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[mountain springs lake resort]The Best Mountain Towns in the U.S.

  Right about now, we could all really use a magical trip to the mountains. Think: fresh air, rugged trails, the smell of marshmallows roasting over an open fire and cozy cabin rentals. What’s more, a high-altitude escape may actually be closer than you realize—like within driving distance. From old standbys such as Aspen and Stowe to a few spots you’ve probably never even heard of (what’s up, Hamburg?), these are the best mountain towns in America.

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  best mountain towns stowe vt

  Mark Vandenberg

  Nested at the foot of Mount Mansfield, Stowe is a quintessential New England town and everything you’d want in a Vermont getaway. In terms of outdoor attractions, there are ski slopes, backcountry trails, waterfalls and The Current’s annual outdoor sculpture show. While the cute little downtown area has wonderful shops, restaurants, breweries and inns.

  Where to stay:

  Stowe Village Retreat (4 guests): $350/night

  Goldilocks Cabin (5 guests): $236/night

  Modern Mountain Escape (6 guests): $223/night

  best mountain towns jackson hole wy

  Putt Sakdhnagool/Getty Images

  What’s not to love about Jackson Hole? This tourist mecca thrills visitors with its spellbinding natural beauty, rustic charm (how about those iconic shed antler arches in the town square?), high-end hotels, ski areas and access to not one but two national parks. After exploring you’ve definitely worked up an appetite, head to Glorietta for handmade pasta and locally sourced wood-fired meats.

  Where to stay:

  Hotel Jackson (2 guests): $599/night

  Amangani (2 guests): $800/night

  Cozy Log Cabin (4 guests): $125/night

  best mountain towns aspen co

  Jonathan Ross/Getty Images

  Few places (if any) manage to marry the rustic and refined quite like Aspen. Of course, the slopes are killer. But you can find epic skiing all over. People go to Aspen for more than snow-capped peaks. The upscale shopping, ritzy resorts, award-winning dining and après scene really set this legendary resort town apart from the rest.

  Where to stay:

  Hotel Jerome, Auberge Resorts Collection (2 guests): $725/night

  Mountainside Condo (4 guests): $235/night

  Downtown Aspen Condo (4 guests): $538/night

  best mountain towns gatlinburg tn

  Alexandra Marcu/Getty Images

  The fabled gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg in eastern Tennessee is a playground of outdoor adventure. No matter the season you visit, there’s always something active (and totally awesome) to do—from hiking and whitewater rafting to skiing and snowshoeing when the temperature drops.

  Where to stay:

  Elegant Cabin (3 guests): $211/night

  Log Cabin (4 guests): $115/night

  Black Bear Ridge (4 guests): $163/night

  best mountain towns banner elk nc

  Anthony P. Albarello Photography/Getty Images

  Even the name Banner Elk just sounds rustic doesn’t, it? This picturesque alpine village in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains certainly fits that description. Best of all, it puts an array of outdoor activities within arm’s reach. For avid skiers, Beech Mountain Resort lies to the north. Just outside of town, you’ll find trails and the famous mile-high swinging bridge.

  Where to stay:

  Log Cabin With Hot Tub (4 guests): $150/night

  Cozy Mountain Cabin (6 guests): $117/night

  Beech Mountain Condo (7 guests): $102/night

  best mountain towns hood river or

  Anne Gorin/Getty Images

  Named after the nearby Hood River, this small town in Oregon isn’t actually a high-altitude destination. The reason it earned a place on our list is its location within the Cascade Range. Mount Hood casts an imposing shadow. It also provides ample opportunities for hiking, biking and soaking in scenic vistas. Lest we forget the wineries and craft breweries just outside of town.

  Where to stay:

  Mid-Century House (4 guests): $195/night

  Freshly Remodeled House (4 guests): $199/night

  Mt Adams View House (6 guests): $217/night

  best mountain towns north conway nh

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  ”Live free or die” is the official motto of New Hampshire. Freedom to do whatever you want—as long as that falls within the category of climbing rock faces, hiking rolling hills, skiing Bretton Woods, swimming in crystal-clear lakes, rafting on the Saco River, playing golf, shopping along Main Street and perusing art galleries—well, that’s exactly what awaits in North Conway.

  Where to stay:

  Large Chalet with Hot Tub (10 guests): $250/night

  Luxury Mountain House (10 guests): $383/night

  Barn House (14 guests): $320/night

  best mountain towns leavenworth wa

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  You might be surprised to learn there are actually a handful of Bavarian-style towns across the country—though none more authentic than Leavenworth in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Between the alpine-style building, German restaurants, beer halls, ski slopes and the Nutcracker Museum, you might forget you’re still in America (especially after a few pints). Leavenworth is basically like a trip to Germany with no passport required.

