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The 10 Best Cities for Nature Lovers

The United States is full of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes and the best cities for nature lovers. That’s right—it’s possible to live in one of our cities and still enjoy a healthy dose of the outdoors. In fact, many of the cities in the U.S. are some of the best places to live if you love the outdoors.  

Diversity exists in all forms in the best places to live for nature lovers. You can live in a spot that boasts a lively nightlife scene as well as grade-A hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, skiing, etc. Some of America’s most well-known cities are becoming serious hubs for outdoor adventure, proving that the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

At Colonial Van Lines, we think that you can and should have your cake and eat it too. We believe that choosing a spot to move should be the most challenging part of moving, and we want to make that part even easier. If you love a city’s accessibility and enjoy the great outdoors, read on for the 10 best places to live for outdoor enthusiasts.

The 10 Best Cities for Nature Lovers: 

10. Everett, Washington

9. Denver, Colorado

8. Tacoma, Washington

7. Costa Mesa, California

6. Boulder, Colorado

5. Bellevue, Washington

4. Kent, Washington

3. Portland, Oregon

2. Provo, Utah

1. Seattle, Washington

After you’ve decided on a place to move and aced your remote interview, get a free moving quote from us (no hidden fees, we promise), and we can get you situated in an awesome city that doesn’t compromise convenience for natural splendor.

10. Everett, Washington

Population: 109,766

Everett is located just 25 miles north of Seattle, with the Cascade Mountains to the east and the bay to the west. It’s nestled between a bay and the Snohomish River, providing tons of waterfront views. The historic downtown boasts a vibrant art and culture scene. Outdoor recreation opportunities include skiing, hiking, biking, and kiteboarding. You truly can enjoy the best of both the city life and outdoor adventuring in this city. 

9. Denver, Colorado

Population: 705,576

Known as “the mile-high city” because of its elevation about one mile above sea level, Denver is known for its natural beauty and abounds with things to do outdoors. The city is a hiker’s dream—situated between the High Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Denver has more than 4,000 acres of traditional parks and 14,000 acres of mountain parks. The city is also home to an awesome music scene and world-class cultural attractions. Enjoy all four seasons in this location, as it offers fantastic snow, beautiful summers, and a brisk spring and fall. 

8. Tacoma, Washington

Population: 212,869

Tacoma has it all—mountain views, the ocean, and an energetic city. Tacoma is on the banks of Puget Sound and just 40 miles away from Mount Rainier National Park. Mount Rainier itself is the largest active volcano in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest. If you’re into summiting mountains and like a challenge, scaling Rainier is considered one of the more difficult climbs in the whole Northwest. You can also enjoy other climbing options through Point Defiance, the city’s largest park, which offers hiking trails and beachfronts; it also houses a zoo, an aquarium, and the Tacoma Art Museum, which features works with a strong Northwest regional focus. 

7. Costa Mesa, California

Population: 113,159

Costa Mesa is a walkable city located just a short drive away from the world-renowned beaches in central Orange County. Costa Mesa offers a ton of outdoor activities and has a range of sprawling outdoor spaces. The city’s Fairview Park has trails, hills, and a forested sanctuary. It’s a spot that’s conducive to running, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Enjoy temperate weather year-round as you take in all the fun outdoor activities the city has to offer. 

6. Boulder, Colorado

Population: 106,392

Mountain peaks and sandstone slabs surround Boulder, Colorado—it’s full of natural wonder. Boulder has been dubbed “the city nestled between the mountains and reality.” It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering plenty of space for mountain biking and hiking. Check out the Flatirons–the craggy rock formations overlooking the city, lined with hiking trails for exploring and experiencing the area’s beauty. 

5. Bellevue, Washington

Population: 144,403

Bellevue has over 80 miles of trails and is within one hour of three national parks, including The North Cascades, Mount Rainier, and Olympic. It’s the perfect city for anyone who wants to explore the Pacific Northwest’s many natural wonders. You can also enjoy nature from inside the city itself at the Bellevue Botanical Garden, which highlights Pacific Northwest plants and has woodlands and wetlands for you to explore. 

4. Kent, Washington

Population: 131,118

Kent is located between Seattle and Tacoma, with stunning views of Mount Rainier. The city is known for its lush valleys, beautiful rolling hills, and the Green River that flows through it. There are over 26 miles of walking trails in the city and dozens of community parks. From Kent, you can hike to the mountains, take a ferry to an island, or enjoy regional attractions like the Space Needle.

3. Portland, Oregon

Population: 645,291

Portland is a quirky town that offers a myriad of outdoor activities, from kayaking to skiing to hiking. The city’s Forest Park is one of the largest urban forests in the United States. It’s a very eco-friendly area, with lots of parks, bridges, and bicycle paths. If you’re not feeling up to exploring the surrounding outdoors, you can experience nature and its beauty from inside the city itself.  

2. Provo, Utah

Population: 116,403

Provo is situated between the Wasatch Mountains and Utah Lake, offering waterfront activities as well as hiking, skiing, and more. It boasts what is arguably the most dramatic backdrop in the Wasatch Front, Mount Timpanogos. Provo has fantastic outdoor opportunities year-round and a thriving arts and culture scene. Take a hike up Rock Canyon, or take the road deeper into the canyon and explore the many parks and camping areas. There are also a myriad of hikes scattered around Provo and its neighboring cities. 

1. Seattle, Washington

Population: 724,305

Seattle is bordered by water, making it the perfect spot for water sports enthusiasts. And it’s easy to take a day trip from the city to the nearby Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Snoqualmie Falls, or the San Juan Islands. You can also go on a whale-watching boat tour to see orcas, humpback whales, and other majestic wildlife in their natural habitat.

Get Going on Your Next Big Outdoor Adventure with Colonial

These best cities for nature lovers offer a perfect mix of city life and outdoor adventure, where you can easily head to a local brewery or another city-side location after an epic day of outdoor activities.

Whether you’re moving across the state or even across the country, we’d like to make your move as stress-free and affordable as possible. We’ve got over five decades of moving experience, and we customize each and every move to fit with our customers’ unique needs.

Colonial Van Lines supports you in all of your adventurous endeavors. When you hire us, you’ll enjoy:

  • End-to-end service, including packing, moving, and storage
  • Reliable, friendly, experienced movers
  • A plan customized to fit your needs and budget
  • A free, transparent rate quote
  • Affordable options

As the nation’s top moving company, we pride ourselves on providing nothing less than five-star moving experiences. If you need further convincing, check out our reviews and customer testimonials and the moving services we offer by state. Contact us today so we can help you with your relocation to a city where natural wonders are within reach.

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