5. Sun Valley, ID
Sun Valley was America’s very first ski resort, but it’s not just for winter escapes. “There is a saying that we come for the winter, and stay for the summer,” says real estate agent Sheila Liermann, who moved to Sun Valley in 1980 with just $30 in her pocket and never looked back. Liermann didn’t know a soul in Sun Valley when she arrived, but she stayed and built a life there — and the town’s gorgeous summers are part of the reason why.
“In short, the Sun Valley community is self-contained,” Liermann says. “On any given day we can visit an art gallery, then within minutes we can be on a hiking or mountain biking trail witnessing our glorious mountain vistas. Or we can fly fish from the River Run Bridge. Or we take our mutts to the dog park to commune with other humans who know that dogs make us better human beings. And then we can finish the day at any of our great restaurants, all unique across varied price ranges and cuisines.”