One of the best parts about living in Colorado is you can drive just a couple hours and be on vacation for the weekend. This is definitely not something I do very often because I hate the snow and I DEFINITELY hate driving through the snow. But my sister-in-law moved to Colorado just a few years ago and is constantly wanting to explore Colorado, so I can’t say no. We explored Crested Butte in January and decided to explore Steamboat Springs this past weekend. And luckily, it’s been insanely dry everywhere in Colorado. And when I say luckily, it’s only lucky for me. It’s awful for the environment. And definitely awful for snowboarders and skiers. I don’t know anything about climate change and definitely don’t know enough to touch on it…but there’s definitely some climate change going on right now. When you drive 3 hours into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and there isn’t even an inch of snow, you begin to believe words you’ve heard on the news.
I need use the internet to my benefit, huh?
Anywho. Even though I don’t snowboard anymore, I can still entertain myself in the mountains. It’s called alcohol. I’m not much of a drinker when I’m home but when I’m in the mountains, there’s not much else to do. So I had A LOT of fun drinks this weekend. And you can pretty much walk anywhere in mountain towns, especially when you stay downtown. We thought about renting a condo in Steamboat through VRBO, but the management fees were more than the rental fee itself so we stayed at Hotel Bristol instead. This hotel was nothing fancy and the hot tub was pretty frightening, but it was in walking distance to all the delicious restaurants and bars, so we were content.
In downtown Steamboat Springs, you have the cute main street with all the shops and restaurants, then just a street over you have the river with more restaurants and things to do! We spent most of our time eating and drinking because duh…what else do you do on vacation?!?! In case you are ever going to Steamboat, here is a quick recap of everywhere we ate and drank –
- Back Door Grill – For insanely delicious lettuce wrapped burgers.
- Aurum Food & Wine – Great happy hour, food and drinks! Get the smoke & fire cocktail
- Table79 – We didn’t eat anything here, but people’s plates looked delicious. If you like margs, they have great ones!
- The Laundry – You HAVE to eat here if you are ever in town! It was so delicious! We tried the hash, shoestring fries and the brisket which were all to die for. And the fiery marg was FIRE!! Loved it so much! And the staff was extremely friendly and helpful (which is sometimes hard to come by in mountain towns, in my opinion)
- Creekside Cafe – I definitely think this was best breakfast in town if you’re looking for healthier options. I was able to get a HUGE veggie hash with sausage and was satisfied forever! Loved it!
- Salt and Lime – If you want some delicious tacos and margs, this spot will satisfy that craving!
- Winona’s – This was a decent little breakfast spot. If you want a giant, terrible-for-you cinnamon roll, it’s an even better restaurant! But I stuck to a simple veggie hash instead!
But if you want to do more than just eat and drink, that’s fair. Obviously you can ski and snowboard like most people, but you can also visit Strawberry Hot Springs and take a dip in these natural hot springs (instead of the sketchy hot tub at your hotel). They get pretty damn busy, but the hot springs are open until midnight so the later you go, the less likely you will get kicked in the face by a kid. Which is always a positive. I’ve heard that they become nude-friendly at night but I have no idea if that is true so I’m just spreading rumors at this point.
You can also take the gondola up to the top of the mountain where there is a bar and a restaurant. We took the gondola up at sunset to eat at Hazie’s, but it was pretty disappointing and super expensive. Definitely go for the experience on the mountain, not the food or customer service. Even though it was cloudy, it was still beautiful watching the sun set while way up high. Plus the gondola goes over houses that are probably around 7 million so that’s pretty fun to see. Someday, I’ll stay in a 7 million dollar home….when I break into one. JOKES PEOPLE!
And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. Now we want to explore Telluride, but that’s a 7 hour drive which is a much bigger commitment than the 3 hours to Steamboat, so who knows when that will happen. In the meantime, it’s time for me to start planning for my 30th birthday which is just a couple weeks away! I’ll be celebrating in the Caribbean with my husband and I could not be more excited!! Until then, I’ll be staying far away from alcohol, eating lots of veggies like this recipe below, and I’ll be stocking up on swimsuits!
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If you’re a person who hasn’t really loved beets in the past, this recipe may change your mind! These golden beets are less “earthy” but roasting them and tossing them in this vinaigrette with candied nuts…it totally changes your perspective on beets. I swear. Try it and let me know what you think! Become a beet believer!
- 2 bundles of golden beets (about 10-12 beets), cut in half*
- 1 bundles of tricolor carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoon high heat avocado oil
- salt, to taste
- garlic powder, to taste
For the vinaigrette
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- pinch of salt
For the candied nuts
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss beets and carrots in avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and garlic powder on top. Place in the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, until veggies are golden brown and tender.
- While the veggies bake, place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar and shake well until combined. Set aside.
- Place a medium pan over medium heat. Add almonds and walnuts to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes until they begin to become golden and fragrant. Then add sugar, cayenne pepper and salt. Use a spatula to toss the nuts in the sugar mixture until the sugar melts and coats the nuts. Remove from heat once melted, about 2 minutes.
- Add arugula, roasted beets and carrots and candied nuts to a large bowl and toss in the vinaigrette (you decide how much, you're a grown up) then top it all off with hemp hearts!
- Eat up, you veggie lover you!
*I did not peel my beets because I was super lazy and it was fine to eat the skin, in my opinion, but feel free to peel yours!
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