More February 22, 2010

Winter Olympics inspired neighborhoods

What is it about watching the Olympics and events like snowboardcross that has me daydreaming about moving to a mountain lodge with an endless supply of hot cocoa?

If you live anywhere in the western states, you’re just a few hours drive from many top ski and snowboard towns. Here are a few notable areas to check out:

Park City, Utah
Parts of the 2002 Winter Olympics were held here and the area now give skiers, snowboarders and outdoor enthusiasts opportunities to experience personal Olympic moments. The city also hosts the Sundance Film Festival for those want to be fashionable at the lodge.

Bend, Oregon
Bend is in a unique location near Cascade Mountains that keeps the city full of snow – and sun. The word is out about Bend's sunny disposition and the population has quadrupled over the past 20 years. Yet it manages to keep its small-town charm.

Whitefish, Montana
Scenic lakes, rivers and peaks of Glacier National Park stretch over the 60 square miles of Whitefish. It is all about the outdoors here as residents and visitors enjoy boating, cycling, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and more.

There are many ski-friendly cities in Idaho with areas like the dramatic Schweitzer Mountain Resort near Sandpoint and famous Sun Valley near the towns of Ketchum and Hailey. Then there are towns like Driggs in the Teton Valley. This quiet area is starting to be discovered by more adventurers seeking a down-to-earth experience away from the bright-lights of luxury resorts.

Jackson, Wyoming
Visitors to Jackson experience the both scenic beauty of nearby Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and a fun town that celebrates its wild-west roots.

What's your favorite place to feel the Olympic spirit?