Colorado is the ultimate destination for skiing, with many ranges and beautiful towns with ski resorts to set base. These high-altitude ski towns are high on-demand for their pristine alpine beauty, many attractions and amenities, and the best getaways.
The beautiful town of Aspen is the ultimate destination for the nation's die-hard skiers. It is also a perfect getaway any time of the year, with high-end boutiques, glitzy bars, and first-rate hotels lining fancy streets. The breathtaking valley comes dotted with countless great accommodations, including the popular "Power of Four" resorts. The five-star St. Regis Aspen Resort in Aspen proper offers easy access to the nearby skiing down Aspen Mountain. One can ski the Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, or Snowmass with the same ticket, all within a quick drive or free bus ride from the proper.
The pristine expert ski slopes flow directly into the atmospheric downtown, full of impressive architecture. One will find an intriguing mix of famous old buildings and brand-name stores, including the country's premier boutiques, for a feeling of a modern fairytale to come to life. There's the popular Kemo Sabe, crafting the highest quality of cowboy boots and custom-fitted hats. The lit-up village in the evening is an unforgettably scenic spectacle that is greatly enjoyed well into the night by nocturnal skiers. Aspen is a true one-of-a-kind town with awe-inspiring vistas and an un-replicable atmosphere anywhere else in the world.
The beautiful town is known for its many charming attractions that add an aesthetic feel to the wholesome atmosphere. There is the popular skating rink and various restaurants and activities, along with the most-known Beaver Creek resort, owned by and resembling a tranquilized version of Vail. It is set-some 110 miles west of Denver with I-70 leading through scenic mountains to the resort for great skiing and snowboarding with fewer crowds. The stunning Beaver Creek Village features varied shops and restaurants around the ice-skating rink, with highlights including the Golden Eagle Inn and the Grouse Mountain Grill.
Beaver Creek is known as the luxurious and smaller option with an exclusive feel, where many come for the small-town atmosphere. The renowned ice rink is adorned with lovely glowing lights during the evening. The resort features well-groomed runs that lead right into the heart of a quaint-by-day, vibrant-by-night village. There are slopes catering to everyone from beginners to high-skilled skiers, while the bottom of lift six is known for chefs giving out free chocolate chip cookies in the traditional "cookie time" at 3 pm daily. Those not into night skiing can catch an atmospheric show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on the mountain.
Breckenridge is a former boomtown-turned one of the most popular tourist destinations for world-class skiing and snowboarding. It is at the base of the stunning Ten Mile Range with claim-to fame for high-altitude living. At 9,600 feet above sea level, it is only beat by Leadville's 10,152 feet stance. The Breckenridge Ski Resort features five peaks and 2,908 acres to find the perfect run for any level, including five terrain parks, eight bowls, and the highest chairlift in North America. The town was established upon the discovery of gold in 1859 and hosts one of the state's largest National Historic Districts with 249 listed structures.
Many more are drawn for the party feel of the town with glorious nightlife and a restaurant galore. The vibrant streets host signature winter parties, indie-style shopping, street art and installations, and the award-winning art district. One will find casual eateries in-between descents and fine-dining for a rewarding dinner experience after an exhaustingly-fun day of shredding the snow. There are countless places with a happy-hour special, while the town's nickname of the "Amsterdam of the Rockies" speaks for itself to the appropriate fans.
"Colorado's Last Great Ski Town" is known for dramatic, unspoiled natural beauty to enjoy any time of the year through myriad fresh-air pursuits. It is the epitome of outdoor winter recreation, with Crested Butte Mountain Resort renowned for world-class skiing and a wide array of other activities. There's snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice-climbing, ice-skating, and ice-fishing to try something new or diversify days spent in the beautiful town. The skiers get 15 lifts and 121 runs, including a 2.6-miler, and over 1,547 acres of terrain. It caters to all ages and abilities, from easy slopes to the famous "Extreme Limits."
