Published: September 200850 Best Places to Live: The Next Great Adventure Towns
Photo: Where to Live and Play

Where to Live + Play Now!

The fifty next great adventure towns.

Text by Sarah Tuff and Greg Melville

A change of address can bring instant gratification. You could wake up tomorrow in Missoula and kayak off your own deck at dawn, sneak in singletrack at lunch in Chattanooga—or choose your own adventure in any one of the country’s best base camps. But a move is a long-term investment. So this year we selected 50 innovative towns that aren’t just prime relocation spots right now, but smart choices for the future. Not only do they have the action. They’ve got a plan. Now we’re giving you a plan too. Inside, you’ll find hometown picks that range from adventure 24/7 hubs loaded with outdoor options to urban players that offer a variety of jobs and cultural activities without sacrificing green space. You’ll also hear from recent transplants who made the move and have a better quality of life to show for it. So go on—get packing. (Read the full coverage of these towns in the September 2008 issue, on newsstands August 12th.)

Plus: Take a digital tour of these towns with Nat Geo Map's Topo.com. See the maps >>

Here are the 50 next great adventure towns, presented by region and in no particular order (our top 12 picks are shown in bold). Plus: You can now post your comments on our picks in the area provided below.

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1. Seattle, Washington
2. Coos Bay, Oregon
3. Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii
4. Girdwood, Alaska
5. Hood River, Oregon

6. San Francisco, California

7. Joshua Tree, California
8. Leavenworth, Washington
9. Arcata, California
10. Klamath Falls, Oregon
11. Bellingham, Washington
12. Malibu, California

Next: Rockies Towns >>

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