Steamboat Springs Ski/Ride Vacation

Well hello, there! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve published a post on this little blog. Before I get to posting about some updated personal things (all exciting stuff!), I wanted to share our trip experience to Steamboat Springs … back in February, lol. Plus, all of the Southern Charm episodes of them at Steamboat Springs has made me want to go back, so for now, I’ll just reminisce through this post 😉

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If you’ve been following along, you know that we like to go on big ski/ride vacations out West once a year. We have done Jackson Hole, Telluride and Steamboat Springs together and RM has done many more before we became serious. Since we had just gone to France back in the fall (recaps are here and here), RM said we could only go on a ski trip if I found good deals.

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I spent some time researching easy to get to mountains and realized that JetBlue started a non-stop flight service directly to Steamboat, which was perfect since we had enough JetBlue points to cover the trip! And, the mountain is only a 30ish minute drive from the airport so it was certainly a “quick and easy” type of travel experience. The only downside was that I booked us group travel to get from the airport to our AirBNB, which ended up being a TWO HOUR ordeal … next time? paying up for a private car service because time > money (in many situations).

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Where We Stayed

Per usual, I did a ton on research on where to stay before booking anything. The nice thing about Steamboat is that the downtown area is only a 10-15 min ride from the mountain. That said, since we were not renting a car, we decided we would rather stay near the mountain since there were also plenty of restaurants in that area, too. I found a great AirBnB right at the base of the mountain – couldn’t have been in a better location for us since it was just a short 2 minute walk to the gondola and across the street from the little market. Also, there’s a free shuttle bus from the mountain to downtown that ran frequently so it was super easy to get into town.

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It was clean and plenty spacious for us – we especially loved the gas fireplace and balcony to store our gear after a day on the mountain. We also used the kitchen a lot for breakfasts, packed lunched and snacks. The host was also super friendly and helpful – would definitely recommend staying there!

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Where We Ate

Good food and good skiing seem to go hand in hand, at least on our trips! We had some really wonderful meals during our time in Steamboat – both mountainside and downtown!

  • Back Door Grill – we felt like burgers on our first night and found this place in one of the local magazines left in the AirBnB. We had gone into town to see the fireworks and ski show (both were amazing) and were able to snag seats at the bar before it got too busy. Their menu was crazy – so many exotic burgers! We opted to keep it relatively simple and both of us fully enjoyed our meal. We also loved the laid back atmosphere (perfect considering we were all bundled up from being outside for the festivities!).

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  • Taco Beast Taco Truck – Near one of the popular lifts on the mountain (mid-mountain) was a pop-up taco truck. We stopped one afternoon and the tacos were SOOO good. As were the beers 😉

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  • Aurum – This restaurant came highly recommended by many of the locals we met throughout the trip… and it did not disappoint! We had the most delicious meal and drinks there and loved the atmosphere. They also have outdoor seating in the summer which over looks the mountain. fun fact: some of the Southern Charm crew also went there!

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  • Truffle Pig – We had gotten some bad news one of the days and I wasn’t feeling up to heading into town, but did want to go out to get my mind off things so we popped over to Truffle Pig, which was right at the base of the mountain. We had had apres ski drinks there previously and knew it was a good spot and the dinner did not disappoint! The craft cocktails were incredible and the steak was cooked to perfection. We were so happy with the whole experience!

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We Apres’d at a few other spots, but by now I can’t remember the name 😦 But there are lots of great stuff mountainside and at the base – all with pretty good happy hour deals!

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What We Did

Skied and snowboarded, duh! But in all seriousness, when we go on these trips, that’s pretty much what we focus on doing. It would’ve been neat to visit the hot springs, but unfortunately we were not there long enough to get the chance to take advantage of it. We spent most of our time on the right side of the mountain because we loved the wide trails there. One afternoon we went off the back side of the mountain which was a little scary because it was so steep, but we found some awesome trails in doing so, not to mention awesome views.

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We did head into town one afternoon to shop, walk around and get drinks which was fun. The downtown is really cute! It was nice, too, because the big town festival had recently ended so it was still decorated for that.

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We agreed that Steamboat was one of our favorite trips – it was easy to get to, the mountain had awesome trails for our level and we got pounded with snow one day – can’t ask for more than that!

Questions for you

Have you done any big ski/snowboard trips out west, to Canada or Europe? Where was your favorite? Suggestions on where to go next?

Telluride Ski/Ride/Vacation Recap

Hey there! While I’m loving my {slightly sporadic} newsletter adventure, I thought B2B would be a better place to share our Telluride recap. If you remember, last year we went to Jackson Hole and were blessed with pretty much non-stop snow the entire time we were there. It made every run feel like a powder/first track run, which was awesome! While we were not lucky enough to have any snow during our time in Telluride {read: lightest snow fall in YEARS – bare ground everywhere!}, we still had a wonderful trip. The little town, the hotel, the views and the mountains were everything I’d seen in pictures that initially made me want to visit.

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Here are details on our stay – I would fully recommend ALL of these to anyone planning to visit Telluride. There wasn’t one thing that we would’ve changed during our time there. Well, except to have the snow Gods on our side to bless us with more snow 🙂  That said, since our initial flight out was cancelled and our flight home was cancelled, I’m also going to share some details about our unplanned 2 night stay in Dallas. We were both more than ready to be home, but made the best of our stay in Dallas and had some great meals and drinks worthwhile of sharing.

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Flights

When flying to Telluride, you either fly to Montrose or Telluride. I couldn’t find any flights into Telluride, so I am guessing it must be for private plans/very wealthy people or locals. We flew into Montrose (with a layover in Dallas) and then used a shuttle service to get from Montrose to downtown Telluride, which was a 90 minute ride. We used Telluride Express which ended up being a little over $100/pp round trip.

