5 Great Neighborhoods in Steamboat Springs
Convenience and charm make Old Town one of Steamboat Springs’ most desirable neighborhoods. The stately stone foursquare that once belonged to the Crawfords, Steamboat Springs’ founding family, still stands at the corner of Crawford Avenue and 12th Street. Historic homes built by other influential families also grace these streets. There’s also a mix of modest bungalows and cottages as well as a handful of new homes that have replaced run-down structures. The result is a hodgepodge of styles ranging from swanky to shabby, with price tags to match: Single-family homes start at around $500,000 and top out at over $2.5 million. Butcherknife and Soda Creeks course through Old Town, so some properties boast a “waterfront.” Except for a handful of exclusive new townhouses, single-family homes (some with attached rental apartments) dominate the neighborhood.
Most lots are small, and the houses’ close proximity fosters an equally close sense of community. Neighbors chat while shoveling sidewalks or walking their kids to Soda Creek Elementary. Families with children, old-timers, shopkeepers and a handful of young professionals all enjoy easy access to main street businesses and restaurants: Lincoln Avenue sits within walking or biking distance. With trails nearby, along Spring Creek and on Emerald Mountain, getting outside doesn’t require getting in the car.
Fish Creek Falls
As it leaves Old Town to the south, Oak Street becomes Fish Creek Falls Road and climbs to a hilltop neighborhood overlooking the valley. Most properties offer sweeping views of the surrounding hills: On Tamarack Drive, where the backyards overlook downtown, residents often host July Fourth barbecues and enjoy prime views of the city’s fireworks display. Homes in this neighborhood also tend to receive more sunlight than ones on the valley floor, since rays linger a little longer on the heights.
A mix of single-family homes, duplexes and 1970s-era condominiums, Fish Creek Falls attracts lots of families, who are drawn to the area’s larger, kid-friendly lots. Some big, brand-new homes command as much as $1.75 million, but $600,000 to $800,000 is more typical for river rock and timber residences built in the 1960s and 1970s. Teachers, engineers, insurance agents and nurses all nest here.
Four miles south of Old Town sits the resort area: A mix of shops, restaurants and residential areas that’s referred to as “The Mountain.” The dense clusters of condominiums surrounding Gondola Square are dedicated almost entirely to vacation rentals, but farther from the lifts, year-round residents mix with part-time owners. Condominiums along Whistler Road are popular with young professionals and couples, who snap up offerings in the $270,000 to $450,000 range. And on the southern edge of the Mountain, single-family homes along Bear Drive and Val d’Isere Circle sit on large, suburban-style lots; here, sales professionals and CMC professors put down roots.
The paved Yampa Core Trail connects this area with Old Town, so residents often commute by bike to jobs downtown. They also enjoy direct access to hiking and biking trails on the ski area: There’s no need to hop in the car when trailheads are located just a few blocks away. In winter, the free bus circulates through the neighborhood and deposits skiers at Gondola Square. And the soccer fields at Whistler Park offer a place to play fetch with Fido, go snowshoeing or watch rugby games.
Massive log mansions mix with sleek mountain-contemporary styles in The Sanctuary, one of Steamboat’s most prestigious neighborhoods. The oldest homes here date from the 1990s and start at $2 million; newer ones command $5 million, and all are nestled onto sites that provide a seclusion that belies the Sanctuary’s central location: Situated along Steamboat Boulevard between Fish Creek Falls Road and The Mountain, these properties offer fast access to both downtown and the resort. Golfers also love the proximity to the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Club, which borders The Sanctuary; come winter, cross-country skiers kick and glide across these hills. Stockbrokers, developers and attorneys live here, though not always year-round: The Sanctuary is home to jet-setters who often divide their time between their Steamboat Springs address and others around the world.
Silver Spur and Heritage Park
These two suburban-style developments located 4 miles west of Old Town offer some of the area’s best housing values. Homes at Silver Spur start at $600,000 and sit on huge, .36-acre lots; quarter-acre Heritage Park properties start around $500,000. Not surprisingly, both neighborhoods are popular with the kids-and-dogs crowd: Construction workers, firefighters, home inspectors and computer consultants buy starter homes here. Some are modulars, while others are custom, stick-built constructions. Most share a conservative look, with classic wood siding and two-car garages. And some command outstanding views of the ski area and rolling ranchland: In exchange for a slightly longer commute into town, residents of Silver Spur and Heritage Park overlook wide-open spaces and neighborhood walking paths that feel more remote than they really are.