For many people, hiking, canoeing, mountain biking and kayaking are activities they're only lucky enough to enjoy on vacation, maybe a few weekends a year. But for the lucky dwellers of outdoor meccas, adventure sports are right in their backyards. These people, who range from weekend warriors to career outdoor experts, live in communities that cater to the outdoorsy type.
What's it like to live in an outdoorsman's paradise? Well, it depends on your version of paradise. Which would you prefer -- the hustle and bustle of the city with a nearby river for canoeing, or a sleepy town where you can fly-fish in the summer and ski in the winter?
These spots appeal to locals and tourists alike. Their adventure sports attract those getting away from the daily grind and those looking for new home. Residents of outdoorsy hotspots have careers in just about anything -- they may be doctors, lawyers, politicians or executives in nearby metropolitan areas, or they may work at the local ski shop.
The best outdoorsy towns offer a range of activities for all seasons. Hotspots for winter snow-skiing may also be close to the best rivers and lakes for summer canoeing, kayaking, wakeboarding, fishing and sailing. The best spots also must be affordable for a wide range of people -- from service industry employees to business executives who retreat to their outdoorsy abodes after long days at the office.
These 10 outdoor spots range from towns with populations under 3,000 to major metropolitan areas, from remote lake villages in North America to mountainous landscapes in Central Europe. Which spots suit your taste?