What’s the #1 Place to Live Now? Buy this magazine to find out.
Far as we can tell, it all started in August 2004 when Outside published their “20 Dream Towns: The New Best Places to Live & Play.” Every year since then, the magazine has done a story on “Where to Live Now,” including some of our favorite adventure towns. National Geographic Adventure followed with its own list of towns from 2006 to 2009 (“Where To Live & Play Now!”). Is there no shame in the media? Speaking for editors everywhere, no.
Anyway, we wondered: Which towns make the list most often?
To find out, we tallied the lists of nine years of Outside and four years of National Geographic Adventure’s “best towns” issues (including 2012, when Outside modified theirs to “Best River Towns”). Turns out Smyma, Delaware (NGA ’07); Yellow Springs, Ohio (Outside ’09) and Davenport, Iowa (Outside ’12) were just one-time deals. Here were the most hyped adventure towns in the U.S., 2004-2012…and feel free to insert “over” before “hyped”:
1. Charleston, South Carolina Why: Paddling, surfing, kiteboarding, sailing Outside 2011, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005 National Geographic Adventure 2008
2. Hood River, Oregon Why: Kayaking, kiteboarding, mountain biking, mountaineering Outside 2012, 2006, 2004 National Geographic Adventure 2008, 2007
3. Portland, Maine Why: Paddling, hiking, skiing Outside 2011, 2010, 2007, 2005 National Geographic Adventure 2006
12. Santa Fe, New Mexico Why: Hiking, climbing, skiing Outside 2011, 2007, 2006, 2005
Runners-up(mentioned three times each, 2004-2012):
Asheville, North Carolina
Ithaca, New York
San Francisco, California
Now, what are the Four Things We’ve Learned?
1. Lists sell.
2. The media recycles anything that works.
3. The media is shameless about copying other media.