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San Francisco Region
It's Billings, Montana's central location that provides a vast array of recreational activities for outdoor lovers - world-class trout fishing in the area's rivers, as well as hunting and camping. Or, take a ride along Montana's countryside on your skis or snowmobile. The opportunity to enjoy the outdoors is virtually endless, because Billings is surrounded by an array of natural treasures, from Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, to Custer and Bighorn National Forests. You might even opt to take in the scope of cultural activities at Billings' art museum, the symphony, Alberta Bair theater and the Metra Park fairgrounds. Or, tee off for a round of golf at one of the local public courses. If you like to shop, check out Billings' recently renovated downtown area, with its historic shopping district. Are you interested in higher learning? If so, there are several colleges and universities are right in the area. The "Magic City" of Billings is brimming with the legendary heritage of the Old West, friendly people and a low cost of living.
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As they say, you'll love LA. One of the most culturally diverse cities in the US, it is home to the world's entertainment and "star"-gazing capital - Hollywood. Typical daily temperatures are ideally comfortable, and 76 miles of beaches and boardwalks ensure a grand scope for the imagination, and outdoor activities. Popular local pastimes are biking, walking, golfing, scuba diving, sailing and windsurfing… and the nearby Santa Monica Mountains are perfect for hiking. In fact, the recreational opportunities in the region are virtually endless. Fine arts lovers enjoy the myriad cultural events and concerts, as well as the Getty Center Museum, while fans of the famous seek out Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Or, there are the family favorites of Universal Studios Theme Park and the Los Angeles Zoo. And, don't forget to eat at some of the best restaurants in the county -- featuring every imaginable cuisine.
Orange County (Mission Viejo)
Positioned between San Diego and Los Angeles, Mission Viejo residents enjoy year-round golfing, swimming, tennis, biking, rollerblading and more, below Orange County's sunny skies and surrounded by moderate temperatures. The area's scenery is striking, from beach to mountain, with easy accessibility to theater, professional sports and historical landmarks. One such landmark, Mission San Juan Capistrano, is recognized as the birthplace of Orange County. If you're looking for family fun in the sun, head to Wild Rivers Water Park in Irvine. Or, for a more serene experience, visit Dana Point for whale watching, or the local zoos. For those who are inclined to the arts, the annual Art-a-Fair Festival at Laguna Canyon is a must to see. In fact, every season holds something new to enjoy, from the delicacies of the Strawberry Festival in spring, to the classical Baroque Music Festival in summer, to Oktoberfest in the fall, to the excitement of the renowned Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game in winter.
Further information on living and working in Mission Viejo can be found here:
"The Valley of the Sun," and Arizona's sixth-largest city, Phoenix's 400-square-mile metro area is home to more than 20 communities, including Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe. It also affords more than 180 golf courses, world-class shopping and dining, and professional sports. The "dry heat" of the climate offers 300-plus comfortable sunny days a year of high desert temperatures. This great weather provides for an abundance of recreational activities throughout the region's scenic geography of deserts, pine forests, red rocks and valleys. There are also several diverse cultural festivals and events for families to enjoy during the year, along with museums and fine arts. Among Phoenix's many resorts and excursion opportunities, the area provides residents with affordable housing.
Portland (Lake Oswego)
Situated just eight miles south of Portland, you will catch a charming glimpse of English Cottage and Tudor Revival homes built between 1920 and 1940 in Lake Oswego's older neighborhoods. In keeping with the tradition of its unique community architecture, the city boasts its own fine arts collection, most of which can be viewed at City Hall and in the Public Library. Surrounded by more than 100 parks, 50 miles of trails, tax-free shopping, and professional sports, the area is at the center of the state's commerce, culture and cuisine. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Pioneer Courthouse Square and the Grotto are popular Portland destinations for those who enjoy the outdoors. The local scenery is perfect for hiking and picnicking. Area waterways are great for rafting, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, boating and fishing. And, when you've worked up an appetite, you'll find every kind of food imaginable at area eateries and restaurants. Or, take a short drive to Mt. Hood, Willamette Valley wine country, Columbia Gorge and the Oregon coast. There are also botanical gardens, the Children's Museum and the Oregon Zoo where families can wile away the hours. And, for evening entertainment, you can head downtown to catch a ballet or symphony, or check out a nightclub. The region's moderate temperatures throughout the year make urban and rural living easy, with a small-town feeling set against the clean and contemporary cityscape of nearby Portland.
