Apartment Living

The Best Cities for Athletes

The Best Cities for Athletes

For the life of an athlete, you need places to be active.

Whether indoors or out, space is necessary for both playing your favorite sport and staying in shape. This means a combination of athletic fields, weight rooms and more to maintain an active lifestyle. From trails to run, walk and hike on to swimming pools and basketball courts, active people want access to the right facilities, and they want to live in one of the best cities for athletes.

Finding the best cities for athletes

Looking at the best cities for athletes, a few commonalities stick out. These are cities where you’ll find amenities like basketball courts, fitness centers, pools, tennis or racquetball, all within many apartment communities. Hiking, walking, biking or running trails are also close at hand. The city itself provides a lot of active opportunities. You won’t have to create a workout room in your apartment to get your fitness on.

Florida dominates this list, with five cities included. With so many beach bodies throughout the state, it makes sense that fitness is on locals’ minds. Almost all of the other top 10 best cities for athletes are also located in the lower half of the U.S. It makes sense. Weather is warmer, which makes it easier to engage in athletic activity, outside, all year long.

No matter your sport of choice or your preferred workout routine, having access to the right facilities and locations is a central reason these places rank high. Here are the top 10 best cities for athletes.


10. Tallahassee, FL

As the state capitol, Tallahassee has a lot to offer residents who like athletic activities. The weather also makes it easy to spend most of your time being active outside. With an average annual temperature of 67 degrees, every day is a good day for a little time outdoors.

The city itself is ideal for walkers and those who like to bike. Local parks offer all the usual suspects when it comes to sports, with the addition of sand volleyball. Parks also cater to your furry friends, who are most likely athletes themselves. Four different parks in the city have special areas for dogs.

Accompanying the parks system is a network of trails more than 700 miles long when all combined. With the unexpected backdrop of tree-dotted hills, the sights you see as you run, bike or even horseback ride aren’t typical for Florida. At $908, on average, for monthly rent, that’s well worth it.


9. Albuquerque, NM

As New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque sits in the desert just waiting for athletic rock climbers and hikers to check things out. While Old Town is the center for all the foodies and shoppers, active individuals may want to look elsewhere for fun. The Sandia Mountains are a mountain biker’s dream during the summer. In the winter, you can ski down from the peak.

Another option for active fun is the 16-mile Paseo Del Bosque Trail, which runs parallel to the Rio Grande. It’s an uninterrupted trail ideal for bikers, runners or those looking to take a truly scenic walk that gets the heart rate up. All of this activity comes at an average monthly rent of $891 for an apartment.


8. Jacksonville, FL

If you’re interested in encouraging the next generation of athletes, think about bringing the kids to Jacksonville. Even before they begin with an organized sport, the number of playgrounds throughout the city will keep any child active and happy. For adults, the city combines opportunities to both relax and get moving for a complete experience.

As the largest city, by area, in the entire U.S., you have 22 miles of beaches perfect for games of frisbee, badminton, beach volleyball and more. Don’t forget about surfing, kayaking and windsurfing, either. You also have an extensive network of parks, including Klutho Park and its disc golf course. Whether in the sand or on the grass, there are plenty of places to play your favorite sport here, at only $1,165 per month, on average.

mesa az

7. Mesa, AZ

For those athletes who like a sport that involves clubs, tees and a cart, Mesa is a good place to call home. As a city with a lot of golf courses, it’s not uncommon to spot a celebrity athlete heading out with their putters in tow.

You’ll also find more than 2,200 acres of parkland within the city limits. This includes Red Mountain Park, which has a lake, playgrounds, basketball court and cement volleyball court. Living close by this truly unique outdoor experience will cost you $1,067 on average, per month, in rent.

If you’re an athlete who likes watching other athletes, Mesa brings in Major League baseball players each year for spring training. You can catch a game featuring the Chicago Cubs or Oakland A’s, who both call this city home while preparing for regular season play.


6. Tampa, FL

Another Florida city full of beaches and parks, Tampa is a great place for people of all ages. Paddle down the Hillsborough River for a little active time that could put you face-to-face with some interesting wildlife. Stay in shape while under the sun with the fitness course at Lettuce Lake Park. Complete that, then go for a jog on the mile-and-a-quarter path.

