Outside Magazine high on Atlanta

Atlanta came in No. 3 --behind only Colorado Springs and Seattle -- on Outside Magazine’s ranking of “America’s Best Cities.”

The magazine graded the 100 most populous cities using a variety of measures, including cost of living, unemployment, nightlife, commute time and access to green spaces.

Those indicators, the magazine said, helped determine which cities had the best “cultural vibrancy, economic well-being and overall quality of life.”

Among other things, Atlanta earned high marks for Piedmont Park, “the big city’s green jewel,” affordable home prices, and music venues like The Earl.

Atlanta lies less than 90 minutes from the start of the Appalachian Trail, the magazine noted.

“While commuting by car is a legitimate gripe, the recently launched Beltline Initiative will help ease some congestion,” the magazine said. “A 22-mile-long ‘live-work-play’ corridor—including parks, trails, and green space—it’s one of the most progressive urban-planning projects in the country.”

Here is the magazine’s Top 10:

1. Colorado Springs

2. Seattle

3. Atlanta

4. Austin

5. Boston

6. Albuquerque

7. Portland

8. Minneapolis

9. Cincinnati

10. Charlotte