There is an immense feeling of excitement in finding the uncharted pockets of the earth that are more beautiful than anything man could create, and then, once you’re there, pushing yourself to new limits to conquer the elements. So why not move as close as you can to those places?

While HousingWire posts various lists on the hottest housing markets based on a range of variables from home prices to great school systems, I would venture to say this one is my favorite since it suits me best.

Outside Magazine compiled this year’s list of the 16 best places to live in America for people with the same exploring soul as me.  

The magazine's 2015 Best Towns competition was engineered with a bracket of 64 favorites that readers narrowed down until just one city was left. Here are the 16 finalists, which are the places voted as "the top spots in the country to work, run, eat, sail, paddle, drink, ride, and climb."

Even if you don’t want to move there, if you still have even a slight taste for the outdoors, you’ll want to add these places to your bucket list.

To see the full list from Outdoor Magazine, be sure to check out their site, which includes breathtaking photos of the towns, along with everyday activities for locals. In this blog, I am only going to spotlight two.

Coincidentally, I just had the treat of discovering number 10 on the list this past week: Boone, North Carolina.

For this year’s vacation, I explored the great Appalachian Mountains, opting to take a lot of the back roads when driving around Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Boone was an obvious college town (We hit the city right in time for college move-in day.) The city is nestled away in the Appalachian Mountains and is the perfect landing spot to go to school if you want to spend your weekends exploring neighboring state parks and waterfalls.

I passed through the town in order to get to Twisting Falls (also known as Compression Falls or Twisted Falls) in North Carolina, which is a famous spot to cliff jump. And something I did participate in (see video below).

While all the cities on the list offer their own personalized activities, Chattanooga, Tennessee, came out on top as the No.1 city in America to live in.

From Outside Magazine:

When I was growing up an hour south of Chattanooga in the eighties and nineties, the city was best known for MoonPies, those sinfully delicious chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallow hockey pucks. Fast-forward a couple of decades and I’m standing in a juice bar on the edge of downtown, wondering what happened to the corny place I once knew. Now it’s all nitro cold brew and tech startups, like the love child of Nashville and Silicon Valley, but with more singletrack.

The city of 173,000, built in the belly of the rocky Tennessee River Gorge, always had the potential to be a great adventure town. Climbers have been sending routes on the nearby sandstone cliffs for more than 30 years. A decade ago, the local mountain-bike club set out to build 100 miles of singletrack within ten miles of the city.

Unfortunately, my route home to Dallas from the Smoky Mountains took us through Nashville. Guess that means I have to go back for round two. 

Hopefully this list can help steer you in the right direction for your next trip, and no matter where you decide to go in the country, there will always be somewhere thrilling to explore.