Perhaps you desire a life that mixes the natural world with an urban environment. Maybe you're craving more adventure in your daily life. Or, maybe you're just looking for quick outdoor access for after-work bike rides, runs, or hikes. The U.S. has some amazing cities that marry prime locations, outdoor recreation, and gorgeous scenery. Here are the top places to live in the US if you desire an outdoor lifestyle.
If hiking and water sports are your forte, look no further than the mid-sized city of Portland, Maine. With Casco Bay to the east and the Fore River snaking its way through the heart of the city, there are plenty of opportunities to grab your raft, kayak, or fishing pole and take to the water.
Maine is a harsh place to live during the winter months and most springs don't give way to budding trees and cool evenings. Muddy, wet April days and cold May evenings yield to tranquil summers and Maine comes alive. Bradbury Mountain State Park is under a half hour's drive and Acadia National Park is only three hours away, making it the perfect weekend getaway without congested highways and expensive price tags.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Mountain lovers should consider Salt Lake City as this clean, organized urban center is in the valley of the gigantic Wasatch Mountain Range. Residents can be in the mountains within fifteen minutes.
SLC has many hiking trails in the foothills just outside of the city. Bonneville Shoreline Trail weaves back and forth above the city, totalling 100 miles of maintained trails. Antelope State Park is the largest island on the Great Salt Lake and sits just northwest of the city's center. Residents can access renowned ski terrain at Park City and Snowbird in under an hour.
Not only does Salt Lake City offer amazing terrain for adventure, it is also home to some of the largest outdoor industry brands in the country. Petzel, Kuhl, Backcountry.com, and Black Diamond call SLC home. Not only can you play outside, but you can work outside too.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Chock full of western expansion and Native American history, everything about Santa Fe balances traditional and modern. Just outside the city lies a hiking trail where visitors can witness Petroglyphs carved thousands of years ago by early inhabitants.
What's even better, Santa Fe's population of 80,000 makes everything more accessible, including outdoor activities. World-class climbing and rafting are only a stone's throw from the heart of Santa Fe. The Sange de Christo Mountains rise from Santa Fe and stretch through Taos, into Colorado.
Santa Fe has its own ski mountain and is only an hour from Taos Ski Valley. The Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque, just shy of an hour south, offer amazing hiking trails and an acclaimed hot air balloon festival.
This dreamy Oregon city has been recognized as one of the best places to live in the US if you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. While it has gained notoriety, more residents, and better job prospects, Bend is tame compared to its neighbors and the terrain is still accessible.
The Deschutes River cuts through the city and provides class I - VI whitewater, and tamer opportunities to canoe and paddleboard. Mountain Bike trails dot the hillside just outside Bend and provide the chance to get out on your lunch break for some loops.
Durango is easily overlooked by those heading west to Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. However, Durango is one of the best spots to call home in Colorado if you're a fan of the outdoors. With a population of under 20,000, outdoor adventurers don't have to face ski, hiking, and tourist crowds as much as the Front Range.
Hiking, climbing, and biking in the rugged San Juan are just the tip of the iceberg for outdoor activities. Mesa Verde National Park is just an hour away and home to some of the oldest, best preserved archaeological sites in the nation.
The Animas River offers world-class rafting, fishing, and float trips for those who love the water. Even downtown Durango offers outdoor related activities like bike trails and a wildlife museum.
Strike a healthy work-life balance at any of these five locations. The active population, easy access to nature, and wealth of things to inspire residents to get outside, even on the dreariest of days, which are few in these cities. If you're looking to move to a place where you can experience the Great Outdoors year-round, contact Clever to connect with a local Partner Agent. Our Home Buyer Rebate can give you more to spend on your next mountain bike rig or climbing rack.