Not only can you enjoy all this outdoor activity almost every day of the year for around $1,456 in monthly rent, but the city is a major hub for pro sports, too. Six Major League Baseball teams come down each year for spring training, while the city has its own professional football, hockey and baseball teams.


5. Tucson, AZ

Tucson combines natural beauty with a rich cultural heritage. Another scenic city perfect for climbers, it’s surrounded by mountains just waiting for extreme athletes. Five different mountain ranges encircle the city and feature rock climbing for every skill level. For those looking for a more level athletic activity, the Urban Loop lets you complete a bike ride along safe streets and off-road trails.

From deep caves to mountain peaks, the city and area around it offer ample opportunity to live an active lifestyle and stay in shape. And with more than 280 days of sunshine each year, no outdoor activity is ever off-limits for athletes. The sunshine and the access comes at a price though. The average monthly rent will cost you around $810.

irvine ca

4. Irvine, CA

Not only is Irvine one of the cities that make up the infamous Orange County, but it also has the most basketball hoops per capita of any city. This makes it an athlete’s dream, combining beautiful SoCal weather with plenty of places to shoot some hoops for around $2,554 per month in rent, on average.

See what else the city has to offer with a ride straight up in an anchored, helium balloon. You’ll find it waiting in Orange County Great Park. From up high, you’ll see winding trails and catch a glimpse of the Pacific. When you come back down to Earth, the park also contains a massive sports complex with athletic fields, courts and stadiums.

lincoln ne

3. Lincoln, NE

The only city not in one of the southernmost states of the U.S. on this top 10 list, Lincoln is the proud capital of Nebraska. Health is more than just living an active lifestyle for many local residents. Healthcare and medical jobs make up a large portion of the city’s employment, and Bryan Health is a top employer.

The city’s more than 131 individual parks connect through a system of recreational trails and bike lanes. Active locals can easily move about whether on a bike or on foot. You’ll also find a large number of rec centers, public pools and golf courses, all open to the public. All of this will cost you $1,031 on average, per month in rent.

orlando fl

2. Orlando, FL

While you may think of Orlando as a walking city, where you spend hours walking from attraction to attraction at theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, there’s more to this place. The city operates 11 public pools and even allows you to reserve one for a special event. Their youth athletic programs are robust for aspiring athletes, and they engage adults in some unconventional sports. You can sign up to play in a golf league but also get fencing or karate lessons.

More than 148 parks, gardens and recreation areas are also available for those who like more independent activity while outside in the perfect Florida weather. Big Tree Park even houses a tree between 350 to 400 years old. Blue Jacket Park is another option that features fields for baseball, soccer and softball. You may even catch a wedding while playing in a game.

Living here and getting access to all these perks will cost you $1,518 in monthly rent, on average.

gainesville fl

1. Gainesville, FL

With just the right combination of water- and land-based activities, Gainesville is a perfect athletic town. You’ll never run out of options when you’re in need of a break from your favorite sport either. Hit the water for some kayaking or canoeing, or bike and hike on land.

Even though you can’t see the ocean, the city offers some amazing clear water to paddle through in their state parks. If you skip the water and decide to travel down the more than 30 miles of trails, you may even spot bison, wild horses and alligators, all for $1,170 per month in rent, on average.

Home to the University of Florida, the city has no shortage of college sports to occupy young athletes and keep supportive fans engaged throughout the year. You may even find some students playing life-sized chess at Depot Park or snoozing in the shade while taking a break from all the activity.

The top 50 best cities for athletes

Interested in which other cities rank high for apartment buildings with all the athletic amenities? Check out our list to see if where you live qualifies.

Apartment amenities for athletes

For active people, finding the right amenities in an apartment is important — they’ll need more than just an exercise room. To narrow down the best apartments for you, consider checking amenities for pools, walking paths and basketball or tennis courts.

Additionally, look for specialty amenities like volleyball courts, racquetball courts and anything else that enables you to not have to join a separate gym to stay active.

Best cities for athletes methodology

To find the best cities for athletes we looked at all available inventory on Apartment Guide and in June 2020 and calculated the percentage of properties in every city with basketball courts, fitness centers, racquetball courts, swimming pools, tennis courts and walking trails. Cities with less than 50 properties were excluded from our survey.

Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom units from June 2019 to June 2020. We use a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.

