rental shops, lift tickets, or activities, booking ahead makes everyone’s life a lot easier. Busy season in Steamboat is just that, BUSY! To avoid waiting in long lines, and to expedite the process once you’re at the front of a line, it’s best (and often less expensive) to book everything you need ahead of time rather than just winging it. Our vacation planners can help in finding you the best deals in town.

Local Tips

Take advantage of expert knowledge and ask a local. The residents of this town play hard, and often have a wealth of knowledge about the activities that you are here to participate in. This could be anything from signing up for a ski lesson, or hiring a fishing guide, or simply picking someone’s brain on gear at a local ski or bike shop. One of the best places to chat up a local is on the chairlift or gondola. Here are our tips for the best runs on the mountain, no matter what your ability.

Take It Easy 

The adjustment to the altitude of a ski town can really take its toll. Don’t push it too hard on your first day or two in town, don’t be afraid to call it quits before the lifts stop running, and don’t be afraid to download on the gondola. Drink plenty of water and ease yourself into alcohol consumption. It can be helpful to over hydrate prior to arrival. Altitude sickness is the quickest way to turn a fun vacation into a miserable experience. Remember, you’re on vacation, so play hard, but rest easy.

See The Sights! 

There are some very unique attractions that are must sees when you visit Steamboat – Our favorites are the Strawberry Hot Springs, Fish Creek Falls, the Yampa Core Trail, riding the Gondola, floating the Yampa River, the Yampa River Botanic Park & The Howler Mountain Coaster. Find our Steamboat Springs vacation tips about all these sights in our Activity Guide.

Know Where You’re Going 

Take a look at a map of town! This can help immensely in planning and coordinating the details of your vacation. Even though they are just 4 miles apart, there’s a big difference between Downtown and The Mountain. Here’s some info about our properties in both locations.

Pack & Ship

Ship luggage and packages ahead of time. Address to our office (please call ahead) and we will hand deliver everything to your property. You can travel light and not have to worry if your bags got lost or delayed when traveling through airports. You can also ship directly to the UPS Store or Postnet in Steamboat Springs and pickup when you arrive.

Bring The Sunscreen

The most simple vacation tip of all, summer or winter, is to watch out for the sun. At this altitude it can get you fast. Use hats, sunglasses/goggles, wear lots of sunscreen, and drink lots of water after a day in the sun. We recommend a minimum of SPF 30 for most activities and SPF 50 if you're on the snow. Watch out for the reflection off the snow, it can be brutal!