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Old 03-19-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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A city/area like Buffalo may be a sleeper. Here's why: Enchanted Mountains of Western New York AKA Cattaraugus County ... Naturally yours

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You also have the Bills and Sabres, along with its proximity to Niagara Falls, Toronto, the Finger Lakes, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and it is an affordable area in terms of overall cost of living. Niagara Glen on the Canadian side is a spot for rock climbing. In that case, get an enhanced NY driver's license.

Also, cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and even parts of the NYC metro would work too.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 03-19-2012 at 08:23 AM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,048,808 times
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Asheville NC is smaller than your criterion: 80,000 city, 250,000 metro. Here's why you should look into it anyway:

The Southern Sixers: There are more than 50 peaks in the Appalachian Mountains that are over 6,000 feet tall. All but two are in (or partially in) North Carolina - specifically within 100 miles of less.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is about an hour to the west, and the Blue Ridge Parkway (which has thousands of hiking trails and climbing opportunities along its' length) skirts the east side of the city.

Several rivers in the area offer whitewater rafting. The Nolichuky and Watauga Rivers are probably the best known, but there are any others.

Several large chunks of The Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests surround the city; there are hiking, camping and climbing opportunities in the multiple protected wilderness areas within those National Forests. Linville Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the East is about an hour NE of the city, and again offers hiking, and camping.

The city proper is VERY bohemian, arty, and eccentric, which may or may not interest you. Culture runs heavy on grass-roots arts, small galleries, local artists. A quick trip to Charlotte would offer you more.

No pro sports. They have Minor League Baseball. Charlotte is a 2-hour drive, and you have pro basketball and football there, plus an international airport with coast-to-coast flights, and direct international flights to a dozen or so places in Europe, The Caribbean, and Mexico.

You have 4 sharply defined seasons: moderate summers (due to elevation, temps run about 5-10 degrees cooler than anywhere else in NC), crisp and breezy fall, winters that are considerably colder than most of the rest of the South. Spring tends to be rainy/foggy. There are several ski resorts in the Avery County area, about 2 hours NE of Asheville. Avery County is the highest county east of the plains, so there you have whitewater, hiking, climbing, skiing, and camping there as well.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:53 AM
 
5,556 posts, read 6,992,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skihikeclimb View Post
Whatever you do, don't go to the midwest. The skiing there is horrid, and they don't really get that much snow. You would be lucky to get 50 inches of snow in a season. If you like to rock climb I would not go with Boston. There is some decent rock climbing in New Hampshire but if you ever really want to do push your climbing ability its better to be out west, plus the views are amazing. For climbing I think Portland or Seattle is a great place to live, plus you can really get into mountaineering. Seattle has a very strong skiing and climbing community The cascades of WA and OR are the only real glaciated peaks in the lower 48.

If you are looking for a decent sized city than stick with Denver, Portland, or Seattle. Personally I prefer Seattle because you can downhill ski year around if you are into back country skiing.

Mt. Bohemia in northern Michigan gets at least 150 inches of snow per year.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,733 posts, read 6,488,029 times
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Or how about these:

Chelan, Washington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wenatchee, Washington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:59 AM
 
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Portland and Seattle are much more cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and urban than Denver. Denver is a tremendous city for outdoor recreation, but that's it's primary calling card. It's more like Kansas City or Columbus with mountains.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNative View Post
Portland and Seattle are much more cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and urban than Denver. Denver is a tremendous city for outdoor recreation, but that's it's primary calling card. It's more like Kansas City or Columbus with mountains.
The OP didn't mention anything remotely related to wanting a sophisticated cosmopolitan city, so why are you bringing it up? It's pretty clear the OP wants 1) a city, 2) an outdoorsman's paradise.

Since the OP specifically mentions snowboarding, the Pac NW, California cities, Denver and SLC are the premier options....major drop after that. Colorado Springs actually has better access to outdoor activities than Denver by a good margin, but it's smaller (1/2 million or so) and no pro sports teams, just Triple-A baseball...although going to sporting events in Denver is easy (60-90 min drive) - I went to several Rockies/Nuggets/Rapids games each season, and a few Broncos games here and there. Other than that, it does have the regular amenities you'd expect from a mid-size city, as well as unbeatable climbing (Garden of the Gods) and killer singletrack within the city limits. Several of the best ski resorts in the US are ~2 hours away.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
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South Lake Tahoe, California - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,310,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNative View Post
Portland and Seattle are much more cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and urban than Denver. Denver is a tremendous city for outdoor recreation, but that's it's primary calling card. It's more like Kansas City or Columbus with mountains.
I grew up in KC and no, Denver is not very similar to KC or any Midwestern city. Denver is much more western and West Coast in culture than being like KC. Denver is the heart of the "thinnest" state (statistically) and you'll find more people here into biking, running, the gym, vegetarianism, and general healthy lifestyles. People in Denver sound like people in California, not the twangy KC accent. And as for culture, I'd say Denver has anything you'd need. Opera, symphony, musicals, all major league sports, museums... when people say Denver lacks culture, I really don't get it.

But the one thing I haven't seen addressed about outdoor living is weather. Denver and any other city in the West isn't humid and buggy. In KC, it goes from too cold and damp to be outdoors to too hot, buggy and humid to be outdoors. There just isn't much time in the year where it's really pleasant to be outdoors. In Denver, you'll notice how many homes have outdoor living space, front porches (with no need for screens because we don't have the baziillion bugs like anywhere east of here) and restaurants have outdoor eating areas. It's very pleasant to be outdoors from mid May to mid October. And even in winter, we get warm, sunny days where it's nice to be outside.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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I appreciate all the responses! As to the California responses, I have only been to San Fran once. While I did like it, my understanding is that you do not really get the changing of the seasons (and that it just gets more tropical the further south you go)? Which is where, in my opinion, Denver, Portland?, Seattle?, would be more preferable. Do you get much of a fall in either Portland or Seattle? (if you haven't run on a trail in the middle of the fall with all the color around then you haven't experienced what running can be!!!)?

With no office to any of the other suggestions, I would lean more towards Denver, Portland, and Seattle as likely choices. But in addition to the questions above, is there anyone who has experience in these cities and could explain similarities/differences between the cities (alternative travel options in the city such as bike lanes and public transit, ease to get out of the city to recreational activities, closeness of those activities, weather [and I do like the 4-seasons!], and nightlife).

Again, thanks for all the help so far! And thanks for any advice you can provide in regards to these questions.

edit: I was looking at pictures of Denver...is it common to kayak in Downtown (I saw a picture where there was a guy putting in with a skyscraper RIGHT in the background)? If it is that easy to get to outdoor sports in Denver then I may just be sold!

Last edited by Butterz; 03-19-2012 at 07:11 PM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:03 PM
 
605 posts, read 1,237,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
Mt. Bohemia in northern Michigan gets at least 150 inches of snow per year.

150 inches of snow really is not that much snow for an entire season of winter. If you like to snowboard or love to ski than I really would not recommend living in the midwest. Most of the midwest ski resorts have pretty small snow totals for the entire year.

Just last week Mt. Baker received over a 100 inches of snow. Keep in mind this is the middle of March already.

I am not saying this to be critical, but it is reality.
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