The rankings were based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, according to the website’s methodology statement, with each destination being scored in 10 categories such as sights, culture, food, nightlife, adventure and romance.
Taking this year’s No. 1 spot is Telluride, which “woos visitors with its captivating scenery and delightful Mountain Village,” according to the report.
Additionally, the town has 2,000-plus acres of terrain, ample ski spots and 300 inches of snow with more than 200 days of sun annually. Telluride also hosts numerous festivals and cultural events, and travelers can hike, bike and golf during warm weather.
Steamboat Springs came in at No. 8, and was lauded for its “excellent ski conditions, a community of friendly locals and geothermal hot springs.” The town also has the Outlaw Mountain Coaster (“the longest coaster in North America“), tubing in the Yampa River and free concerts at different times of year in Gondola Square and the Yampa River Botanic Park.
Taking the 15th spot is Breckenridge, ranked for its nearby ski resorts, “stunning” mountain vistas and 19th-century Gold Rush roots. The report also states it’s a popular place for hiking and biking, and has plenty of breweries and distilleries.
This isn’t the first time Colorado’s small towns have stood out in a ranking of the nation’s best small towns. In last year’s U.S. News & World Report compilation, Telluride also took the No. 1 spot, while Steamboat Springs was No. 3.