The Best U.S. Mountain Towns for a Winter Getaway

Intro graphic for a blog about the best mountain towns for a winter getaway

No one can deny that summer has its perks, but winter provides the perfect backdrop for cozying up by the fire at an indoor ski lodge and working up a sweat outdoors on the slopes. Whether you plan to take a romantic trip with your partner or hope to meet someone special on your snowy adventure, a winter wonderland-themed vacation could be just what you need! 

With more than half of Americans planning to travel this winter, we wanted to find out the best mountain towns for the ultimate winter getaway. Keep reading for our list of postcard-worthy mountain places so you can enjoy winter in relaxation and comfort! 

Key Findings

  • Park City, Utah, ranked number one for the best U.S. mountain town to take your next winter vacation with a score of 46.19 out of 50. It also came in first place in three out of four categories, including the best mountain town to plan a stay, the best mountain town for winter weather, and the best mountain town for winter activities.
  • Looking for the perfect snow-covered winter wonderland? Try visiting Juneau, Alaska, which averages more than 50 inches of snow throughout the winter. 
  • If you are gearing up for an active vacation, you may want to consider booking a flight to Big Bear Lake, California, where there are nearly 70 ski and snowboard shops to get gear from. 
  • Davis, West Virginia, and Custer, South Dakota, offer the cheapest Airbnb Superhost stays at $186 per night on average, but if you are looking for an extravagant stay check out Mammoth Lakes, California, and Aspen, Colorado, which will cost you about $619 and $555 per night, respectively. 

The 20 Best U.S. Mountain Towns for a Winter Getaway

U.S. map showcasing the top 20 U.S. mountain towns for a winter getaway

Coming in first on our list is Park City, Utah, which received a city score of 46.19 out of 50. With over 60 ski resorts and 28 saunas, there’s no better place to retire to for a weekend than this winter wonderland. 

After shivering out on the slopes, riders can warm up at the Spa at Hotel Park City. There, patrons can enjoy a couples massage in a private suite or the Peak Leg Redemption — a type of massage treatment that uses a blend of anti-inflammatory oils and healing salt to restore sore legs. 

Coming in at spot number two on our list is the mountain town of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, which received a city score of 40.61 out of 50. Located in eastern Pennsylvania, Jim Thorpe received high marks for being home to 18 ski resorts and 15 sledding opportunities. Jim Thorpe even hosts an Annual Winterfest, featuring ice sculptures, train rides, and more! 

Truckee, California, came in third, receiving a city score of 39.35 out of 50. Truckee is home to 680 Airbnbs and 51 ski and snowboard shops. As one of the prettiest mountain towns in the U.S., Truckee offers snowshoeing so you can conquer forest trails in the winter with snowshoes strapped to your feet!

Both Breckenridge, Colorado (36.68 out of 50) and South Lake Tahoe, California (36.22 out of 50) received honorable mentions as some of the best mountain towns, coming in fourth and fifth place, respectively. 

Plan the Trip That’s Right for You!

U.S. map depicting the best mountain towns by category: the stay, winter weather, winter activities, and dining & drinks

As not everyone has the same idea of vacationing when thinking about traveling to mountain places for a winter escape, we broke down our results further into four different subcategories.   

We analyzed factors like the number of Superhost Airbnb stays and the number of ski resorts to determine the best mountain town to plan a winter stay. Park City, Utah (9.04 out of 10) and Asheville, North Carolina (8.99 out of 10) both received top marks, coming in first and second place, respectively. 

Feel like you’re starring in your own Hallmark movie with a visit to Mountain View Charming, an Airbnb located in Asheville. Spend time cozying up by the outdoor fire or simply enjoying the stunning mountain scenery. 

We analyzed factors like the average winter snowfall to determine the best mountain places for winter weather. Once again, Park City (9.68) stood out from the pack along with North Conway, New Hampshire (9.57 out of 10)

The coldest month of the year in North Conway, New Hampshire, is January, with temperatures reaching an average low of 10°F and high of 29°F — making it one of the best mountain towns for magical winter weather. Plus, staying warm is the ultimate excuse for cuddling with your partner!

