It’s officially cold weather season, and travelers are either trying to avoid the winter weather in sunny lands or embracing all the winter fun they can before the snow melts.
If you are a traveler looking for a white winter wonderland, where better to find it than a mountain town?
Mountain towns come in all shapes and sizes. You can find bustling towns near ski slopes full of crowds, activities, and nightlife. Or, you can cozy away at the foot of a mountain in off-the-path destinations.
We researched travel polls, experts’ advice, and first-hand travelers’ experiences to find the top 5 U.S. mountain towns to visit in the 2024 winter season.
Have a look and see which one is for you!
Top Mountain Town for Winter Activities: Mammoth Lakes, California
This beautiful town is surrounded by mountains, lakes, and hot springs and boasts 1.3 million winter visitors per year on average.
At this hot winter vacation spot, you can enjoy skiing down one of over 150 ski trails or take an excursion on a snowmobile across the country.
If you are looking for a place where you are sure to find loads of snow, Mammoth Lakes is an excellent spot. According to the New York Times, Mammoth Lakes was the snowiest place in North America in January 2023.
Top Mountain Town for Rugged Beauty: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Historically, Jackson Hole, Wyoming brought in its main revenue from logging and ranching. However, in recent years, it has become a coveted travel destination.
Part of the charm of this popular western mountain town is its rugged beauty and new attractions such as ski slopes, resorts, and art venues.
This town is also close to Yellowstone National Park and Teton Mountain Range. You can search for elk as you sleigh through the National Elk Refuge with an experienced naturalist. Also, don’t miss the annual Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race held in late January!
Jackson Hole has captured the hearts of famous stars such as Harrison Ford, Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, and others.
Top Out-of-the-Way Mountain Town: Tubac, Arizona
If you are looking for a quiet mountain town getaway, you can add Tubac, Arizona to your itinerary.
This town rests between the mountain ranges of Tumacacori and Santa Rita. Its population is only around 1,200, but it is brimming with art, culture, and good food.
In fact, Tubac was named the number one small-town art scene in 2021 by U.S.A. Today.
You can enjoy walking through art museums and funky boutiques and sipping wine at a nearby winery. Or, practice your swing on the year-round golf course featured in the movie Tin Cup.
Besides its art, this town’s claim to fame is the 18th-century San Ignacio de Tubac Spanish fort set in the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.
The restful scenery in this state park is on the eyes and full of this town’s unique history.
Top Mountain Town for All-Season Fun: Vail, Colorado
Vail is one of the top ski towns in the U.S.—and the world. Here you can pull out your skis and snowboards and dust off your winter sport skills.
Whether you’re a pro skier or still trying to conquer the bunny slopes, you can enjoy the amazing views this town offers.
This mountain town sits in the middle of 5,289 acres for skiing and lush forests. Its Bavarian-style architecture allows you to imagine you are vacationing in Europe while never leaving North America.
When the snow melts away, there is still plenty of fun to be had. You can raft the Blue River, enjoy music festivals, or take a hot air balloon tour as you look down on the White River National Forrest.
Top Mountain Town for Culture: Taos, New Mexico
Taos, New Mexico is rated by Triple A as one of the best winter vacation spots in the U.S. This town is deeply rooted in Native American culture and is home to Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site.
There are many breathtaking views in and around this mountain town.
Some of the top attractions include the town’s adobe architecture, one of the highest bridges in the world, and the national landmark, San Francisco de Asis Church.
This church is still active, but it is also a work of art that draws visitors from around the world. You might recognize the structure from Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings and Ansel Adam’s photos.
Nearby is the Taos Ski Valley resort which receives an average of 300 inches of snow per year. Snowshoeing in the Carson National Forest and bathing in the Stagecoach Hot Springs are also top winter activities for Taos residents and tourists.
Taos, New Mexico offers a bit of art, culture, and fun for North American tourists and world travelers.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com