Great Cities For Nature Lovers

Categories:Guest Post

Most outdoors lovers dream of living in a small mountain town, a tiny fishing village or a seaside paradise. But the reality is, jobs are difficult to come by in these locations. Just because you live in the city, doesn’t mean you can’t get a healthy dose of nature. If you’re ready for a move, check out these awesome cities for nature lovers.

Portland is full of beautiful forests.

Portland is full of beautiful forests.

 

Portland, Oregon

Portland has seen a boom in residence in the past decade, probably because the secret got out that it’s awesome. If you enjoy skiing or snowboarding, the Cascades and Mount Hood aren’t far off. The Colombia River Gorge is perfect for fishing, and the Oregon Coast to the east is great for weekend getaways. The Willamette Valley is prime wine country, and the seldom-traveled roads through the vineyards are for the avid cyclist. Once you arrive home from an outdoor adventure, stop by one of the many breweries in Portland for a finish to your day.

Robert Strauss Cabin

Robert Strauss Cabin

Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is the gateway to Rocky Mountain National park. Roosevelt National Forest is also close by. The nearby mountains have a plethora of ski resorts for winter sports. In the summer, enjoy river tubing, high-altitude hikes and amazing downhill mountain bike courses. Much like Portland, Fort Collins boasts a famous beer scene, none more well known than New Belgium Brewery, known for its Fat Tire amber ale.

Chicago Botanical Garden

Chicago Botanical Garden

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois — with its access to Lake Michigan — means days at the beach and fishing in the summer months. For everyday activities, the little-known 26-mile park chain, titled the Emerald Necklace, winds through the heart of the city and is a great place for routine exercise. While the Emerald Necklace may be surrounded by the city, it is a historic and well-maintained parkland, a perfect place for you to escape the bustle of the city. Want the water and the trees in your life all the same time? Snag an apartment with a view of both.

Seattle Washington

Seattle Washington

Seattle, Washington

Just a few hours north of Portland, Seattle is an outdoor lover’s dream. Sail the Puget Sound, and northern still, visit the San Juan Islands. Kayak the Saratoga Passage, fish the salmon runs in the summer and visit beaches for clam digging. Travel east and you’ll find yourself quickly in the thick of the Cascades; south and you’ll find the biggest of all, Mount Rainier. While many mountaineers climb Mount Rainier every year, specialized gear and knowledge is needed before you attempt the summit. Of course, not everyone has time for large-scale adventure like this. Instead, explore Seattle’s many forested parks within the city limits.

Wupatki Ruins

Wupatki Ruins

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff, Arizona is not only located in one of the world’s largest contiguous Ponderosa Pine forest, it’s also overlooked by the San Francisco Peaks that rise up 12,000 feet. At night the city has minimal light pollution which makes it ideal for stargazing. The nearby mountains are primed for desert hikes and mountain biking. For longer, more strenuous adventures, the Grand Canyon is just a short distance, as are many national forests and parks. Just north of the Grand Canyon, across the state line into Utah, is Zion National Park and Bryce.


Alex Clark-McGlenn is an outdoor enthusiast. He lives in the Pacific Northwest where he spends his time hiking the Cascades and cycling the back roads of the Puget Sound. He also enjoys kayaking.

Photo Credit: pixabay.com

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