Best Ski Town (2020)


What makes a great ski town? Some would say it's convenient access to the slopes, for others, maybe it's the variety of restaurants, bars, shops and accommodations. Yet others might gravitate toward a small town vibe or historic atmosphere. 

  • North Conway

    North Conway
    New Hampshire

    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

  • Rossland

    British Columbia

    Not only is Rossland a skier's paradise with Red Mountain Resort nearby, it's also one of North America's top spots for mountain biking. The unpretentious small town–once a gold mining outpost–has plenty for the non-skier as well, including spas, boutique shopping and a variety of restaurants ranging from casual pubs and pizza to sushi and Thai.
    Photo courtesy of Destination BC / Steve Ogle

  • Bethel


    Visitors staying in Bethel enjoy easy access to Sunday River (pictured), home to some of the best snow conditions in the East. Head to the Foggy Goggle or Matterhorn for a lively après-ski scene, or try out one of the many restaurants dotting the streets of this cute New England village.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Maine

  • Stowe


    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 Go Stowe

  • Banff


    Walk 15 minutes in just about any direction from the town of Banff, and you'll find yourself surrounded by the majestic wilderness of Banff National Park. The resort town and gateway to the surrounding park boasts a surprising number of shops, art galleries, bars and excellent restaurants for its size.
    Photo courtesy of Noel Hendrickson / Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

  • Aspen


    It can be pricey. It can be hyped. But Aspen has long been one of the world's great ski towns, and for good reason. The downtown area is dotted with stellar restaurants, galleries and boutiques, and après options include slopeside Ajax Tavern, iconic J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome and the excellent Aspen Brewing Company. With four ski areas within a 10-mile radius, Aspen is hard to beat.
    Photo courtesy of Aspen Chamber

  • Breckenridge


    Breckenridge, established during the Colorado gold rush of the 1800s, is home to Colorado's largest historic district and an equally historic après-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 / Colorado Tourism

  • Alta


    This ski town in the Wasatch Mountain Range of Utah sits at an elevation of 8,950 feet and is home to only 383 permanent residents. The town is home to several classic ski bars (like the Peruvian Bar) and a quieter, more local scene that some of Utah’s glitzier resort towns.
    Photo courtesy of Alta Ski Area / Rocko Menzyk

  • Jackson Hole

    Jackson Hole

    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 Visit Jackson Hole

  • Nelson

    British Columbia

    Located not far from Whitewater Ski Resort, the town of Nelson has personality in spades. On the shores of Kootenay Lake and surrounded by the Selkirk Mountains, Nelson sees rugged adventurers rub elbows with hippies and bohemians in its excellent cafes, bars and galleries centered around pedestrian-friendly Baker Street.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / StephenBridger

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

  1. North Conway, New Hampshire
  2. Rossland, British Columbia
  3. Bethel, Maine
  4. Stowe, Vermont
  5. Banff, Alberta
  6. Aspen, Colorado
  7. Breckenridge, Colorado
  8. Alta, Utah
  9. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  10. Nelson, British Columbia

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning towns!

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