Sarah L. Stewart Travel and Leisure Magazine
October 30, 2013

As you watch the sun dip below 14,000-foot peaks from Allred’s restaurant, toast your craft beers to a vacation well spent in Telluride, CO, a historic ski town hip enough to host film and bluegrass festivals.

Telluride, rated No. 7, is just one of the small towns with outsize personalities that proved irresistible to the T+L community. For our first America’s Favorite Towns survey, we asked our fans and followers to nominate their favorites on social media with the hashtag #TLTowns—and then to vote for the 744 towns in 55 categories, including farmers’ markets, museums, adventure travel, and family-friendly hotels.

To determine the overall popularity results, we calculated each town’s average score. The results reveal that T+L readers have a soft spot for small towns in the Rockies, with the No. 1 title going to Aspen, CO, which scored highly for its attractive locals, beer scene, and Victorian-era Main Street.

What most winning towns have in common is a history dating back at least a century. Charlottesville, VA, for instance, still bears the imprint of Thomas Jefferson, who masterminded Monticello and the University of Virginia and also appreciated fine wine. The area makes a scenic wine-country getaway, with the Blue Ridge Mountains for a backdrop.

Read on for more of T+L’s favorite towns!

Vermont's Winners:

No. 10 Stowe, VT: Cradled by Mount Mansfield and the Green Mountains, this small valley town shines in autumn and winter. Coming in at No. 4 for fall visits and adventure vacations, it sees its fair share of leaf-peepers, hikers, skiers, and snowboarders. Visitors can take their pick of historic inns (No. 5), cool motels (No. 6), family-friendly hotels (No. 10), and other great places to stay, including the Stowe Mountain Resort and the Austria-inspired Trapp Family Lodge, of Sound of Music fame.

No. 9 Burlington, VT: A strong local foodie culture earned this college town votes in a variety of dining categories, including cafés (No. 2), ice cream (No. 4), burgers (No. 5), and coffee (No. 9). Sandwiched between the Green Mountains and glittering Lake Champlain, Burlington is a four-season center for boating, biking, hiking, and skiing. Refuel with a maple creemee (Vermontese for soft-serve ice cream) at lakeside cafés or some spuds at Al’s French Frys, a 1940s institution.

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