It's no wonder natives of the Mile High City are close to the top of the active list: The area enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year and is a mere 20-minute ride from the Rockies. Although less than 2 percent currently commute by bike, the city aims to increase that number to at least 10 percent by 2018: Denver is now the second U.S. city to institute a bike-share program, providing 500 bikes at nearly 50 stations around the city.

Hot trend in town

Locals love being outside, so when they do hit the gym, they want sports-specific and functional training to help them with all their outdoor sports. Forza Fitness and Performance Club ( is the place to go, thanks to a rock climbing wall, saltwater lap pool, and 30-degree incline wall that mimics steep climbing terrain.

Residents Report: "Why I love this city!"

"The culture here is work hard, play hard. My friends and I are always talking about the next adventure, race, or workout. And the altitude probably helps our conditioning because we have to work a little harder to breathe!"

- CARI LEVY, 38, physician

Healthiest hotel

The intimate Inn at Cherry Creek is just a few minutes from downtown, a short distance from the Cherry Creek bike path, and smack in the middle of this trendy arts, dining, and shopping area. Use the modest gym in the hotel or get a free pass to neighbor Kinetic Fitness Studio; you can also rent bikes from nearby Cherry Creek Bike Rack. From $175;

Eat here

Il Posto's ( northern Italian cuisine features local organic produce and meats plus fresh seafood; the menu changes daily. Dining alone? Watch Milanese-born chef Andrea Frizzi do his thing in the open-air kitchen.