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These U.S. Cities Have The Most Green Spaces

Nature is good for your brain, and these small cities have a great mix of concrete buildings and fresh green grass.


From National Geographic

Being near nature is good for you. There are plenty of mental and physical health benefits. If you are traveling to a city, why not make sure it’s one that would make it easy to stroll through a park on your way to dinner, or pass by nature as you head to a matinee?

We worked with Resonance to find small cities in the U.S. (population of 600,000 and less) that had the most parks to their name, and then found the ones that make for the best vacation spots. These urban destinations have everything you’d expect in a city, plus some extra green space to stumble onto as you wander.



Charleston, South Carolina

[post_ads]At the southern tip of the city's peninsula, White Point Gardens commands a view of Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter. The historic park—a public space for nearly two centuries—offers visitors a number of monuments and military displays.
Photograph by Peter Frank Edwards, Redux



Asheville, North Carolina

From Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower, in Pisgah National Forest, visitors can see autumn sweep across the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located just 20 miles outside Asheville, this national forest boasts over half a million acres of beautiful mountain scenery.
Photograph by Al Petteway & Amy White, National Geographic Creative



Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Just outside of the state capital, Alligator Bayou offers visitors the chance to kayak or take guided river tours to experience the picturesque cypress flats—and see an alligator or two.
Photograph by Christian Heeb, laif/Redux
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San Luis Obispo, California

The 17-mile-long Pismo State Beach is home to both stunning Pacific views and unique wildlife. A popular vehicular recreation area, the beach also offers visitors from October to February the chance to see America's largest overwintering monarch butterfly population.
Photograph by Melissa Golden, Redux



Olympia, Washington

Though Washington, D.C., may be famous for its cherry blossoms, the capital city of Washington state also boasts the beautiful blooms. Recent projects have further greened the downtown streets linking the capitol building, shown here, with a popular farmer's market.
Photograph by Greg Vaughn, VW PICS/UIG/Getty



Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

While the Atlantic destination's amusement parks, golf courses, and boardwalks are popular with the summer vacation crowd, Myrtle Beach State Park provides a quieter nature escape for people like this wintertime beachcomber.
Photograph by Kevin Trageser, Redux
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Dayton, Ohio

The West Milton Cascades are tucked right in downtown West Milton, part of the Dayton metropolitan area. After taking in the overlook, visitors can branch off to the other falls nearby.
Photograph by Stan Rohrer, Alamy



Madison, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin capital is home to five lakes—of which Lake Mendota, shown here, is the largest—and 11 public beaches. Visitors can also enjoy over 6,000 acres of parkland throughout the city.
Photograph by Timothy Mulholland, Alamy



Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

The Susquehanna River, which flows nearly 500 miles from New York to the Chesapeake Bay, bisects the city of Harrisburg, where historic riverfront parks let visitors take in scenic views. Visitors can also enjoy a paddleboat cruise or quiet spot of fishing.
Photograph by Scott Sroka, National Geographic Creative
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Ventura, California

Channel Islands National Park is made up of five islands, ranging from one to 96 square miles in size. This park, though home to beautiful views, hikes, and abundant wildlife, is a good destination for those looking to go a little off the beaten path.
Photograph by J. Emilio Flores, The New York Times/Redux

See more at: National Geographic

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Travel Magazine: These U.S. Cities Have The Most Green Spaces
These U.S. Cities Have The Most Green Spaces
Nature is good for your brain, and these small cities have a great mix of concrete buildings and fresh green grass.
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