You’re not the type of traveler who’s happy sitting on the sand with a Mai Tai. If there’s beach volleyball to be played, you’re schooling folks on your serve. If the tide is cooperative, you’re out there on ripping those waves, and you’ll still have lots of energy for a four-mile run afterward–in your bare feet.
You’re fit and proud of it.
Why not plan your vacation in a city that cares about healthy living?
The American College of Sports Medicine published its second annual American Fitness Index, a report that ordered 45 metropolitan statistical areas based on 30 different factors, from the number of parks per capita to the percentage of residents with diabetes. My hometown–Virginia Beach, Va.–proudly ranked No. 10. (Yay, 23456!)
The top five aren’t just the five fittest cities, but great places to visit to boot–regardless of your athleticism. So grab that couch potato friend and hustle to …
1. Washington D.C.
You’ll definitely work up a sweat after hoofing around Georgetown, DuPont Circle, Capitol Hill, endless museums, the Washington Monument and so on. Say hi to Malia, Sasha, Michelle, Barack and oh, yes, Bo, for us. (Find your District of Columbia vacation rental here.)
2. Minneapolis St. Paul
Tons of parkland, golf courses, nature sanctuaries, gardens and lakes mean that Twin Cities residents get lots of exercise. Not to mention acres upon acres for picnics and that impromptu frisbee session with Fido. (Look for Minneapolis vacation homes.)
Secure your Iron Horse Warrior to the back of your SUV and hit the road for the Mile High City’s extensive family of trails, paths and garden- and riverside vistas. Beginners, watch out for that mountain air. Don’t overexert yourself. This is supposed to be a vacation, remember? (Find your Denver vacation home.)
Bostonians take full advantage of public transportation to go to work, a plus for visitors, because that’s proof that it’s a walking city. And if cities are like hotels, this one is certainly boutique chic–manageable, yet stylish. You’ll want to experience all that history–Boston Common, Paul Revere House, etc.–by foot. (Look for Boston vacation rentals now.)
5. San Francisco
A word of advice to first-timers: Wear flats. You’ll need them to scour every neighborhood, from cute patisseries to taquerias from Russian Hill to the Mission. If you’re lucky enough to visit during a farmer’s market, do. If you didn’t already know, there’s another reason SF ranked fifth on the AFI: Residents eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. No wonder. A walk to the farmer’s market and indulging in all those fresh samples are as much habits to locals as boozing and baseball to Chicagoans. (Search for San Francisco Bay Area vacation rentals here.)
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.