Classic Mountain Towns

Places where the eating and drinking and hanging out downtown is every bit as great as the skiing at the resort

Park City's Town Lift, Utah     Photo: Dan Campbell/courtesy, Park City CVB

JEKYLL AND HYDE
When the spring-breakers roll in, Breckenridge temporarily becomes a snowy Cancun. But the 150-year-old village (pop. 3,500) has a more civilized side, too, and remains one of the most family-friendly resorts in Colorado, thanks to its effortless intermediate slopes and stellar ski-school instructors. breckenridge.snow.com

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
There's a reason so many stars flock to Aspen: It's an unbelievably fun place to ski (especially Aspen Highlands). And party. Downtown Aspen basically a four-by-nine-block rectangle has everything from dark, unpretentious places (Zane's Tavern) to lounges seemingly airlifted straight out of L.A. (like 39 Degrees at the Sky Hotel, complete with signature martinis, minimalist furniture, and outdoor fire pits). aspensnowmass.com

UNINHIBITED UTAH
Sure, Park City's skiing is great (check out the award-winning park, awesome groomers, and surprising amount of big-mountain terrain). But with a pumping main street packed with 54 bars and restaurants, it's without a doubt home to the state's best nightlife. pcski.com

REAL COLORADO
Steamboat's tagline is "Ski Town, USA" and town is the operative word. Unlike purpose-built ski villages, Steamboat is the real thing, with stores that still sell stuff like groceries and hardware. Tip: Start your evening at the Tugboat (located in Ski Times Square) before taking advantage of the shuttle system and walking the town. steamboat.com

EASTERN STAR
Not only does Stowe have some of the best terrain (and snowmaking capabilities) back east, but it's also one of the oldest ski towns in the U.S. Pop into the old-school Vermont Ski Museum (vermontskimuseum.org), in the village, then head over to the Rusty Nail (rustynailbar.com), a bar and grill with some of the state's best live music. gostowe.com

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