10 Cities Fit for Active Lifestyles

By Dan Bukszpan, CNBC.com

When it comes to resources for the physically active, not all US cities are created equal. Some have more parks and bicycle lanes than others. Some are blessed with perfect climates. Some are situated next to national parks. And some simply have a lot of gyms. But what they all have in common are attributes that encourage people to get outside and stay active.

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Ty Milford | Radius Images | Getty ImagesTy Milford | Radius Images | Getty ImagesSeattle, Washington
Seattle has many resources for the physically active. Discovery Park has miles of hiking trails over its 500 acres, and Lake Union is a popular destination for swimmers and water skiers. Alki Beach is accessible by a water taxi, and its appeal isn't limited just to swimmers. It's a popular destination for bike riders, inline skaters, joggers and even garden-variety pedestrians.

Celin Serbo | Aurora | Getty ImagesCelin Serbo | Aurora | Getty ImagesDenver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado is one of the most active cities in the United States. The bike-friendly city offers 850 miles of trails to cyclists, in addition to 100 free public tennis courts and 200 parks. Like Seattle, Denver is home to one of REI's two flagship stores, so anyone who forgets their hiking gear or bicycle helmet can easily rent or buy replacements.

Opportunities to be active don't stop at the city limits. The Rocky Mountains are right in Denver's backyard and offer such pursuits as skiing and hiking, and it's close enough that you can spend all day on the mountain and still get home in time for American Idol.

George Rose | Getty ImagesGeorge Rose | Getty ImagesBoulder, Colorado
Boulder is more than just the city where Mork from Ork's egg-shaped spaceship landed. The city, which is home to the Ultimate Frisbee Players Association, is a popular destination for people interested in such outdoor sports as hiking, skiing and snowboarding, and with more than 38,000 acres of park there's a lot of room for tourists and residents to do it in.

Boulder has 200 miles of biking paths and hiking trails, and the mountains situated in full view of the city are irresistible to climbers. Boulder Reservoir is a popular fishing area populated with catfish, largemouth bass and walleye, and those with a flair for the dramatic can go glider flying after taking lessons at Mile High Gliding , which offers lessons and rentals 365 days a year.

Eric Millette | Workbook Stock | Getty ImagesEric Millette | Workbook Stock | Getty ImagesSan Francisco, California
With more than 70 parks, year-round moderate weather and a steep landscape that offers a workout from a simple trip to the corner store, San Francisco makes it easy to stay active. Some of its steepest inclines have been mentioned on the website Stairways of San Francisco , which highlights areas like Telegraph Hill, an ascent so precipitous that a 377-step staircase was built into it to make it accessible to pedestrians.

San Francisco offers its fair share of health clubs, tennis courts, golf courses and bicycle paths. However, it's situated in the heart of the Bay Area, which offers a wealth of destinations for the physically active tourist. Santa Rosa, situated in the area's wine region, connects with Annadel State Park and Santa Cruz is located between Monterey Bay and the Redwood Forest, making it convenient for hiking or kayaking.

Marc Romanelli | Riser | Getty ImagesMarc Romanelli | Riser | Getty ImagesSante Fe, New Mexico
At over 7,000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe is the highest state capital in the US. However, once you get used to the altitude, the city has a wide range of activities to enjoy. Fishing enthusiasts have the bass, perch and salmon of the Abiquiu and Cochiti lakes. Tennis players have more than 40 public courts to choose from. And less than 20 miles northeast of the city is Ski Santa Fe, a skiing facility located on Tesque Peak.

Hikers have 1,000 miles of trails in the adjacent wilderness areas, which include Jemez Mountain National Recreation Area and Pecos Wilderness. Cyclists have the rugged bike paths of Caja del Rio west of the city. And those looking for something more laid back --- a lot more laid back --- can go to Mellow Velo Bikes and rent reproductions of 1950s-model bicycles, complete with baskets on the front.

See the full list of America's Most Active Cities