From lush, cool forests to stunning rock faces and rolling rivers, there are many spots that appeal to nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts. If you’re planning your next vacation or moving to one of the best places to live for fans of the outdoors, you need to know what each city offers and what activities are available. The US is a diverse country that has options for any nature lover.
Portland, OR for Versatility
The Pacific Northwest is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The famed rain of the region is part of its appeal, but Portland has many other draws that make it stand out. Fans of water sports, such as canoeing, rafting, swimming, or fishing, will love its proximity to the ocean, Columbia River Gorge, and meandering river valleys. The Cascades are close by for hikers, climbers, and winter skiers. Camping is a given, and there’s spectacular surfing on the coast. Even the city itself is the ideal spot for cyclists.
North Conway, N.H. for Climbing
New England has many opportunities for outdoor living, but you don’t have to venture into the wilds of Maine to get your fix. Though it’s a small state, New Hampshire packs a lot of punch and is considered one of the best climbing spots on the East Coast. If you want to avoid the crowds that gather at some of the more popular locales, North Conway’s Mount Washington and its spot on the Appalachian Trail will thrill you.
Jackson Hole, WY for Diversity
The fact that Jackson Hole is close to Yellowstone is reason enough for many to consider visiting or relocating. It also borders the Grand Tetons. With easy access to two national parks, you’re spoiled for choice, no matter your outdoor pleasure. The parks open up possibilities for hiking, cycling, rafting, and fishing. The range around the town invites exploration and camping trips. There’s even skiing and other outdoor sports available in winter.
Arvada, CO for Hiking
Forget about Boulder and Denver. Although they’re deserving of their popularity, they’re not the only outdoorsy towns in Colorado. Arvada is ideal for nature lovers, especially those who love to explore. If you love watching or photographing flora and fauna, you’ll also be pleased with Arvada. The Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge and the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge both contribute to the town’s draw.
Boone, NC for Camping
Boone actually offers far more than just camping opportunities to the outdoors enthusiasts who cross its borders. Since it’s surrounded by the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, you can also enjoy hiking, climbing, and all sorts of other activities, depending on the season. It’s the perfect spot, filled with breathtaking vistas, awe-inspiring forests, and the evocative mystery of the mountains.
Minneapolis, MN for the Water
Like Portland, Minneapolis is a biker’s paradise, whether you bike for leisure or transportation. An enviable park system also makes for great hiking, jogging, and various organized sports. However, it’s the city’s placement on the Mississippi River and the St. Croix River that makes it so popular. Paddling, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and fishing are all up for grabs.
The US is full of plains, mountains, wide open ranges, and lush forests. Which one appeals to you?