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10 of the top U.S. cities for nature lovers - Mother Nature NetworkNerdWallet analyzed 53 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas to find the best urban destinations for nature lovers. The personal finance website looked at each city's acres of park land, number of national parks within 100 miles, average annual precipitation and air quality ranking to determine its top picks. Check out the list below.
With 220 parks and green spaces, as well as 11 national parks in the vicinity, San Francisco is an ideal urban destination for people who love the outdoors. No visit to the city is complete without seeing Golden Gate Park , which is the fifth most-visited U.S. park. There are also a variety of lesser-known parks throughout the metro area. With the best air quality of all the bay cities, Oakland is a great place to get outside for a breath of fresh air. There are plenty of recreation opportunities in the 155 acres of land surrounding famous Lake Merritt, and just a few miles outside the city you'll find Redwood Regional Park where a hidden forest of 150-foot coast redwoods thrive. With just 8 inches of rain a year, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy Phoenix's many parks. At more than 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the country and has more than 51 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and biking. The Desert Botanical Garden is also a must-see with its 50,000 desert plants. With beautiful geography and famous waterways like the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore has no shortage of green space to enjoy. Pierce's Park features more than just a pretty landscape – there's also a musical fence, locally designed sculptures and a willow tunnel. The largest Easter Piedmont Forest can be found at Prince William Park , which has more than 37 miles of hiking trails. >