With Earth Day and all its initiatives celebrated in April, why not hop on the green train and visit a few of the cities named to the 2023 Green Cities list by ecocation.com. These cities are recognized for implementing plans to reduce waste, expand recycling, and lower emissions as they strive for a more sustainable lifestyle and lowering their carbon imprint.
Austin, Texas may be known as the “Live Music Capital of the World” but it is also one very green city. An abundance of bike lanes, regular farmers’ markets, a major solar energy initiative, and plenty of green space put Austin on the Green City list. Zilker Metropolitan Park is a 351-acre urban park that features a botanical garden, a hillside theater for music and theatre productions, a nature and science center, and a natural spring-fed pool. Another great green attraction in Austin is the Barton Creek Greenbelt where you can hike, bike, kayak or canoe, rock-climb or just perch on the rocks along the creek to enjoy the views. As for farmers’ markets, there are so many including one at the Barton Creek Square (Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.); the Texas Farmers’ Market at Mueller (Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and the Sustainable Food Center Farmers’ Market held in downtown Austin at Republic Square Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays..
(Nearest campground is Thousand Trails Colorado River which is less than 80 miles from the city.)
Boston, one of America’s oldest cities, is also one of the country’s greenest cities. Thanks to Boston’s compact size, it is a great place to walk – whether you’re a resident or a tourist. Walk the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile walking path of more than 16 significant locations in Boston’s history, including Paul Revere’s house and Boston Common, America’s oldest public park. Walk to the North End, the city’s oldest residential neighborhood and home to some of the best Italian food and pastries you can find. Consider a foodie walking tour of the North End! Boston’s North End: Secret Food Tour runs about 3 hours with a variety of food tastings (secretfoodtours.com). There’s also a walking tour of Fenway Park – the oldest ballpark in the country and home to the Boston Red Sox. Check out viator.com to see how you can get up close and personal with Fenway’s Big Green Monster.
(Nearest campground is Thousand Trails Sturbridge which 60 miles from the city.)
Chicago was named to the list for several reasons including the fact that this city has over 600 parks, keeping true to its motto “Urbs in horto” which translated means “City in a garden.” One of the most popular parks is Millennium Park – which is also home to the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” To reduce your carbon footprint while visiting the Windy City, consider taking a walking tour as the city offers several including an architecture tour. Check out the foot-led tours at freetoursbyfoot.com/chicago-tours. While not your typical park, there are two other “parks” to check out when visiting Chicago – Guaranteed Rate Field, home to the Chicago White Sox and historic Wrigley Field, which is the second oldest ballpark in the U.S. and home to the Chicago Cubs.
(Nearest campground is Thousand Trails Pine Country in Belvidere which is about 70 miles from the city)
Seattle has plenty of green initiatives including a plastic bag ban and was one of the first U.S. cities to adopt a Climate Action Plan. Seattle residents do their part, as well, recycling and composting 60% of its waste and patronizing the many thrift stores in the city, adopting the concept of re-using clothing and products rather than tossing them into landfills. It isn’t called the Emerald City for nothing – Seattle has more than 500 lush, green parklands. Gas Works Park is a newer park created on the former site of the Seattle Gas Light Company gasification facility and has incorporated some of the old factory works into the park’s design. The Washington Park Arboretum can be explored by foot or by canoe. There are more than 430 species of trees, vines and shrubs on this 230-acre lush wonderland.
- Time away, if only a little, is good for the soul. Get out of the city and break up with your routine with these quickie road trips.
- Rails to trails bike trips are all the rage, and this one along the Great Allegheny Passage is one for your bucket list.
- Celebrate the Earth this April with these fun, Earth friendly activities.
- We found some interesting sites dedicated to some of the most famous guitar players in U.S. history!
- Explore the Thousand Trails Camping Pass and the Thousand Trails Cabin Pass!
- Find more campgrounds at ThousandTrails.com.