We’re a pretty adventurous place, Austin.
Only Anchorage, Alaska ranked higher than our city in Men’s Health magazine’s list of Most Adventurous Cities in America. And they’ve got grizzly bears and icebergs, for goodness sake.
The magazine took into account the percentage of people participating in sports, the percentage of people who engage in vigorous activity five or more days a week, the ratio of parkland to city size, the number of recreational businesses, the percentage of income spent on recreation and more when it compiled its list. It based its calculations on an array of statistical information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Trust for Public Land, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.
Austin scored points because lots of people participate in outdoor activity here, and do it often. Credit the lakes, too. (Although last time I checked, our lakes were more about drinking beer and lounging on boats than actually doing adventurous things). We do have a healthy community of trail runners, stand-up paddleboarders, yogis, cyclists and kayakers. Plus, we’ve got 227 official miles of trails (and a lot more that aren’t exactly official), nearly 21,000 acres of green space and that awesome trail around Lady Bird Lake.
Anchorage smoked us in the parkland department. The much chillier city has nearly a million acres of parkland, plus plenty of residents who take advantage of it and lots of businesses that cater to those people.
The top 10 Most Adventurous Cities in America, according to Men’s Health, are Anchorage; Austin; Madison, Wisc.; Minneapolis; San Diego; Raleigh; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Boston; Seattle; and Fargo, South Dakota.
Austin blew away every other Texas city, too. Fort Worth placed 20th. Other Texas cities on the list? Dallas at 34, Plano at 35, San Antonio at 37, Houston at 38, El Paso at 40, Laredo at 46, Lubbock at 50 and Corpus Christi at 55. (Wait, Plano is more adventurous than Corpus? What about that ocean?)
Birmingham, Alabama came in last, at number 100.
Check out the entire list here.