The Best Places to Live if You Love Outdoor Sports
Thinking about moving? Today, MONEY magazine releases its annual report on the best places to live in America. This year, the magazine focused on towns with populations between 50,000 and 300,000 (so big-city lovers, this list isn't for you).
To compile the list, researchers begin with a list of thousands of towns, whittling it down to a final 100 through hard data, town assessments, and resident interviews. Each town and city was scored on about 60 different factors, including health, education, culture, and even the highly intangible community spirit. (Check out the full list of MONEY’s Best Places to Live in 2016.)
MONEY also ranked towns based on their proximity to campsites, ski resorts, and golf courses, as well as the ratio of green to urban space—or in other words, the best places to live if you love outdoor sports. Here are the top 10.
10. Woodbury, MN
Woodbury is a suburb of Minnesota’s second largest city, Saint Paul. Play golf and go bird watching in the warmer months, and come winter, wrap up warm and cross-country ski in one of the many parks and nature reserves located nearby.
9. West Hartford, CT
For anyone into their extreme sports, West Hartford offers everything from mountain biking and rock climbing to kayaking and snowboarding. For those wanting something a little lower key, there are plenty of long-distance trails and state parks to explore.
8. Novi, MI
Novi is home to several city parks, where visitors can go fishing, swimming, or hiking (or just chill with friends at a barbecue).
7. Broomfield, CO
There are 46 camping sites within a 15-mile radius of Broomfield, making it a great place for an outdoor weekend away. There are also plenty of activities to try, such as horseback riding, white water rafting, zip-lining, and even dog sledding.
6. Eden Prairie, MN
Eden Prairie boasts 1,000 acres of developed parkland, 120 miles of bike trails, and 13 miles of nature trails, making it an ideal location for any nature lover. If you feel like something a little different, you can visit the archery range, go ice-skating, and even try your hand at disc golf.
5. Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ
Parsippany-Troy Hills is located about 30 miles outside of New York City, making it the perfect respite from bustling city life. The town is surrounded by lakes, parks, and wildlife preservation centers.
4. Clarkstown, NY
Nestled in Rockland County between Harriman State Park and the Hudson River, there's no shortage of natural beauty. For any amateur golfers out there, there are an impressive 375 golf courses in a 30-mile radius to choose from.
3. Eastvale, CA
Eastvale is high on green space and within driving distance to several ski resorts. Plus, it being California, you’re never far from the coast.
2. Irvine, CA
Irvine sits in the affluent Orange County region of California, right between the Newport Beach and Limestone Canyon National Park. So whether you like surfing or hiking, Irvine has you covered.
1. Scottsdale, AZ
Located in the heart of Arizona and slightly to the east of Phoenix, Scottsdale is a haven for nature lovers. With just over 202 square miles of greenery within a 15-mile radius, Scottsdale offers more than any other town on the list—perfect for biking, camping and any number of other outdoor sports.