Ely, Minn.
ely minnesota

A canoe rests in shallow water at Mudro Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area near Ely, Minn.

Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images

Ely, Minnesota combines the perks of small-town living with some of the finest outdoorsy adventure experiences the U.S. has to offer. Ely's landscape is largely unspoile­d, which attracts outdoors enthusiasts. With a population of only about 4,000, Ely is a popular spot for canoeing, biking, fishing, hiking and snowshoeing.

One of the best things about Ely's outdoor adventure experiences is that they're available year-round. Temperatures dip into the teens in the winter, but in July it's a warm 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius). Spring temperatures are in the 60s (10 degrees C), and fall weather in the 50s (15 degrees C) is perfect to check out Ely's beautiful foliage. In the winter, you can ice fish on a frozen lake; in the summer you can paddle through the same lake. Home to more than 5,000 lakes, rivers, and streams, Ely is a waterman's paradise. Miner Lake and Shagwa Lake offer great sites for canoeing and fishing.

Although most famous for its lakes, Ely is also home to bike and hiking trails in the Superior National Forest, and the view from the Secret-Black Stone Overlook is breathtaking -- you'll spy glacier-carved ridges, small lakes and remnants of glaciers.

In the midst of all of this outdoor adventure, the town is small enough that when you and your family head to the local store, the clerks will know you by name.

Additionally, Ely boasts a number of fine dining restaurants and shopping experiences. And, the median house price is $145,000, so living in Ely definitely won't break the bank.