Outdoor folks know how important it is to keep children immersed in nature. With childhood obesity on the rise, staying active outdoors ensures the child grows up with a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are a parent, or a parent-to-be, these are the best cities to raise an outdoor kid.
It’s no surprise that the Pacific Northwest rules the outdoors. Seattle’s backyard is the pristine atmosphere that every outdoorsman desires. Seattle homes plenty of urban green space and parks and is nestled between three bodies of water: Lake Union, Lake Washington and the Puget Sound. The liberal minds of the Northwest ensure plenty of outdoor camps and after-school activities. Seattle is surrounded by national parks from the north, south, east and west.
This granola-munching town is a perfect place to raise a family. It’s more affordable than Seattle and is a short drive from the coast and the popular Mount Hood. Portland is known for its spectacular bike-scene making trails and roads accessible for two wheels.
Boulder is a cute and quaint city located north of Denver. Situated amidst mountain-like landscape, Boulder is a short drive to Estes Park and other regional parks. Outdoor recreation is year round with hiking, biking and skiing. No wonder why Colorado is the slimmest state in the country, the locals are immersed in endless outdoor opportunities.
Want to get your child hooked on the active life? Missoula is Montana’s second largest city and sits between three rivers: Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Clark Fork. This sea of wilderness is attached to nature from the city center with Clark Fork Riverfront trail. It is also situated close to Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Lolo National Forest .
Salt Lake City, Utah
This small city is surrounded by nature all within a 45-minute drive. Mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing and hiking are the most common park activities. Salt Lake is located near Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Little Cottonwood Canyon and Snowbird and Alta ski resorts.
San Francisco, California
Northern California is home to some of the best sites in America. Although expensive, children grow up with open minds and the ability to enjoy mountain and beach activities. San Francisco is a short drive to Big Sur, Sequoias and surrounding mountains. In the city, kids stay in shape not only by walking up those giant hills, but play in the various public parks and waterfront parkways.
Ashville, North Carolina
Asheville is known to home liberal families. It has been honored with awards such as “Happiest City for Women” and “Best Places to Live.” Ashville contains over 950 miles of trails, waterfalls and backcountry camping locations. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ashville is a day trip away from the Great Smoky and Pisgah National Forest.