Best Cities for Outdoors Lovers

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    Jan 29, 2011 6:36 AM GMT
    Hey guys I was just wondering if I could get some opinions here. I will be graduating with my masters in education in a year and looking to pick up and move anywhere and am looking for a good place to live/work that offers a lot of outdoor recreation, be it hiking, camping, rock climbing, trail running, skiing, boating, ect. What are some big cities that offer those amenities nearby? Coming from Kentucky I am sick of the 15 degree winters so the more sun the better. Thanks for any input or suggestions!
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    Jan 29, 2011 7:09 AM GMT
    On the west coast you have Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and to a lesser extent Los Angeles and San Diego. Seattle and Portland have more of hiking, camping, and skiing near by, but they might not be as warm as you want. Summers are warm, winters are wet and cool/cold. San Francisco has more favorable weather, but some of the rock climbing and skiing options are a few hours away. Los Angeles and San Diego are even warmer but tend to be more limited with some of the outdoor activities you like. They make up with having better climate for ocean activities.
    The rockies have Salt Lake City and Denver. You have the activities that you want, but have to deal with a temperate climate. In Salt Lake City you have to deal with more crazy politicians of anywhere (besides Florida, maybe).

    I'll end there. Someone else can fill you in on the midwest and east coast.

    I'd recommend San Francisco or Vancouver, if you're willing to move to Canada. Vancouver has all the activities that you want. It is temperate, but it's practically tropical weather for Canada.

    Maybe you want to take your top 3 picks and spend a few days checking them out. Take time to learn if you can see yourself living in that city.
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    Jan 29, 2011 7:51 AM GMT
    I lived in the Seattle area for 5 years. The Olympic Mountains and the Cascades are almost Alpine in places, great to camp, sightsee, and then you have the Puget Sound area, as well. You can do all of the activities you mentioned there, and I especially loved fishing, motorcycling, biking & kayaking as well.

    It is cooler for much of the year, but not quite as rainy as claimed, and the winters on the Seattle side of the Cascades along the Pacific coast aren't very harsh. It you want hot you come down here to south Florida for a few weeks in the winter, as I always used to do before I moved here permanently.

    But I still miss that area, and by coincidence just yesterday my partner raised the possibility of our taking a vacation up there, including an Alaskan cruise out of Seattle. He's also looking at one that includes Victoria, BC, getting dangerously close to those meninlove guys. Uh-oh... icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jan 29, 2011 8:15 AM GMT
    LA metro area..
    Beaches -- boating, surfing, etc.
    Mountains -- during the winter, it's skiing and snowboarding. during the summer it's hiking, mountain biking, camping.
    Desert -- off-roading, hiking, camping.

    All within reasonable driving distance.
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    Jan 29, 2011 5:05 PM GMT
    Minneapolis - " more than 150 parks, 22 lakes and 43 miles of walking, biking, running and rollerblading trails."

    a biker's paradise. bike trails everywhere... lakes inside the city to sail on, lots of trails, in the winter you can cross country ski, snow-shoe, etc.

  • petemdc

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    Jan 29, 2011 5:07 PM GMT
    globesANDmaps saidMinneapolis - " more than 150 parks, 22 lakes and 43 miles of walking, biking, running and rollerblading trails."

    a biker's paradise. bike trails everywhere... lakes inside the city to sail on, lots of trails, in the winter you can cross country ski, snow-shoe, etc.



    This all may be true, and being a Minneapolitan its great. However, the original poster wanted some place warm! Not going to get that here year round...or even 4 months out of the year. But Minnesotans make the best out of every season, and the summers are non-stop action.
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    Jan 29, 2011 5:24 PM GMT
    I agree with what people have said... from what you describe, I'd look at:

    - Seattle
    - Denver
    - San Francisco
    - Los Angeles
    - Austin, TX? I remember going there and I think people do a fair amount of outdoorsy stuff. Plus its supposed to be a very cool place to live.
  • TheIStrat

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    Jan 29, 2011 5:35 PM GMT
    If you have a car, dc is nice because the beach, mountains, and Chesapeake bay are less than 90 minutes away
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    Jan 29, 2011 5:59 PM GMT
    Think of adding Salt Lake to your list of places to look into. OK yes it's got weird politics (providing no shortage of joke material) but it's also a great outdoors city with 7 ski resorts within a 40 min drive, 7 Nat'l Parks within a 6 hour drive, millions of acres of Nat'l Forest and BLM lands and a short flight to the entire western U.S. And if you live in the downtown/University area there's a vibrant gay community. Just avoid the burbs.
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    Jan 29, 2011 10:12 PM GMT
    Portland is amazing. We were going to move there when I graduated college, but then I landed a good job, and my partner got a massive promotion, so here we are in po-dunk. Seattle and the surrounding suburbs are pretty good too. My absolute favorite city on the western side is Vancouver, BC, though. It's so vibrant and there's awesome biking trails. Pretty much anywhere in the Pacific Northwest is a good pick. Not much in the way of natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc) and fantastic outdoor activities.
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    Jan 29, 2011 10:14 PM GMT
    i agree with Austin TX, my best friend lives downtown by the river and alot of people are always running the lakes canoeing the lake bike riding everywere its pretty nice.
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    Jan 30, 2011 12:39 AM GMT
    thanks guys for your help....yea definitely looking for something warm though dont mind a winter season if it brings good skiing and not super long. I've been told to check out the boulder/denver area by a lot of people.
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    Jan 30, 2011 4:19 AM GMT
    Salt Lake City, Vancouver, Boulder, Santa Fe, Phoenix, Lander, Chattanooga-Atlanta, Asheville, San Diego, Boise.

    NOT San Francisco. I liked the city well-enough, but moved away because there simply weren't the opportunities to get outdoors that I thought there would be, and the ones that were available were swamped with people.

    And hey, you live in Kentucky, get thee to the Red River Gorge and check out the rock and ice climbing, trail running, four wheeling, and cross country skiing to be had there! Hell, it was 50 degrees outside today!

    If it's winter that you've got a hate on for, maybe San Diego is your best bet.

    TheIStrat saidIf you have a car, dc is nice because the beach, mountains, and Chesapeake bay are less than 90 minutes away


    Either you've got a thing for the OP or you're smoking some of that famous DC crack--that city is right up there with Oklahoma city when it comes to accessibility of outdoor rec.
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    Jan 30, 2011 4:21 AM GMT
    Ermine saidIn Salt Lake City you have to deal with more crazy politicians of anywhere (besides Florida, maybe).


    The outdoor recreation opportunities in and around that city are just incredible. Man, I reckon that we could take that place over if we keep working at it. Do you think we can tack that onto the gay agenda, while we're at it? icon_smile.gif

    collegeguy47 saidthanks guys for your help....yea definitely looking for something warm though dont mind a winter season if it brings good skiing and not super long. I've been told to check out the boulder/denver area by a lot of people.


    The downside to Boulder is that it's full of Boulderites. If you can stomach that, then it's a great place to be.
  • Ironman4U

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    Jan 30, 2011 4:24 AM GMT
    I'm looking for the same thing, lots of outdoor activities, as well as proximity to culture and large city in a move I hope to make later this year. I've narrowed down my choices to:

    1. Vancouver
    2. Seattle
    3. San Francisco
    4. Denver/Boulder

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    Jan 30, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    Santa Fe/ABQ area ski resorts within 30 min to hours drive away, lots of trails for biking hiking and camping. ABQ is at the foot of the Sandia moutains, rio grande river literally cuts through the center of the city. Hot summers, and pleasant winters was down there today 61 degrees. Santa Fe at the foot of the Sangre De Cristo moutains again alot of trail, camping,