Vail, Colorado.

10 Best Ski Towns In America

The United States is home to many lovely skiing destinations, with some towns making a bucket list item to visit for the un-replicable atmosphere anywhere else in the world. These are the definitive ten best ski towns in America.

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen, Colorado
The gorgeous ski town of Aspen in Colorado.

The town south of Vail boasts rivaling slopes for epic skiing and natural advantages. Aspen is consistently ranked among the nation's best ski towns for natural beauty and world-class skiing, among other activities. The renowned entertainment options include a fancy après-ski mobile champagne bar, great restaurants for in-between descents, and fine dining in the evening. There is lively nightlife and nocturnal skiing for the owls that come to party on a holiday. The cultured will enjoy numerous art galleries and museums on the area's history, along with street festivals.

The former mining camp-town is still reminiscent in the historic buildings along the main street with easy access to its four ski areas. The closest Aspen Mountain features intermediate and advanced runs, while the biggest Snowmass comes with a bustling base area and ski-in, ski-out lodging. The Buttermilk's gentler slopes are a beginner's choice, with some intermediate runs for the more confident newbies. The unmatched terrain of the Aspen Highlands is known as the "locals' mountain" for smaller crowds and expert runs attainable to few. There are various great trails around for scenic hiking in Maroon Bells, where staying options include a luxury ski-in/ski-out hotel.

Bend, Oregon

Bend, oregon
Mount Batchelor ski area in Bend, Oregon.

The former sleepy logging town in Central Oregon's high desert is among the top ten country's largest ski resorts. It is the hotspot destination for vacation for the holidays and the ideal basecamp for skiers. The "Beer City USA" features a revitalized downtown core full of small distilleries, craft breweries, boutiques, cafes, galleries, and art along the streets. The town on par for beer and snow offers a real getaway from the daily being. One can look forward to over a dozen breweries along the Bend Ale Trail as an après-ski or night-hopping. 

The cultured will enjoy the historic vibe of the compact downtown on a morning hunt for coffee, before hitting Oregon's premier ski resort at Mt. Bachelor, half an hour away. It receives over 400 inches of snow yearly, with 101 runs over 4,300 lift-accessible skiable acres. There are plenty of challenging runs for expert skiers, and an even mix of intermediate and beginner's terrain. For other seasons, there is rock climbing, water sports, and three golf courses at the luxury Sunriver Resort. 

Breckenridge, Colorado

breckenridge, colorado
The ski town of Breckenridge, Colorado.

The charming town under two hours from Denver was settled during the 1859 Gold Rush. It is a top-notch ski destination at the base of the Tenmile Range. The Breckenridge Ski Resort is a free shuttle ride away to five peaks of Copper Mountain, known for the highest lift-served terrain in North America. Each mountain features a different terrain, with a mix of ski runs for all levels, totaling 187 trails. There is easy access to Keystone for more skiing and areas for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing surrounded by alpine views.

The town's rich heritage of Victorian-era roots is displayed along the historic main street, featuring an Old West vibe amongst colorful buildings, cute shops, good eats, and homey breweries. Breckenridge caters more to locals than "A-listers," with various lodging options to suit any style on a budget. There are still plenty of amenities to relax with cool and rustic vibes, such as the local favorites for beer, the Breckenridge Brewery, and the Gold Pan Saloon.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The ski town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Jackson is set scenically within the Jackson Hole Valley, with the Grand Teton National Park to the north and miles of national forest in every other direction. The remote, classic mountain town with a prominent Western feel only recently transitioned into tourism from timber industry. The many new amenities and attractions include shopping, great restaurants, and luxury lodging options. The atmospheric streets veiled in a frontier appeal also feature notable art and performance venues. The pristine wilderness offers ample relaxation and activities, including the skiing mecca at three resorts.

Their establishment has transformed the region into a modern winter wonderland that attracts tourists from all corners of the nation over other ski towns. The 2,500-acre Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the most popular featuring extreme runs, including one of North America, steepest, the thrilling Corbet's Couloir. There are many intermediate, and some beginner trails, while the bordering park offers beautiful sights to all via an aerial tram. The ride-up the magnificent 10,450 feet high Rendezvous Mountain, which is the resort's highest point, is unforgettable.

Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah
Night skiing in Park City, Utah. Editorial credit: WitGorski /

Park City is a triple-threat hub that takes upper hand over other ski towns with skiing, snowboarding, and the renowned Sundance Film Festival. The town is set 35 miles southeast of Salt Lake City set in the rugged shadow of the Wasatch Mountain Range. The easy access includes optimal location between two mega resorts with a bustling après-ski scene. There is a wide range of accommodations catering to all tourists when the town gets overrun by seasonal winter sports fans and vacationers.  

The Deer Valley and Park City Mountain resorts hosted events during the Winter Olympics, while the Olympic Park north of the Main is a major training facility for winter athletes, including the United States Ski Team. Families love snow-tubing at Gorgoza Park, while the charming Historic Park City offers diversified time-spent away, from the slopes for atmospheric strolls with great stops on the way.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Stamboat Springs
Stemboat Springs, Colorado.

