Steamboat Springs Vs Breckenridge

Published on 10/09/2020 by Brad Luth

When planning a vacation sometimes it can be hard to choose the perfect destination. With so many options like the beach and warm weather, or ski resorts with hot springs, the options are endless. Finding a place to fit everyone’s needs can seem difficult but once you have narrowed down what you are wanting to do, then the fun in the planning starts. While some areas may be strictly beaches or ski areas, many actually offer several different atmospheres. This is great when you are trying to cater to a wide variety of needs and wants for your vacation.

While the beach and islands are nice, they often only offer one thing, the beach. Opting for a Ski town gives you the opportunity to experience not only the ski slopes but also hiking trails, hot springs, music festivals, and day trips to national parks. Two of the most famous places to visit when planning a ski trip in Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs, so to make your life easier we have created a comparison of the two.


Photo Credit: gobreck via Instagram

Located about 80 miles southwest of downtown Denver, Breckenridge has almost 3,000 acres of skiable terrain that spreads across 187 different trails. The annual snowfall averages roughly around 300 inches every winter, making it the perfect place for a mountainous getaway for a weekend ski trip. The small town dates all the way back to the Gold Rush and the town square is only 5.3 square miles. Thought it may be a small area, the amenities the area offers makes up for any lack of space. You can experience and enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle from skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hiking, biking, and even golfing. This mountain town is located almost 10,000 feet above sea level in a U-shaped valley on the western slope of the continental divide. The mountain setting offers the most beautiful and dramatic panoramas and nature-filled views in every direction.

The Breckenridge Ski Resort is the most popular resort in the area as it offers ski-in/ski-out retreats. The area also offers many luxury penthouses and Victorian Charmers. The trails leading from the Breckenridge Ski Resort are suitable for beginners and expert skiers. You can get up to the resort by taking their gondola to the top of the mountain. On the ride, you will witness some of the most beautiful views in all of Summit County.

However, they don’t just leave the art for their homes, they actually have a huge art district and a popular Main Street that offers a culturally rich atmosphere with art galleries, yoga studios, performance spaces, and upscale boutiques. The town is a former mining town and is preserved as the Breckenridge National Historic District.

Steamboat Springs

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This Colorado city is surrounded by working ranches and is the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure junkies. Steamboat Springs is famous for its hot spring, ski slopes, and nightlife. Northern Colorado’s Yampa Valley city is home to many family-owned ski resorts and some of the best ski-in / ski-out resorts. Much like Breckenridge, it offers amazing panoramic views of areas like Fish Creek Falls, or hiking and biking trails. Near the city’s center is the long-standing Old Town Hot Springs, which is popular for swimming, soaking, and just relaxing after a long day on the slopes. Though it is a ski town, they also have things like waterparks, National Parks, and art/ farmers markets. One of Steamboat’s benefits is it offers all of the charm and activities as Aspen, Vail, Keystone, Crested Butte, and Telluride, yet it is a fraction of the price to visit. Many who visit Steamboat actually end up staying or buying a vacation home in the market to visit several times a year.

Enjoy the panoramic views of Steamboats from their 8 passenger gondola. The changing aspens of the trails or soak up the sun and scenery of the valley from the Oasis Sun Deck. Once you reach your ski destination, there are over 169 trails and over 2,900 skiable acres. The average snowfall last year was around 319 inches. If you are not interested in skiing or snowboarding, but still want to experience the snow, try out snowmobile tours or the Nordic skiing and Fat biking. They also offer a mountain coaster and sleigh ride dinners. The fun doesn’t stop at skiing in Steamboat.

However, if you are visiting during the summer, you will want to ride the mountain coaster to see all of the flowers, check out the hot springs and waterparks, and take a trip to Strawberry Park. Or take a quick day trip to surrounding areas like Silverthorne and Frisco, which is only about an hour and a half away.

Deciding Between The Two

While Breck and Steamboat are very similar, they are also really different. Depending on what you are looking for the two towns could be your next favorite place to visit. If you are looking for a more advanced ski market to visit only during the winter, consider Breckenridge. However, if you are looking to take the whole family for a vacation, and it is summer consider Steamboat. Steamboat not only offers many great ski slopes, but it also has many things to do for those who are not interested in activities involving the snow. It is also significantly cheaper to visit than any other ski market. For tree skiing and close proximity to Winter Park, head to Breck. But for and outdoor adventure after you hit the ski slopes, check out Steamboats hiking and biking trails.

No matter where you decide to book your next vacation, you will for sure have the time of your lives. The United States has some of the best mountains around, especially in Colorado. So if you are looking to hit the slopes, grab your lift tickets, sign up for ski school, and leave the altitude sickness at the airport. We hope to see you soon in Steamboat Springs.