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Jill Sanford | 01.03.2018

As far as destinations go, there’s no better place to visit in the winter than a mountain town. Snow-dusted pine trees, twinkling shop lights, and cheerful après stops are just a few of the picturesque sights to discover in a mountain town, but the real joy to be found in a mountain town is out in the surrounding natural landscape.

Whether you are a sledder, snowshoe enthusiast, cross-country or skate skier, or a backcountry thrill seeker, there’s plenty of winter fun to be had in the mountains. This season, consider breaking out of your regular weekend plans for a quick trip into the hills at one of these incredible destinations:

1. Tahoe, California

Actually comprised of a string of mountain communities scattered around the lake and surrounding mountain passes, it’s hard not to love the Tahoe area. Tahoe City, Truckee, Homewood, Incline Village, Stateline, South Lake Tahoe, and Meyers are all great destinations. Top adventures include:

2. Squamish, British Columbia

The Canadian outdoor haven is known for its rock climbing and mountain biking in the summer, but the skiing, snowshoeing and winter play here is all top notch, as well.

3. Bend, Oregon

Nestled at the base of Mount Bachelor in the southern Cascades, Bend has great beer and even better mountain activities.

4. Leavenworth, Washington

Don’t be dissuaded by the town’s somewhat kitschy (but also kind of lovable) Bavarian theme--this Central Washington mountain town is a perfect playground for hardcore mountain lovers.

5. Stowe, Vermont

If Northeast winters are more your forte, this quintessential Vermont town has all the making of a great winter getaway.

6. Lake Placid, New York

Take a deep breath of fresh alpine air in this upstate New York escape, where your more typical snow adventures are complemented by things like ice fishing and ski jumping.

7. North Conway, New Hampshire

From tubing to skiing, this Washington Valley destination is one of the country’s earliest winter retreats… and for good reason.

8. Bethel, Maine

When you aren’t shredding the slopes or skiing snowy trails, the charm of Bethel itself will hold you captive.

9. Park City, Utah

This craggy Wasatch town is known for its southwestern style and lovely storefronts, as well as for the epic mountains that surround it.

10. Ouray, Colorado

If you are looking for a winter mountain destination that doesn’t get the traffic that downhill slopes bring to town but offers all the scenery, consider this Colorado gem set in the midst of phenomenal backcountry opportunities.

11. Sun Valley, Idaho

This Sawtooth mountain town is nothing short of magical with it’s ice sculptures, natural hot springs, and snowy adventures.

12. Bozeman, Montana

From world-class distilleries, farm to fork restaurants, and the big sky this rocky mountain state is known for, there’s nothing in Bozeman that is lacking.


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