Friends hiking in winter with large pine trees in background

7 Best Outdoorsy Places to Retire

Congratulations! If you’re reading this article chances are you’re closing in on your final career years and getting ready to enjoy open-ended days full of adventure. Or maybe you’re still a long ways off, and dreaming. Either way, these seven outdoorsy places to retire are choice for due to their adventurous outdoor scene, opportunities for volunteerism, and a laid-back lifestyle.

Gunnison, CO


Paddling, hiking, climbing, and skiing are all within 40 minutes of Gunnison. What more could you want in your retirement? Opportunities for volunteerism? Check. Environmentally conscious community? Also check.

Portland, OR


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Although it’s rain may give you pause, Portland is a rare city in that it’s access to mountains and oceans is about the same: an hour and a half max to both. The city is also ranked #5 in volunteer opportunities.

Chattanooga, TN


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Chattanooga is on the rise for outdoor adventure. Enthusiasts of all disciplines: cycling, climbing, canyoneering, paddling, you name it, can all pick their adventure here. And the town itself is charming as well. Boutique shops, three climbing gyms, and a vast array of unique places to eat.

Missoula, MT


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This college town is perfect for those who are done with working, but not necessarily with learning. Proximity to the University of Montana offers the opportunity to audit classes before or after they’ve taken a few laps in the backcountry, or cast a few dry flys.

Taos, NM


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If the infamous white room of powder isn’t enough to draw you into Taos, maybe the class IV rapids along the Rio Grande, or the warm waters of the Black Rock Hot Springs will lure you in. Taos’ landscape is what makes it so great, as it’s at the intersection of desert and the Rockies.

Hanalei, HI


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This small village off the coast of Kauai, is the quiet retreat after years of city hustlin’. With only 450 inhabitants, you’ll get to know your neighbors, and maybe even tag along on their hikes through the rainforest. There’s no life like island life.

The beauty of retirement? You don’t necessarily have to pick just one place. Why not summer in Hawaii and winter in Taos? Or travel to a new city every season? Whatever you decide, may your days be full of adventure.