As the country begins to reopen, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
MEDIAN HOME PRICE $259,500
HOMETOWN HERO Greg Mortenson, co-founder of the Central Asia Institute and founder of Pennies for Peace
THE LIVING: Last year, Bozemanites did something that's rarer in Montana than buying a two-wheel drive: They voted to raise their own taxes so the county could afford to purchase (and then preserve) ranches that might otherwise have been sliced and diced by developers. Translation: They put their money where their boots, bikes, and skis go. Cradled by 10,000-foot peaks, hyaline streams, and ragged wilderness, the fastest-growing town in the state has a bustling college campus and brains to match: Residents may wear cowboy hats, but the Ph.D. rate is twice the national average. Free live music in city parks during summer and community sporting events like the spectacular 20-mile Bridger Ridge Run keep the blood flowing.
THE SKIING: The joke is that there are two seasons here: winter and August. But with two ski areas and 350 inches of annual snowfall, most locals don't mind. Just 20 minutes away, Bridger features backcountry-style big-mountain runs—now with less hiking required, thanks to the new Schlasman's lift (beacons required)—plus 18 miles of nearby cross-country ski trails. Forty-five minutes south of town, Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin offer a combined 5,512 acres of glades and bowls. When the lifts stop running, head to Cooke City or Beartooth Pass for backcountry-corn laps. (And when it all melts, it's time to fish.)
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Bozeman's too small for any 'hood to be far from anything, but living south of Main can mean living as little as a few hundred yards from trails that run all the way to Yellowstone, 90 miles south.