Ten Ways to Be Romantic in the 'Boat
By Dan Greeson
Brad Trotter finds a prime view to watch snowmelt-fueled waters cascade down the 283-foot Fish Creek Falls. Photo by Noah Wetzel.
1. Spend the day together at a Steamboat Springs icon. Hike to the base of Fish Creek Falls, a 283-foot waterfall that pours out of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. After freezing in winter, the falls begin to melt in spring and cause a tremendous roar as the snowmelt-fueled waters come crashing down. Take snowshoes and continue up the trail beyond the base for miles of forested hiking. The trail is steep so there will be lots of opportunities for holding hands and scenic stops. Pack hot chocolate and a cookie or two.
2. Try something new or sharpen your skills and book a lesson together through the Steamboat Snowsports School. Pick up a snowboard trick, learn how to telemark ski or spend an afternoon skiing in the trees at the Steamboat Ski Area. Complete the day with happy hour at the Truffle Pig – sit by the outdoor fire, chat over cocktails and share a plate of their legendary truffle fries.
www.steamboat.com / 970-879-6111
3. Awaken early, dress warmly, grab a thermos of hot coffee and a camera, then climb into the basket of a hot air balloon. Soar over the Yampa Valley in the stillness of the morning, and watch the city come to life below. Warm up afterwards with a late breakfast at Winona’s, where sharing oversized cinnamon rolls is a must.
www.wildwestballooning.com / 970-879-7219
4. Feel the thrill of racing down a snowy slope together inside an inner tube at Saddleback Ranch. Opt for your own tubes and see how competitive you can be. Expect to find yourselves out of control with laughter. www.saddlebackranch.net / 970-879-3711
5. Rent a fat bike and spend the afternoon riding on marked trails across Emerald Mountain. Stop at the top as the sun starts to set for the best view in town of Mount Werner. Bikers are asked to stay out of ski tracks and avoid using trails if muddy.
6. Even guys who hate shopping don’t mind shopping for gear. Head downtown to Lincoln Avenue during the sidewalk sales and pick up a bargain or two each. Locally-run outfitters, sporting goods, fashion, home and boutique gift stores offer a wide variety of wares to keep both parties smiling. Reward yourselves afterwards with a margarita at Salt n’ Lime or the quintessential romantic dinner at Café Diva on the mountain.
7. After a day skiing at the Steamboat Ski Area, step in a gondola car and ride up together to Thunderhead Lodge for Sunset Happy Hour. Wrap up warmly and sit beneath a heat lamp on the outdoor deck where golden-tinged views span for miles. Come inside for some toe tapping fun and listen to the live band while sampling happy hour specials. www.steamboat.com / 970-879-6111
8. Spend time in North Routt exploring Steamboat Lake State Park on a guided two-hour snowmobile ride. Finish up with a three-course dinner while cozied up in a rustic lodge.
www.hahnspeakroadhouse.com / 970-879-4404
9. Relax with a couples massage at a number of spas located downtown or on the mountain. Freshen up, then make your way to Low Country Kitchen for an early dinner before catching a stand-up comedy show or live jazz at the Chief Theater. See Live Music, VG 52.
www.chieftheater.org / 970-871-4791
10. Spend an afternoon chasing each other on cross-country skis around the scenic trails at the Steamboat Touring Center. Revive tired muscles with a soak at the Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Get there as the sun goes down for skinny dipping or simply gazing at the stars. www.steamboatnordiccenter.com / 970-879-8180www.strawberryhotsprings.com / 970-879-0342