Crested Butte Wins Title of Best Ski Town!


North Conway, Truckee, Lake Placid and Steamboat Springs also winners

Awesome accommodations, après-ski options, small town appeal, a restaurant scene and plenty of entertainment off the slopes – these are the qualities of a great ski town! For the past four weeks, USA TODAY 10Best readers have been voting for their favorite from a pool of 20 nominees, hand picked by our panel of pro skiers and snowboarders. The polls are closed and the results are in!

  • Bend, Ore.

    With Mount Bachelor 22 miles up the road, Bend is Central Oregon's adventure capital for sports enthusiasts of all types. A variety of lodging options make Bend an affordable winter hangout, and Bend's abundance of breweries – more per capital than anywhere else in Oregon – ensures a lively apres-ski scene.
    Photo courtesy of Pete Alport/Visit Bend

  • Stowe, Vt.

    Steepled churches and clapboard houses make Stowe a quintessential New England ski town, complete with excellent options for both downhill and Nordic skiers. While there are plenty of fine dining establishments and luxury resorts catering to well-heeled travelers, there's a lively apres scene as well, especially at The Matterhorn. Rest day activities can include a tasting at the famous Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory just down the road in Waterbury.
    Photo courtesy of Ski Vermont

  • Whistler, B.C.

    Everything about Whistler is big: the mountain, the snowfall, the vertical drops, the apres-ski party scene ... we could go on. The town that services this mega resort a couple hours outside of Vancouver looks straight from a Christmas card, with a car-free center teeming with condos, restaurants, nightclubs and bars, like the popular Garibaldi Lift Company.
    Photo courtesy of Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler

  • Bozeman, Mont.

    Bozeman, a Montana university town and the adventure capital of the Northern Rockies, is known for its laid-back vibe, up-and-coming restaurant scene, smattering of breweries and affordability, both on and off the slope. Bridger Bowl, located just 16 miles away, is both convenient and inexpensive, while majestic Big Sky Resort sits less than an hour away.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Taos, N.M.

    Taos started as a pueblo tucked within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico. Today, the vibrant ski town encompasses a thriving artists colony, trendy boutiques, posh eco-friendly resorts and plenty of restaurants serving up spicy New Mexico green chile.
    Photo courtesy of John Dunn House Shops, Taos

  • Steamboat Springs, Colo.

    Part working cowboy town, part ski resort, Steamboat Springs is much more down-to-earth than other resorts in the state. It's also one of the few ski resorts in the nation with a hot springs near the base, perfect for relaxing sore muscles after a long day on the slopes.
    Photo courtesy of Larry Pierce

  • Lake Placid, N.Y.

    The tiny resort town of Lake Placid in the Adirondack Mountains of New York has a prominent spot on the winter sports map, having hosted two Winter Olympics. Besides being a Mecca for Nordic skiing, Lake Placid also offers ice skating, tobogganing, dogsledding and downhill skiing at Whiteface.
    Photo courtesy of Lake Placid/High Peaks

  • Truckee, Calif.

    A former logging and railroad town, Truckee has 12 downhill and 8 Nordic ski resorts within a 10-mile radius. But convenience isn't Truckee's only appeal; the town has a dining scene that offers everything from hearty comfort food to fine dining, as well as plenty of off-slope activities like starlight snowshoeing, dogsledding or cruising on Lake Tahoe.
    Photo courtesy of Jeff Dow

  • North Conway, N.H.

    Nestled within the scenic White Mountains of New Hampshire, North Conway sits within a half-hour drive of more than a dozen alpine and Nordic ski resorts. Visitors off the slopes can explore the town's pastel-hued Victorian architecture oozing New England charm. The Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center makes for an excellent rest-day diversion.
    Photo courtesy of Harvey Barrison / Flickr

  • Crested Butte, Colo.

    A former high-elevation mining town, Crested Butte has more of a rural, laid-back vibe than some of the state's more glitzy resorts. With a population of under 2,000, Crested Butte's Victorian-era downtown houses a smattering of boutiques and restaurants, complemented by amazing surrounding scenery of the Elk Mountains and access to some of the best skiing in the state.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The top 10 winners in the category Best Ski Town are as follows:

  1. Crested Butte, Colo.
  2. North Conway, N.H.
  3. Truckee, Calif.
  4. Lake Placid, N.Y.
  5. Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  6. Taos, N.M.
  7. Bozeman, Mont.
  8. Whistler, B.C.
  9. Stowe, Vt.
  10. Bend, Ore.

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Sadie Bjornsen, Sophie CaldwellAbby GhentCaroline Gleich, Elena Hight and Megan McJames were chosen based on their extensive ski or snowboarding experience.

Other nominees for Best Ski Town included Aspen, Colo.; Breckenridge, Colo.; Girdwood, Alaska; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Ketchum, Idaho; Nelson, B.C.; Park City, Utah; Stratton, Vt.; Telluride, Colo. and Vail, Colo.

Congratulations to all of our top 10 ski towns!

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Alert The Experts

Sadie Bjornsen

Sophie Caldwell

Abby Ghent

Caroline Gleich

Elena Hight

Megan McJames