Seven Charming Small Towns to Visit in Winter


February 28, 2018

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Are you looking for a scenic escape or picturesque place to plant your ski poles this winter? Look no further than these seven American towns where snow and ice add to their charm and hospitality.

Red River, New Mexico

With a population of fewer than 500, this blink-and-you-miss-it resort town in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains reaches its full potential in the winter. Snow tube or sled down a mountain, or take a guided snowmobile tour through the Carson National Forest. You'll also want to schedule in a winter constellations hike since the crisp, clear nights are ideal for stargazing.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

This mountain resort city in the Southeast is situated just eight miles north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park where there's plenty to do when the temperature drops. Hike or cross-country ski through serene forests, or opt for a photo-worthy drive through Cades Cove on an 11-mile loop where you'll see historic sites that European settlers once occupied, including a working grist mill, churches, and log houses. Warm up afterward by visiting one of the local distilleries.

McCall, Idaho

This magical destination on the southern shore of Payette Lake and Payette National Forest is known for the highest average snowfalls in the state, which makes for great fatbiking conditions. Gear up and pedal through the snow on a two-wheeler with wide tires. Beginning in late January, the city is transformed into a living art gallery with towering snow sculptures that herald the epic McCall Winter Carnival. And don't leave without seeing the fireworks, beer garden, and Mardi Gras Parade.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

The working ranches and cowboys around Steamboat, as the locals call it, give this town an authentic western feel. It's no surprise then that you can explore the valley and its surrounding mountains on horseback year-round. Internationally known, this destination in northwestern Colorado also has some of the best skiing in the state. After a morning of runs, try out the roller coaster (yes, it's on the slopes!) that features dips, turns, and 360-degree circles. Then, enjoy a relaxing soak in the area's natural hot spring mineral pools.

Camden, Maine

This seacoast town doesn't shutter in the winter. Its country inns, shops, and restaurants are open and serving local favorites like blueberry pancakes, lobster stew, and clam chowder deep into the chilly months. You'll work up an appetite at the 400-foot Jack Williams Toboggan Chute, one of the last of its kind in the country, where toboggans zoom by at 40 miles per hour. Or, for a tamer experience, ice skate on the nearby, 55-acre pond, and explore some 30 miles of hiking and snowshoeing trails in Camden Hills State Park.

Idyllwild, California

Nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains, this community is known for its seasons, its majestic forests, and its small-town vibe. In the winter, skiing and sledding are popular pastimes. But what sets Idyllwild apart from other winter resort towns is that it's an hour drive down to the desert surrounding Palm Springs.

Old Forge, New York

This Herkimer County hamlet has been dubbed the "Snowmobile Capital of the East" for its miles of scenic, professionally groomed trails that afford breathtaking views of the Adirondack Mountains. If you prefer to take in the vistas on foot, The Wild Center's 115 acres are ideal for snowshoeing, or you can cross-country ski on the nearby golf course. Locals also head to McCauley Mountain for the annual Winter Carnival in February where you can enjoy torchlight skiing and ice skating before dancing the night away at a local chalet.

While you make your way to these destinations, make sure your car or RV is covered with the right insurance. Get a fast, free quote on

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