Updated: 06/16/2014 6:20 PM
Created: 06/16/2014 4:58 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
Duluth is known as a Northland locality for just about any outdoor adventure, and now it is officially America's best place to live according to Outside Magazine. Community members helped win the title by promoting the online vote, but Mayor Don Ness said it means more than coming in first.
From biking to the Beargrease, cross country skiing to sailing Lake Superior, Duluth has a lot of outdoor recreation to offer, and that is why many residents choose to live in the city.
“Well my husband is a big mountain biker, you know, I'm a runner, and my kids they love the outdoors too,” Ashley Hagelin said.
She said it was exciting to watch the votes rack up online.
“It was fun to watch. It was very exciting. You know, I was actually really impressed as to how well Duluth did. There was some really other great places to visit and other great places to live too. We came out on top; it's kind of cool,” Hagelin said.
With 66,758 votes Duluth bested Provo, Utah, which only tallied about 55,000 votes.
It wasn't a surprise to tourist Jeremy Baty.
“It's just a beautiful place. It's a place to kind of come and recharge the batteries, and you can drive not far and get some really good hiking and some really good trails,” Baty said.
Mayor Don Ness said it's more than just winning an online contest. He feels Duluthians have shaken off pessimism about their city.
“People are saying we're proud of this city. We're proud of what it has to offer. We know that the natural beauty of our area, as well as the outdoor recreation opportunities, really can't be beat by any city across the nation,” Ness said.
He said the victory doesn't mean the city will turn it's back on problems like potholes and creating jobs, but he said grumbling about issues only makes them worse.
“Only when you have a city that people care about the city and are optimistic about its future, that is what it takes to then do the difficult work of fixing the big problems,” Ness said.
Duluth may officially be the best place to live in America, and it's clear that residents are willing to fight to keep the title.
Outside Magazine said they'll be following up with coverage of both Provo and Duluth in print and online in September.
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