With all their serene beauty, mountains are one of the earth’s most attractive landscapes. Since the early existing humans, we have found comfort in the bold walls of the mountains for protection, food, and resources.
Today, the elevated landforms yet have held their place in our hearts and mark as one of the most popular locations for tourism- whether to enjoy a laid back journey with the crisp mountain air and breathtaking vista, or set for adventurous excursions like hiking, biking, skiing, and wildlife sighting.
Each of the United States’ mountain regions comes with cultural excellence, peculiar to every township. To discover the best of these mountain destinations, we have handpicked 15 of the best American cities and townships on an altitude.
While gathering a list on the mountain fringed townships in the United States, it is only fair to start with the Alaskan territory. The mountain resort town of Girdwood boasts all the fine characteristics of Alaska’s topography, sided with posh amenities and breathtaking vistas.
From deep and frosted fjords to glaciated mountain peaks, quintessential wildlife, and an aboriginal culture dating back to Chugach Sugpiaq, the native Alaskans.
Once known as the Glacier Town, Girdwood is hemmed in by seven glacier summits and their ice-carved valleys. Today, the settlement remains a legacy of the 19th-century gold rush miners and transformed into a seasonal holiday destination.
With countless snow-covered slopes and long powdery seasons, skiing and snowboarding is the main winter attraction, complemented with the sight of the wavering northern lights. Summer marks the season of thriving wildlife, exploring alpine lakes and hiking to the uncontaminated peaks, and enjoying the unbustled life of Girdwood.
At a short distance from Utah’s capital, Park City is an epicenter for champion-level ski and snow activities, accompanied by cultural scenes. In winter, Park City Mountain Resort offers three major attractions; fine skiing and snowboarding slopes named among North America’s finest groomed trails at Utah Olympic Park, après-ski diners and bars, and the renowned Sundance film festival each January.
Formerly a silver mining town, the heritage relics of the silver rush trail still meander along the town’s historic quarters, flanked by bourgeois boutiques, historic diners, and art galleries.
Colorado’s slopes have international recognition as the finest of skiing slopes, impressive vistas, and a culture that goes hand in hand with nature. While it rivals the better-famed snow resort towns in the vicinity, Breckenridge boasts champion-grade skiing amenities- along with the serenity and charm of small mountain settlements.
During the season snow, recreation stretches from the finely groomed green slopes, diamond bowls, and cross-country skiing, to snowmobiling. Traditional activities are winter special here such as dog sledding or skating over natural and artificial ice rinks.
Summer in Breckenridge is unmatched in its verdant beauty. The nearby frosted slopes change into hiking trail veined forests that lead to high alpine lakes. Frozen creeks melt into rafting routes, and the town’s main street is filled with summer festivals, vibrant and cozy cafes, and exceptional diners.
Named “The Ski Capital of the East”, Stowe is best known for its Champagne powder bowls in the winter and lushly forested valleys during the warmer months. The town stands as an iconic destination in Vermont, noted for having the state’s best hiking or ski trails on the slopes of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, spectacular farmlands, and a charming urbanscape.
For recreation, the town is renowned for four seasonal outdoor attractions. Besides outdoorsy activities, this striking landscape has long been a source of inspiration for art, and it is home to many artists from around the world.
Nestled on the sheer ramps of Bear Mountain, Big Bear Lake is a distinguished ski destination- regarded for the finest of green and blue slopes. As a popular mountain region in the vicinity of Vegas, luxury essence is a part of the village’s tourism.
Posh skiing resorts, full-serviced chalets at the heart of the wilderness, and modern amenities such as souvenir shops and delectable restaurants’ at the village’s center.
It is a year-round destination; with all premium snow recreation in winter and lushly vegetated summers, best for spotting grizzly bears, horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking on the foothills of San Bernardino National Forest.
Nicknames as the Land of Outdoorsy People, slopes of Colorado each bid a peculiar beauty and are facilitated with world-class skiing facilities. However, Aspen stands in the spotlight for a great many unique features.
While skiing and snowboarding are taken to an international level, the city carries a cultural weight. From music festivals, international film festivals, to occasional art exhibitions, museums, concert halls, theatre, and bourgeois après-ski-Aspen’s cultural spirit is committed to art and its thriving art community.
Several celebrities own seasonal vacation homes here, together with gourmet-grade restaurants for a premium dining experience.
Titled as Montana’s Adventure Capital, Bozeman ranks among the top skiing destinations worldwide. It is also known as the state’s most livable place, complemented with modern amenities, backcountry life, and outdoorsy attractions year-round. Recreation highlights include skiing, wildlife sighting, backcountry camping, game hunting angling, and much more.
Nestled on the slopes of the Rocky Ranges, the southwards hiking routes lead to the spectacular terrain of the Yellowstone National Park- bidding a delightful experience of scenery and natural hot spring pools after long hikes or skiing.
In addition to the region’s legendary wildlife, the river valleys and nearby creek point to one of the best locations for grizzly sightings while fishing during the summer.
Museum of the Rockies is located in Bozeman, holding the largest collection of T.Rex worldwide, relics of indigenous heritage, and modern stories of mountain adventures.
Iconic mountain peaks and vast river valleys, a thriving art community, the hiplife around Colorado’s largest university and outdoorsy attraction throughout the year- Boulder is an unrivaled destination.
There are many significant mentions of Boulder in several prizewinning listings such as a foodie haven by Food + Wine magazine, a top recreation-centered community, and its posh hotel accommodations.
