Downtown Steamboat Springs
Downtown Steamboat Springs is only about 12 blocks long, but it has just about everything a town could possibly offer.
Spread around this area are a river, a ski hill, baseball fields, a skate park, a college, a rodeo ring, an indoor ice rink, a library, a movie theater, bus stops for the town's free bus, restaurants and bars that have live entertainment, parks, churches, a railroad, an art gallery, a bike path and cute shops that sell paintings and clothes and ice cream.
It isn't surprising that living downtown offers the type of lifestyle that many residents want.
Marie Dailey has lived in a house downtown for more than 20 years. She loves the location because it's convenient, especially for her 12-year old daughter.
"She can walk downtown," Dailey said about her daughter. "It's safe and it's really close to schools."
Dailey said she also loves her location because it's easy to be a part of anything going on in town, from parades and festivals and rodeos, to art shows and marathons and concerts. Living downtown means it's even possible to watch an event for a few minutes, and then take a casual stroll by the river and do a little shopping before calling it a night.
"There's a sense of history here, and a community feel," Dailey said. "Your neighbors are close and you know them."
The downtown area has an eclectic mix of home styles. There are homes that date back to Steamboat's earliest days at the end of the 1800s, and homes that are brand new. There is a range of architectural style, with Victorian homes, log homes, and brightly colored clapboard homes sitting side by side.
Lots are typically small, with most measuring one-tenth to a quarter of an acre, so homes are usually closely spaced. Sizes of homes vary more than lots sizes do: homes range from 1,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet.
Downtown lots are at a premium, but smaller homes can be found for $300,000.
If there are two words that describe downtown, they'd be convenience and community. Children can bike to soccer practice, or walk to Howelsen Hill to ride up to the top of the state's oldest ski resort and ski down or take the Alpine slide in summer. Although larger grocery stores require a short drive, smaller food stores are within walking distance. Outdoor activities such as skiing, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking and hiking all start down the street from homes in this area. Many residents even walk a few blocks to work.
The sense of community and of neighborhood is also strong downtown, with neighbors feeling a tie to each other and to the town.
Getting a true Steamboat Springs' experience requires spending at least a little time downtown. Living in this area provides the convenience and sense of community for which many new residents are looking.