Although some folks like to head for the beach the moment a chill arrives in the air, plenty of others—namely skiers and snow enthusiasts—embrace winter with open arms. But even if you’re not a skier, you can still appreciate a trip to a cozy mountain town. They’re the perfect and picturesque place to lean into the chilly months and get some much needed R and R after the holidays—and below are five of our favorites.
Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado
Nestled among Colorado’s stunning San Juan mountains, Dunton Hot Springs is an isolated gem with jaw-dropping scenery that feels like stepping back in time to the 1800s. (It’s also a celebrity-favorite stay: The Kardashians, Oprah, and Tom Cruise have all soaked in this unique retreat’s natural hot springs.) Cozy up in your own private cabin before heading out on a number of outdoors excursions, from cross-country skiing to horseback riding.
Vail is a world-class ski destination—its legendary back bowls speak for themselves—but beneath the mountains, it has plenty to offer. Stroll charming Vail Village, ducking in and out of high-end boutiques and ski outfitters, and pick up a spiked hot chocolate to stay warm along the way. A home base of the Bavarian-inspired Sonnenalp rounds out the coziest winter stay.
Park City, Utah
Home to the Sundance Film Festival in February, Park City is an artistic retreat beyond its world-class slopes. Its historic Egyptian Theatre, built in 1926, is our favorite place to escape the chill and catch a show: Check out the lineup for this winter. Before or after, Park City’s Main Street Historic District is worth exploring, filled with art galleries and (Plus, be one of the first to stay at two beautiful new Inspirato homes: Mahogany and White Pine.)
Charm abounds in this tiny haven nestled at the base of Mount Mansfield. Classically New England, Stowe offers more than just skiing. For a fun wintry adventure, book a sled ride with Eden Ethical Dogsledding and zip through the woods behind a pack of eager huskies. Or, cozy up with a pint at the grand von Trapp Brewery, housed within the family’s own historic lodge. (We like to think of it as aprés without the effort beforehand.)
Asheville, North Carolina
For those who’d prefer a less snowy getaway—but with just as picturesque mountain scenery and a cozy vibe—Asheville is the perfect fit. Stroll its artsy downtown for handcrafted décor, or get out on the nearby hiking trails; Asheville only sees about a foot of snow a year. The Deep Creek waterfalls trail, about an hour outside the city, is one of our favorites: It’s seldom covered with snow, and you can see three waterfalls along it. The trail offers multiple length options ranging from 2.4 miles to 5 miles.