When it comes to place of residence sometimes quality of life is more important than endless opportunities for business and pleasure. There's a lot to be said about cities that put just as much effort into building their community as they do their economy. Fortunately, you don't have to move out to the country to find the simple life as not all urban areas revolve solely around the hustle and bustle of downtown. If you’re the type of person who prefers living easy over living loud, here are a few places you can go to find a career and a quieter lifestyle.
Even though it is one of the largest cities in the United States with a population estimated at 1.3 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, San Diego is a great place for easy living. Located on the Pacific Ocean's coastline, this city has 25 miles of sandy beaches and an average of over 250 days of sunshine in which to enjoy them. There are also 36 libraries, 52 recreation centers, and 190 community and neighborhood parks, according to the City of San Diego. Known as "America's Finest City," San Diego is among the safest cities in the country and has a thriving economy with significant growth in the manufacturing, defense, tourism, and agriculture industries.
Located near the Rocky Mountains at the base of the famous Pikes Peak, the scenery here alone is enough to make you value a peaceful existence. With over 150 parks, 160 miles of park hiking trails, and 61 miles of mountain bike trails, those who love the great outdoors will feel at home in the City of Colorado Springs. It has a strong economy and low unemployment rate thanks to large employers like the military, information processing companies, national nonprofit associations, manufacturing plants, and software and systems firms. Affordable living, low crime rates, and a growing transportation system are just a few other things that make Colorado Springs a stress-free place to live.
Although the U.S. Census Bureau reported an estimated population of 1.2 million in 2009, you won't feel crowded in this Texas city. With a rich history and unique culture, San Antonio is not only a great place to take a quiet vacation but also a peaceful place to live. According to the City of San Antonio, there is an average of 300 days of annual sunshine in which to enjoy San Antonio's 233 parks, sixty-eight miles of urban hike and bike trails, and over 40 public and private golf courses. The cost of living in the Alamo City is below the national average as well as its unemployment rate, making it a great place to begin a career in industries like manufacturing, government health care and financial services.
Located in Central North Carolina, Raleigh offers the best of both worlds as it is within traveling distance of the Great Smokey Mountains to the west and Atlantic Beach to the east. It is consistently recognized as one of the best places in the country to live, and boasts a comfortable climate, stable economy, affordable living, and a steadily decreasing crime rate. Along with the cultural opportunities available at Raleigh's many theaters and museums, the City of Oaks has a lot to offer when it comes to leisure. The City of Raleigh manages several art and community centers as well as greenway system that consists of over 60 miles of parks and recreational trails where members of the community can enjoy nature and outdoor activities like walking, jogging, hiking, fishing, and bird watching.
While it may not be one of the first cities that come to mind when it comes to easy urban living, Portland is a great place to live, work, and play. Located between two mountain ranges, this city has mild weather, growing employment opportunities, and affordable living options. The Portland Business Alliance reported that with 94 different neighborhoods to choose from, Portland has the lowest housing costs of the major metropolitan West Coast cities. According to Portland Parks and Recreation, the city also offers over 10,000 acres of parks and natural areas, 13 community centers, 145 miles of trail, and five public golf courses.