Day 1: Friday

Sunset  – October 20, 2006

You’re getting some exercise today, so begin with a stirring selection of roasted coffees and fresh baked goods at Mocha Molly’s, a great stop for surveying Steamboat’s downtown scene, located mostly on Lincoln Avenue.

For a winter workout big on scenic value, the Steamboat Ski Touring Center offers 9 miles of groomed nordic trails and 6 miles dedicated to snowshoeing. If you’re a beginner just looking to acclimate, try Fish Creek Loop, a favorite for its friendly terrain and elk-spotting possibilities along the flanks of Boot Hill. After expending calories, pick up a lunch to go at Backcountry Provisions, known for its extensive sandwich menu.

Then it’s off to the spectacular rustic outdoor setting of Strawberry Park Hot Springs for a therapeutic soak. At the park, which is tucked between mountain ridges, geothermal waters spill into a large natural 104° pool before cascading to smaller, secluded pools. Winter road restrictions require four-wheel-drive vehicles, so most bathers use the shuttle service provided by Strawberrie Park Hot Springs Tours.

After your muscles are soothed, check out a local institution, F.M. Light & Sons, a family-owned business celebrating its 100th anniversary and displaying one of the finest western-wear selections anywhere. Now that you’ve tucked yourself into a new pair of boots, it’s dinnertime. Order up peppery seared duck breast at the Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill, and enjoy craft beers like the rich seasonal Alpenglow, a heartwarming brew on a cold winter’s night.

Mocha Molly’s. Open daily. 970/879-0587.

Steamboat Ski Touring Center. Open Nov-Mar. Follow signs off Mt. Werner Rd.; or 970/879-8180.

Backcountry Provisions. $; open daily. 970/879-3617.

Strawberrie Park Hot Springs Tours. or 970/879-8065.

F.M. Light & Sons. Open daily. 800/530-8908.

Mahogany Ridge Brewery & Grill. $$; dinner daily. 970/879-3773.

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