Are you a mountain lover? Are you planning your next weekend getaway? Do you have wanderlust and just want to travel at any moment you get? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, this list may be perfect for you! The United States is full of unique mountain towns and exciting travel destinations no matter what your travel style. If you're having a hard time picking which towns to visit, we are here to help.
1. Vail, CO
Source: flickr: dianaoftripoli
Vail is home to the largest ski resort in Colorado and one of the most popular ski resorts in the United States. The mountain is so large, you could ski there multiple days and still find new trails. Its alpine town draws a unique and diverse mix of travelers to its center and is known for it's picture perfect and upscale cobblestone streets. Located right in the Rocky Mountains, Vail is the perfect mountain town to visit year round. You’ll find a plethora of outdoor activities along with top rated restaurants, shopping, adorable lodging, maybe even a celebrity sighting or two.
2. Stowe, VT
Source: flickr: pdbreen
Stowe is a quaint mountain town located in upstate Vermont. Although well known for its ski resort, Stowe also holds a unique artist community and hosts many fairs and town festivals. Stowe is known as a family friendly town and has a large local population that lives there year round. While visiting, enjoy hiking in the summer and skiing and snowboarding in the winter.
3. Leavenworth, WA
Source: flickr: Gene1138
Leavenworth is another quaint mountain town that draws in visitors with its charming aesthetics and eclectic culture. This Washington town hosts festivals and events year round, has a large list of local shops and restaurants, and also is only 30 miles from large ski resorts.
4. Gatlinburg, TN
Source: flickr: ckramer
Gatlinburg has the perfect mix of tourist destination and romantic solitude. The town is located in the Great Smoky Mountains and offers a wide array of lodging, ranging from bed and breakfasts to beautiful cabins in the woods. Besides outdoor activities, Gatlinburg thrives with its many local shops, restaurants, and museums. What also makes Gatlinburg unique are the local moonshine distilleries, live music, and theater shows that play in town.
5. Lake Placid, NY
Source: flickr: hbarrison
Lake Placid may have gotten its name known for hosting the 1980 Winter Olympics, but today the mountain town is as alive as ever. Main Street is located right along the gorgeous Mirror Lake where you can see breathtaking views of the surrounding Adirondack Mountains. Not only are these views beautiful, but the hikes up the mountains are just as breathtaking. If you aren't an outdoor sport enthusiast, the town has a great variety of local shops and dining. You can also check out the Olympic sites including the ski jump complex.
6. Boulder, CO
Source: flickr: Let Ideas Compete
Boulder is larger than some of the other mountain towns listed, but still has all the feels of small town charm. This city is known for its outdoor sports. The town is a magnet for outdoors lovers with kayaking, hiking, winter sports, and rock climbing all within a miles radius. Boulder also has trendy clothing stores, unique antique and book shops, and great dining options. People love Boulder for its friendly atmosphere and electric culture.
7. Hood River, OR
Source: Hood River Inn
Hood River is located in the Columbia River Gorge and is a beautiful town that is loved for its outdoor activities. Hiking is an extremely popular activity in this town along with other outdoor sports. Come for the fresh air and unforgettable nature, stay for the variety of local shops and unique wineries.
8. Jim Thorpe, PA
Source: flickr: Amelie Lelarge
Jim Thorpe has been referred to as the "Switzerland of America," and if you look at the towns architecture, you'll see why. This elegant town is full of old-world charm and is perfect for a romantic getaway destination. The town has adorable shops and dining and is close to all outdoors activities. Jim Thorpe is located on the Lehigh River, making white water rafting one of the most popular outdoor activities. Jim Thorpe is located right in the Appalachian Mountains, so it is also a hikers paradise.
9. Big Bear Lake, CA
Source: flickr: wwwsdm
Big Bear Lake is a vacation destination for all who love outdoors activities and is only a few hours drive from sunny Los Angeles. The town has everything you could ask of a winter wonderland including shopping, dining, spas, and family fun! You can rent a cabin or stay at one of the many hotels in the area. No matter where you stay, you'll get breathtaking views and a large dose of fresh air.
10. Park City, UT
Source: flickr: Keith Kendrick
Park City is home of the 2002 Winter Olympics! People travel from far away destinations to visit and try out Olympic-worthy ski slopes. When you're not on the mountain, head to town to take food tours, visit museums, and go shopping. If you plan to go here try to give yourself a few days to explore!
Which town will you visit first?This post was originally published on ASTRAL & OPAL