Tired of the daily grind? Find a slower-paced, stress-free life in these dream towns
Boulder Creek, CA
Just over the hill from shmancy Woodside, absurdly rural Boulder Creek (and neighbor La Honda) has the open space to keep cyclists, hikers, and horses happy.
Population: 4,923; median single-family home: $379,618
Cowichan Bay, B.C.
A salty seaside village with a burgeoning artisanal food scene, it nabbed a "slow city" designation from Italy's Cittaslow. And with, okay, a somewhat rainy-dismal winter, it's still affordable.
Population: 2,575; median single-family home: $367,600
Vashon Island, WA
Just a 20-minute ferry ride from Seattle, this forested, farm-y land is studded with honor-bar fruit stands, and hosts professionals who are artist-hippies at heart.
Population: 11,000; median single-family home: $400,000
Only 25 miles separate this mountain hamlet from ritzy Jackson Hole, but the crowds (and prices) have stayed low-key. Outdoorsy newcomers mix with ranchers in a town with four organic farms, two microbreweries, and a bike shop run by the former mayor.
Population: 1,928; median single-family home: $189,000