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This U.S. City Is One of the Most Peaceful Places in America, Study Finds

Ann Arbor, Michigan, is filled with hiking trails, parks, and low noise pollution.

<p>Better Planet Media/Getty Images</p>

Better Planet Media/Getty Images

Michigan is an outdoor playground for nature enthusiasts. It is also home to one of the most peaceful destinations in the country — and we mean that quite literally. Finance website Insider Monkey evaluated the average noise levels of cities across America and measured how easy it is for their residents to access a nearby park to create a list of the 25 most peaceful places in the nation.

While the top two spots are occupied by smaller communities in Colorado (Fort Collins and Boulder), Ann Arbor, Michigan, is the third most serene place to live in America. According to Insider Monkey, the mean noise level in the city is 39.13 decibels and access to green spaces is an impressive 92 percent.

"The Huron River is one of the natural reserves at Ann Arbor. The city has an outdoorsy life in a tightly-knit community," the website noted.

Ann Arbor sits in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, just 40 miles west of Detroit, and spills on both banks of the Huron River, which is also a favorite spot of locals for water sports as it encompasses a 104-mile-long inland paddling trail, easily enjoyed by kayak or canoe.

Ann Arbor excels in offering its residents all the benefits and conveniences of the active lifestyle of a vibrant university town and balancing that out with plenty of green spaces and hiking and biking trails where residents can seek out peace and quiet.

Michigan's third largest park, Waterloo Recreation Area, which boasts 20,000 acres of forests and 11 lakes, is a 25-mile drive west of the city. But as its moniker "Tree Town" suggests, Ann Arbor also has plenty in store within its city limits. With 159 parks spanning small neighborhood green spaces, playgrounds, and the 69-acre Gallup Park along the Huron River, it's easy to see why its residents have no shortage of serene places to unwind and relax.

But living in a serene place has other implications, too. As Insider Monkey noted, one of the main factors affecting the quality of life in America is noise pollution, which can lead to a lack of sleep, stress, and lower productivity, while those who live close to green spaces and parks have better cardiovascular health. Washtenaw County, of which Ann Arbor is a part, has 15.3 percent of people who are not physically active, which is more than 20 percentage points lower than the average for Michigan, and the obesity rate is at 24.4 percent, which is again much lower than the average for the state (56.1 percent) and the nation (39.6 percent), according to a 2020 report by the state of Michigan.

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