Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thursday Thirteen 219: Best "Outside" Towns

The October issue of Outside Magazine features a list of the best towns for outdoor pursuits, as voted on by readers, and guess whose town comes in at number ten? Yup, my very own MadTown. Among the reasons it was nominated are the acres of green space, waterways, and miles of bike trails.

Writer Jason Daley says: "Paddling and road cycling are particular passions... Sustainability is the city's other passion: eco-saints John Muir and Aldo Leopold developed their ideas here, and Madison is a leader in localism, with more than 50 community-supported farms and the country's largest weekly farmer's market. Plus, almost every weekend you can find a free block party, concert, marathon, or beer festival..."

Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, walking, swimming, paddling or sailing—or enjoy winter activities such as skiing, ice skating or snowmobiling—Madison and the surrounding area offer something for everyone with its miles of lakes, rivers, trails and acres of parkland. Madison plays host to the Ironman Wisconsin triathalon (which was this past weekend), Madison Marathon, Paddle and Portage, and the Crazy Legs Classic—among many other events.

Because this is Thursday Thirteen, here are the top thirteen best cities for outdoor lovers:

1. Chattanooga, Tennessee
2. Portland, Oregon
3. Issaquah, Washington
4. Boulder, Colorado,
5. Missoula, Montana
6. Charleston, South Carolina
7. Wilmington, North Carolina
8. Santa Fe, New Mexico
9. Durango, Colorado
10. Madison, Wisconsin
11. Traverse City, Michigan
12. Tucson, Arizona
13. Flagstaff, Arizona

So let's hear it—have you visited any of the cities mentioned on this list? Any you would like to visit?

LINKS TO OTHER THURSDAY THIRTEENS:(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)


Alice Audrey said...

I knew the farmer's market was big, but I had no idea it was the biggest.

Heather said...

Alice: I knew it was ranked as one of the best outdoor farmers' markets in the country, but I didn't know it was the largest, either. Yay, us! *G*

Kimberly Menozzi said...

Well, hey - any place that's good for Road Cycling is high on my list of good places, too! ;)

In the right seasons, I'd visit any of those places, but I think I'd actually like to see Madison first. I love Wisconsin!

CountryDew said...

Wow, how cool, the largest farmer's market. We are an ag community and only in the last five years has our county had a farmer's market! But the nearest city has had one since the late 1800s.

Sidney said...

Wow, sounds like a lovely place to live!

Paige Tyler said...

LOL! I'm not really the outdoor type, so I guess those wouldn't be for me!

Congratulations on your town being in there!


Heather said...

Kimberly: You would definitely approve of the road cycling and hundreds of miles of bike trails winding through Wisconsin. Arizone and Washington are two states I would love to see some day.

Anita: Yes, the largest farmers' market, held on the Capitol Square every Saturday morning, mid-May to mid-October. And for about the last decade, it has moved indoors to Monona Terrace during winter. There are also several smaller ones around the city throughout the summer. We're very big on supporting local growers here.

Heather said...

Sidney: It really is a great place to live. If you're not big on outdoor activities (like Paige, lol), there is plenty to do inside as well: museums, galleries, theaters, sports...there is always something going on.

Paige: are such a girly-girl. *g* Looking at this list, most cities also seem to be very big on culture, too--the arts, theater, history, etc. I think you would find plenty to do, inside or out. ;)

colleen said...

Floyd was recently on a top ten places to visit list. I've been to about 3 of these places.

Xakara said...

I'm not even an outdoors person and this bumps Madison up on my list! We keep thinking about coming back to Milwaukee, but honestly, if we go back to the Wisconsin, I'd much rather be in Madison. I miss it every time I go there for WisCon. :)

Happy T13,

My Week

Darla M Sands said...

I've been to Charleston and really enjoyed it. Happy TT!

Jennifer Leeland said...

I've been to Missoula once and I'd love to go back. That's where my mom and dad met.
Great list.

Heather said...

Colleen: I'm sure it won't surprise you that I had never heard of Floyd before I found your blog. Sorry! :)

Xakara: While Milwaukee has a lot to offer, I much prefer the small-town feel of Madison.

Darla: I could see Charleston being an interesting place to visit. Thanks for visiting!

Jennifer: What? You've never been to Madison?! How can that be? *g*