There’s more to green living than just recycling and eating organic food. Living green includes everything we do, especially when it comes to travel. While some urban areas depend on skyscrapers and cars to drive tourism, a growing number of cities throughout the U.S. are making it easier for visitors to see the sights while being mindful of the environment. Here are four of the greenest cities in the U.S. to visit.
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Image via Flickr by TimWilson
Although it is known for brutal winters, Minneapolis is home to a huge bike sharing program and encourages tourists and residents to bike everywhere, no matter the weather. It’s the most bike-friendly city in the U.S. and features bike lanes everywhere for easy cycling access. Minneapolis has some of the highest-ranked green spaces in the country, and Target Field collects and recycles nearly three million gallons of rainwater a year. Even its indoor spaces are eco-friendly: the famous Mall of America uses only solar power and has no central heating system.
Green space dominates Atlanta, where the city has made an effort to incorporate parks and open spaces in the middle of urban areas. Miles of walking and biking trails run throughout the city, including the Atlanta Beltline. There is a huge variety of unique things to do in Atlanta, including The World of Coca-Cola, CNN studio tour, and renowned theaters, aquariums, and restaurants. Atlanta is also known for its LEED-certified buildings, with more than half of offices in the city recognized for meeting energy efficiency requirements.
Although the nation’s capital is known for its terrible traffic congestion, it has one of the freshest and most locally sourced dining scenes in the country with a number of LEED- and Green-Restaurant-certified establishments. The city’s popular mass transit system moves thousands of people on buses and subways every day. Washington D.C. also has a huge system of parks and open space, with more than 230,000 acres throughout the city. Eco-friendly hotels make it easy for visitors to make green choices, and in some cases even donate a portion of the daily rate to environmental organizations.
Image via Flickr by pasa47
Portland was eco-friendly before it was trendy. Half of the city’s power comes from renewable sources, and an eco-friendly attitude is everywhere. Mass transit is popular throughout the city, as is bicycling, and a number of restaurants and bars even save prime parking spaces for bikes. Portland has more residents that bike to work than any other city in the country. Portland also has a thriving culinary scene with vegan and organic ingredients that are sourced locally from the area’s many farms.
Tourists don’t have to grow their carbon footprints just to see new places around the country. Thanks to efforts to expand green offerings like local restaurants, mass transit, and open spaces, visitors to these green cities can enjoy everything the places have to offer without sacrificing their dedication to the environment. Find your favorite green city and book your eco-friendly trip today.
What are your favorite green cities?
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