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15 Things to Know Before Moving to Steamboat Springs, CO

Written by Zach Spanton

Living in Steamboat Springs is the perfect choice for individuals seeking a small-town feel with a big-city vibe, thanks to its close-knit community. No matter the season, this alpine town offers a warm welcome and a wide variety of exciting and interesting things to do. 

There are many things to do indoors, but the town really shines when you explore the outdoors and everything it has to offer. Here are fifteen things to know before moving to Steamboat Springs, CO.

1. A cost of living index of 138

Steamboat Springs is quite a pricey town to live in. The cost of living in this town is 38% higher than the national average, and the median home price is $1,188,899.

Living expenses in Steamboat Springs yearly amount to $47,777, which is more than both the state of Colorado’s $40,026 and the national average of $38,433. This amount includes housing, food, child care, transportation, healthcare, taxes, and other essentials.

Nearly everyone who hears the name “Steamboat Springs” immediately thinks of Winter Sports. With good cause, too! At Steamboat Ski Resort, located in this mountain town, you’ll find one of the top ski resorts in the state. The resort is well-known for its Champagne Powder, so called because of its light and dry quality. 

Among the nation’s biggest ski resorts, Steamboat Ski Resort boasts the most number of Olympic medalists. More than 4.6 square miles of skiable terrain, 169 named trails, and 18 lifts make it one of the most family-friendly ski resorts in Colorado. Easy learning trails, rollers, moguls, steeps, cliffs, rapid groomers, chutes, terrain parks, and more are all available, so there’s sure to be something for every skier.

3. Relax in Old Town Hot Springs

Steamboat Springs is a hot springs paradise, as the name suggests. You will find these soothing natural springs either in the middle of town or a little out of the way, and they’re perfect for a refreshing soak. 

Located in the heart of Steamboat’s historic district, Old Town Hot Springs is a great place for families to cool off and enjoy the water slides, lap pool, and other outdoor soaking pools. Plus, for a more down-to-earth experience, head to Strawberry Park Hot Springs, which are spring-fed pools situated on the Yampa Valley’s edge. You’d have frequent access to these amazing phenomena, whereas many people fly to Steamboat just to see them!

4. Steamboat Springs is a remote-friendly town

In this era of remote employment, moving is no longer a major concern. You might have been thinking about making some changes to your lifestyle if you have the option to work remotely, either from the comfort of your own home or any place with a decent WiFi connection. Because of this change, there’s a new word for places that make it convenient to work remotely: Zoom Towns, a play on the name of the popular video conferencing app. 

Zoom towns, which are located outside of big cities and sometimes near open areas like state and national parks, offer a reduced cost of living, and there are a number of them in Colorado. Steamboat is just one of these several secluded alpine villages dotting the Rocky Mountains. Many have moved to these communities because of the better quality of life they offer, even though they are still within driving distance of major cities if necessary.

5. A friendly community

Steamboat Springs is brimming with delightful and amiable individuals. The warmth is evidence wherever you go – be it the lift operators, store clerks, or even your neighbors; genuine smiles welcome you at every turn. 

This positive atmosphere emanates from the sheer joy of residing in this exceptional town, which acts as a magnet for vibrant and content individuals who contribute to the overall friendly ambiance.

6. Work in sectors like energy and mining, healthcare, tourism, and construction

There has been a steady increase in both the population and the number of available jobs in Steamboat Springs during the last 20 years. There are job opportunities in industries like energy and mining, healthcare, tourism, and construction. A number of major employers include Vacasa, ACZ Laboratories, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, and Steamboat Springs School District.

Businesses in Steamboat Springs and the neighboring region are growing and contributing to the community because of the diverse scenery, increasing population, abundant natural resources, and attractions.

7. The climate is diverse

Hot air balloon festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

There is always something exciting to do and see in Steamboat Springs no matter the season because of the city’s changing climate. In general, summer is characterized by hot, dry weather with mainly cloudless skies. The warm season begins on June 3 and lasts all the way until September 16, with highs averaging 70 degrees. Temperatures of 38 degrees are typical during the coldest months, which begin on November 21 and last till February 29. Temperatures can drop below freezing in January.

The months of April through October make up the wet season. November 3–March 6 is when snow is expected to be at its peak. The best time to go outdoors is between the end of June and the middle of August when the weather is pleasant, sunny, and dry. At this time of year, the temperature might reach 80 degrees.

8. Steamboat Springs is a stunning city

Steamboat truly boasts one of the most breathtaking settings, with majestic mountain peaks covered in snow. The photographs speak for themselves. No matter how many times you see it, the surrounding nature will never cease to fascinate you. 

In the great outdoors, you can see a vast array of landscapes, from rocky rivers to paths adorned with pine trees and wildflowers, and, of course, majestic mountain peaks offering breathtaking views. 

