This Popular U.S. City Was Just Named the Best for Outdoor Activities — and It Has 6,480 Acres of Parkland

Seattle boasts one of the best park systems in the country and is surrounded by stunning scenery.

<p>Jon Hicks/Getty Images</p>

Jon Hicks/Getty Images

Spending time outdoors and being active has many physical and mental benefits, so living in a city that offers its residents an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities can positively impact their lives. A new report on the best places to live for outdoor activities by ranked Seattle first in the country and gave the city a perfect grade of A+.

“To determine the Best Places for Outdoor Activities, we take into consideration several factors such as access to nearby parks and recreational equipment rentals, as well as weather and air quality. Seattle excelled, earning a B or higher in all these areas and ranking sixth among America's Healthiest Cities,” Aaron Miller, senior manager of data and product solutions, told Travel + Leisure.

As one of the busiest hubs of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle has an urban cityscape, but it also boasts one of the best public park systems in the country, ranking eighth in a separate survey that considered access, investment, amenities, acreage, and equity.

Seattle has 6,480 acres of parkland, which accounts for 12.3 percent of its total area. An overwhelming majority of Seattle residents (or 99 percent) live within 10 minutes of a public park, and the city has one of the highest annual park investments per capita in the country. With amenities such as basketball courts, playgrounds, splash pads, and senior recreation centers, Seattleites of all ages can stay active without leaving the city limits year-round. Places like Discovery Park, located on the shores of Puget Sound, also feature miles of hiking trails, beaches, and forests and are a favorite of guests and locals alike. At the same time, its network of biking lanes made it the third most bike-friendly city in America.

Of course, Seattle’s allure with outdoor enthusiasts doesn’t stop here. Having access to several large bodies of water also means residents can spend time kayaking, swimming, paddleboarding, and boating.

To top it all off, there are three national parks within a couple of hours from downtown, rewarding travelers with lush mountain views, endless wilderness, and untouched beauty, where residents can go camping and hiking on weekends.

However, moving to Seattle is costly. The city has a notoriously competitive housing market, with median home values at $845,000, and the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the greater Seattle area is $1,912. The general cost of living is also 50 percent higher than the national average.

All three cities on’s list of best destinations for outdoor activities are on the West Coast: Los Angeles ranked second and Portland, Oregon ranked third.

You can see the rest of the rankings at

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