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Best Places to Live for an Outdoor Lifestyle – Move to Adventure

Posted in City Guides on June 28, 2024

Tired of being stuck inside, staring at screens, and dreaming of fresh air? Whether you’re into hiking, biking, or just basking in the sun, we’ve got the scoop on the best places to live an outdoor lifestyle. Here are our top picks for cities where adventure is just outside your front door.

Long-Distance Moving to One of the Best Places to Live an Outdoor Lifestyle Has Plenty of Perks

Did you know that, on average, Americans spend about 90% of their time inside?

That’s a lot of time away from fresh air and sunshine!

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t help either, turning us into professional hermits, experts at becoming one with the couch.

Every day, an average scroller spends more than 2 hours on social media

But let’s be real, being cooped up inside isn’t exactly great for our well-being. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), engaging with nature leads to improvements in all mental health aspects for 98% of people. So, if you’re planning a move to one of the best places for outdoor living, you’re treating yourself to a hug from Mother Nature that can change your life forever.

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Getting Closer to the Nature Can Feel Like a Fresh New Start

As we’ve just mentioned, spending time outside can boost your mood. Studies show that being in nature reduces stress and anxiety. This is partly because it’s also a fantastic way to include physical activity in the daily routine, which can lower the risk of depression by as much as 20% to 30%.

Whether it’s hiking, biking, or swimming, being active outdoors is way more fun than sweating it out in a crowded gym. So, forget about exercise equipment – mountain views and lush forests are your new gym buddies. But that doesn’t mean it has to be lonely, as outdoor-loving cities often have a strong sense of community. For anyone moving to another state alone, it’s a great way to make friends that share the same passion.

A couple sitting on a lake surrounded by mountains
Spending quality time in nature can make you feel completely rejuvenated

#1 Asheville, North Carolina – Nature’s Playground in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Nestled in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville has to be one of the best places to live if you love the outdoors. Some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the US can be found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, often called “America’s Favorite Drive.” With around 470 miles of breathtaking views, it offers countless hiking routes for all skill levels. And, for a more challenging adventure, check out Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

If you’re planning to pack a bicycle, Asheville won’t disappoint either. The Bent Creek Experimental Forest will have you cycling for miles on end. For those looking to do some kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding, the French Broad River is a great place to start.

The Outdoor Fun Doesn’t Have to Stop at the End of the Hiking Trail

Besides offering some of nature’s finest artworks, Asheville is also famous for its outdoor festivals. The Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), held at the Black Mountain, is an unforgettable celebration of music, art, and culture. And what’s better than returning to the big city and enjoying a cold beer after a day of adventures? Well, you’re in luck – Asheville’s leading the pack when it comes to the number of breweries per capita.

When you get back to civilization, there’s a vibrant arts scene waiting for you, with numerous galleries, music venues, and cultural events. Asheville’s community is welcoming and active, and the cost of living is relatively affordable, too. You’re probably feeling like you’ve heard enough, completely ready for moving across the country to Asheville. But wait – we’ve still got some beautiful spots to check out.

A colorful forest in North Carolina
Everywhere you look, Asheville offers some breathtaking views

#2 Cody, Wyoming – A Small But Mighty Getaway to the Great Outdoors

Cody is where the spirit of the Wild West meets endless adventures. Located near the eastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park, and with only around 10,000 residents, this spot is a small but mighty paradise for those who love nature and wide-open spaces. Actually, Wyoming is one of the least densely populated states in the US, with only six people per square mile, second only to Alaska.

One of the best things to do in Cody is hiking. The Shoshone National Forest offers miles of trails that wind through breathtaking landscapes. For an iconic experience, hike the Heart Mountain Trail – this adventure will create memories that last a lifetime. Also, fishing enthusiasts will love the Buffalo Bill Reservoir, a prime spot for catching trout and walleye.

Road Tripping Is a Great Way to Explore in Style

Cody is an excellent base for road trips. Drive the Beartooth Highway, often called one of the most beautiful drives in America, or take a scenic route through Yellowstone and discover its geysers, hot springs, and wildlife – the possibilities are endless.

If you’re worried about transporting your ride, it’s not a problem for Cross Country Movers. With professional car shipping services, you can have a four-wheeler transported to Cody with no miles added. It will be ready for road-tripping adventures as soon as you get there! Moreover, the full packing services can set the stage for a completely stress-free relocation, letting you focus on the exciting activities that are waiting for you there.

Ever Tried Rodeos or River Rafting? Now Is the Perfect Chance

On top of everything else we’ve discussed, Cody is famous for its rodeo culture. The Cody Nite Rodeo runs every night in the summer, offering a taste of authentic cowboy life. It’s a fun, family-friendly event that’s perfect for soaking in the local culture. There’s also the annual Buffalo Bill Cody Stampede, one of the largest rodeos in the US.