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Where to Stay

I did a lot of research before we went in terms of where to stay. There are two areas that people generally stay: downtown Telluride or Mountain Village. Downtown Telluride is just a short (15 minute gondola ride) to Mountain Village, but has a better restaurant/bar scene. Mountain Village is at the base of the mountain and has a good array of hotels and restaurants, but they tend to be a bit busier since they’re at the base of the mountain. We opted to stay in downtown Telluride because we wanted more of a restaurant/nightlife scene (even though we went to bed so early every night!) and were very happy with this decision.

Originally we planned on doing an Airbnb, but they ended up being the same price as hotels so we booked at Hotel Columbia, which I couldn’t recommend more! The location was perfect – it was within close (5 minutes) walking distance to all the good restaurants, shops, Main street and literally across the street from the gondola and 1 chair lift that took you up to the mountain if you didn’t want to go to Mountain Village. Our room (room 42)  was on the 4th floor, had a balcony overlooking the mountain, a gas fireplace, small kitchenette with a 2 burner stove, refrigerator and microwave, a large bathroom with heated floors and towel rack, the most comfortable bed and little sitting area. Included in our stay was access to their ski/board storage room downstairs and a delicious (and plentiful) breakfast which included lots of coffee, fresh juice, eggs, bacon, yogurt, homemade granola, homemade pastries and more. It was the best way to start the day! They also have a super popular happy hour at their restaurant, Cosmopolitan, with $5 Cosmo’s and snacks. We wanted to have dinner there, but they were booked the night we wanted to go 😦

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Overall, we would HIGHLY recommend staying here – the staff was so knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. I had called ahead to see if they would stock our fridge with some local beers for RM and they were so sweet in this accommodation!

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Mountain Details

Telluride is really big, with incredible altitude levels. It was crazy how high it was! We didn’t get to all of the trails since neither of us have fun on blacks or double blacks, but the blues and double blues that we went on were awesome! We loved the Polar Express lift, Prospect Express and Plunge. Getting to the top of Plunge was SO scary because it was so high, but Woozley’s Way and/or See Forever were great trails with beautiful views!

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They have a few restaurants at various peaks and we opted to get drinks at Bon Vivant mid-day one day. I’m not big on mid-day drinking, though, as it decreases my motivation to continue skiing 😉

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We Apres’d at Tomboy Tavern at the base of Mountain Village a few times and really enjoyed both their outdoor bar and indoor fireplace area.

Eats

Ah! We ate SO well during our time in Telluride. On our first day, we went to the grocery store (just like Whole Foods) and stocked up on stuff for lunches since we prefer to not eat out 3x a day.

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With the location of our hotel, we were able to pop “home” to eat lunch and then go back out, which was great. For our non-room meals, here are some places we enjoyed

  • Smuggler’s – This was our first stop after arriving into Telluride as we were looking for a drink and food STAT, and this was down the street from Hotel Columbia. We shared wings, a salad and fried calamari and enjoyed it! It’s a brewery, so they have a large beer selection.
  • New Sheridan Chop House – After all of my Telluride research, I felt like this was a must. Luckily, we were able to find seats right at the bar and enjoyed some cocktails and a delicious steak dinner, paired with a lovely glass of Barolo 😉

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  • There… – This was a recommendation that came from someone at Hotel Columbia, and we were so thankful for it! They are a small place off the beaten path, but somehow when we walked in they had 2 seats at the bar that we were able to snag. The drinks were funky and interesting, the service was great and the food was incredible. We shared a few small plates and both couldn’t get over how flavorful everything was. It was honestly one of the best meals we’ve had in a while!
  • Tomboy Tavern – We had some “nachos” after skiing one day and they were made with homemade potato chips rather than tortilla chips… a combination we both really enjoyed!
  • Brown Dog Pizza – While perusing through some of the shops along Main Street, we asked someone where we could find good pizza and this was her suggestion. A short couple of blocks later and we, again, stumbled into a busy restaurant that luckily had 2 bar spots open up just as we walked in. The bar staff were SO friendly and we took their suggestion to try their Detroit style pizza which was a combination of deep dish and Sicilian. In short, it was amazing. We were very happy with this recommendation!

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  • Cosmopolitan – Again, we didn’t end up getting a chance to eat here (we fell asleep at 8pm our first night and opted for pizza on our last night), but everywhere I read recommended it. Plus, by the looks of the crowds we saw in there every night it must be good!

Overall, even without snow, we loved our time in Telluride! It was the cutest little town that felt like it was right out of a movie!

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And now onto Dallas. I’ve been to Dallas probably 10 times, so I wasn’t super excited about being stuck there for 2 days, but we did a great job making the best of it. We stayed at the Sheraton in downtown Dallas, which I realized I had stayed at before. They had a HUGE gym and nice pool, although jeans and a longsleeve were the best I could do for sun bathing clothing 😉

We walked to Deep Ellum and had incredible beers at Braindead Brewing. Nothing like sitting outside in 65* weather in March! We had tacos and margarita’s at Maraca’s and hit the hay early.

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On our final day there, we walked to The Woolworth for lunch, another place I had been to, but didn’t realize it until we got there. We sat outside and soaked up the sun – it was lovely. For dinner, we wanted another steak dinner (when in Dallas) and after some research we decided on Nick & Sam’s, which was great! The bar was a little dark/loud, but the drinks and food were awesome!

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All and all, although we had an unexpected 6 night vacation (as opposed to 4), it was awesome. RM is my favorite person to travel with – it’s great how well we travel together! We are always on the same page about where to go, what to do, what to eat, etc. so it makes it so fun! We are already planning our next adventure – thinking of Europe in the fall!

If you have any questions or want more info on any of our travel details, let me know! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter – I share all sorts of things!