1. Vail, ColoradoVail is one of the country’s best-known ski towns, and for good reason. Nestled in a valley between two mountain ranges, Vail boasts spectacular views from any vantage point and is the gateway to Colorado’s largest ski area, Vail Ski Resort. Covering 5,300 acres, the resort is known for its big-powder bowl skiing and advanced runs, but it also offers a nice mix of gladed terrain and beginner-friendly runs. Setting itself apart from the other best ski towns in Colorado, Vail was intentionally built as a ski community. Modeled in the style of a Bavarian village, the town is designed for pedestrians to pop into one of the many upscale shops and restaurants that are just steps away from Vail’s assortment of luxury hotels. The small-town yet swanky atmosphere attracts celebs and CEOs, but the skiing and scenery draws anyone who loves the mountains. Just be prepared for high-end prices, from lodging, dining and shopping in town to lift tickets at the resort.
2. Aspen, ColoradoSouth of Vail, Aspen rivals its neighbor to the north as one of the country’s best ski towns, with epic skiing and plenty of off-the-slopes amenities. Like many small towns in the region, it was originally a mining camp — historic buildings line the main street today. It offers easy access to four ski areas:
- Aspen Mountain is closest to town, with a mix of intermediate and advanced runs.
- Snowmass is the biggest Aspen-area resort, with ski-in, ski-out lodging and a bustling base area.
- Buttermilk has gentler slopes for beginners and a good number of intermediate runs.
- Aspen Highlands is known as the locals’ mountain, and has smaller crowds, expert runs and unmatched terrain.