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Wanna live where the action is? The goal: Trails out the back door, a serious Saturday-morning peloton, whitewater just up the road, and neighbors eager to join in. Our source: The best adventure athletes in America, who tell us where they live and why. The result: 20 places where locals work, train, and play hard. Start packing now.

Think Utopia doesn't exist? Maybe not yet—but these ten towns are making a play for perfection with adventure-friendly innovation and cool ideas for building smart communities. Plus the hottest concepts in urban revival, combating sprawl, and better hometown living.

Our two-week pleasure tour samples the best of Canada's most bountiful province

Combine your next visit to a national park with a bonus raid on a great state park or national forest—and get twice the escape

32 YEARS AGO this summer, my pal, the crime novelist Jim Crumley, his overeducated farmer friend from Arkansas, Harold McDuffy, and yours truly hiked six miles to Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park. For someone who had spent most of his life in the desert country of southeastern Oregon, this…

Still Breathtaking After All These Years

And deliver us pronto to these 44 island Edens—if they were any more perfect we'd be in heaven

Want instant access to the Big Outdoors—trails, rivers, wild shores, just minutes from home—without compromising your livelihood? Then check out these ten towns on the verge of paradise, where you don't have to ditch it all to have it all.

THE STARTING POINT: What follows are six elemental landscapes—forest, desert, inland waterfront, prairie, mountain, and coast—featuring 18 blissfully unsullied locales, from Alaska to Florida, Arizona to Maine. Clear into the next state: The view from North Carolina, near the town of Tyron, into South Carolina. THE COST: Our survey…

How can one possibly put into words the majestic talent, the gracious modesty, the unrivaled discipline of the world's greatest skier? Like this.