Looking for scenery out of a storybook? How about miles of hiking trails, picturesque lakes, and dreamy vacation rentals? Look no further than one of these 15 beautiful mountain towns in America. Whether it’s Montana, New England, or the Southwest, the mountains are the backdrop for the perfect vacation with a view.
1. Ouray, Colorado
Less pretentious than some other Colorado resort towns, Ouray has that down to earth vibe that will make you feel right at home. Surrounded by the cliff-like peaks from the San Juan range, you’ll have access to the best winter ice climbing routes in the country. If you’d rather stay in town, the Victorian-era Main Street is a National Historic District lines with quaint, restored storefronts for the perfect, unique souvenir.
2. North Conway, New Hampshire
This little town just east of White Mountain Forest is within a half hour of 13 ski resorts and more than a thousand miles of wooded hiking trails. The town center, with a white-steepled church, turreted train station from the 1870’s, and Zeb’s, a New England general store, is something straight out of a storybook. For absolutely epic views, take the hour-long drive to Mount Washington’s observatory, set atop the Northeast’s highest peak.
3. West Glacier, Montana
West Glacier is the gateway to Montana’s Glacier National Park, and it’s no coincidence that this town is nicknamed “Crown of the Continent.” In the winter, there’s great snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and in the summer, guided treks, fly-fishing programs, rafting expeditions, and heli-tours leave from here. There are plenty of vacation rentals in the area, and we also recommend Belton Chalet which was built a century ago when the park opened.
4. Bozeman, Montana
Many visitors would simply pass through Bozeman on their way to Yellowstone National Park or the Big Sky Resort, but this small Montana town has plenty to offer. Downtown’s Main Street is full of laid-back restaurants, adventure outfitters, and charming cafes, and you’ll find a great mix of both locals and tourists.
5. Estes Park, Colorado
It’s a common thing to see elk, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and bear roaming around this woodsy town. Estes Park is located at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and offers easy access to the scenic Trail Ridge Road, which crosses the Continental Divide. There are also more than 350 miles of hiking trails in the middle of the park.
6. Missoula, Montana
This Montana college town combines young and hip with the rugged Rocky Mountains. There are many ski areas nearby with Snowbowl being the closest. In town, there are plenty of breweries, cafes, and restaurants to cater to the University of Montana students and the tourists, of course.
7. Jackson, Wyoming
This nature-obsessed cowboy town also caters to the most luxurious of out of towners with five store resorts like Amangani. Grand Teton National Park is also only five miles north, and Jackson Hole Mountain’s Resort attracts many daredevils to its infamous black diamond runs.
8. Vail, Colorado
Vail, tucked in the foothills of Gore Valley, is no secret to the mountain-seeking traveler. With more than 5,000 acres of ski-able terrain, it’s the largest resort town in the Colorado Rockies. The warmer months also bring plenty of summer-activities, like mountain biking, fly fishing, and hiking, or world-class events and shopping if you prefer.
9. Aspen, Colorado
Another remote Rocky Mountain town, Aspen is also plenty popular with the tourists. You might even see a few celebrities swishing down one of Aspen’s four mountains or hiking, biking, and horseback riding during the summer.
10. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Wealthy residents and vacationers flocked to this Ozark town in the 1800’s for the natural springs thought to have healing powers. Their grand Victorian mansions, hotels, and storefronts still line the narrow valley. Today, travelers come for the hiking and mountain biking at Buffalo River National Parks, or animal viewing at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge.
11. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Welcome to the home of the one and only Dollywood. Dolly Parton, who grew up in the area, also opened DreamMore Resort, which caters to families with its own camp and bedtime story readings. This small town also offers many amusement parks, arcades, shopping outlets, and the Titanic Museum. In the realm of outdoor sports, Pigeon Forge provides ample opportunity for whitewater rafting, ziplining, and hiking.
12. Durango, Colorado
Everywhere you turn in Durango looks like a postcard. This charming town at the southern flank of the Rockies’ San Juan mountain range is a popular stopover after visits to the cave dwellings in nearby Mesa Verde National Park. It also acts as the main base for skiing at Purgatory Resort. Charming Main Street is lined with restaurants and saloons, and this town even has five microbreweries.
13. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is a small town of only 80,000 people, but millions of visitors flock here every year. The Biltmore Estate, created by George Vanderbilt in 1895, put this town on the map. Reminiscent of the grand castles and estates of France and Britain, Asheville’s crown jewel is considered America’s largest private home.
14. Taos, New Mexico
Set in the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos first became popular among artists and hippies in the late 1800’s, and that bohemian vibe still thrives today. Outdoor enthusiasts also favor this ancient pueblo town for its more than fifty hiking trails and four separate ski resorts.
15. Park City, Utah
Park City, Utah has quickly become one of America’s premier resort destinations. With 7,000 acres of Olympic-level ski terrain and a historic Main Street, there’s plenty to do, but Park City is also famous for the Sundance Film Festival which brings the who’s who in Hollywood each year.
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