+One of ski country’s best towns. Trees!
- Slow-moving construction at the base.
Laid-back. Genuine. fun. There’s arguably no other resort that surpasses Steamboat’s down-to-earth vibe, from Lincoln Avenue’s cowboy cafés to the easy-smiling barista at Gondola Joe’s. But don’t mistake a mellow rep for a lack of ambition. Steamboat Unbridled, a $20 million plan to revitalize the village with a pedestrian plaza, lodging and dining, is gaining traction. One Steamboat Place, a new slopeside property, and The Truffle Pig, its farm-to-table restaurant, elevate the resort and embody the direction it’s heading. Until then, the “genuine Rocky Mountain town” of Steamboat will fill in the gaps, with Bistro C.V.’s Colorado seasonal fare and Winona’s plate-size cinnamon rolls. On-slope, readers rave about “powder and trees. What more do you need?” Two Steamboat trademarks that never change. —Samantha Berman
On-Hill Lunch » At Ragnar’s, midmountain, the Reuben, topped with housemade Austrian blaukraut and melted Jarlsberg, is divine.
Family Activity » The Western BBQ, weekend nights at the top of the gondola, boasts a live band, dancing and games. (Hokey-pokey, anyone?)
Off-the-Map Trail » Hit the Johnny Chutes, in Christmas Tree Bowl. Steep. Beautifully gladed. Lots of fresh because it's hard to find. Ask a patroller.