Anywhere in the US: The Selection Process

I won a fitness competition at my work! The prize? Two tickets anywhere in the continental US (Cool employer, right?)!

But there are so many cities and so many continental-US-states! How to choose?

The criteria:

  1. Must be somewhere neither Rob nor I have been. Being that my family took many road trips while I was growing up, this eliminated many cities from consideration.
  2. Must be KIND of tricky to fly to (read: a higher price tag than my frugal self would normally deem acceptable).
  3. Must have a mixture of urban culture and the great outdoors.
  4. Must trend on the progressive side of things (read: less racism, some veg-friendliness, and breweries).

After hours of sorting through various Best Cities lists, I found this list of Top Cities to Visit in Your 20s by the Huffington Post and was hooked! Lots of cool options.

We ended up debating between Missoula, MT, Denver, CO, and Asheville, NC. My conclusions:

Missoula was the least veg-friendly of the three (according to a quick search on Happy Cow). It also looked almost too hard to get to – we worried we’d regret going for an entire week! Bookmarked for a later adventure.

Denver is too easy to get to. We have friends there, and I get regular updates on cheap flights to Denver – we are way more likely to go here when we actually have to pay for the tickets.

Asheville was named the Best City for Locavores by The Daily Meal, has an obscene amount of breweries-per-capita, is right next to the Smokies and the Appalachian Trail and has a store dedicated entirely to chocolate. Need I say more?