May 25, 2022
It’s common to have a career determine the place where you live. In many cases, this means moving where abundant career opportunities are found, often in or near a citified area. While this kind of move may make sense, it often comes with sacrifices that are common to urban areas, such as high costs of living, smaller dwelling size, urban landscapes, pollution, and higher crime.
If you’d prefer to be surrounded by nature while still working on your career, remote work can bring work opportunities to your computer while you live anywhere you’d like (even if it means a city with plenty of nature). Are you ready to consider more natural areas to live and work? Here are some top choices of best places to live for nature lovers around the nation.
You don’t necessarily need to move to a remote location to enjoy the beauties of nature. Many towns and even cities have plenty of natural elements and activities included within them or nearby.
Highlight: West Lafayette, Indiana
West Lafayette, Indiana is one such place that offers a combination of social and cultural benefits of a bustling hub with plenty of nature to enhance your life. This area has the Wabash River, walking and biking trails, parks, walkability, and farmers' markets.
A couple who moved here shared their thoughts on the area’s nature. Zach Beauvais said, “There’s more natural beauty here than I thought on first impression. I’ve spent a lot of time at Prophetstown Park. It’s a nice place to walk, and I’ve taken some really nice photos there. There’s tons of wildlife.” Wendy Beauvais agreed, noting, “We have much bigger gardens than we’ve ever had in our lives. We have a wildflower meadow just in the garden. I sat outside the other day and thought, ‘In England, this wouldn’t be called a garden. It would be called a field.’ People would put a horse in here.”
Zach and Wendy Beauvais were surprised by the natural beauty and wildlife in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo courtesy of Purdue University)
Other Cities Filled With Nature:
San Francisco, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
Some people are looking for an adventurous lifestyle in the Great Outdoors. Does that sound like you? There are plenty of natural areas that offer an exciting outdoor lifestyle.
Highlight: Stillwater, Oklahoma
This fairly large city puts you close to the major cities of Tulsa and Oklahoma City and has many social and cultural things to do. At the same time, it feels like a small town and offers a host of natural areas to enjoy.
Local business owner, Bobby Wintle, moved to Stillwater with his wife years ago and started District Bicycles. One of the natural features they like about the area is the dirt roads for bicycling. They launched the annual bike race, The Mid South, which attracts thousands of cyclists from around the country to enjoy the trails and nature of the area.
Bobby described the experience of bicycling here: “As soon as you get onto the dirt roads, the climbs start and they never end. So, it’s climby, it feels remote, it feels like you’re out in the woods…The dirt is super red and beautiful.”
The Mid South bicycle race takes place every year in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and allows cyclists to explore the region by bike. (Photo courtesy of 241 Photography)
In addition to cycling, Stillwater also has Boomer Lake Park, walking trails, recreational areas, botanical gardens, and more, among its cultural, shopping, and dining opportunities.
Other Areas for Outdoor Adventure:
Climbing, hiking, and snowboarding in Bend, OR
Biking, hiking, and skiing in Santa Fe, NM
Biking, hiking, climbing, and fishing in Spearfish, SD
Water sports, biking, and hiking in Greenville, SC
White water rafting, hiking, fishing, and biking in Durango, CO
If you love seeing the picturesque mounds of mountains in your everyday scenery, consider some of the best mountain cities to live. It’s possible to find small towns or cities that are surrounded by beautiful mountain views.
Highlight: Beckley, West Virginia
This is one of the best mountain towns to live in for remote workers. A move to this area puts you in a small town within the stunning Appalachian Mountains. You’d be near the newest national park, New River Gorge National Park, and a host of outdoor activities that go beyond the mountains themselves.
This town has even built an incentive package based on outdoor adventures to lure remote workers to the area to live and work here. Among other benefits, the $5000 value incentive package includes free outdoor recreation opportunities that include passes to Lake Stephens, whitewater rafting, a visit to vineyards, and more.
Park City, UT
You could also consider places to live with both beaches and mountains for the best of both natural worlds. A couple of idyllic options include Oahu or Honolulu, Hawaii, or Seattle, Washington.
Of course, we can’t forget about the beach when we consider top natural areas. In this category, you have your pick of beach towns or beach cities, which both provide the relaxation and rejuvenation of endless sand and water. Some spots are found on the ocean, while others offer a coastline along the stunning blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Some Best Beach Areas in the U.S.:
Corpus Christi, TX
Virginia Beach, VA
Daytona Beach, FL
Fort Myers, FL
Places to Live With Beach and Mountains in the U.S.:
As mentioned in the previous section, there are also places to live with beaches and mountains in the same area. Good ones in the U.S. include Seattle, WA or Honolulu, HI. Also, when you’re seeking the beach lifestyle, don’t overlook lake areas, which have beautiful beaches with calm water. Some best lake towns include Big Bear Lake, CA; Oswego, NY; Laconia, NH, Eureka Springs, AR; and Lake Waccamaw, NC. You could also consider one of our highlighted spots, Beckley, WV, which is one of the best lake towns to live in with mountain features as well.
Best Beach Cities to Live in the World:
As a remote worker, you could also consider moving to a beach area outside of the U.S., which could potentially allow you the best of beach living at a lower cost. Some of the best beach cities to live in the world that also come with a low cost of living include Algarve, Portugal; Taghazout, Morocco; Canggu, Bali; Las Palmas, Spain; Koh Phi Phi, Thailand; or San Pancho, Mexico.
Are you interested in any of the spots that hold natural beauty on our list? Whether you prefer mountains, the beach, outdoor adventures or something else, the many parts of the U.S. hold places for everyone to find their ideal place to live and work. Of course, this is not a complete list of natural areas throughout the nation. The options are endless, and the future is open to you as a remote worker.