If there's any travel destination that strikes the ideal balance between being relaxing, enriching, and exciting year-round, it's a mountain town. With crisp air, astounding views, charming small-town vibes, resort facilities, and outdoor adventure at your fingertips, what more could you want? That's why we decided to highlight the most beautiful mountain towns around the country. Whether you're in the market for a little Westworld adventure (minus the violent delights with violent ends, of course) or you feel like frolicking through rolling hills like Maria in The Sound of Music, these beautiful mountain towns will definitely give you the travel bug and get you pumped up for fall.
And they're all stateside, so you won't have to travel too far to reach these sky-high locales.
The Mountain-Town Charm: Situated in northern Vermont, Stowe is known as the ski capital of the east, thanks to its charming town center and expansive ski resorts. It's hard to believe this little gem is located right in our own backyard.
Elevation: 889 feet
Similar Destination: North Conway, New Hampshire
The Mountain-Town Charm: Though all you can see is colorful marbled mountains and an open road, that's kind of the point. While there is a downtown area in Moab, this is the mountain town to visit when you want to escape the city and enjoy the outdoors. The surrounding boulders and planes are the perfect backdrop for hot-air balloon rides, paleontology expeditions, kayaking, and painting. Go here to reconnect with the environment.
Elevation: 4026 feet
Similar Destination: Saint George, Utah
Nevada City, California
The Mountain-Town Charm: Walking along the main drag in Nevada City, California, is like taking a step back in time. The historic buildings are imminently charming, and you can see the pine trees and Sierras off in the distance. Hang by the river to cool off during the night, and then have some fun at the local street fair in the evening. Fall and spring are gorgeous times to hike just outside of town, too.
Elevation: 2477 feet
Similar Destination: Galena, Illinois
The Mountain-Town Charm: More of a city than a tiny town, Missoula, Montana, was incorporated in 1883, so you can expect plenty of historic architecture and museums. There's also a renowned art museum and world-class ski resorts for athletes and culture buffs alike.
Elevation: 3209 feet
Similar Destination: Deadwood, South Dakota
The Mountain-Town Charm: The original thriving economies of Sheridan, Wyoming, were typical of the region, including things like cattle ranches, coal mining, and logging. The ranch culture is still alive and well, and coal mining is still one of the biggest industries in the area. A lot of visitors stay at Canyon Ranch, a 3000-acre private reserve that's been run by the same family for over a century. It's a short drive away in Big Horn, Wyoming.
Elevation: 3734 feet
Similar Destination: Casper, Wyoming
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The Mountain-Town Charm: Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs is so picturesque it may as well have popped out of a children's storybook. It was even officially called the Magic City at one point. One of its many charming features are the well-preserved Victorian homes and shops on cobblestone streets that climb up the sides of the narrow valley. Just outside the town center, you'll find natural healing springs and the winding White River, which sits at the foot of breathtaking foliage.
It has some of the strictest anti-discrimination laws in the state (it was also the first city to issue same-sex marriage licenses) and has even been dubbed the "Southern-fried San Francisco."
Elevation: 1260 feet
Similar Destination: Dahlonega, Georgia
The Mountain-Town Charm: Telluride is visually striking no matter the season, and the small-town sense of community is contagious. Surrounded by the San Juan Mountains, the main strip is lined with authentic saloon-like bars, boutique gourmet eateries, and old-school chop houses. Head away from the downtown area toward the trails and you'll find striking electric-blue mountain springs.
Elevation: 8750 feet
Similar Destination: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The Mountain-Town Charm: If you're looking for a resort town smack dab in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, check out Whitefish, Montana. It's right near Glacier National Park, a breathtaking wilderness reserve full of glacier peaks, valleys, and lakes. It's one of the best places in the U.S. for backcountry hiking and backpacking trips. Stay at the Many Glacier Hotel if you're backpacking, and don't let the Shining vibes scare you away.
Elevation: 3028 feet
Similar Destination: Hamilton, Montana
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
The Mountain-Town Charm: By far the tiniest town on our list population wise, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is a gem along the Shenandoah River, right in the middle of the Appalachian Trail. Though it calls for an epic John Denver playlist, sits right in the American heartland, and is home to a historic railroad bridge, there's just something about it that looks European. It sits right at the border of West Virginia and Maryland, and is flanked by two rivers.
Elevation: 489 feet
Similar Destination: Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania
Lake Tahoe, California
The Mountain-Town Charm: No matter what time of year you visit Lake Tahoe, the beauty of the crystal-clear lake, mountains, and fresh air is always astounding. The are several towns around the lake, the four main ones being South Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Incline Village, and Tahoe City. Hit the slopes in the winter, and partake in water sports during the summer. Or go hiking and rock-climbing, if you're more of a land person. There are also plenty of other mountain towns along the way if you drive here from San Francisco or Sacramento (definitely stop and visit Auburn!).
Population: 21,403 (South Lake Tahoe)
Elevation: 6237 feet (South Lake Tahoe)
Similar Destination: Julian, California
The Mountain-Town Charm: Woodstock, Vermont, is as picture-perfect as it gets. But it's more than just photogenic… It conjures up images of the British countryside, making you feel like you've stepped inside a time machine and landed in the 19th century. Rustic wooden fences, historic bridges, roaming sheep, and rolling hills abound. And while the shot above may bring out the pumpkin spice lover in you, it's a beautiful destination all year long.
Elevation: 702 feet
Similar Destination: Waitsfield, Vermont
The Mountain-Town Charm: Lee encompassed two villages in the Berkshires, South and East Lee. A former mill town, it's famous for its high-quality marble, picturesque ponds, and charming bed-and-breakfasts with old-world New England vibes. Stay at Santarella Estate & Gardens if you want to feel like you live inside a happier version of "Hansel and Gretel."
Elevation: 1000 feet
Similar Destination: North Adams, Massachusetts
The Mountain Town Charm: Winthrop, Washington, wasn't officially incorporated until 1924. Much of the town looks like a set straight out of Westworld, and it sits right near the North Cascades National Park. Fresh pine-scented air abounds.
Elevation: 1768 feet
Similar Destination: Ojai, California
The Mountain-Town Charm: Aspen is the ultimate mountain resort town, offering up world-class shopping, delicious dining, and, as we mentioned, gorgeous scenery. Everywhere you look, the views will take your breath away (Smuggler's Mountain is the best lookout point to hike to for views of the town). In the summer, try to plan your trip to attend the annual jazz festival. Catch a show at Belly Up, party on the mountain at Cloud Nine, eat at Matsuhisa, or ski to dinner at the remote Pine Creek Lodge.
Elevation: 8460 feet
Similar Destination: Sitka, Alaska
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