I am being forced to move by my employer. The good news is I can pick the city. I am wondering if anyone knows of a list of active cities. I live right by Austin, where people are always out running, biking, kayaking, etc. Is there a list out there with similar cities I could investigate?
I appreciate your help in advance.
Someone on the triathlon message boards asked about favorite cities, and perhaps some of the replies would be helpful to you: http://messageboards.active.com/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=2709&tstart=0
The most active cities I have ever lived in were Boulder CO and Salt Lake City UT. I love these places. You can ski, snowboard, mountain bike, rock climb, kayaking, run, etc. I loved living in Utah it has everything you would ever want to do in the outdoors within 15-30 minutes of most major cities. Boulder is nice as well but the snowboarding is a little far away. Colorado is always at the top of the list for active people. I read in Health Magazine that Fremont CA was ranked as the healthiest city. I don't know if that helps but good luck in decided where to move.
I've heard that Colorado is the best place for an active person, but I live in San Diego and it's also pretty good. The weather is always nice so you can hike, bike, run, surf, ocean kayak and swim all year long. In the winter the mountains are not too far away for skiing, and there are lots of places to hike.
San Diego is really nice - just was out there a bit ago!
Another nice active city is New Orleans...it's come a long way since Katrina and there's lots of biking, golf, etc. Not sure if that's what you are looking for but it is also a good vacation spot, especially since they definitely appreciate tourists!
Atlanta is a great place for active people--- silver comet trail, kennesaw mountain, parks everywhere, the chattahoochee for kayaking.... I could go on and on. Roller blading, hiking, cycling, team sports, running etc. You can hop on the interstate and get out of town to the mountains in no time.
Browse the Georgia State Parks and activities around Atlanta on the internet sometime and you will be pleasantly surprised.
We at National Geographic Adventure magazine are presently working on a cover story on this very topic! Our September issue will be about "Where to Live and Play Now." If anyone out there has tips and recommendations, we'd love to hear them.
Mary Anne Potts
I live in Socorro, NM. There's only one movie theater with one screen, no mall, barely a Wal-Mart, and only a handful of restaurants and a bar or 2. We have to make our own fun, which usually consists of mountain biking, kiteboarding, road cycling, running, rock climbing, dancing, swimming, tennis, combative arts, yoga, etc. This place is very active for its population, 8,000. Not to mention, we get to watch the sun rise and set over the mountains every day if we wish.
If you like a smaller town with lots going I would suggest looking at some college towns. I live in State College, PA and it is wonderful in my opinion. Lots of active people - all ages and abilities running, cycling, mountainbiking, kayaking, hiking, etc. Plus with Penn State University here, you get NCAA sporting events and decent entertainment - bands, etc. and lots going on at the university. Another plus of college towns is that they seem to be very new-person friendly because of the constant turnover of students and faculty so it is easy to get plugged in to the local running, biking, etc. clubs. You also get access to excellent athletic facilities, elite-level runners and coaches - many of whom are very willing to spend time with mid-packers and provide advice, encouragement, etc.
Everything is close and you lose no time to commutes - unless it's a football weekend. My family has found that we have engaged in far more activitites - athleting, cultural and academic since we have moved here because the cost is lower, they are more convenient and we seem to be more aware of what's going on.
The downsides (for some) are that we are in the middle of lots of farm country in PA so the next larger cities are a good drive away. I happen to love this, but some really prefer access to a major city. The airport is small, so when I fly for business I ALWAYS have a connection. And for some, it can be disconcerting that you can't go anywhere without seeing someone you know. Again, I find this comforting, but some prefer to be more anonymous.
I'm sure that there are other college towns like Madison, WI, Anarbor MI, Greensboro SC, etc. that would be similar in their advantages or better based on your size/weather preferences.
yeah, i love austin, it's great... california is the perfect place for active people... great cities - san fran, LA, san diego ... and i don't know if this helps, but Zest actually just did a survey on adventurous cities... you could check it out www.zestforadventure.com
I personally hate Boston - there is nothing to do there, active or inactive. The winters are brutal and you might be able to run for 2 months on flat land, but who cares??? You can do that anywhere. My choice would be San Diego or Arizona. Both places are great for outdoor activities.
Tulsa, Oklahoma wouldn't necessarily be categorized as the most active city in the country (it's right smack in the heart of the mid-west), but if you're an active individual it's a great place to live. There are over 50 miles of biking and running trails along the Arkansas River; the annual Tulsa Run (15K) attracts around 8,000 runners; Oklahoma FreeWheel Cross-State Bicycle Tour attracts over 1,000 cyclists; there's a great community of runners, cyclists, mountain bikers, climbers. If you already have a decent salary your money will go a long way in the mid-west: Median family income: $43,000; Median price of a home: $77,000.
Notable Tulsa natives: Brad Pitt (actually Shawnee, OK); Amber Valletta (supermodel/actress); Roy Clark; Bob Wills; Larry Clark (filmmaker); Garth Brooks; Blake Edwards; Tony Randall.
Austin, Texas is a great place if you are looking to surround yourself with fitness-minded individuals. One of the greatest cities in Texas boasts a remarkable number of fitness centers and sporting good stores. Also, Austin has an abundance of healthy dining options. In 2004, a program called Austin in Motion was started in order to get Austin to be the fittest city in America within several years. The program was more then just a verbal agreement and many Austinites jumped on board and followed a specific program in order to become fitter citizens of the city. I think Austin is a great city in general and has lots to offer in all aspects of life. I encourage you to check it out!
I am a little biased being a third generation San Diegan and all, but you can't beat it for most outdoor pursuits. Last week, I hiked the Desert, Walked the beach, and went sledding in the snow, all within 50 miles of my home. I am going Sea Kayaking out of La Jolla this weekend.
Austin is definitely a cool town. Home of Michael Dell, Lance Armstrong, Whole Foods Inc. and the TV show "King of the Hill." I've been there many times. Particularly enjoyed Barton Springs, the "bat bridge" and the party on 6th street. Technically, though, I'm a rival ( I went to the University of Oklahoma)!!!