Steamboat Springs, CO 80487, USA
Steamboat SpringsAs the story goes, when early 19th-century French fur trappers arrived in the upper valley of the Yampa River, they heard a chugging sound they assumed was a steamboat coming down the river. In fact, it was one of the many geothermal springs in the area—and so Steamboat Springs got its name. Even though that particular spring became a casualty of the railroad when it was built to serve the area’s ranchers, locals and visitors still can enjoy Strawberry Park's hot springs, just outside of town, and the Old Town Hot Springs complex, in central downtown. And, of course, there’s the skiing: Steamboat Springs has trademarked its claim as Ski Town, U.S.A., home to more winter Olympians than any other locale; the term “champagne powder” was coined to describe its fluffy snow. Even so, Steamboat has managed to retain much of its laid-back vibe, because at its heart, Steamboat is still a cowboy town that just happens to have world-class skiing.