Does spring fever have you itching to explore a new city? Maybe it’s time to grab some friends and take a quick vacation to see what a new city has to offer! When planning a trip, consider the air quality of the place you’re thinking about visiting; after all, no one wants to spend their vacation coughing or sneezing thanks to poor air quality. Below are five of the American Lung Association’s cleanest air cities for year-round particle pollution, along with some suggestions about which attractions you can’t miss in each location.
Cheyenne tops the ALA’s list for cleanest metropolitan area in the country for annual particle pollution, a distinction that adds to Cheyenne’s reputation as an outdoorsy city with a love for cowboys. To get your heart racing, check out the city hosts rodeos during Cheyenne Frontier Days in July, or if you prefer something more serene, the Frontier Days Old West Museum houses rodeo memorabilia. Another Cheyenne claim to fame? Eight foot tall cowboy boots decorated by local artists are planted throughout the city.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
“The City Different” is a blend of historic and trendy as the oldest state capital with the second-largest art market in the country. The Georgia O’Keeffe museum and the world-renowned International Folk Art Market are must-dos for anyone with a creative side, and Santa Fe’s high altitude location at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range gives its visitors easy access to hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and skiing.
Feeling adventurous? Anchorage’s fresh air boasts an abundance of wildlife from moose to bears to Beluga whales, and with a variety of hiking and trekking trails to choose from, brave visitors just may have a sighting to write home about. If you’re not eager to come face to face with a grizzly, drive the Seward Highway and try to catch the bore tide, a geographic phenomenon in which the front edge of the incoming tide forms a wave of water that goes against the direction of the current.
The large city in a small state, Burlington lies on the edge of Lake Champlain and within an hour of the Green Mountains. Visitors reward themselves after a long day of fresh air on the water with a trip to the Magic Hat Brewery.
What’s not to love about Orlando? Humid air, sunny beaches, and lest we forget, vacation mecca Walt Disney World and its fellow theme parks Universal Orlando, Islands of Adventure, and Sea World. If the gasps and sharp inhales of roller coasters don’t appeal to you, take an afternoon to explore Gatorland and its surrounding swamps. Careful- not too close, now!
Wherever you choose to adventure this spring, make sure you and your travel companions are breathing healthy air by choosing “green” hotels for your lodging. Enjoy taking a fresh breath of air in a new city, and happy traveling! These cleanest air cities are sure not to disappoint.