Win Lottery, Move Here

Towns with the most beautiful scenery and most enviable outdoor recreation are also often the ones with astronomical real-estate prices—or few jobs. If you can ply your trade anywhere or don't need to make a living, go ahead and move to paradise; we're not bitter. Just keep the guest house warm.

Sep 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

Crested Butte, Colorado    Photo: JC Leacock

Bishop, California
The High Sierra multisport hub: More fly-fishing, backcountry skiing, and climbing, at or above tree line, than almost anywhere—and a fraction of Tahoe's tourists.

Charlevoix, Michigan
Everyone's a nature photographer, cross-country skier, beachcomber, or berry picker in the Upper Midwest's version of Valhalla—surrounded by Lake Charlevoix, Lake Michigan, and three wildlife preserves.

Crested Butte, Colorado
Steeper lift-served skiing than Telluride, tougher singletrack than Aspen, and a downtown with infinitely more character than Vail. Get there before the megaresorts do.

Cruz Bay, St. John, USVI
Sea kayak and sail sapphire waters, mountain bike and hike jungle trails, dive rainbow-colored reefs. Sixty percent of the island is national park.

Haines, Alaska
Wedged between the Chilkat Mountain Range and the Coast Range, Haines offers hiking, backcountry skiing, rafting, and Glacier Bay sea kayaking.

Hanalei, Kauai
The funkiest town on Hawaii's greenest isle. Backpack along the 4,000-foot cliffs of the Na Pali Coast; snorkel Hanalei Bay; return to a bungalow in the shadow of Bali Hai.

Key Largo, Florida
Multifarious fish around the federally protected reef quickly lengthen any diver's aquatic life list. Above water, sea kayak the Everglades, day sail among mangroves, burn your coat and tie.

Sandpoint, Idaho
Artists discovered its low-rent beauty. Soon others came to hike the Selkirks, shred Schweitzer ski resort, and land trout and salmon on Lake Pend Oreille. They're all still here—and as mellow as ever.

Waitsfield, Vermont
Steepled churches and old-timey barns, along with prime New England outdoors: glade skiing at Mad River Glen, hiking on the 270-mile Long Trail, and quiet, bikeable back roads.

Wilson, Wyoming Population: 1,300
The benefits of Jackson—a 4,000-foot ski area, fly-fishing and rafting on the Snake River, climbing in the Tetons—without Wild West trinket shops.

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