I always love reading those articles that detail some of the best things to do in a given town if you only have 24 hours to explore. Here’s my idea of a great day and night in our beloved home, Steamboat Springs.

Noon: Let’s say you took Saturday morning to sleep in, as I did. There was still plenty of time to take the gondola up and hike my favorite loop, the Sunshine Loop Trail. Whether you are running, hiking or biking, it’s in amazing shape. Some of the grasses are turning the prettiest shade of burgundy, signaling fall is just around the corner, and there are still fields of daisies and remnants of other wildflowers. The silence and beauty of this high-Alpine trail is something I crave and cause for reverence. I’m so very grateful to have these wide open spaces and views to broaden my perspective.

My husband whizzes past me on his way down from Storm Peak. Sometimes, if we time it right, I see him hitting jumps and screaming around turns from my gondola vantage point on the way down.

View of Whistler Park

4 p.m.: A quick shower and hammock cat nap and we head downtown on our towny bikes. Some of the best times in the Boat are the lazy, luxurious, late summer afternoons. We love going to various happy hours and this time chose to meet friends at Yama. At what other time can you get a nice glass of rose or Tempranillo for $5? Yama serves up delicious sushi rolls, edamame and creative small plates like wagyu beef buns and little rice cakes topped with spicy tuna at happy hour prices. The ambiance is open, cool, modern chic and there’s plenty of space to belly up to the sushi bar or gather a big group of friends around a table.

7:45 p.m.: When the sun is about to set, it’s a beautiful time to bike back via the bike path. You can see the alpenglow’s pastel colors and soft hazy light around Mount Werner as you pedal.

8 a.m.: If I’m up early, I like to go for a delicious breakfast at Creekside Cafe. Here, you can sit by the creek and wait for your delicious eggs Benedict or omelet while smelling the heavenly scents of fresh-out-of-the-oven bread from Smell That Bread Bakery next door. The next stop this weekend was Spring Creek Trail to hike off the morning’s decadence. Here, you may encounter a moose as you travel over bridges on shady, forest trails.

10:30 a.m.: There was time afterward for a soak in my favorite hot springs in all of the West: Strawberry Park Hot Springs. About seven miles outside of town in a beautiful, mountaintop setting, they are the nicest, most natural pools I’ve been to. Find a perch in the delightfully hot, soothing waters, or a waterfall to sit beneath. If you have a little extra time, indulge in a Watsu massage.

Strawberry Park Hot Spring’s natural beauty

Create your own perfect day (or three) this Labor Day Weekend. There are lots of things going on with The Crane Festival, Wild West Air Fest, First Friday Art Walk and many other events. On Sunday night, check out the End of Summer Jam, featuring Fruition, The Soul Rebels and more at Howelson Hill.


Jessica Berg is a freelance writer and Suzuki Violin teacher. She first moved to Steamboat after college in the mid ’90s and, after a long hiatus, is happy to call Steamboat home again. She runs a private violin studio out of her Steamboat home and teaches violin with Boulder Suzuki Strings. She holds a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and loves blogging about mountain life.