  Where to stay:

  Aventyr Hus (4 guests): $141/night

  Cozy Riverfront Cabin (4 guests): $175/night

  The Pinewood Farmhouse (6 guests): $285/night

  best mountain towns bar harbor me

  Peter Unger/Getty Images

  Bar Harbor is the perfect home base for exploring Acadia National Park. (We’d highly recommend catching the sunrise from the overlook at Cadillac Mountain.) More than just a place to rest in between treks, this utterly enchanting seaside village treats visitors to fresh-caught local lobster, strolls along the craggy coastline, whale watching and, of course, oodles of Down East charisma.

  Where to stay:

  Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B (2 guests): $188/night

  Summer Salt Cottage (6 guests): $200/night

  Spindrift Cottage (12 guests): $263/night

  best mountain towns lake placid ny

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  With its unique mix of peaceful Adirondack ambiance, gorgeous scenery and adrenaline-rush activities, Lake Placid is certainly a contender for the best mountain town in America. Soak in the views from the eight-passenger Cloudsplitter Gondola. Unwind with a relaxing walk around Mirror Lake. While thrillseekers can go bobsledding at the Olympic Complex (Lake Placid hosted the Winter Games in 1980).

  Where to stay:

  Town House Lodge (2 guests): $142/night

  Mirror Lake Inn & Resort (2 guests): $299/night

  The Whiteface Lodge (2 guests): $405/night

  best mountain towns telluride co

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  It’s no secret that Colorado has so many awesome alpine towns. But Telluride is just a cut above the rest. Protected by the snow-capped San Juan Mountains, this mining hub turned four-season vacation destination entices travelers with its abundant recreation—skiing, snowmobiling, hiking, biking and fly fishing—plus Victorian-era architecture, Old West character (ahem, saloons) and events like Telluride Jazz Fest.

  Where to stay:

  Downtown Telluride Studio (2 guests): $209/night

  One-Bedroom Condo (4 guests): $254/night

  Modern Townhouse (4 guests): $299/night

  best mountain towns sun valley id

  Cavan Images/Getty Images

  Sun Valley is hailed as the birthplace of resort skiing in North America. (Chair lifts were actually installed back in the 1930s.) Today, it remains one of the most sought-after spots to hit the slopes in the country. Besides conquering advanced runs (or bunny hills if that’s more your speed), be sure to visit the pedestrian-friendly village and the Sun Valley Museum of Art.

  Where to stay:

  Knob Hill Inn (2 guests): $199/night

  Cottonwood 1405 Condo (4 guests): $163/night

  Snow Creek Condo (5 guests): $163/night

  best mountain towns big sky mt

  Mableen/Getty Images

  With a name like Big Sky, you’d guess this storied spot in the Rocky Mountains of southern Montana is going to be a place of wild, untamed wilderness. That’s totally accurate. Yellowstone National Park lies to the south of town, which means you’re only a short drive from hot springs, geysers, canyons and forests. While Big Sky Resort boasts 6,000 skiable acres.

  Where to stay:

  Rainbow Ranch Lodge (2 guests): $200/night

  Stunning Golf Course Condo (4 guests): $200/night

  Ski-In/Out Corner Condo (6 guests): $238/night

  best mountain towns eureka springs ar

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  Eureka, we found the best alpine town in Arkansas. (Corny, but it’s true!) Set in the Ozark Mountains, Eureka Springs lures stressed-out travelers with its natural springs. You can destress with a steamy soak morning, noon or night. In between trips to the bathhouse, be sure to check out the boutiques?, art galleries, museums, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and Thorncrown Chapel.

  Where to stay:

  Arsenic and Old Lace Inn (2 guests): $222/night

  Cedar Creek Cabin #2 (3 guests): $146/night

  Mountainview Cottage (4 guests): $132/night

  best mountain towns mammoth lakes ca

  Matt Young/Getty Images

  No roundup of mountain towns would be complete without Mammoth Lakes. Situated within the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, this dazzling destination offers visitors more fun-filled activities than you could possibly pack into a single trip. Enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, boating and rock climbing in the summer. Winter brings the chance to try snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

  Where to stay:

  Tamarack Lodge & Resort (2 guests): $119/night

  The Village Lodge (2 guests): $179/night

  Cozy Updated Condo (5 guests): $221/night

  best mountain towns homer al

  Edwin Remsberg/Getty Images

  Located at the southern end of the 138-mile-long Sterling Highway, near the Kenai Mountains, Homer has us hook, line and sinker. Yes, that’s a fishing pun. But that’s because “the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea” is the ultimate spot to catch halibut. It’s also great for boating, bird watching, sipping local brews and seeing volcanic peaks across Cook Inlet.

  Where to stay:

  Cozy Cabin in the Sky (4 guests): $135/night

  Heather View Vacation Rental (6 guests): $200/night

  Historic Downtown House (6 guests): $230/night

  best mountain towns blue ridge ga

  VRBO

  One of the most charming small towns in Georgia, Blue Ridge, just 90 miles north of Atlanta, feels like a remote and far-flung refuge of alpine pursuits. Hike the trails that bisect the 106,000-acre Chattahoochee National Forest, go white water rafting on the Ocoee River, cast a line in the trout-filled streams and ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.

