Every winter, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Rory and I travel to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to visit his family. Now, I’m not a cold weather sports fan — I don’t ski or snowboard, and when I’ve tried other things like snowmobiling or sledding, I’ve ended up hurt — so I tend to gravitate toward my shopping and eating standbys. Here are some of my favorite places to go in The Boat.
F.M. Light & Sons: This is the quintessential cold-weather cowboy-town store. The walls are lined with cowboy and snow boots, and the space is filled with button-down Western shirts and fleeces. You’ll also find some camouflage accessories and long underwear, complete with backdoor relief, for your hunting and camping needs.
Lyon Drug: This drugstore is a cute, old-timey place that offers not only fun chotchkies and a pharmacy but also a real soda fountain. Who doesn’t like a milkshake when it’s freezing out? (I don’t know about you, but I’ll have ice cream in any weather!)
Off the Beaten Path bookstore: My real favorite bookstore in Steamboat was Epilogue, but that cozy spot has been replaced with a tattoo parlor. A close runner up is Off the Beaten Path, where you can enjoy a warming latte while you peruse the shelves. It doesn’t have everything, but there’s a good edited selection. There’s also a cute children’s reading area in back, if you have kids to entertain.
Steamboat Art Company: This is my favorite place to pick up gifts. It’s a sizable store with a nice selection of jewelry, accessories, home and seasonal goods, children’s items, and other odds and ends. A lot of the items here are from local artists, too. I once got myself a pretty jade stone necklace here from a local jewelry maker.
Freshies: Outside of downtown is this casual breakfast and lunch spot that serves up sandwiches, salads and soups. I’ve had some really tasty meals here and some OK ones, but I did like the tuna melt, which comes with avocado and is served open-faced. Their house-made veggie burgers aren’t the best, though.
Winona’s: Another breakfast and lunch place, this time downtown. Winona’s is delicious but small, so be prepared to wait for a table with the après ski crowd. I loved my Grilled Vermont sandwich, with Vermont cheddar, avocado and tomato on sourdough, and sweet potato fries. My sister-in-law’s go-to is the Vermont Cheddar salad with fresh greens, granny smith apples, Craisins, white cheddar, candied walnuts, red onions and maple vinaigrette. The pastries here are also good (notice the chocolate chip muffin with the salad).