But there’s no need to venture far since many Steamboat houses boast breathtaking views right from the comfort of their living room windows.

9. You’ll be close to wildlife

With its Rocky Mountain setting, Steamboat Springs is a popular vacation destination. Mountain ranges and ranchland surround the town. 

There is an innate affinity for the natural world and a sense of oneness with nature even at the Bud Werner Memorial Library. Many of the library’s seating spaces face out over the Yampa River, so it’s not uncommon to see fishermen casting their lines from there. Large bull elk often have been known to be seen foraging in backyards, particularly during the winter months.

10. There’s occasional traffic in the city

 Like any popular destination, Steamboat Springs experiences heavy traffic at peak times, especially in summertime when tourists flock to the area. The downtown streets fill with rental cars, taxis, and shuttles transporting visitors around. The free bus service running people to the ski resorts also contributes to congestion in winter. 

When parking downtown, options like the Meadows Lot on Bangtail Way and the Upper Knoll Lot on Mt. Werner Circle provide close public parking less than 10 minutes from central Steamboat Springs. 

Between tourists and residents, the streets can get crowded in the busy summer months and ski seasons. However, transportation services and parking facilities help manage the influx of vehicles in and around town during peak times when traffic surges.

11. Get around the city via the Steamboat Springs Transit System.

The many forms of public transit available in Steamboat Springs make getting around a breeze. Residents can easily and comfortably commute to various locations throughout the city via the Steamboat Springs Transit (SST) system. All year round, SST operates a paratransit shuttle in addition to its regular bus service and regional buses. There are a number of summertime routes that go through town. City, downtown, and ski resort buses operate on prescribed paths throughout the winter.

Another option is Go Alpine transportation, providing airport shuttles plus limo and taxi services. Major rental car agencies are located at the Hayden and Denver airports should visitors prefer to drive. With the SST buses and Go Alpine’s shuttle and taxi services, getting around Steamboat Springs without a personal vehicle is totally feasible.

12. Steamboat Springs has 26 schools

People living in Steamboat Springs can pick from a number of different educational institutions. With 26 schools, the city offers a wide range of educational options for students of all ages, from preschool through high school, as well as access to nearby colleges and universities. 

Students in Steamboat Springs are educated by the Steamboat Springs Re-2 School District. Both Strawberry Park and Soda Creek Elementary, as well as Steamboat Springs Middle and High Schools, are part of the educational system.

13. Explore the outdoors at Yampa River Botanic Park or Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests

Skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, and hiking are just a few of the many outdoor activities available at Steamboat Springs. Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests, home to beautiful hiking routes, are less than an hour’s drive from the city. From the first signs of spring to the first dustings of snow, Yampa River Botanic Park is a visually stunning place to take a stroll in the fresh air and enjoy nature. 

The Rotary Park BoardWalk offers residents the opportunity to stroll or ride bikes across the marshes. They can stop along the trip to see ospreys and kingfishers snag fish from the river. Just forty minutes away from Steamboat Springs is Pearl Lake, where locals can go kayaking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, and animal viewing.

14. Eat at Louisiana Lindsy’s or Winona’s Restaurant

At Steamboat Springs, you will discover a wide range of menu options to satisfy any taste. Louisiana Lindsy’s, Tahk Omakase Sushi, Winona’s Restaurant, Mazzola’s Italian Restaurant, Salt and Lime, Table 79 Foodbar, and Marcia and Joe’s Kitchen are just a few of the eateries that line Lincoln Avenue. 

There is equally no shortage of breweries in town that provide tasty drinks. Several businesses provide craft beers, such as Storm Peak Brewing Company, Butcherknife Brewing Company, Mountain Tap Brewery, Steamboat BrauHaus, and Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill. 

15. Enjoy nightlife at The Old Town Pub and Restaurant or The Tap House

If you’re looking for a place to go out and have a good time on a night out in Steamboat Springs, there are plenty of options for live music, dancing, sports on large screens, pool, and gaming. The Old Town Pub and Restaurant and Schmiggity’s Live Music and Dance Bar are great places to go if you want to see some live music and show off your dancing skills. 

Dude and Dan’s Bar and Grill and The Tap House also have many TVs where you can watch the gaming action. At Rex’s American Grill and Bar, you may take in the scenery while listening to live music on the terrace.

In Summary

Living in Steamboat Springs is like living in a small town, but with all the community benefits you could ever want. Those looking to relocate to one of the most attractive areas in Colorado will find a lot to love about this city. 

All the necessities for a good life are available to residents, including a variety of job opportunities brought about by prosperous enterprises, decent housing in well-planned communities, a school system that caters to all ages, and an abundance of indoor and outdoor activities. 

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