  Where to stay:

  Blue Ridge Inn Bed & Breakfast (2 guests): $239/night

  The Little Red Barn (3 guests): $189/night

  Storybook Cabin (4 guests): $145/night

  best mountain towns lewisburg wv

  Carolyn Lehrke/Flickr

  If loving (almost bordering on obsession) Lewisburg is wrong, we don’t want to be right. With a thriving arts scene, antique stores, quaint cafes, tours of Lost World Caverns, shows at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre and a slew of interesting historic sites, can you really blame us for getting so pumped about this darling West Virginia town?

  Where to stay:

  Lil Red Ranch House (2 guests): $69/night

  Secluded Farmhouse (2 guests): $125/night

  Modern Craftsman Home (8 guests): $153/night

  best mountain towns taos nm

  Caleb Perkins/Getty Images

  In need of some soul searching? Add a rejuvenating trip to the New Age mecca of Taos to your shortlist. This New Mexico gem stirs the senses with a mashup of the mystical, natural and wellness-driven activities. With a population of 5,960 residents, there are more heart-opening and muscle-burning activities than people. Is that an over exaggeration? You be the judge.

  Where to stay:

  El Pueblo Lodge (2 guests): $110/night

  The Dobson House (4 guests): $178/night

  Cozy House (6 guests): $129/night

  best mountain towns park city ut

  Jason Cameron/Getty Images

  Surrounded by the Wasatch Range, Park City is a winter tourism darling that leads the charge in skiing and snowboarding, well, depending on who you ask (if it’s us or the thousands of snow bunnies that visit each year, they’d totally agree). Its other major claim to fame? The Sundance Film Festival. Devotees also rave about the many restaurants, bars and shops.

  Where to stay:

  Luxury Penthouse Suite (4 guests): $109/night

  Designer Ski Chalet Condo (4 guests): $112/night

  Old Town Condo (10 guests): $258/night

  best mountain towns truckee ca

  Carolyn Cole/Contributor/Getty Images

  California has so many great mountain towns, but Truckee ranks at the top of our list of all-time favorites. This salt-of-the-earth North Lake Tahoe destination doesn’t fall victim to the touristy trapping of some of its neighbors. Instead, it welcomes visitors with open arms and loads of backcountry appeal. When the decision is between hiking, paddle boarding and walking around Old Town, there’s no wrong choice.

  Where to stay:

  The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe (2 guests): $359/night

  Northstar Lodge Two-Bedroom Residence (6 guests): $214/night

  Contemporary Townhome (8 guests): $402/night

  best mountain towns jim thorpe pa

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  Tucked away in the Poconos Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, Jim Thorpe is the perfect escape from the pressures and stress of everyday life. Equal parts history and natural beauty, it serves up attractions like the Asa Packer Mansion, Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary, Jim Thorpe Memorial and Stonekeep Meadery with a side of small-town hospitality.

  Where to stay:

  Inn at Jim Thorpe (2 guests): $130/night

  The Dolon House (2 guests): $230/night

  Cabin in the Trees (3 guests): $159/night

  best mountain towns bottineau nd

  Vrbo

  Perched at the foot of the Turtle Mountains, Bottineau invites visitors to channel their inner outdoorsman (what exactly that means is really open to interpretation). Plan a canoe excursion through the lakes and wetlands. Fishing for walleye and cooking ‘em up over an open fire feels very off-the-grid. When snow covers the ground, it’s all about embracing the untouched terrain and making your tracks.

  Where to stay:

  Cobblestone Inn and Suites – Bottineau (2 guests): $114/night

  Quiet Little Cabin (6 guests): $169/night

  Rural Getaway at Homestead Lodge (15 guests): $325/night

  best mountain towns custer sd

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  The slogan, “minutes, not miles, from adventure,” pretty much sums up a trip to the former mining town of Custer. The crown jewel of South Dakota’s Black Hills puts visitors within spitting distance of Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial, Mount Rushmore, Black Elk Peak and Jewel Cave National Monument, the third-longest cavern in the world.

  Where to stay:

  Lost Bison Cabin (4 guests): $175/night

  Granite Reef Cabin (6 guests): $250/night

  Remodeled Log Cabin (8 guests): $197/night

  best mountain towns hamburg nj

  Vrbo

  The Garden State is more closely associated with beaches than mountains. And while that’s certainly an accurate characterization, it leaves out the likes of Hamburg. What can you expect from this under-the-radar town near the New Jersey stretch of the Appalachian Trail in addition to great hiking? Golf and wine tasting, plus goat yoga at Crystal Springs Resort.

  Where to stay:

  Grand Cascades Lodge (2 guests): $419/night

  Mountaintop Getaway (5 guests): $148/night

  Skylift Lodge (8 guests): $376/night

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