There are plenty of mountain towns in America with diverse physical, social, political, historical and cultural backgrounds. The unique features that differentiate these mountain towns are the corner stones of these towns beauty. The word ‘best’ is likely to stir a debate, but I have taken time to research and convey the attributes that lead me to believe that the towns below are indeed America’s best mountain towns. Join me as we explore these exciting towers of splendor.
1. Coeur d’Alene, IDAHO
A charming small-town vibe coupled with a vibrant pine forests, colorful sunsets, lazy beaches, and the deep blue waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene conspire to make this a perfect mountain getaway. A mere walk in this mountain town will be more than fulfilling; it will be a rare opportunity to experience the true meaning of fact fantasy. Coeur d’Alene offers stunning views around every turn as it sits on an ice-blue alpine lake with 125 miles of shoreline. 7,000-foot Mountains rise from the shoreline covered in deep-green forest. Extending out into Lake Coeur D’Alene is Tubbs Hill is a stony, wooded peninsula. I could go on and on but still lack the linguistics to express the wondrous beauty that she beholds. You should most definitely visit and maybe help me out.
2. Estes Park, COLORADO
Estes Park is a popular gateway town for visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park; its proximity to the mountain park is impeccable. The bighorn sheep is just but one of the unusual wildlife found here. The town is blast with economic and cultural avenues such as: shops and galleries, marinas, a Lake Estes, resorts just to name a few. Estes Park ranked No. 4 for cool souvenirs and No. 2 for both its active people and its charming town square, Bond Park, surrounded by boutiques and sweet shops. Enough said.
3. Taos, NEW MEXICO
Are you if you’re feeling really adventurous? How about climbing Wheeler Peak, at 13,000 feet? After all it is the highest peak in New Mexico. Here is your excuse to visit Taos town. Taos is a little village of 6,000 souls. Taos Mountain, which can be seen from anywhere in town, is a breathtaking sight towering above this small town. It is impossible to mention Taos without reference to: world-class art scenes, recreational activities in magnificent panoramas, and spiritualism – heightened by the one of a kind natural light.
4. Aspen, COLORADO
Teeming with the rich and famous, Aspen is one of Colorado’s most well-known mountains towns and a marquee destination for skiing. When it comes to celebrating art, food, wine, and music and keeping the party going year round with festivals Aspen has no match in America. As if that is not enough, it has 14,000-foot peaks, which project breathtaking mountain scenery, making it one of the most impressive in the state. With hotels such as Aspen Brewing Company and Hops Culture, it is not uncommon to see billionaires and ski bums elbow-to-elbow, throwing back beers.
5. Telluride, COLORADO
Laden with drapes lights across its main street and wraps its light poles in garlands and ribbons, Telluride, National Historic Landmark District, proved especially appealing during the holidays. Telluride is characterized by snow-capped San Juan peaks, the charm of Old West town, ridiculous numbers of top-tier music festivals including the Telluride Bluegrass Fest, Telluride Blues & Brews, and The Ride, and a gondola transit. It is known for its spirited culture of passionate mountain lovers of the famous Victorian-era silver-mining community. In short it is a beautiful mountain town and a gold mine for culture.
6. Lake Placid, NEW YORK
The fact that Lake Placid is a unique destination is not up for debate. Records speak for themselves; apart from being a two-time Olympic host (1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics) the annual Lake Placid IRONMAN triathlon takes place here. Are there any more questions? No? I will not talk about the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks nor the Olympic Complex. In fact I will ignore gondola ride, scenic railway, and the very many perches for lakeside drinking and dining like not even The Cottage at Mirror Lake Inn and it will still be a magnificent town.
7. Bend, OREGON
Bend town, which is popularly known as “high-desert” town, despite the heavily-forests, rain, and mountains associated with the state of Oregon, Bend itself, is characterized by dry weather and snow-capped mountains. You cannot get bored in this “high-desert” town as loon as outdoor activities such as; mountain-biking, hiking, and horse riding, along with golf, fishing, rafting, and skiing and snowboarding on Mt. Bachelor are still embedded in the towns culture.
8. Asheville, NC
Talk of one of America’s most underrated food cities, best drinking cities, best live-music cities, most hipster neighborhoods a city all the cool kids are moving to. As much as the above attributes could be a turn on or a turn of you will still find the mountain-wrapped Biltmore stunning and the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains spectacular. Either way, having 18 breweries within city limits, the trendy restaurants serving locally sourced cuisine from area farms, Asheville is a most definitely a party town. Who doesn’t love parties?
9. Eureka Springs, AR
With close to 100 Victorian architecture buildings and winding streets, Eureka Spring’s entire downtown made it to the National Register of Historic Places. In this ‘little Ozark gem’ early guests herded to Eureka Springs for the reputed healing powers of its waters. Eureka Springs has nearby lakes and rivers, which are known for fishing and kayaking. If you are shopper the South Main Street is a fun place to access its many shops and restaurants.
These are towns where you can work all year round and are still cool places to hang out. You can climb / ski / paddle / surf right in most of these towns. All these towns have a notable culture, tradition, or local economy around the activities (and natural resources) themselves as well as actual infrastructure developed to bring cool events and awareness to the towns. Enjoy.