Best bets |

Best bets

The Hot Air Balloon Rodeo will be held Saturday and Sunday in Steamboat Springs.

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo

July 7 and 8 at Bald Eagle Lake, which is on U.S. Highway 40, between downtown and Colorado Highway 131

Call 879-0880

The 27th annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo turns anyone into a photographer. Seriously, it is hard not to take a great picture with all the colorful balloons being launched in the air. Bring snacks and come early to watch the balloons go up. Pilots are usually eager to chat with guests and have their pictures taken.

Embrace being a local

5 to 10 p.m. Thursday nights at Old Town Pub

(879-2101) and Sunday nights at Cafe Diva (871-0508)

(both specials offered during mud season)

Many businesses offer discounts to locals during the mud, or shoulder seasons, when Steamboat slows down. Burger Night at Old Town Pub, Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue, offers a variety of burger choices for half the usual price. The bar/restaurant has a laid-back atmosphere and a big-screen TV to watch sporting events. For a more romantic night, try Cafe Diva’s Date Night. For about $20, guests enjoy an appetizer, entree and a dessert to share. The Date Night menu offers limited choices from the full menu, but there are enough choices to satisfy discerning palates.

Music on the Green

12:15 to 1 p.m. Thursdays from June 14 to Aug. 16, Yampa River Botanic Park

Call 879-5056

Music on the Green gives locals an opportunity to enjoy music for free during lunchtime. Bring a picnic lunch and blanket. The majority of concerts are by the youth ensemble. Greg Scott plays on June 28.

Dance and sing along – for free

At the bottom of Howelsen Hill

or the base of the Steamboat Ski Area

Call 879-0880

The Steamboat Springs Free Summer Concert Series just keeps growing. What started as a small gathering of music-lovers on the Routt County Courthouse lawn has turned into a series enjoyed by thousands. The lineup of performers was not available at press time, but these concerts are not to be missed. Past performers have included Susan Tedeschi, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Los Lobos and Cracker.

Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series

Wednesdays from May 23 to Aug. 17

at Howelsen Hill or Mount Werner

Call 879-4300

The Steamboat Spring Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series offers a competitive, well-organized series for all ages and ability levels. Bike races are held on Wednesday nights throughout the summer. Races are held on Howelsen Hill and Mount Werner.

Music in an intimate setting

Strings Music Festival Park, Mount Werner

and Pine Grove roads

Call 879-5056

Events are held at the Strings Music Festival Park throughout the summer. Some best bets of Strings events for this summer include a free community celebration from 4 to 7 p.m. June 22. Western-swing band Riders in the Sky will play. There will also be a mariachi band, food and children’s activities. On June 19, Crooked Still will play a show in the afternoon for children. At night, two bluegrass bands – Crooked Still and the Infamous Stringdusters – will play, starting at 7 p.m.

Steamboat Marathon

7:30 a.m. June 3

Call 879-0880, ext. 208 or 203

This could be the most scenic race you ever run. Register early for this race in the Rocky Mountains. Or come cheer people on as they race for the finish. Half marathons and a 10K run or walk are options, as well.

19th Annual Rocky Mountain Ford Mustang Roundup

June 14 to 17

Call 879-0880

Friday’s Autocross: Meadows Parking Lot

on Pine Grove Road

Saturday’s Show & Shine: Lincoln Avenue, downtown Steamboat Springs

More than 350 Mustang owners from Colorado Mustang clubs come to Steamboat for the weekend. Stroll Lincoln Avenue on Saturday to see fancy wheels and learn what owners do to show them off. Think glitter. An autocross is at the Meadows Parking lot on Friday, and the show and shine is on Saturday.

Tube the Yampa

When it gets hot and the river slows down

Tubing the Yampa River is a Steamboat Springs rite of passage for many. Locals and visitors can rent tubes from commercial companies and put in at the Fifth Street Bridge. The companies provide shuttles back from the James Brown Soul Center of the Universe Bridge. Or buy tubes at area retail and auto stores and float by yourself. Life jackets are a good idea. A recommended place to park when going it alone is the Stock Bridge Transit Center, just down the river from the 13th Street Bridge.

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