FOR TRUE NATURE LOVERS
Twelve thousand Montana State University students can't be wrong: The Bozone (as locals call it) has college culture, a newly vibrant historic downtown, and near-instant access to world-class hiking, camping, and fishing. And Yellowstone National Park is 90 minutes away.
Vital stat: 23 fly-fishing shops and guiding services
Ready to relocate? Median price: $320,000
FOR FRUGAL FOODIES
Think of it as Aspen for the rest of us. Just 30 miles down the valley from the West's most glam mountain town, Carbondale boasts similar scenery ― and, recently, a restaurant scene on par with Aspen's.
Vital stats: 28 restaurants, 4 four-star chefs
Ready to relocate? Median price: $712,000 (a bargain compared with Aspen's $5.75 million)
FOR THE STARRY-EYED
It's Arizona ― but don't think cactus, think ponderosa pine. Forget golf; here you get great hiking and mountain biking. It's a college town, a Grand Canyon gateway (90 minutes away), base camp for the Southwest's rafting community, and a haven for stargazers.