Where to Live Now
Your favorite places to live healthy, with plenty of trails and unrivaled access to surfing, climbing, paddling, and cycling.
People underestimate Milwaukee. The city is steadily transforming into what former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson hopes will be “the Silicon Valley of water.”
The Best River Towns in America: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
City of Nashville
But Nashvillians have always spent weekends getting wet—boating and bass fishing on Center Hill, Percy Priest, and Old Hickory reservoirs and paddling the Harpeth and Caney Fork rivers.
The Best River Towns in America: Nashville, Tennessee
"Outdoor fanatics, hippies, crazy college kids, retirees, horse-whispering cowboys, creative entrepreneurs, activists, rugged rednecks, collegiate-sports aficionados, adrenaline junkies, and everyone in-between meet downtown on Thursday nights for two-for-ones."
The Best River Towns in America: Missoula, Montana
The hiking and backpacking are as good as anyplace else, and there's rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and more bike and running trails than you can imagine.
The Best River Towns in America: Durango, Colorado
In Boise it’s all about the Greenbelt. The 26-mile parkway lining the Boise River and bisecting downtown is the city’s lifeblood, providing access to more than 20 parks, multiple biking and hiking trails, pedestrian bridges, and an outdoor amphitheater.
The Best River Towns in America: Boise, Idaho
Nevada City, CA
Residents can ski at Sugar Bowl (45 minutes away), mountain-bike 120 miles of singletrack within a 20-minute drive into Tahoe National Forest, and visit five vineyards less than 30 minutes from downtown.
The Best River Towns in America: Nevada City, California
Ann Arbor, MI
The best thing about A-squared is that you never have to leave is that you never have to leave—there are great ethnic restaurants, a world-class university, bike lanes galore, and superb trails.
Editor's Choice: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Little Rock, AR
City of Chicago
Between the art museums, architecture, professional sports teams, and restaurants, the city of 2.7 million (metro area: 9.7 million) has long been one of the best cultural cities in the world.
Editor's Choice: Chicago, Illinois
The nation's capital is better known for museums than parks. But the driven young professional who live here have more natural space per person at their disposal than any other city this size.
Editor's Choice: Carrboro, North Carolina
City of Minneapolis
Minnesota’s Twin Cities (pop. 673,000; metro area: 3.3 million) have a thriving theater scene, one of the nation’s best contemporary art museums in the Walker Art Center, and 12 Fortune 500 companies.
Editor's Choice: Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota
Fort Collins, CO
Fort Collins stands above the rest thanks to its backcountry terrain (like 10,276-foot Cameron Pass), its prime location on the brown-trout-filled Cache La Poudre River, the great biking scene, and, of course, the microbrew-dominated economy.
Editor's Choice: Fort Collins, Colorado
People come to the Mad River Valley as much for what it lacks—traffic, noise, pretention—as for what it offers: the Green Mountains out the back door, the Class II–III Mad River, and the great local food that comes with living in a historic farm town.
City of San Diego
Seasons don't mean much in this sun-steeped city, where hundreds of miles of trails, ample coast, and some 6,000 farmers with their heirloom offerings make living pretty sweet.
Best Towns 2013: San Diego, California
Carbondale is only a 30-mile bike ride from Aspen, but it hasn't become another Colorado boomtown—yet.
Best Towns 2013: Carbondale, Colorado
Best Towns 2013: Spokane, Washington
People who've migrated to southwest Montana sometimes say that they didn't find Bozeman so much as it found them.
City of Honolulu
Honolulu might act like a city, but there aren't many places on earth where you can paddle into head-high roller at dawn, ride a beach cruiser to work, and be staring into a 300,000-year-old volcanic crater by dusk.
Best Towns 2013: Honolulu, Hawaii
Best Towns 2013: Greenville, South Carolina
Park City, Utah
There's no better blend of small-town friendliness, absurdly easy access, and five-star culture than Park City—if you can afford it.