Bozeman, Montana

It doesn’t get much more scenic than Bozeman, Mont., a picturesque college town nestled between four mountain ranges and located just 90 minutes from Yellowstone National Park. A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, Bozeman boasts easy access to world-class skiing, fishing, hiking, rafting, and more.

It also offers a charming downtown area and a surprisingly vibrant cultural scene, thanks to the presence of Montana State University and a number of art and music events like the annual Sweet Pea Festival.

But it’s also a destination for urban refugees seeking a higher quality of life—some 14% of residents walk or bike to work, and the average commute time is just 13 minutes—with access to great jobs. In the past two decades, the city of (now) 42,000 has become a booming hub for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs. Oracle bought local tech giant RightNow Technologies for $1.5 billion in 2011, enabling many former employees (and newly minted millionaires) to launch their own startups. The Bozeman Technology Incubator offers free mentoring to all local tech and manufacturing businesses.

The economy is expected to keep expanding; Moody’s Analytics predicts 11.4% job growth over the next five years. —Ismat Sarah Mangla

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