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Here are the best places to live for the adventure enthusiast

Top 16 "adventure meccas"

Great school system. Affordability. Job opportunity. These are pretty standard metrics for deciphering the hottest and best housing markets in America.

But what adventure enthusiasts want is anything but standard. 

Having a top-rated school district or the most price-efficient home in the county gives no insight into whether or not there’s a top-ranked mountain bike course nearby or what eccentric dive bars might be in close proximity.

Outside Magazine decided to take a different path to discover what the top cities for adventure lovers would be.

The publication's editors said they talked to climbers, Olympic mountain bikers, musicians, and award-winning chefs about what exactly makes their hometowns so special and fun.

Check out the website for a full in-depth profile each city. In order to capture the true vibe of each city, the editors talked to people on the ground that know what makes their town special.

Here’s just one city example as a teaser. And if you’re a true adventure enthusiast, go ahead and hop in your car now and head that way.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Population: 12,260


It could be Steamboat’s distance from Denver—three hours when there’s no snow on the roads—or its roots as a rough-and-tumble ranching community, but this place has a noticeably more laid-back feel than most world-class resort towns. Bill Gamber, 52, cofounder of camping-gear maker Big Agnes and sports-nutrition company Honey Stinger, says it’s all about the terrain. Steamboat’s ski hill is a bit mellower compared with places like Jackson Hole and Telluride, and the timber-covered slopes “attract a less extreme and therefore more relaxed population,” says Gamber.

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