For water-based adventures, try white-water rafting on the Shoshone River. It offers a mix of calm stretches and exciting rapids, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters. All in all, this beautiful part of the country offers so much to nature-loving enthusiasts, and who knows, maybe you’ll find your new passion once you get there – with so many possibilities, the chances are high.

Lake and mountains in Wyoming
It's the perfect place to try out some new things

#3 Aspen, Colorado – From Slopes to Summits and Everything in Between

Next up – Aspen, where the views are majestic and the outdoor adventures are endless. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Aspen is a wonderland for skiing during the winter. The Aspen Snowmass resort offers four incredible ski areas, perfect for all skill levels.

But the summer season has its perks, too, as the hiking trails come alive along with nature. Here are some must-visit destinations:

  • Maroon Bells,
  • Aspen to Crested Butte Trail,
  • Smuggler Mountain Trail,
  • Hunter Creek Trail,
  • American Lake Trail.

From Outdoor Festivals to Fly Fishing Opportunities, There’s So Much to Discover Here

Aspen sits high and mighty at 7,908 feet above sea level, giving you a taste of that crisp, alpine climate with barely any humidity. And guess what? You’ll be soaking up nearly 300 days of glorious sunshine a year! Therefore, it’s no surprise that there’s always some kind of outdoor festival going on. The Aspen Music Festival is a must-visit, offering classical music performances in stunning venues with open sky above.

On the off chance that there isn’t a festival at a particular time, you can always go fly fishing. For this intricate style, the Roaring Fork River is a premier destination. And for those who enjoy a leisurely paddle, North Star Nature Preserve offers serene kayaking and paddleboarding opportunities.

You’ll Come for Nature and Stay for the Vibrant Communities

No matter if you’re moving alone in your 20s or taking this leap with family in tow, Aspen is a wonderful place to live. The town has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with galleries, theaters, and events that keep the community engaged and entertained.

It’s also known for its excellent schools and healthcare facilities, ensuring a high quality of life for all residents. That’s probably enough of a reason to move, but hold on – before you pick the cross-country moving services you need, Colorado has one more trick up its sleeve.

A mountain covered in snow in Colorado
Whether you have a passion for hiking or skiing, Aspen is a wonderful place to be

#4 Telluride, Colorado – Adventure Waiting for You Year-Round

Two of the best cities for outdoor enthusiasts are situated in Colorado – and for a good reason, too. Telluride is a hidden gem nestled in the rugged San Juan Mountains. Like Aspen, it offers endless choices when it comes to activities such as hiking and skiing. Among them, the Bear Creek Trail is definitely one you don’t want to miss. Mountain biking is also pretty popular here – if you’re interested, the Telluride Bike Park is the best place to start.

It’s a pretty small town, with not more than 3,000 residents. However, that doesn’t mean it’s boring and predominantly for senior citizens. The town’s historic district is filled with charming Victorian buildings that house unique shops, restaurants, and galleries.

This Is the Perfect Spot if You’re Craving Small-Town Charm

This unique town offers a perfect blend of outdoor excitement, cultural richness, and small-town charm. It’s the embodiment of small but mighty – there are so many exciting things to do. If this sounds like a jackpot to you, don’t bother deciding where to live – you’ve already found the new home.

Trees and mountains in Telluride, Colorado
Telluride is a small town that offers some pretty big views

#5 Boise, Idaho – Adventure in the Heart of the Gem State

Last but not least on our list of best places to live for nature lovers is Boise. Nestled in the heart of the Treasure Valley, Boise offers a unique blend of urban excitement and outdoor adventure.

There’s the usual – hiking and mountain biking. On top of that, Boise is also a haven for rock-climbing enthusiasts. The Black Cliffs just outside the city offer impressive basalt formations perfect for climbers of all skill levels. For indoor climbing, The Commons Climbing Gym provides a fantastic facility to hone the skills year-round.

There Are Gardens and Golf Courses for Days

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a must-visit, featuring 15 acres of diverse plant collections and themed gardens. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or even a yoga session among the flowers.

For golf enthusiasts, there are also plenty of top-notch courses. The Warm Springs Golf Club offers a scenic 18-hole course along the Boise River, while Quail Hollow Golf Course provides challenging terrain with stunning views of the city and foothills. Forgetting to bring golf clubs with you would be the biggest moving mistake you could make!

Boise, Idaho, during a sunset
Boise offers the perfect mix of urban living and outdoor recreation

Pack the Gear and Hit the Road – Our Long-Distance Movers Can Help

Ready to trade in the couch for a kayak or a desk for a trail? Moving cross-country to one of these outdoor havens might just be the best decision you ever make! So pack up your gear, say goodbye to the monotony of indoor living, and get ready to wake up to fresh mountain air and endless adventures right outside your door.

When you’re ready to make the leap, let Cross Country Movers handle the heavy lifting. From packing belongings to shipping the prized ride, our team has the tools and experience needed to make sure everything runs smoothly. Contact us to find out we can help – we’ll be doing our thing while you can plan the next hike.

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