The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Tue, 14 Jul 2020 12:06:22 +0000

House Leasing: What You Need to Know

Consider these things if you plan on renting a house.

When you aren’t quite ready to buy a home, you have a few options — you can rent an apartment, condo or home. Renting an apartment is a common choice for many people, but have you ever considered house leasing?

If you’re debating an apartment vs. a house, read on. We’ll walk you through the pros and cons of house leasing and answer all your questions.

What is leasing a house?

Before we look at the pros and cons of apartments vs. houses, let’s quickly define house leasing. A house lease agreement is a contract between a landlord and a renter that outlines the terms and conditions required to rent the space.

A house lease agreement is usually 12-months but the length of the lease can vary. The lease legally protects both the property owner and the renter — the property owner is guaranteed monthly payments and the renter is guaranteed a place to live for the duration of the lease.

Pros and cons to apartments vs. houses

If you’re in the market for a new place to rent and are deciding between an apartment or a house, here are some of the main differences between the two.


Typically, houses offer more space than an apartment. You’ll likely have your own yard, garage, basement and attic, in addition to more rooms in the home and more square footage.

If you have a family or are simply looking for a place to live that provides more room, house leasing is a good option to consider. Apartments are great for singles or small families, but they usually lack the space most houses have to offer.

Proximity to other people

Apartment buildings are typically multiple stories high and have lots of units in the same building. Therefore, you live within close proximity to other people. Houses, on the other hand, are located in neighborhoods where you have more physical distance between your family and the neighbors. No one lives above, beneath or to the side of you like in an apartment setting.


Houses offer the renter more indoor and outdoor space, storage and privacy. However, they usually don’t come with amenities like a community pool, gym, laundry facility or club house. If you like amenities built into your lease agreement, an apartment may be the better option. Some houses that are for lease include a pool, but they are few and far between.


Some apartments are pet-friendly, but they often come with size restrictions. Houses that are for lease, on the other hand, are usually more pet-friendly and accept any size or breed of pet. If you’re a pet-owner, house leasing is a good option because you’ll have a yard for your pet and more options to work with.


One of the perks of renting an apartment is access to the maintenance staff as part of your rental agreement. If you have a leak or an issues with you heater, the maintenance staff is readily available to help.

When leasing a home, you may be responsible for maintenance. The landlord may pay for it or reimburse you for the cost of fixing an issue, but it may be up to you to handle the problem yourself.

If you’re someone who is handy and willing to maintain upkeep on a home, leasing a house is a great option. However, if you want maintenance taken care of, an apartment may be a better option for you.

couple looking at house

Is leasing a house a good idea?

Now that we’ve gone over some pros and cons of house leasing, here are a few things that’ll help you determine if leasing a house is a good idea for you.

Check out the neighborhood

When people search for a home, they often scout the neighborhood first. You’ll want to check out the potential neighborhood you’d be living in and assess if it’s right for you. Look at things like the schools, parks, safety records and access to public transit if you commute. All of these things can help you make a decision about house leasing in a certain area.

Talk to the current renters

If you’re interested in leasing a specific house, get in touch with the previous renters. This is a great way to truly learn about the home and understand the experience with the landlord. You can ask what the previous tenants liked and didn’t like about the property, which can help inform your decision and answer your question, “Is house leasing a good idea?”

Meet the landlord

Once you’ve decided that you want to lease a house, it’s time to meet the landlord. Always meet the landlord or property owner in person. If you aren’t able to meet in person, be cautious as this could be a red flag or scam. Talk to the landlord, ask your questions, read through the lease together and you’re setting yourself up for a healthy relationship between renter and property owner.

How much is it to lease a house?

In addition to finding the right place to live, you need to consider how much it’ll cost to rent a house. Because you’re getting more space and living in a home instead of an apartment, you’re likely going to pay more than you would for an apartment.

The average cost of leasing a house ranges from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on how many bedrooms and the location of the home. When house leasing, you’ll need to put aside money for:

  • Application fees
  • First and last month’s rent
  • Security deposit
  • Pet fees (if applicable)

House leasing as your next step

House leasing is a great option for those who aren’t quite ready to buy but are ready to take the next step forward from renting an apartment. Leasing a home gives you more space, privacy and a taste of what home ownership may look like.

Published at Mon, 13 Jul 2020 14:35:10 +0000