August 21, 2016

The Best Places To Live For Outdoor Adventure In 2016

Are you ready to choose your own adventure? To create a life that makes you smile every single day, you need to find a place where you want to live and find a job that you enjoy doing. It sounds like an easy formula, yet many people struggle with it.

Picture of Durango, Colorado with snowy mountains

To help you find a cool, outdoor place to live, OutsideOnline published their list of the 16 Best Places To Live In The US. They picked the top 16 adventure meccas from across the country. We think you might be interested in relocating to one of these outdoor locales that are known for outdoor adventure. This means when you’re not at work, you can get outside to enjoy the great outdoors. Or better yet, you could find a job that pays you to be outdoors!’s list of outdoor hotspots includes big cities, small towns, and everything in between. Some of buzzwords we noticed when we read through the list included: city life, ski town, mountain town, water sports, island life, western lifestyle, craft beer, fly fishing, rafting, mountaineering, hiking, wildlife, culture, biking, weather, national parks, and more. Are these things that you want in your life?

If so, maybe it’s time to relocate to one of the top adventure towns in the USA:

  • Billings, Montana – Population: 110,000
  • Jackson, Wyoming – Population: 10,523
  • Denver, Colorado – Population: 682,545
  • Yachats, Oregon – Population: 718
  • Taos, New Mexico – Population: 5,740
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado – Population: 12,260
  • Ludington, Michigan – Population: 8,058
  • Boise, Idaho – Population: 218,281
  • Bellingham, Washington – Population: 85,146
  • Hanalei, Hawaii – Population: 450
  • Gunnison, Colorado – Population: 6,076
  • Bend, Oregon – Population: 87,014
  • Ketchum, Idaho – Population: 2,728
  • Grand Marais, Minnesota – Population: 1,327
  • Durango, Colorado – Population: 18.006
  • Seattle, Washington – Population: 684,451

Do any of these towns interest you? When we saw this list, we noticed a few takeaways:

  • Colorado had 4 of the top 16 spots!
  • Most of the best adventure towns were in the western states.
  • Besides Seattle and Denver, most of the top places to live were relatively small in population (<10,000).

As a job seeker, you need to focus your job search on where you want to live. This can help to fine tune your job options instead of pulling you into a situation that you don’t enjoy. A big part of life is all about location. Choose wisely.

11 Reasons Why You Need To Spend More Time Outside

If you end up in an adventure town like one from this list, you could find a “normal” job or you could find a cool and/or seasonal job like a raft guide, ski patroller, fly fishing guide, outdoor gear shop employee, mountain guide, hiking guide, park ranger, hunting guide, or anything else! The choice is yours.

Shop around until you find the right mix of size, location, and adventure for you. Use this list as a starting point. There are plenty of other cool adventure towns  in the US. If you’re seeking endless activities right outside your back door, it’s time to relocate.

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About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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