2. Telluride, Colorado
Why go: As far as Colorado mountain towns go, Telluride isn’t the easiest to get to (limited flights connect to Telluride Regional Airport in the winter; the closest airport after that is in Montrose, a 60-mile drive; or you can drive six hours from Denver), but it’s worth the effort. The former mining town is surrounded on all sides but one by 13,000- to 14,000-foot mountains, which make for some spectacular views. This year, the Farmer’s Almanac and the National Weather Service have predicted above average snowfall for the Telluride region. Roughly 60 percent of the ski resort’s terrain is dedicated to beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, and there are more extreme trails and four hikable terrain areas for experts. It offers some of the best skiing in the state.
Where to stay: For a less touristy, resort-y getaway, stay in town at the Hotel Telluride, a 59-room boutique hotel serving up European ski chalet vibes. It’s steps from the center of town and just a five- to 10-minute walk from the gondola—the first and only free public transit gondola in the U.S.—which’ll take you straight up to the mountain village in less than 15 minutes. Or make your basecamp on the mountain by staying at the Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection.
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