An elderly man and woman hiking take a selfie with their dog.

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7 Most Affordable Outdoorsy Places

June 6, 2022

Americans have become outdoor enthusiasts since the pandemic began. Fifth-three percent of individuals participated in outdoor recreational activities in 2021—a record high, according to a recent Outdoor Industry Association survey.

Americans’ love for the outdoors has had a big influence on real estate as buyers search for homes that allow them to enjoy outside activities more.

“During the pandemic, we saw a shift in migration trends from urban cores to areas with [smaller populations and more] outdoor amenities,” Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, told®. “Mountain regions and smaller coastal metros were in particularly large demand.”

But many outdoor hot spots can be pricey areas to live in.®’s research team identified the top cities for outdoor enthusiasts that offer affordable prices and an abundance of activities, evaluating median listing prices in April over the 500 largest metro areas and factoring in metrics like bike friendliness, outdoors-related businesses per household, park locations, and more. They selected one metro per state to ensure geographic diversity. They identified the seven most affordable places to live for outdoor lovers as:

1. Urbana, Ill.

  • Median home list price: $165,000

2. Madison, Wis.

  • Median home list price: $410,000

3. Iowa City, Iowa

  • Median home list price: $320,000

4. Bloomington, Ind.

  • Median home list price: $375,000

5. El Paso, Texas

  • Median home list price: $280,000

6. Columbia, Mo.

  • Median home list price: $349,000

7. State College, Pa.

  • Median home list price: $340,000

Read more about these locations and what makes them such outdoor meccas and see the full list of 10 great outdoors areas.