Active Cities to Live the Dream
We all strive to take full advantage of the recreation benefits of where we call home. The active lifestyle is on the rise as more and more people seek the physical, mental and social benefits it provides. From coast to coast, there is something unique about every town and the activities that can be discovered.
But there are more than a few locations that, because of geographic positioning and local mindset, have become meccas for like-minded athletes, outdoor enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies and weekend warriors. It is to them, that we give a shout-out for setting the pace and living the dream. So add these spots to the list of your next vacation or residency.
Deep in the heart of Texas, the capital city has been undergoing a population explosion in recent years. With over 300 days a year of sunshine and an average temperature of 68, Austin offers those who live, work and play there, endless options for recreation. To the west lies the the rolling landscape of Texas Hill Country and the Colorado River rolls right through the center of town, so amphibious adventures await.
The heat of Summer in Austin is exactly what you’d expect in Central Texas. With temperatures typically climbing into the high 90’s mid-day, early morning rides or runs are best. Spring and Fall bring on the best weather. Winters are mild but the locals are freezing if it doesn’t hit 60 in the afternoon. That sets the stage for perfect conditions for every outdoor sport.
Barton Creek Greenbelt has easy access to fantastic mountain biking right in the center of Austin. With hardpack trails, creek crossing and limestone ledges the Greenbelt offers something for riders of all levels. A very popular hiking and running spot, the beautiful limestone bluffs also attract rock climbers.
The controlled flow of the Colorado River between dams, creates a 22 mile stretch of flat water that is the real gem of Austin. Rent a boat for a day of wakeboarding or grab a Standup Paddleboard at the Texas Rowing Center and paddle under the Congress Ave bridge for an amazing spectacle. From March to early Fall, 1.5 million bats, the world’s largest urban colony, emerge at dusk to feast on 20 to 30 thousand pounds of insects each night, conveniently keeping the mosquito population in check.
Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden cranks out over 2,000 pounds of homemade sausage in 30 different varieties each week. With 200 beers on tap, live music, pig roasts and top notch southern hospitality, Banger’s is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy a good old fashioned good time.
Sitting at 5,800 feet in Northern Sierra Nevada mountains, just below Donner Summit,Truckee is the consummate ski town in winter. Some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the lower 48 states can be found at the neighboring resorts, Squaw Valley, Northstar and Sugar Bowl. Only a 3 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay area, Truckee is easily accessed, right off of Interstate 80. And when the storms are tracking in from the Pacific Ocean, the summit routinely gets dumped on with 6 feet or more of lovely powder.
And as they say, “you’ll come for the winter but stay for the summer”. The watersport world comes to life during the off-season with beautiful Donner Lake right in town and the majestic Lake Tahoe only a 15 minute drive away.
Catch a bluebird morning session for perfect Spring Skiing and navigate to the Headwall run at Squaw for jaw-dropping, panoramic views of deep blue Lake Tahoe. Double down with an afternoon kayak, paddleboard or outrigger canoe lesson at Watermans Landing. Then throw a line out off the public docks on Donner Lake to end the day catching the sunset.
Run, bike or hike along the paved Truckee River Legacy Trail or hit the dirt on Sawtooth Trail. Let the kids have at it on the Pump Track in town and chat up the gear heads at Cyclepath bike shop for the inside scoop on conditions and many other rides.
The food scene in Truckee is amazing and walking the 3 blocks through downtown, you can window shop the menus and atmosphere and find what you’re craving. Grab breakfast at the funky Squeeze In or an artisan cup of joe at Coffeebar. Grind on the Train Wreck at Burger Me or nosh and sip while listening to live jazz at Moody’s.