In effect, Boulder Creek Path is a hiking route that connects the spectacular nature of the low-rising Colorado slopes to the myriads of cultural attractions at the historic downtown and Pearl Street.
Lake Placid possesses a rich history in winter sport and once hosted two Olympics in the years 1932 and 1980. Today the town’s Olympic center is best known for alpine and Nordic winter sport, bobsledding, and the stunning chair-lift ride that provides dazzling views.
Except for the impressive vistas, the lake escape of the Mirror Lake highlights a recreational route for hikers to the slopes of Whiteface Mountain, and for kayaking and canoeing.
The village center is filled with lively ambient, shopping center, restaurant, and year-round festivals-both from the sportive legacy of the Olympics and cultural scenes.
Sitting atop the sleeping volcano of Hood Mountain, Hood River is best known as a recreational town for snow season skiing and outdoorsy summers. It is also named the windsurfing Capital of the World for the strong air currents from June through September.
Although recreation is not the only thing this pretty town offers. Dramatic peaks to cragged river chasms of Columbia river and countless creeks are a complement to a laid-back vacation for nature enthusiasts and landscape photographers. Additionally, Pacific Northwest’s best wineries are located in this region.
Visitors of this mountain resort have access to numerous nearby attractions; starting from the entrance, the scenic drive along the Colorado River reaches the settlement, after crossing the state’s tallest falls at Multnomah Falls.
Located only a short drive from the Canadian border, Sandpoint portrays the charm of Arctic terrains and modern facilities of American resort towns. Tucked in between the Bitterroot, Selkirk, and Cabinet Mountain ranges, the town has no shortage of skiing slopes in winters.
For a comprehensive recreation package, visit the Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, providing aquatic recreation crafts, ski training and slopes, angling facilities, and luxury comfort at the rugged backdrop of Sandpoint mountains.
Throughout the year, the community hosts several art festivals, permanent and temporary gallery exhibitions, and a delectable cuisine sided by a healthy salad bowl covered in Sandpoint’s famous salad dressing.
The idea of a mountain town takes on a different demeanor in Taos. It sits over the heights of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, overlooking the barren terrains of New Mexico’s deserts, and all its indigenous history and art.
In winters, the town is regarded as an alpine ski resort, with myriads of green slopes for practicing beginners. In fact, Taos Ski Valley highlights world-class skiing for all levels of expertise-all the way to black ski runs.
Spectacular vistas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, named for the blood-red hues, are rewarding throughout the year. Together with nature, Taos welcomes visitors to the rich art scene of mostly indigenous and Hispanic communities, museums, and the multistoried wonders of Pueblo village.
Rugged mountain peaks, alpine lakes fringed by flourishing vegetation, and over 200 kilometers of shorelines at proximity- Coeur d’Alene embraces diverse landscapes and recreations. Lake Coeur d’Alene is a well-recognized recreation area for paddling, fly-fishing, pleasure boating and even landing recreational sea plains.
Sided by occasional sand stretches, the lake also hosts the summer swimmers from around the globe and picnic areas for a pleasant family afternoon. For skiers, Schweitzer Mountain resort is located at a short distance, offering premium powder runs.
Apart from recreation, the town is named as the cultural crown jewel of the state. At the historic center, cobblestone street line the alley leading to art galleries, museums, and fine diners.
One of the most romantic times to stroll about the town is at sunset when the mountain backdrop vista bid a peculiar hue to the building and then illuminated with the classic gas street lights.
From the frosted peaks of glacier mountains to the scalding pools of natural hot springs, Ouray is walled in between the San Juan Mountains. The valley is lined with trembling waterfalls and tributary thermal springs- setting forth one of the most spectacular sceneries across the nation.
The small township portrays the classic look of alpine settlements and all the luxurious essence of mountain resorts; it is nicknamed the Switzerland of America and the ice climbing capital for its recreational eminence.
Nature aside, Ouray offers several art galleries, an alchemist museum, and a historic urbanscape that inspire awe in its visitors.
Among the most luxurious mountain resorts in both nature and modern amenities- Berkeley Springs is dotted with steaming hot spring pools, posh wellness spas, and bewildering mountain scenarios.
The most iconic feature of Berkeley Springs is perhaps the 18th century stone castle, perching over the historic quarter. Additionally, this dazzling mountain destination boasts all the characteristics of a thriving art community.
Theatres, museums, restaurants, and art galleries give way to alternative cafes, fine evening diners, and nightlife clubs- something of culture for all family members.
In the vicinity, the wild and scenic drive along the Cacapon River crosses spectacular vistas of the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia before reaching urban limits.
Here are two other mountain resort that are worth visiting at least once;
Sprawling on the flat valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ashville is one of America’s richest cities for culinary, culture, and mountain-setting recreation.
The city is home to myriads of wineries and high-end distilleries, together with eminent restaurants. This hip city has a knack for art and cultural centers, in contrast with their raw interest to mingle with nature, ski, and enjoy the endless hiking trails around the nearby mountains.
Lounging along the snaking Deschutes River, the township of Bend holds the quintessential features of the Cascade Mountains’ badlands. Skiing, trails, wildlife sighting at Mt. Aspiring National Park, paddling over the alpine lakes, and breathtaking vistas of three sisters summit- there is much recreation to indulge in.
The town also hosts annual and routine art festivals, music concerts, and sports competitions- all integrated with the crisp mountain air and the relaxing feel of this swiss-resembling settlement.