To discover the best U.S. mountain cities for winter activities, we looked at factors like the number of snowmobiling opportunities and skating rinks. Park City, Utah (10 out of 10) and South Lake Tahoe, California (8.97 out of 10) stole the show! The Heavenly Village Outdoor Ice Skating Rink features nighttime skating and festive lights in South Lake Tahoe.

The top mountain towns for dining and drinks included Asheville, North Carolina (9.03 out of 10), Burlington, Vermont (8.73 out of 10), and Vail, Colorado (8.42 out of 10)

Restaurants like The 10th in Vail offer a fine dining menu and breathtaking views of the mountains. P.S. — you’ll need to use either a gondola or a lift to gain entry!

Closing Thoughts

From the West Coast to the East Coast, the U.S. offers plenty of mountain places for a romantic winter escape. They’re great for couples who want to unwind, reconnect, and remember why they fell in love in the first place. 

When it comes to finding the perfect proposal or wedding location, mountain towns just can’t be beat! There’s no better place to get down on one knee than the top of a mountain. Looking to propose to the special ski partner in your life? Choose an engagement ring or wedding band from Shane Co. and visit one of the prettiest mountain towns in the U.S. for the perfect proposal location!

Methodology 

To discover the best mountain towns for a cozy winter escape, we gathered a list of 45 U.S. mountain cities using sources like U.S. News and World Report and Travel and Leisure. Next, we analyzed each city based on 14 factors that would contribute to the ultimate winter getaway, such as the number of snowmobiling opportunities and the number of wineries. 

We assigned each city a score of 0 to 5 for each factor, with a score of 5 representing the most favorable conditions. We determined each city’s total score from the total of its individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their impact on a dream winter getaway. Individual factor scores were then added together to give each city a final score from 0 to 50. 

We gathered weather data from December 2021 to March 2022 to determine the winter forecast. Cities with an average temperature closer to 32º ranked higher, as the colder temperatures help to keep snow from melting. For Airbnb stays, we searched for available Superhost listings for a weekend stay between December 2022 and March 2023. Have fun planning your next winter escape in one of our top mountain towns!

Ranking factors template:

Number of Superhost Airbnb Stays

Average Cost of Superhost Airbnb Stay

Number of Ski Resorts

  • Weight: 1.00
  • Source: Yelp

Average Winter Temperature (in Fahrenheit)

Average Winter Snowfall (in inches)

Number of Ski & Snowboard Shops

  • Weight: 0.75
  • Source: Yelp

Number of Sledding Opportunities

  • Weight: 0.75
  • Source: Yelp

Number of Snowmobiling Opportunities

  • Weight: 0.75
  • Source: Yelp

Number of Skating Rinks

  • Weight: 0.75
  • Source: Yelp

Number of Saunas

  • Weight: 0.50
  • Source: Yelp

Number of Restaurants

Number of Cocktail Bars

  • Weight: 0.25
  • Source: Yelp

Number of Wineries

  • Weight: 0.25
  • Source: Yelp

Number of Breweries

  • Weight: 0.25
  • Source: Yelp

Full Data

That wraps up our city ranking of the Best U.S. Mountain Towns for a Winter Getaway. Interested in diving deeper into the numbers for all of the cities, or wanting to see how your city stacks up if it’s not listed within the above map? 

We’ve compiled our full data study for all 45 U.S. cities analyzed into the interactive data table below. Search for the city you call home or click on the heading of each column to sort by that category!

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You should really not pass up Rangeley Maine. It has wonderful winter activities plus Saddleback Mountain and Sugarloaf mountains are right nearby. It has a Winterfest what they call Snoddy oh, snowmobiling, hockey, ice-skating skiing, cross-country skiing snowshoeing over 1000 miles of trails. This area of western Maine, which is 30 miles from New Hampshire and 30 miles from Canada is one of the most beautiful picturesque places in the world.

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