10 Best Places for Outdoorsy Types to Live


Boone, N.C.

Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway
Pisgah National Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway
Jerry Whaley/Getty Images

One of the best things about Boone, N.C., is that while the rest of the American South is sweltering hot in the summer months, the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround this town keep things pretty cool, even in July and August. In Boone, temperatures top at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) in the summer and fall to the 20s (minus 6 degrees Celsius) in the winter. At 3,332 feet (1,015 m), Boone has one of the highest elevations of any town of its population of 15,000, on the East Coast.

Named for Daniel Boone -- who you might say was one of America's first outdoorsy types -- Boone is host to parks, rivers and mountains that offer almost every outdoor activity imaginable. Boone, about 100 miles (161 km) north of Asheville, offers four seasons of adventure-packed activities.

At Pisgah National Forest, you can enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking. Additionally, the Nolichucky and French Broad Rivers provide the perfect setting for rafting and canoeing. Nearby Banner Elk and Blowing Rock are two of the South's skiing meccas in the winter months. You can take a drive down the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and mountain bike or hike at Grandfather Mountain. And, Boone is also home to Appalachian State University, so you won't miss out on cultural and enrichment activities for the whole family.