Best Mountain Towns In America: Top 5 Communities Most Recommended By Experts

Best Mountain Towns In America: Top 5 Communities Most Recommended By Experts

As John Muir once wrote, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” The United States is full of vast opportunities for travel and places to call home. From coast to coast across the United States is home to some of the best and most picturesque mountains. Each has its own unique features depending on the region. The mountains towns that make their home at the base of the peaks reflect the characteristics of the area. The best mountain towns in the US will give you a chance to appreciate the beauty of nature while experiencing unique recreational activities.

These mountain towns are a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and offer a chance to reconnect with nature, experience a slower pace of living, and enjoy a host of outdoor activities. In the winter snow covers the mountain tops, in early summer wildflowers bloom, and the fall is painted with changing colors of leaves. The U.S. is home to a diverse range of mountain communities, each with its own unique character and charm. Whether you’re a lover of skiing, hiking, or simply immersing yourself in local culture, these mountain towns have something for everyone.

Getting outdoors might be directly beneficial to your health. New research from the University of Washington suggests that getting more daylight hours can actually help you sleep better at night. “Our bodies have a natural circadian clock that tells us when to go to sleep at night,” says senior author Horacio de la Iglesia, a UW professor of biology, in a statement. “If you do not get enough exposure to light during the day when the sun is out, that ‘delays’ your clock and pushes back the onset of sleep at night.” Living in a moutain town will equip you with an arsenal of reasons to get outside!

Ready to find the mountain town of your dreams? StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting a variety of expert websites that offer reviews of the best mountain towns in the US. Our list is based on the top recommendations across these sites. If you have a favorite mountain town you’ve visited, let us know which one in the comments below!

a cluster of buildings in a town on the side of a mountain
Park City, Utah (Photo by Olivia Hutcherson on Unsplash)

The List: Best Mountain Towns in the U.S., According to Expert Reviews

1. Park City, Utah

Park City, Utah is located a little over 30 miles outside of the state’s capital city, Salt Lake City. Surrounded by beautiful views the mountain town has many activities to offer including one of the best ski resorts in the US! “The offerings here for snowfall, groomers, backcountry, terrain parks, and lift quality are of the highest quality anywhere in the world.” adds Visit Park City.

Park City offers more than fine skiing for recreation. It has become a year-round recreational haven,” says Utah. “It is a wonderful destination for golfing, horseback riding, fly-fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and rafting. Park City is known as a perfect location for winter activities such as cross-country skiing, helicopter skiing, and snowmobiling.”

Mountain Jobs states that for residents Park City offers “excellent schools, a small-town atmosphere, and access to a large metropolitan area make Park City a desirable landing place for those looking to bring up little ones in a mountain town.” 

2. Telluride, Colorado

The Mountain Village of Telluride is a popular destination tucked within the mountains of Colorado that has an Old West feeling. Located in a more remote area, Telluride provides one of the best ski resort options in the US. Ski Magazine adds “Telluride is the full package. An authentic, Old West-tinged town with some of the best dining and lodging in ski country; a mountain with all terrain any level of skier could ask for, including great hike-to and backcountry access; and San Juan mountain views that go on forever.”

“No matter the season, Telluride offers many ways to experience its unique landscape, stunning beauty, and downtown,” writes Uncover Colorado. Experiencing the stunning beauty of Telluride, Colorado can come with hiking, skiing and so much more. 

Visit the USA adds, “Telluride, many locals will tell you, is a place where people come for the winter, then stay for the summer.”

Beautiful highway view in Telluride, Colorado
This gem was captured south of Telluride Colorado. When driving, I stopped, thought to myself, and immediately got my camera out to shoot this. It’s truly a beautiful nature meets mans moment. (Photo by Jack Millard on Unsplash)

3. Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid, New York is loved by a little less than 3,000 residents and enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. Although it is a popular tourist destination and provides a break from the surrounding cities, it maintains a small town feel. “With its rolling snow-covered hills, towering peaks and clean air, Lake Placid has all the qualities of a classic mountain town and more. A small town with a big city feel, Lake Placid lies on the shores of Mirror Lake within New York’s Adirondack Mountains” Love Exploring states.

I love NY says “Lake Placid is one of the most established and enjoyable winter playgrounds in the United States, with a walkable downtown where you’re never far from nature.” 

Get your snow gear ready! Lake Placid was a site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics and is a bucket-list worthy spot for snow sports. “Even decades after these two epic events, the region honors its Olympic heritage, operating as a training ground for each new generation of athletes. Several Olympic venues are open to visitors, including the ski jumping complex, the bobsled run at Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the ice skating rinks on Main Street,” adds Visit Andirondack.

4. Leavenworth, Washington

The mountain town of Leavenworth in Washington State is full of European architecture that resembles Germany in many ways. Beautiful views of the Cascade mountains surround the town. “With its white coat, mountain setting, and stunning holiday Village of Lights celebration, Leavenworth is one of the top Christmas towns in America.” says LeavenworthWA. 

The Travel mentions that “this stunning Washington town has unique activities, including ice climbing in the winter and kayaking down the river in the summer. Also, be sure to take advantage of the numerous wineries and cideries by attending a delicious taste tour.” 

The architecture isn’t the only area with German influence. Many restaurants do too.“Find German specialties, including sausages, schnitzel, sauerkraut, pastries, potato salad, and of course, plenty of beer, in this charming, Bavarian-inspired village,” says Travel and Leisure.

5. Taos, New Mexico 

Located about 3.5 hours north of Albuquerque, among the Sangre de Cristo Mountains lies the mountain town of Taos. Taos, New Mexico is a unique town full of history and adobe buildings.”It’s a town with a charming plaza, inviting side streets and courtyards,” adds Forbes.  

The Travel says “the views of the mountains are magnificent, and the town’s art scene beautifully blends Mexican and Native American history and culture.” There are many different art galleries and museums to explore, maybe even find the next new piece your home is missing! 

Travel and Leisure paints a picture of life in Taos.“While Taos draws both winter and summer travelers, it’s a particularly special place in the spring, when the crowds lessen and you can hop between seasons — hitting the slopes one day and flying down mountain bike trails the next.” 

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations