Portland has experienced double-digit population growth for the past few decades, in no small part because of its bucolic surroundings and laid-back attitude. A high ratio of parks to residents, as well as easy access to both mountains and coast, make the area a hub for outdoor fun, from windsurfing to snowboarding (even in the summer!).
Fit Stop: Cyclocross A growing number of local women are trying cyclocross—a mix of cycling, running, and a whole lot of mud. Hotspots to practice your skills are Pier Park in North Portland and Mount Tabor on the Southeast Side. Most races feature a hilly course that includes obstacles like stairs and puddles. (For local events, visit crosscrusade.com).