Two words: Stay-cation. Or is that one word? You don't have to travel far from home to enjoy one of the country's best mountain towns, according to Travel + Leisure's 'America's Best Mountain Towns' list. In fact, you only have to drive like, an hour from the Fort Collins-Loveland area. 

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In the company of Aspen, Colorado (which let's be real, most of us can't afford to enjoy) is Estes Park, the gateway to the Rockies. In the fall of 2020, the entire town was threatened by the East Troublesome Fire, and we nearly lost it.

'Located in northern Colorado, near the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is ideal for active travelers who want to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.' -Travel + Leisure

Photo by Sharon Adams on Unsplash
Photo by Sharon Adams on Unsplash

Travel + Leisure notes all of the expected, like hiking, biking and the great outdoors, but it also mentions something else that makes Estes Park pretty unique: The Stanley Hotel. The (allegedly) haunted hotel inspired horror author Stephen King to pen 'The Shining,' which was adapted into a pretty famous film as well. People forget that it was in Dumb and Dumber, too.

So, whether you're a film buff, a horror fan or you want to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, it's pretty obvious why Estes Park made the list. You can see the list in full here.

5 Places to Camp in — or Near — Rocky Mountain National Park

Note that photos are of Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, but are not photos of the campgrounds. 

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