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23 Must-Visit American Cities for Outdoor Adventure Travel -- Part 2

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Continued from Part 1
 

16. Minneapolis | Minnesota

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Summer cycling at its finest—Minneapolis consistently ranks as one of the top bicycle-friendly cities in the US Ry Glover
 

Outside Magazine published an article called The 16 Best Places to Live in the US: 2014 , and Minneapolis made it to #3, based on the city’s “access to adventure, healthy eating options, bike lanes, and green space.” With more parks per square mile than in any other city, and with more than 70 miles of well-maintained trails, it's no wonder that Minneapolis is garnering such well-deserved acclaim.
 

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17. Durango | Colorado

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Taking the Durango Silverton Train straight to the trailhead Philms
 

Situated on the dry side of the San Juans, Durango is a much-loved hub for endless Southwestern Colorado adventure. With the Animas River snaking through and Animas Mountain rising high above, not to mention gigantic swaths of wilderness and towering mountain peaks within an hour’s drive of downtown, it would be a mistake to pass over Durango on a Colorado tour.
 

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18. Austin | Texas

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Taking in the view of downtown Austin and Ladybird Lake Jake Wheeler

 

Although Austin isn’t on the sea or high in the mountains, its location in the Hill Country of Central Texas means that it’s home to a diverse and inviting mix of tree-covered limestone ridges, creek-filled valleys, ancient 500-year-old cypress groves, and underground springs that feed a multitude of watering holes and create a vast network of underground (and mostly undiscovered) caves. Such topography offers outdoor enthusiasts everything from premier mountain biking at Reveille Peak Ranch, to excellent hiking at Balcones Canyonlands, to limitless limestone climbing along the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

 

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19. San Diego | California

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Sunset body surfing in San Diego Jake Wheeler

 

Although there are many fine cities in America, there is only one city that bears the title, “America’s Finest City.” And it’s San Diego, California. San Diego is a city that has it all—from the best beaches in Southern California, to an amazing amount of wilderness diversity, where you can go from ocean, to foothills, to mountains, to desert, and back, all in time to enjoy fresh, authentic tacos and Mexican lagers back in the city center. Simply put, if you like constant sunshine, gorgeous beaches and bluffs, super-model-esque people, and a never-sleeps kind of energy that pulses throughout the city, you'll love San Diego.

 

We Recommend:

20. Salt Lake City | Utah

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Skiing powder at Solitude Mountain Resort. Thomas Bracken

 

For decades, whisperings of beer scarcity kept the outdoorsy masses away from Utah. But in recent years, skiers, climbers, runners, cyclists, and paddlers are all flocking to Salt Lake City as they discover its an enticing blend of proper city and rugged mountain town. You can mountain bike in the morning, ski in the afternoon, catch an evening symphony, and of course, top it all off with a few local microbrews. And let's not forget that Salt Lake might be known best of all for its peerless Utah powder .

We Recommend:

 

21. Boulder | Colorado

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A gateway town to the Rocky Mountains Jake Wheeler

 

Boulder's wealth of outdoor adventures and its more than 300 days of sunshine make it the ideal place for those looking to get out for some classic Front Range adventure. Located at the divide between prairie and mountain, the foothills around Boulder leading into the mountains are home to excellent rock climbing, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, and wildlife watching (including mountain lions). Within jogging distance of Boulder’s lively Pearl Street are trailheads that lead straight into the Flatirons, so don’t be surprised to find world class mountain athletes training at altitude.

 

We Recommend:

 

22. Orlando | Florida

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A prehistoric walk in the woods along the Florida Trail B A Bowen Photography

 

Without any mountains to speak of, Orlando may not be at the top of anyone's adventure bucket list, but it actually has quite a bit going for it. The Chuluota Wilderness area offers pristine woods only a few minutes outside of Orlando. The Hal Scott Preserve has nearly 17 miles of trails and 9,300 acres along the Econlockhatchee River, where you’ll alternate between grass and-hard packed sand. And there's also world-class paddling along the numerous creeks, springs, and rivers that ink their way through the tropical forests and marshes of Central Florida.

 

We Recommend:

 

23. Burlington | Vermont

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A midsummer night's paddle along the glasslike surface of Lake Champlain Jake Wheeler

 

Burlington’s location along Lake Champlain would be good enough to make it a great adventure destination. But throw in the Green Mountains, miles of open forests, and the entire wilderness of the Northeast Kingdom, and it becomes one of the crown jewels of northern New England. Hikers, mountain bikers, and backpackers have access to Vermont’s finest less than an hour away: Mount Mansfield (the state highpoint), Camel’s Hump, and the Long Trail are all great places to get lost, and of course, there is always paddling on Lake Champlain, which never ceases to amaze.

 

Hiking: Camel's Hump, Sunset Ridge Trail
Mountain Biking: Adams Camp Loop, Cady Hill Forest

Written by RootsRated for RootsRated and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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