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.
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.
2. Portland, Maine
- Best Overall City to live in the
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.
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
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.
5. Port Townsend, Washington - Best City for Flatwater
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.
6. Fayetteville, West Virginia - Best City for
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.
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.
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.
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.
10. Charleston, South Carolina - Best City for Surfing in