Mountain towns seem to be the newest trend in too-cool-for-your-typical-beach-vacation travel, and for good reason. After all, who could blame anyone who wants to trade the beach for the mountains? Crisp mountain air tends to trump highly irritating beach-goers every time.
While we absolutely love the beach, it’s time we join in on the mountain-travel trend often overlooked during off-peak times. One simple Google search of top mountain towns, and it’s clear to see there’s no shortage of spots to love.
In narrowing down our selection, we considered other curated lists, such as this one from U.S. News & World Report (don’t worry, we only pulled legit mountain towns from their list of small towns). We also investigated the social scene, along with the scenery. And, of course, we accounted for our personal opinions, in as unbiased a way as possible.
When it comes to high-alpine living, these are the top mountain towns to post up in, or at the very least, drop by for a visit. (Because there was no clear, definitive ranking published, we’ve listed the top 15 places alphabetically, by state.)
1. Homer, Alaska
We recommend: Visiting the Homer Spit
Alaskans know a thing or two about living on the burly side. Their rugged and wild terrain is a mere playground for their outdoor pursuits, so it’s no wonder a mountain town from the great state of Alaska made the list. Situated on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, Homer’s location makes it easy for adventure-loving folks to explore some of the region’s greatest natural assets, like the Chugach National Forest, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Kachemak Bay State Park. And if that’s not enough, the Homer Spit — a 4.5 mile long stretch of land jutting out into the Kachemak Bay — draws locals and tourists alike with activities such as fishing and kayaking.
Next: A noteworthy spot in the heart of the Ozarks
2. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
We recommend: Staying at the Arsenic and Old Lace Bed & Breakfast
Eureka Springs has no shortage of character, and what the town lacks in size, it more than makes up for in charm. The town oozes old world sophistication, with rustic, laid-back vibes. As opposed to most other typical mountain towns, you won’t find any bulky log cabins lining the streets. Rather, Victorian architecture lends a subtle elegance to Eureka Springs.
Its setting is nothing short of stunning, with the Ozark Mountains serving as the backdrop for this quaint Arkansas town. But don’t let Netflix’s hit show, Ozark, steer you away from visiting the region — surely your family won’t be met with terror upon arrival to the Ozarks.
Next: A well-know lake town takes the next spot.