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Best Cities to Move to if You Work Remote for an Active Lifestyle


Along with obvious catastrophic consequences, the COVID-19 pandemic also brought an opportunity to reimagine how and where we work.

Now that it’s clear that remote work is here to stay, a lot of Americans are reconsidering aspects of their life that used to seem set in stone. Possibly the biggest question workers are weighing is where to live.

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While the majority of office workers were previously tied down to the metropolitan areas where their companies had office space, they are now free to consider whether they want to stay in those cities since they no longer have to go into the office 5 days a week from 9 to 5.

If you’re one the estimated 36% of employees who began working remotely due to COVID-19, you’ve probably already considered this question: should I move?

The Pros of Moving

The ability to pack up and go is seen as a big perk of going fully remote at your job, mainly because it can prove to be a smart financial decision. People have started moving to less densely populated areas where the cost of living is lower, while continuing to earn the same salary.

Some workers have moved back to the suburbs where they grew up in order to be close to family who can help provide child care. Others have embraced a complete lifestyle change, leaving apartments behind and opting for land and bigger homes.

But there’s yet another reason to consider making a move: where you live can actually influence how healthy and active you are. Some cities offer greater resources (both natural and governmental) to get you moving.

Yet, when your only limitation is internet access, it can be hard to decide where to go! So we cross-checked the most fit and active cities with the best cities to work remotely

If you’re looking for a change of pace, read on.

Factors to Consider

What makes a city a great place to live when you work remote is not always what makes a city a great place to lead an active lifestyle. The following cities have everything you need for both, including good:

  • Internet coverage
  • Cost of living
  • Life expectancy
  • Regional economy
  • Quality of life
  • Proximity to green space
  • Walkability
  • Quality of education
  • Natural resources

Most Active Cities To Work Remote From

1. Fort Collins, CO

According to USA Today, Boulder is the most active city in the U.S. But we love the lesser-known Fort Collins because it has everything Boulder has but the cost of living is lower!

Fort Collins sits at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, which means it’s not only gorgeous but also great for hiking.

Quaint and historic, Old Town Center downtown is home to great breweries and restaurants. And the internet is great, too, thanks to Fort Collins Connexion which allows every resident and business to access gigabit-speed internet.


2. Duluth, MN

No matter what stage of life you’re in, Duluth is a great place to live. Perched on Lake Superior, in the northeastern part of Minnesota, Duluth boasts striking views year-round.

The medium-sized city is an outdoorsy person’s dream, with opportunities for outdoor recreation every season. You can enjoy a bike ride along the Lakewalk before logging onto Slack in the morning, and a kayak session after closing your laptop for the day. With 100 parks and 150 miles of trails, you’ll never run out of views to discover. Yes, the winter may be cold, but with skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, and sledding, you’ll hardly notice.

Duluth also has outstanding healthcare, above-average high-speed internet connections, and is business-friendly. It is home to many startups and small businesses, and if you’re considering earning a degree, there are several universities and colleges nearby.

3. Columbus, OH

Winner of “Remote-Ready Cities” in 2021, the capital of Ohio is a diverse and vibrant city. It was also ranked the number five best city to live in the world!

Columbus is home to 370 parks and more than 200 miles of trails, and it’s also close to several state parks and regional wilderness areas. The neighborhoods are walkable, too, so you can squeeze in midday walks in between Zoom calls. There’s also a free public climbing wall!

It’s not just a town for outdoorsy folks, either. Music-lovers will enjoy the annual Jazz & Rib Fest, and museum-goers will fall in love with the many museums and public art.

4. Irving, TX

Home of the Dallas Cowboys, Irving is a great place to get your sports on. It offers the best of the urban lifestyle and suburban comforts.

Because it’s close to Dallas, you can pop into the city and enjoy a multitude of coworking spaces, coffee shops, and public libraries for a change of scenery if you work remote while still enjoying the more affordable prices in Irving. But Irving itself has plenty of hiking trails and parks, as well as its own plethora of restaurants and bars. With plenty of lakes and rivers nearby, many residents enjoy paddle boarding as a hobby.


5. Portland, ME

A coastal city, Portland is charming and underrated. Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, Portland offers something for everyone with its rocky beaches, marshes, and forests. It’s also only three hours from Acadia National Park, home to some of the most beautiful hikes in the country.

The city itself is bike-friendly, and offers many historic walking tours. Portland is also home to a great art and local food scene, with plenty of healthy restaurant options (and the most craft breweries per capita in the country, if you enjoy a beer after a long hike).

And even though it only has a population of 70,000, Portland draws in plenty of startups, particularly those run by female entrepreneurs. In 2015, it ranked as the fifth best city in the US to start a business.

6. Tucson, AZ

If you love hiking but don’t love cold weather, consider Tucson, where the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees! Its desert beauty and surrounding mountains offer majestic views you can enjoy year-round.

One of the most bikeable cities in the country, Tucson has a series of 130 miles of hiking, walking and horseback riding trails with separated bike lanes called the “Loop.”

Named one of the Top 10 Remote-Ready Cities in the US, Tucson has a lower-than-average cost of living and a growing economy. It’s home to many co-working spaces and its Warehouse Arts District draws in creatives from all over the country.

7. Madison, WI

In 2019, Madison claimed the number 5 spot in the American Fitness Index, largely in part because it boasts the highest ratio of parks and playgrounds per 10,000 residents, at 11.3 and 7, respectively.

This city of 250,000+ also loves to exercise and consume fruit! Flanked by lakes, the city's residents spend a lot of time boating and fishing. For those who love skiing, the nearest resorts are less than an hour away.

Downtown Madison also has its own draws with its vibrant arts, food, and music scenes. It's also a great place to commute on bike, with a widespread network of bike lanes and its own bike-share program.

8. Santa Cruz, CA

Last but certainly not least is Santa Cruz, an often-overlooked city in California. Although the cost of living is higher here than the rest of the cities on this list, Santa Cruz wins out in terms of activity. A whopping 88.9% of adults who live there report exercising, and it has plenty of publicly accessible places for physical activity. Its population consistently ranks low for obesity and diabetes.

Known for its boardwalk, Santa Cruz is a great place to live if you like to surf. And with sunshine 250 days a week, you’ll never suffer from a Vitamin D deficiency. There’s nothing like an invigorating hike before starting the workday; just head north to the Santa Cruz mountains and enjoy the sweeping views of the ocean below.

Santa Cruz is both a college town and a beach town, but it’s a great place for families to live, too, with its highly-rated public education system and nearby universities.

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