The goal was simple: find America’s best place to be healthy.
We wanted a town with ample trailheads, nearby adventure, great farmers’ markets, and, hopefully, a competitive gear-shop scene. In our third-annual crowdsourced contest, readers cast more than 21,000 votes online and raved about these 18 towns.
Every few minutes, little knots of bikers pedal past.
But he does manage this: "You guys should have put us in the fight a long time ago." Williams is referring to the drubbing Park City gave the other active-towns finalists, from Bozeman to San Diego, in this year's Best Town Ever contest. He was elected to his third term in 2009 with 78 percent of the vote.
But he won't be running for reelection in November. He supplements his $1,700 monthly salary by working as a barista at a local coffee shop and playing gigs with his rock group, Motherlode Canyon.
Every January, 50,000 moviemakers, celebrities, and film buffs descend on Sundance.
Tourism now brings in more than $50 million a year. Park City's greatest challenge seems to be courting the wealthy without ousting the middle class. Part of that is because locals can commute to high-paying finance and real estate jobs in Salt Lake, and there's a small but vibrant outdoor industry in town, with Backcountry.com, Rossignol, and Ramp skis calling Park City home.
But living in utopia is expensive—60 percent higher than the national average.