As Highway 40 turns into Lincoln Ave, the road meanders slowly through the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs. The old brick buildings, shops,and restaurants give the appearance of a busy city center coupled with Steamboat’s famous laid-back way of life. This stretch of road is closed down the first week of every February as the 100+ year long tradition of the Steamboat Winter Carnival takes place with a skiing band, tons of events for the kids, and fireworks with the Lighted Man skiing down Howelsen Hill. Founded in 1900 by original settler James Crawford, who had arrived earlier in 1874, Steamboat Springs brought in the railroad in 1909 and the rest is history. Steamboat fast became one of the largest cattle shipping centers in the west and was soon followed by Carl Howelsen introducing ski jumping to the Yampa Valley in the early 1910s. The downtown neighborhoods stretch from the edge of Strawberry Park, south to the Yampa River, as far east as the Hilltop connector road, and as far west as the Sunny Side subdivision. Downtown is filled with apartments, rustic cottages, larger estates and multi-family units that are at the center of everything Steamboat Springs has to offer. Walking and biking are the only way to get around as no home is really more than 10 minutes from the in street. The natural spectacle of Howelsen Hill plays host to many events throughout the year including the Summer Free Concert Series, Free Skiing Sundays, the Steamboat Pro Rodeo Series, biking and hiking trails, and home to one of the most respected and accomplished skiing/snowboarding schools in the country: The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. There are a few newer mixed-use buildings such as The Olympian, The Victorian, Alpenglow, and Howelsen Place that allow for luxury condo living above the streetscape of Lincoln Ave. “Old Town”, as it is referred to by the locals, is primarily made up of single-family homes with access to the Soda Creek Kindergarten through 5th Grade school. The newly renovated Bud Memorial Library and Old Town Hot Springs recreation center are at the west and east ends of Lincoln Ave, respectively, and easily accessible with a quick walk. Downtown Steamboat mostly consists of families, empty nesters, full and part time residents, and a lot of longtime locals that have lived in the Yampa Valley for 40+ years.
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