7 Cities for Remote Workers Who Love the Outdoors
Discover communities perfect for your active lifestyle.
There’s no denying it — for many of us, our work environments have changed. A traditional 8-to-5 in an office setting is on the decline, while remote working — complete with its cozy home offices, flexible schedules and meetings via Zoom — is growing in popularity. The exciting part? The freedom of not being tied to a physical office opens you up to a world (literally) of places to live. We’re looking at you, outdoor enthusiasts. Ready to meld your love of the outside with your vivacious drive to crush your career goals? If you’re a remote worker who is looking for the perfect work-life balance and loves spending time in the great outdoors, these seven places around the U.S. give residents the best of both worlds.
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Located in the western portion of the mitten, Muskegon does not disappoint when it comes to its selection of outdoor activities. Its proximity to beautiful Lake Michigan allows for a slew of watersports, from swimming and boating to kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing and more. If venturing into the water isn’t your idea of fun, you can still enjoy the view and get in some exercise by walking the sandy shore.
If you have a few hours of free time or just need a short break during your workday, area trails make for the perfect place to stretch your legs. While there are several in and around the region, the paved, 12-mile Lakeshore Trail is a great place to walk, jog or bike.
The fun doesn’t stop once the weather turns cold. Residents can find several places to go cross-country skiing, including Muskegon State Park and nearby William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail State Park. And for those up for a thrill, strap on a helmet and head to Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, home to the only universally accessible luge track in the country. It’s also a popular spot for cross-country skiing, ice skating and snowshoeing.
Nestled in the northwest part of South Carolina, Greenville makes remote working fun. Find a place to live in or near downtown, and your breaks during the workday can be spent walking its tree-lined streets. Also found downtown is Falls Park on the Reedy (the Reedy River, that is), where you can walk along a beautiful pedestrian bridge, relax, and find events like yoga and movie nights.
The 22-mile Swamp Rabbit Trail is a local favorite for walking and biking, and the short 0.75-mile loops found at Gower and McPherson parks. And, if you are up for a challenge, head to Treetop Quest, a self-guided aerial adventure park where you can go zip lining. Plus, plenty of adventures can be had at Paris Mountain State Park. Residents can go hiking, swimming, fishing, paddle boarding, camping, bird-watching, and much more here.
Great Falls, MT
Living and working in Great Falls is just as its name suggests — GREAT! Here, residents can balance their time spent working from home with activities like hiking, biking, golfing and skiing. Need a place to walk, jog, cycle and mountain bike? The nearly 60-mile River’s Edge Trail, found along the Missouri River, offers all of the above. Plus, the trail connects users to downtown Great Falls, eateries and a number of parks.
For those who like to spend their time hitting the links, residents can tee off at Eagle Falls and nearby Anaconda Hills. If disc golf is more your speed, not to worry. The courses at Warden Park and West Bank Park do not disappoint. Itching to get away from your desk during the winter? Go ice skating at Gibson Park or ski and snowshoe at Eagle Falls Golf Course. Also, cool to note … living in Great Falls means you can find plenty of places to go horseback riding or even pitch horseshoes (Elk’s Riverside Park has several pits).
Grand Forks, ND
Reside in Grand Forks, and you’ll dedicate all your free time to exploring the outdoors. Red River and Red Lake River are sources for countless activities — canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing and, for those who like to live on the edge, snowmobiling. Lining both rivers is a greenway that’s made up of 2,200 acres. In addition to using the greenway for walking and biking, residents can find a dog park, disc golf courses, and a floating dock perfect for river watching along the path.
Grand Forks allows for some pretty spectacular bird-watching if you’re feeling a little sluggish during the workday and need a quick brain break. A few sites in and around the area worth checking out include Turtle River State Park and Kellys Slough National Wildlife Refuge. Several local parks also offer their own batch of activities. For example, you can play hockey, softball and baseball at Cox Park and volleyball, soccer and basketball at Bringewatt Park.
In need of a bit of adventure? Make Pueblo your home (and office) base, and you can add a lot of fun to every day. When not answering emails or chatting with clients, explore miles of trails at Lake Pueblo State Park or traipse along the Pueblo River Trail System, which is more than 30 miles and runs along Arkansas River and Fountain Creek.
While a great place to hike, Lake Pueblo also allows for boating, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, camping, picnicking and much more. Also adding to Pueblo’s allure is City Park Disc Golf, a top-rated course that has been around since 1978. It’s the perfect place to drum up a little competition among friends. While here, if you’re looking to pick up a new hobby, try fly-fishing in the Arkansas River.
Ready to lead a relaxed mountain lifestyle in a flourishing community? If so, Asheville is for you. You’ll love breaking up your workday by taking quick jaunts through parts of its quaint downtown (grab some coffee at a local shop while you’re at it). Or, head to the French Broad River Greenway, which follows the French Broad River. It’s a great place to walk, jog or bike.
As for those looking to track a few more miles on foot, living near the Blue Ridge Mountains means you can add short, medium and long hikes (all of which offer gorgeous views) to your evenings and weekends. Finally, if water activities are more your thing, you’ll love the French Broad River, as it allows for kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. As winter nears, Asheville’s beautiful landscape changes with the season, offering new views for hikers and a few more activities. For example, in under an hour’s drive, you can be at Cataloochee Ski Area and have fun on the slopes. It’s the perfect day trip!
Cedar Rapids, IA
Outdoor activities run the gamut in this Midwest city, making it a remote worker’s dream. Go running, walking, biking or rollerblading on the 12.6-mile Cedar River Trail. Or, check out the miles of trails that run through prairies, woodlands and wetlands at Indian Creek Nature Center. Also fun — and tastefully unique — Mount Trashmore, a former landfill turned into walking and biking trails.
Golf is a popular pastime here, as the area is home to Twin Pines, Ellis and Gardner courses. Plus, with the Cedar River running through the area, residents have plenty of chances to canoe, kayak and paddleboard. Also, on the docket for Cedar Rapids locals? When the snow falls each year, snowshoes and skis come out. Indian Creek Nature Center is a favorite for snowshoeing, while Morgan Creek Park offers nearly 4 miles for cross-country skiing.