The Coziest Small Towns in America

historic Georgetown in Colorado in winter scenery


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Deadwood, South Dakota

Coziest in the Country

If the winter season leaves you dreading the cold, dark, dreary days, why not escape to somewhere quaint and cozy?  The dating review site MyDatingAdviser compared 170 small towns across the country to find the absolute coziest. The site analyzed towns based on their winter temperatures and average snowfall. They also looked into the availability of cafes, bakeries, crafts, and bookshops. Each town was then given a "Cozy Town Index Score." The site found the following to be the top 10 most cozy and quaint towns to visit this winter.  

Related: 25 Quirky Small Towns Across America

Lake George, NY
Lake George, NY by reivax (CC BY-SA)

10. Lake George, New York

Ranking: #10

Located in upstate New York, this charming town with scenic lake views is filled with both winter and summer activities. In the summer, spend time at Million Dollar Beach or go boating. Hiking is ideal for cooler days. The walkable downtown features plenty of shops and restaurants. 

Related: Relaxing Lake Resorts for a Summer Escape

Mackinac Island, Michigan
Mackinac Island, Michigan by Jasperdo (CC BY-NC-ND)

9. Mackinac Island, Michigan

Ranking: #9

Mackinac Island has been called the "Best Island in the Continental U.S." and it's easy to see why. The streets are car-free and instead full of horse-drawn carriages. There's world-famous fudge and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. And though there's plenty to keep busy with on the approximately 5-mile island, its big draw for many is its leisurely, relaxed pace of life. 

Related: Tough-to-Say Place Names You're Probably Butchering

Keystone, South Dakota
Keystone, South Dakota by TravelingOtter (CC BY)

8. Keystone, South Dakota

Ranking: #8

Keystone may be famous as a town that leads to Mount Rushmore, but there's plenty else to see. With a range of activities from hiking to museums to historical sites, visitors can enjoy the area's old-timey feeling.

For more great travel guides and vacation tips,
please sign up for our free newsletters.

Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid, New York by Mwanner (CC BY-SA)

7. Lake Placid, New York

Ranking: #7

The Adirondacks are the setting for this small town, which sees over 105 inches of snowfall per year. Lake Placid became famous for hosting the 1980 Winter Olympic Games, and now is a popular destination for enjoying winter activities. 

Related: 25 Beautiful Summer Vacation Spots If You Hate the Beach

Medora, North Dakota
Medora, North Dakota by Acroterion (CC BY-SA)

6. Medora, North Dakota

Ranking: #6

This historic town, which is home to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, has a western feel to it. With roots in cattle ranching that even drew in the future president Roosevelt, visiting feels like stepping back in time. But there are plenty of quaint activities to enjoy, such as the Medora Musical, a legendary country-western variety show that's been playing for over 50 years.

Breckenridge, Colorado
Breckenridge, Colorado by Av9 (CC BY-SA)

5. Breckenridge, Colorado

Ranking: #5

If you love winter sports, Breckenridge is a skier's paradise. The town gets about 300 inches of snow per year, which means plenty of nights of cozying up by the fire as you enjoy the wintery-white view. Breckenridge is a little over 5 square miles in size with 4,500 residents, but during peak holidays, the population can surge to 39,000 people.

Ellicottville, New York
Ellicottville, New York by David (CC BY)

4. Ellicottville, New York

Ranking: #4

Two state forests and mountains surround this town of 500 residents. Though the entire village is only 1 square mile, there is a number of unique shops, galleries, and eateries. The town does not allow franchises within its limits to keep the small-town feel. 

Stanley, Idaho
Stanley, Idaho by Frank Kovalchek (None)

3. Stanley, Idaho

Ranking: #3

This quaint little town is surrounded by over 1,000 miles of wilderness, has just 69 residents, and spans just two streets, but still offers plenty to do. The Sawtooth Mountain Range is a breathtaking backdrop for snowmobiling or cross-country skiing in the winter, and offers hiking in warmer months. The town offers plenty of charming places to stay, with everything from ranches to rental cabins. 

Related: 22 of the Smallest Towns in America

Stowe, Vermont
Stowe, Vermont by (CC BY-SA)

2. Stowe, Vermont

Ranking: #2

This charming ski town offers a number of recreational activities off the slopes, as well. Winter activities also include ice skating, dog sledding and sleigh rides. After spending time in the crisp outdoor air, enjoy a warm meal from one of the town's many restaurants — Stowe was once named the No. 1 ski town in the U.S. for foodies by Fodor's Travel. 

Related: Bucket List Destinations for Foodies

Stockholm, Wisconsin
Stockholm, Wisconsin by (CC BY-SA)

1. Stockholm, Wisconsin

Ranking: #1

This cozy little town puts the emphasis on little — the full-time population is under 100 people, according to census reports. But there is a lot packed into this tiny getaway. Stockholm offers gorgeous views of Lake Pepin, plus shops, dining, and lodging, and even a performing arts center. Can't miss: Stockholm Pie & General Store, which was named one of the most legendary pie shops in America.