Best Cities for People Who Love the Great Outdoors

 
In the August 2010 edition of Outside Magazine, the editors published the 25 dream towns to live. From this list, we derived our top 10 places to live for those who love the outdoors.

1.
Boise, Idaho - Best Overall City to live in the West


Boise possesses an independence and creative spirit not found in many other places. With our stunning scenery, abundant natural resources and year-round outdoor activities, it's no surprise Boise consistently lands on national "best places" lists for families, businesses and recreation year after year.  More...


2. Portland, Maine
- Best Overall City to live in the East 
Portland is Maine's business, financial and retail capital and the largest city in the state. Seascapes and cityscapes blend harmoniously in Portland, perched on a peninsula, jutting out into island-studded Casco Bay. The metropolitan hub of Maine's south coast region, Portland is a progressive, lively city incorporating the character of yesteryear into a modern urban environment. Historic architecture blends gracefully with the new as you stroll along her working waterfront or the cobblestone streets of the restored Old Port section of the city. More...

3. Grand Rapids, Michigan - Best City for Mountain Biking
For an urban area, Grand Rapids, Michigan, has a surprisingly good mountain biking scene. From bike shops that sell quality bikes and numerous trails, there is plenty to keep the interest in mountain biking high. There are trails that are located just a short ride from the center of the city—Manhattan Park in East Grand Rapids and Robinette's in Grand Rapids—as well as a number of trails located in the surrounding areas. With Michigan's natural beauty and varied terrain, there are exciting mountain biking trails that travel through all types of terrain—offering beautiful views, thrills, and excitement to riders of all skill levels.  More...
 

4. Tuson, Arizona - Best City for Road Biking
Whether you're training for a long road race, looking for exciting new mountain challenges or enjoying leisurely rides with the family, Tucson is perfect for biking fun. Tucson has hundreds of miles of bike friendly roads and dozens of trails from easy to highly technical. In fact, Tucson has been ranked by Bicycling magazine as one of the top cycling cities in the U.S. And with our mild climate and mostly sunny skies, almost every day is perfect for a ride any time of year. Our Sports Multi-Sport Training page includes a sampling of the road and mountain bike rides Tucson offers. More...

 

 

5. Port Townsend, Washington - Best City for Flatwater boating
With the Olympic Mountains on one side and Port Townsend Bay on the other, the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north and access to both salt and fresh water bodies, Port Townsend is a unique location for recreational opportunities. Kayaks, wooden boats, fishing, rowing sculls and a host of other watercraft enjoy the waters of Port Townsend year round. This is the home of the Wooden Boat Foundation and all maritime trades. Getting to Port Townsend by boat is the historically correct way of course! From Captain George Vancouver in 1792, boats of all sorts have played a major role in this community. There are numerous marinas and moorage options, both right near downtown or close by. More...

6. Fayetteville, West Virginia - Best City for Whitewater Rafting
Rafting the Gauley River near Fayetteville, West Virginia is a world class experience. The Gauley River in West Virginia has been rated one of the top ten rivers for rafting in the world. Rafting the Gauley River is truly the best 1 or 2 day rafting trip in the United States. The main attraction of the Gauley River National Recreational Area, the Gauley comes to life with scheduled dam releases, which drain Summersville Lake each fall for 22 days. Dropping over 680 feet in 26 miles, the Gauley River creates more than 120 rapids, 56 of which are rated as Class III or higher. More...

7. Waitsfield, Vermont - Best City for Skiing in the East

Unquestionably one of Vermont's most scenic areas, not to mention diverse in both type of terrain and its offerings. It is truly beautiful, with much to do, regardless of season. However, in winter, this is paradise for skiers, as Mad River Glen [See Video] and Sugarbush Ski Areas are just a few short minutes apart here.  More...
 
8. Boseman, Montana - Best City for Skiing in the West

Winter in Bozeman is filled with activity. Find local ski resorts and cross-country skiing trails, beautiful backcountry canyons calling to be explored by snowmobile or snowshoe, as well as Yellowstone National Park, a great winter day trip.  More...
 
9. Encinitas, California - Best City for Surfing
Surfing looms large in a town with beautifully carved wood signs announcing the names of famous surfing beaches such as Grandview, Leucadia, D Street and Moonlight Beach. It's as if each beach has its own personality, its own community and family of surfers who clearly own this spot of the coast with their passion as stewards for the beach, on the daily battle ground of surfing those wave sets that roll in from Hawaii to the west. With road signs seen in a photo above of surfer girl carrying a board on her head, its clear that cars must stop for surfers. More...
 
10. Charleston, South Carolina - Best City for Surfing in the East