(CBS4) – Summer 2021 is shaping up to be one where lots of people head out to the great outdoors, and it’s no surprise Colorado is getting noticed. Four of our communities landed on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Mountain Towns to Visit in the USA.”

The magazine put together a list of 21 towns based on a number of categories including sights, culture, nightlife, family, romance and accessibility. Both users and editors vote in the categories.

Telluride (credit: CBS)

Telluride is the highest Colorado town on the list coming in at No. 3. The magazine says a visit is worth it no matter the season, pointing to fishing in the spring, hiking in the summer, leaf peeping in the fall and, of course, skiing in the winter. You can visit the San Miguel River, the Arts District, paths like the Jud Wiebe and the Bridal Veil Trail. Activities include rafting, off-roading, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Breckenridge (credit: CBS)

Coming in at No. 4 is Breckenridge which the magazine says feels like its own mountain oasis. Breck offers up 187 slopes for skiers and boarders, but non-skiers can experience the feel of the place by taking a gondola to the top of one of the peaks. Main Street oozes Victorian charm, full of restaurants and bars as well as plenty of shopping. No matter the season, make sure to take time to look up and enjoy the sunset and the stars.

Aspen (credit: CBS)

Just down the list and down the road, you’ll find Aspen at No. 7. It’s a community synonymous with luxury, proven by the number of upscale stores, five-star restaurants and glitzy visitors. There’s plenty of places to ski in the winter and in the summer, it’s the beauty of the nearby Maroon Bells that takes center stage. The magazine even recommends visitors take a day trip to nearby Glenwood Springs.

Estes Park (credit: CBS)

Estes Park snags the No. 12 spot on the list as a great home base for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. The magazine says to take plenty of time to enjoy the park but save some for downtown Estes. The Riverwalk along the Big Thompson and Fall River is a visitor favorite. You’ll find plenty of souvenirs and lots to eat. Oh, and did we mention it’s home to the Stanley Hotel which inspired Stephen King to write “The Shining” after a visit.

You can find U.S. News & World Report’s entire list of mountain towns here and you can even vote on which ones you think belong on the list. Gatlinburg, Tennessee, was ranked No. 1 by the magazine’s editors.

RELATED: See Which 3 Colorado Towns Made U.S. News’ List Of ‘Best Small Towns To Visit’

Raetta Holdman