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photo - Capitol Peak
Colorado Mountain College students go to school in some of the country’s best vacation destinations, according to a list of the 15 Best Small Towns by U.S. News & World Report.

Four Colorado towns with CMC campuses were named in the top 15: Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Aspen, and Vail. The magazine’s travel rankings are based on an analysis of expert and user opinions, and includes information about hotels, travel deals, and things to do.

Here’s how the Colorado towns ranked:

No. 2: Breckenridge. The magazine, which says the town “retains the same Victorian-era charm it had during the height of the gold rush,” also put Breckenridge at No. 6 on its list of Best Ski Destinations in the USA, No. 13 on its list of Best Places to Visit in the USA and No. 18 on its list of the World’s Best Places to Visit. While in Breckenridge, the magazine recommends getting some exercise — whether skiing, snowshoeing or hiking — while enjoying the gorgeous surroundings.

No. 7: Steamboat Springs. The magazine says Steamboat offers “excellent ski conditions, a community of friendly locals and geothermal hot springs that are perfect after a long day spent on the slopes.”

No. 10: Aspen. Aspen makes several of the magazine’s lists including No. 3 on Best Luxury Destinations in the USA, No. 4 of Best Romantic Getaways in the USA, No. 5 on Best Ski Destinations, No. 7 on Best Winter Family Vacations, No. 8 on Best Ski Destinations in the USA and No. 13 on Best Winter Vacations. The magazine says few destinations can compare with Aspen as a winter wonderland: “This scenic mountain town is straight out of a snow globe, featuring picturesque mountain chalets hugged by the soaring Colorado Rockies.” The magazine touts Aspen’s non-skiing attractions, including high-end shopping, museums, funky galleries and fun festivals.

No. 14: Vail. Vail also ranks on several of the magazine’s lists including No. 4 on Best Ski Destinations and No. 9 on Best Family Summer Vacations. “Jagged peaks, miles of slopes and perfect powder attract thousands of visitors every year, earning Vail a noteworthy place among Colorado’s other winter heavyweights, Aspen and Telluride,” the magazine says. It also cautions that Vail “is a hard city for those on a shoestring vacation budget” and recommends a summer visit as a less expensive option.

(Read the full article at The Denver Post)