The stimulating town is a mountain hub for arts and culture, with vibrant streets hosting signature events, including art walks and fairs, film festivals, and outdoor concerts. The downtown is galore with over 80 unique and almost-all locally-owned restaurants for meals with the backdrop of the majestic Rockies. There are also eclectic shops, countless bars, and the eye-catching Scarp Ridge Lodge for a rustic stay. One can discover the town's unique Western heritage over a chat and a drink with an unpretentiously-friendly local.
Many who enjoy Crested Butte's winter variety have seen nothing yet. When the snow clears during the warmer months, it reveals the most beautiful wildflower meadows, golden forests, and crystal-clear streams for mountain biking, hiking, nature photography, camping and horseback riding, boating, and fishing.
The tiny, high-concentrated town, just ten minutes from Aspen, is a haven for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. It hosts the largest collection of ski-in/ski-out accommodations in the state, along with Aspen's largest of the four resort mountains, the Snowmass, with a variety of runs from steep bowls to bunny slopes. There are the nearby Roaring Fork and Fryingpan Rivers for outdoor recreation during summer when Snowmass also gets overrun by mountain bikers in June. The surrounding White River National Forest is great for snowshoeing and hiking during summer, with over 80 miles of trails, as well as camping sites and RV spaces. The easy Crater Lake Maroon Bells is an iconic 3.5 miles trail from the stunning Maroon Bells Lake, through the forest, to another alpine lake.
The European-style ski town at 8,209 feet above sea level is a popular family destination. There are plenty of shops and restaurants at the Snowmass Village Mall, while the Lost Forest Adventure Park offers alpine-set adventures and activities during summer, along with the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, which is open through the winter. The popular places to re-fuel include the Base Camp Bar & Grill, the casual Venga Venga with unique Latin dishes and outdoor sitting, the mix6 inside of The Collective with nutritious plates, and the iL Poggio for a hearty Italian meal with desserts. There is also an ice rink and a climbing wall, many hot chocolate stands, and the atmospheric Limelight Hotel Snowmass for great stay.
The picture-perfect town is what dreams are made of for skiers and seekers of the winter-wonderland. It is set rather remotely, surrounded to all sides by the sky-reaching San Juan Mountains adorned with pines blanketed in snow. Telluride offers countless activities and marvelous views from the window of the many cozy cafes to relax. The Old West town features low-key restaurants with world-class cuisine, while the European-styled Alpino Vino is the highest-set fine-dining establishment in North America. There's also the renowned Bridal Veil, the state's tallest free-falling waterfall from 365 feet, at the east end of town.
The former mining boom town is laden with independent restaurants, shops, and architectural marvels from the 1800s. It is located in a box canyon, with the free Gondola ascending right from the historic district. The ride offers breathtaking views on the way with stops like Alfred's for an elegant dinner, the newer Mountain Village at the top of the mountain, and the ski trails that start at 8,750 feet above sea level. The highest trail at 13,320, with some hiking opportunities, offers the most breathtaking vistas for miles around.
The epitome ski town of Vail is beautifully modeled after Zermatt in Switzerland. It is home to the mega-popular Vail Ski Resort, the largest of its kind in the state, with over 195 runs. European-themed streets brim with Swiss architecture along the cobblestone roadways for a real-life storybook experience that is especially lovely during the holidays. Aside from skiing, Vail is the destination for unique culture and style, featuring free Art Walks every Wednesday with amazing local art, historic architecture, and sculptures.
The posh downtown area and the Vail Village play host to high-end shopping, luxury spas, and top-rated hotels in-between period buildings and structures. Countless charming restaurants go along with the vibe, including the highlights of the Vintage, a French Brasserie, and the Alpenrose serving upscale German cuisine in a Bavarian cottage setting. The resort is set right off of I-70, 30 minutes west of Breckenridge, and less than 100 miles west of Denver. Its new trails offer world-class skiing to shred some of the world's best snow.
Each of these towns offers a unique character and atmosphere within scenic natural surroundings for year-round outings in the fresh mountain air. One will have the time of life enjoying winter pursuits and wandering through alpine meadows in the summertime.