Nat Geo, Gallup and author Dan Buettner have announced The 25 Happiest Cities in the United States based on The National Geographic/Blue Zones® Index. The Index was specifically developed to measure a population’s happiness based on 15 metrics including civic engagement, walkability and healthful food options. Boulder, Colorado tops the list with walkability, access to nature and sense of community as contributing factors to its residents’ happiness.
In his eye-opening new book, The Blue Zones of Happiness (National Geographic Books), the author turns the spotlight from health to happiness revealing surprising secrets of the world’s happiest places—and shows us how we can all apply the lessons of true happiness to our own lives. Are you fortunate enough to live in one of these lovely, happiest cities in America?
San Luis Obispo, California
Situated on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the Town of Barnstable stretches between Nantucket Sound and Cape Cod Bay. It’s made up of seven idyllic villages, including Hyannis.
Anchorage is the starting point for countless Alaskan adventures, with five national parks nearby and plenty of daylight during the summer.
Santa Barbara, CA
The Santa Maria-Santa Barbara metro area, about a hundred miles from Los Angeles, has plenty to see in its own right. Walkable streets, beach and mountain views, and a Mediterranean climate make this “American Riviera” a Pacific Coast gem.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California’s steep hills inspired its famous cable car system. Inventor Andrew Smith Hallidie wanted to create a safe mode of transport around the hilly city. His cable car system began operating in 1873.
It’s no surprise that California is home to many of the happiest places in America, including Ventura. With its combination of great weather, beaches, and nearby national forests, adventure awaits around every corner.
San Diego, California
Visitors come from all over the world to Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre oasis in San Diego, California. The urban park includes the famous San Diego Zoo, home to more than 3,500 animals.
Within Austin’s Zilker Park is Barton Springs, a three-acre pool with water sourced from underground springs. People from all walks of life take advantage of this year-round pool.
Full list of 25 Happiest cities in America:
- Boulder, CO
- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
- Charlottesville, VA
- Fort Collins, CO
- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Provo-Orem, UT
- Bridgeport-Stamford, CT
- Barnstable Town, MA
- Anchorage, AK
- Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL
- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
- Salinas, CA
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
- Urban Honolulu, HI
- Ann Arbor, MI
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Manchester-Nashua, NH
- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
- Portland-South Portland, ME
- Austin-Round Rock, TX