Snowy mountain peaks, après-ski every afternoon, and cobblestone streets all lit up at night: These are just a few of the elements that make traveling to a ski town an undeniably romantic adventure for any couple. When winter rolls around, packing up your skis or snowboards and heading to the nearest mountain—or booking a special destination trip that takes you far from home—is one of the very best ways to pass the time with your partner. “Ski towns are inherently romantic because they celebrate nature and coziness,” says Emily Campbell, founder and executive producer of GoBella Design & Planning, a Colorado-based luxury event production company. “In nature, couples can hike or ski in beautiful, idyllic settings from snowy mountain tops to hillsides of wildflowers. Then, couples can relax at a charming restaurant, snuggled by a fire, and sip their hot toddies. Does it get much more romantic?”
One of Campbell’s favorite things to look for when planning a ski getaway centered around romance? Resorts built around historic towns. In her opinion, the most romantic U.S. ski towns are Breckenridge, Aspen, and Telluride—all three of which check that box. “Other amazing towns that are close to a ski resort are Jackson, Crested Butte, and Steamboat Springs,” she adds.
Meet the Expert
Emily Campbell is the founder and executive producer of GoBella Design & Planning, a Colorado-based luxury event production company.
But paradisal, historic ski villages like the locales Campbell recommends span the globe, of course. Here, we share the most romantic ski towns in the U.S., as well as a handful that require a long-haul flight but are well worth the trip. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, there’s plenty to do at each of these destinations. “Check out the cross-country trails, snowshoeing, horse-drawn sleigh ride dinners, dog sledding, and snowmobiling,” recommends Campbell. “If you are not an outdoor adventurer, all of our towns have amazing spas, wellness opportunities, shopping, and high-quality restaurants. There are also a lot of natural hot springs throughout the West such as Strawberry Park Hot Springs outside of Steamboat Springs. The minerals will make you feel like jelly afterward. Sometimes, finding a comfy reading chair in the lodge next to a picture window and roaring fire (with a glass of red wine) is all you could possibly need.”
Convinced that a romantic winter getaway needs to be the next trip you plan? Visit one of our top recommendations, where you and your partner will be hard-pressed not to fall in love all over again.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Between the classic western-style downtown area and the world-class ski resort (this town sends a lot of locals to the Olympics), Steamboat Springs is one of the most romantic ski towns in the U.S. A little harder to reach than some other Colorado ski resorts, there’s a sense of intimacy everywhere you go, from chic slope-side chalets to bustling restaurants and bars around the resort. Our editors recommend spending an evening soaking at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, booking a romantic dinner at Café Diva, and—regardless of whether or not you actually ski—taking the gondola up to the top of the mountain for sweeping views of the Yampa Valley.
Known as the location for one of the most important film festivals in the country, this Colorado town also boasts some of the state’s best ski slopes. A National Historic Landmark, you’ve likely seen images of Telluride’s picturesque Main Street, which, while stunning year-round, is especially romantic during the snow season and offers many sweet shops to pop into. Can’t-miss couples’ excursions include a night at Sheridan Opera House and a romantic dinner at Allred’s, which places diners at a whopping 10,551 feet above sea level. Enjoy views of Uncompahgre National Forest and the town below as you feast on fine American fare in an elegant, wood-accented dining room.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you really want to live it up in the Jackson Hole area, book accommodations at Amangani, a luxury, design-forward resort that matches the natural beauty of the surrounding foothills in the Tetons. A quick 20-minute drive from Teton Village, couples can enjoy ski-in and ski-out access from the resort’s own ski lounge. Those with a sense of adventure should consider booking a heli-skiing experience for access to lesser-traveled slopes with swaths of untouched, fresh snow. No matter what, don’t miss out on après-ski at the Handle Bar, a chic-yet-rustic pub at the Four Seasons.
One of the most famous ski destinations in the world, Whistler is as much a romantic getaway as it is a snow lover’s paradise. Located within British Columbia’s Coast Mountains—and just two hours north of Vancouver—Whistler offers couples the opportunity to disappear into the mountains of Canada for an unforgettable adventure (Whistler Blackcomb Resort is one of the best in the world) or cozy up in town for an intimate, relaxing escape. Couples in search of the ultimate romantic stay shouldn’t miss checking into the iconic Fairmont Chateau Whistler, which looks like a true fairy-tale castle and is especially breathtaking when covered in a thick layer of snow. When you’ve had your fill of snow activities, couples must book a day at Scandinave Spa, a 25,000-square-foot thermal therapy spa situated within Whistler’s old-growth forests. Replete with steam rooms, saunas, hot springs, cold plunges, indoor/outdoor fireplaces, hammocks, and sweeping views of the Coast Mountains, an afternoon spent in this unique spa is the ideal way to unwind with your significant other.
St. Moritz, Switzerland
When you think of skiing in Europe, you likely picture a town just like St. Moritz. Surrounded by sharp peaks shrouded in snow and complete with luxurious shops and hotels that line winding streets, this Engadin Valley paradise exudes romance around every corner. The skiing and snowboarding are, of course, phenomenal—expansive trails across three local mountains offer inimitable snowsport experiences—but the town itself is also ideal for respite from the snow, boasting multiple Michelin-starred restaurants alongside luxury hotels and ample stores for window shopping. After exploring the ski trails, you and your partner can amble through the streets on a hunt for the best fondue (this is not to be missed) and settle into a sumptuous room at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, a St. Moritz institution that reopened in 2021 following renovations.
Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
No one does romance quite like the Italians, so this picture-perfect ski village in the heart of the Dolomites is a natural inclusion in our list. Known as “the Pearl of the Dolomites,” Cortina is famous for some of the region’s best ski trails, and the town checks all the boxes when it comes to charm. From soaking in wooden hot tubs with views of the towering Dolomites to romantic dinners in town at Michelin-starred restaurants (don’t miss Ristorante Tivoli), Cortina d’Ampezzo will have you falling in love all over again—the excellent skiing is just the cherry on top.
Manza Onsen, Japan
What makes this ski town, perched 6,000 feet above sea level on the slopes of Mount Shirane, stand out amongst Japan’s snowy destinations are the hot springs. Known for having the country’s most sulfuric waters (which comes with numerous health benefits), Manza Onsens is home to a collection of hotels and ryokans with steamy soaking tubs—perhaps the most romantic way to decompress with your loved one after a day on the mountain. If you want to make these therapeutic waters the center of your trip, book a stay at Manza Onsen Nisshin Kan, a quaint inn with nine different springs, both indoor and outdoor, on the property. Of course, the snow sports are not to be missed; because of the town’s altitude, Manza Onsens boasts some of the lightest, driest powder in Japan’s Northern Alps.