The town with the namesake hot springs is a wintertime hub nicknamed Ski Town, USA. It features some 3,000 skiable acres to shred the snow at affordable rates. The town's one of the lower resorts in Colorado, set scenically along the aspen-strewn slopes, reaches nearly 7,000 feet. Steamboat Springs is a popular departure point for the state's best snowmobile tours and a great place to snowshoe. There is also a zip line, camping, fishing during the warmer months, hiking to Fish Creek Falls, which gets magically frozen in winter, and the Yampa River Core Trail for biking for a scenic fall-time ride.

The Steamboat Gondola is known for unbeatable panoramic views, while the famous Strawberry Park Hot Springs' mineral pools offer a heavenly soak to relax sore muscles après slopes. The urban downtown core encompasses over 100 bars, restaurants, art galleries, and the Tread of Pioneers Museum. The Tennis Center features Howelsen Ice Arena for tennis and ice skating. There is also the famed culinary fare, including creative breakfast and cocktails at Yampa Valley Kitchen and a multi-course French menu at Sauvage.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont
Stowe, Vermont.

The little hamlet chartered in 1763 in the Green Mountains is most known for its perfect church-steeple post-card look. Its quaint, colonial streets smoothly cater as a base for skiers heading to Vermont's highest peak, Mount Mansfield, for unbeatable skiing in the state. The distinctive Stowe Mountain Resort features double black diamond trails for adrenaline junkies alike, intermediate and many beginner runs. The Topnotch Resort offers a CBD massage for those wanting to relax more than just sore muscles. 

The serene, pure Vermont town is a winter wonderland of the Northeast. It is filled with quintessential small-town New England vibes and tons of beer spots, with The Alchemist featuring the nation's most-coveted beer, the Heady Topper. The atmospheric town is also home to the Ben & Jerry's ice cream plant, ice-cream hippie stands along the road, and a Shaw's General Store with an old-school vibe. For the arts and culture fans, there's the Von Trapp Brewery and a gorgeous alpine lodge headed by the descendants of the Sound of Music family. 

Taos, New Mexico

A pueblo village in Taos, New Mexico.

The town happened last century by a mere chance of fate when artists Bert Phillips and Ernest Blumenschein stopped to replace a broken wagon wheel in the 20th century. Its dramatic desert location in the embrace of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains inspired socialite Mabel Dodge Luhan to summon renowned artists, including Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, and Georgia O'Keeffe. The former art colony now rings with an artsy spirit along the adobe-laden downtown. There are countless art galleries and inns to peruse and relax après skiing, as well as many spots serving authentic grub at the sand-colored historic district and plaza.

The steep-sloped Taos Ski Valley, just 20 miles down the road, is the largest ski area in New Mexico, with 40 percent expert-rated terrain. The town, at 7,000 feet above sea level, is a year-round hot spot for the mountain vistas and an otherworldly charm in winter. There is the El Monte Sagrado retreat to set base, with massages and astrological readings. The sheer walls of the Rio Grande Gorge call for scenic snowshoeing, followed by a hot soak in nearby springs or a piping green chile at the humble La Cueva Café.

Telluride, Colorado

Tellurise nestled in the mountains of Colorado.

The former mining town-turned winter escape offers an authentic Western feel and smaller crowds for a wholesome getaway. Telluride is set on the Western Slope in southwestern Colorado within a box canyon, with 14,000-foot peaking giants on three sides. One can enjoy the unrivaled natural views via a free, breathtaking gondola from Telluride to the neighboring Mountain Village and the base of the slopes.  

The family-friendly Telluride Ski Resort is a premier ski destination with lots of sunshine, beautiful views, and enough powder to shred through the season. There are 148 trails, 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, parks, and 17 lifts. The resort is suitable for all ages and skills with plenty of trails for beginners, and steep runs like the 4.6-mile over the mountain's 4,425-foot vertical drop. Even the non-skiers fall in love with Telluride's magical scenery on a vacation and the festive atmosphere during winter holidays.

Vail, Colorado

vail, colorado
Aerial view of the gorgeous ski town of Vail.

The best-known ski town in America was intentionally-built for the sport and styled after a Bavarian village. It is nestled in a valley between two mountain ranges with spectacular views and easy access to Colorado's largest skiing area. The Vail Ski Resort boasts 5,300 acres spread over the Front Side, Blue Sky Basin and Back Bowls, with big-powder bowl skiing, advanced runs, smooth terrain, and beginner's trails.

The town's pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with boutiques, upscale restaurants, and nearby luxury hotels. The small and swanky Vail is a hotspot for many celeb sightings and CEOs who come for the best skiing, scenery, and nightlife. The base of the massive ski resort features a classic Colorado mixed with a bougie vibe where good spirits are guaranteed. The picture-perfect setting within White River National Forest attracts many regular tourists for the scenery and the especially atmospheric holiday time in town.

These ten enticing ski towns boast natural beauty and various scenes, from rustic to fancy, that entices all skiers and vacationers. The lively streets-full of amenities and everyday charm, transform with holiday spirit for the most magical time-spent in-town and on the slopes.

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