Duluth, MN has been voted Outside Magazine’s best city to live in! We consistently went head to head with bigger communities that are well known for their outdoor activities, but unbelievably crushed them in each bracket, winning by at least ten thousand votes in each round. There were several things that contributed to our victory:
- A brilliant social media campaign headed by Destination Duluth’s own Jerry Thoreson
- Creativity and ingenuity from Destination Duluth’s designer, Beau Walsh
- Unwavering support from our fearless leader, Mayor Don Ness
- State-wide media and political attention
- Passionate voters thirsty for an outlet for which to express their love of Duluth
But I wonder, would the above recipe result in a perfect outcome in any community? There’s one piece I didn’t mention above that was essential in claiming this victory over 63 other worthy U.S. cities: Duluth’s vibe.
For the past ten years, our positive vibe has been picking up some serious steam. You can see it in the young entrepreneurs who have decided to put down roots here and build a business. And the glow from other residents’ eyes is contagious as they greet you on the street.
Duluthians have a tenacious ‘make it happen’ attitude. One commenter on the Outside Magazine contest page stated, “you can’t be a wimp if you live here”. Truer words have never been spoken. If you live here and you’re waiting for the perfect weather to go do your outside activity, you could be waiting a while. We love our outdoor landscape, so we’ve learned to suck it up, dress for it, plan for it, accept the weather for what it is, get outside, and do our thing. This has bled into our general way of life. We see a roadblock and we work to find a solution.
Because of this attitude of living with our environment, instead of fighting against it, we have an overall sense of life satisfaction and enjoyment that can only come after an exhausting, yet productive day. From volunteering to build bike trails, to picking up someone else’s forgotten dog poop bag, to people with the passion to spread the good word about our community, Duluth’s gift back to her residents that have fallen in love with her is a positive can-do attitude focused solely on the enjoyment of life.