Best Ski Town (2016)


The best ski towns offer way more than convenient access to the mountain. Many of these towns and small cities are steeped in heritage and a sense of authenticity. Many have a friendly, laid back vibe. Many offer attractive amenities, like ski-in, ski-out lodging. All are appealing destinations, both on and off the slopes.

  • Taos, N.M.

    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

  • Reno, Nev.

    Reno, Nev.

    Skiing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think Reno, but the "Biggest Little City in the World" is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, making it an excellent base for snowy winter adventures. Off the slopes, Reno keeps visitors entertained with its entertainment venues, gambling opportunities and loads of bars and restaurants.
    Photo courtesy of

  • Whitefish, Mt.

    Whitefish, Mt.

    Situated at the base of the underrated Whitefish Mountain Resort, the town of Whitefish is part rustic Western, part artsy chic. While only about 6,600 people call the town home, it boasts an impressive collection of restaurants, family-run stores and a lively apres scene at places like The Great Northern Bar & Grill and Caseys. Glacier National Park is just a short drive away.
    Photo courtesy of Brian Schott/ Explore Whitefish

  • North Conway, N.H.

    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

  • Truckee, Calif.

    Truckee, Calif.

    A former logging and railroad town, Truckee has 12 downhill and eight 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 Visit California

  • Crested Butte, Colo.

    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 colorful 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 Trent Bona / Crested Butte Mountain Resort

  • Jackson Hole, Wyo.

    Jackson Hole, Wyo.

    Big slopes meet the Wild West in Jackson Hole, Wyoming's most popular winter resort. While the town's western heritage is still on display at places like the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and Mangy Moose, Jackson caters to luxury travelers as well with some of the country's swankiest ski accommodations. Travelers off the slopes can take a scenic sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge.
    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

  • Stowe, Vt.

    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 AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

  • Steamboat Springs, Colo.

    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 Matt Inden/Miles

  • Breckenridge, Colo.

    Breckenridge, Colo.

    Breckenridge, established during the Colorado gold rush of the 1800s, is home to Colorado's largest historic district and an equally historic apres-ski scene; the Gold Pan Saloon is the oldest bar west of the Mississippi. Great restaurants, an art district and free bus service to Keystone and Copper Mountain make Breckenridge a winning and very atmospheric destination.
    Photo courtesy of Matthew Inden/Miles

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

  1. Taos, N.M.
  2. Reno, Nev.
  3. Whitefish, Mt.
  4. North Conway, N.H.
  5. Truckee, Calif.
  6. Crested Butte, Colo.
  7. Jackson Hole, Wyo.
  8. Stowe, Vt.
  9. Steamboat Springs, Colo.
  10. Breckenridge, Colo.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Wendy Clinch (TheSkiDiva), Lyndell Keating (Powderhounds), Kristen Lummis (The Brave Ski Mom), Nate Musson (The Not Snowboarding Podcast) and Mark Warner (Low Pressure Podcast: The Podcast for Skiers) were chosen based on their skiing and snowboarding expertise.

Other nominated towns included Aspen, Banff, Bozeman, Lake Placid, Mammoth Lakes, Park City, Revelstoke, Rossland, South Lake Tahoe and Telluride.

Congratulations to all our winning ski towns! 

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AlertThe Experts

Wendy Clinch

Wendy Clinch

Wendy Clinch

Lyndell Keating

Lyndell Keating

Lyndell Keating

Kristen Lummis

Kristen Lummis

Kristen Lummis

Nate Musson

Nate Musson

Nate Musson

Mark Warner

Mark Warner

Mark Warner