Categorized as: Best metropolitan areas
Median Home Price: $340,360
Average Monthly Rent (2BR Apartment): $1,490–$2,030
The Scene: D.C. is a late-bloomer in the tri scene, but it’s making up for lost time. The 1,200-member strong D.C Tri Club has picked up five consecutive Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, and the 4-year-old Nation’s Triathlon is one of the fastest-growing races in the country. Leading the charge is the city’s former mayor, Adrian Fenty, who inspired his constituents by competing as an age-grouper (a fast one) while in office.
The Selling Points: In D.C., you have your pick of places to train, from the paths hugging the Potomac River to Rock Creek Park, a network of trails that make you forget you’re training in an urban area. And you’ll probably never get over the breathtaking sights of running and riding past the city’s monuments at sunrise.
The Snags: Topics of conversations tend to be divided between red and blue lines, so stay away if you don’t like talking politics on your tempo run. And if you live outside the city, traffic can make your commute tortuously slow.
Local Flavor: Conte’s Bike Shop’s Tuesday night ride is so popular, police cars escort cyclists through the streets of Arlington, Va., just outside of the city. Check out the store’s free barbecue after the first ride of each month (Contesbikestores.com).