Welcome to historic Roseville, just north of Sacramento -- the state capital of California! Outlined by the Sacramento and American rivers, the area's soothing, sunny summers and cool, overcast winters lend the city its unique personality. It's a climate that makes recreational activities such as fishing, rafting, boating and swimming the norm at nearby Folsom and Natoma Lakes. Or, relax and rejuvenate at any one of more than 100 area parks, golf courses and sports complexes. There are several local professional teams, and the Sacramento also plays host to the annual International Marathon. Families enjoy the amusements of the California State Fair in late summer, as well as riverboat cruises, the Sacramento Zoo and Six Flags Waterworld. Music fans get into the groove of the yearly Jazz Jubilees, and shoppers relish the bargains they find at the Folsom Outlets.
Salt Lake City
From mountain to valley, Salt Lake City holds its own natural charms. With an elevation of 4,330 feet about sea level, the city resides on land that once held a massive prehistoric lake -- Lake Bonneville. Today, the area provides distinct seasons that cater to local recreational activities. In spring, temperatures are mild over the green valley. In summer, the sun is pleasant and warm. The coolness of fall brings forth the vibrant colors of the mountains and canyons. And winter resorts attract skiers from around the world who come for "the greatest snow on earth." Many recreational activities exist for families, as well, such as mountain biking in Moab, and water skiing on Lake Powell. Salt Lake is also home to several fine arts organizations, with celebrated dance and theatre companies, the Utah Symphony, the Utah Opera and the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, as well as museums and galleries. Professional sports abound, too, with WNBA basketball, IHL hockey, WISL indoor soccer, USL soccer and AAA baseball. For shopping enthusiasts, there are nine malls in the Salt Lake area.
Liberal attitudes, politics and eccentricity are the catchwords that define San Francisco's nature, though it also maintains a decidedly romantic aura. Its beauty is derived from the area's steep hills that are lined with Victorian homes, green spaces and the cool, sparkling bay. The city's climate is described as "perfect," with exchanges of sunshine and fog, lending the "nostalgic, provincial" feel of San Francisco its appeal as a world-class city, where its Financial District serves as the financial center of the West Coast. Along with the lifestyle of high finance come the elegant stores, hotels and theaters, found in Union Square. Or, if your tastes lean toward Oriental cuisine, you might venture to Chinatown, first established in 1846 when several Chinese-Americans began opening businesses around Portsmouth Square. Feeling a bit bohemian? North Beach is the destination where you can catch the lingering beat of the Beat generation. Or, take a walk through Haight-Ashbury's boutiques and eateries for a glimpse into the scene of San Francisco's 1960's counterculture. And, of course, Golden Gate Park is a national treasure to behold, with its flower gardens and museums… not to mention the masterpiece bridge. The San Francisco area is conducive to all types of recreation, from professional sports to biking, diving and surfing, to fine arts entertainment. There are also a number of higher learning institutions available for those interested in furthering their education.
Situated comfortably between Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, the moderate temperatures and plentiful precipitation of Seattle provide rich vegetation and handsome views of this "Rain City." Year-round recreational activities include boating, biking, hiking and skiing, with Mount Rainier standing prominently at an elevation of 14,410 feet. If you prefer to keep your feet at ground level, you'll enjoy the cultural events that abound in the city, from the symphony at Benaroya Hall to theater performances, the Space Needle and professional sports teams, such as the Seahawks, Mariners, Sonics and Storm. Need a night out on the town? Check out Seattle's famous music scene at the local clubs and bars. And, when you need a boost of energy, get your fill of caffeine at one of Seattle's many cafes and espresso bars.
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