The 10 Best US Cities to be in for Earth Day

Photo by Tim Knight

5. Seattle

Seattle is yet another fast-rising green destination--the mayor has booted out bottled water and taxes plastic bags, has great plans for biking paths, a controversially named trolley for public transit and even a biodiesel gas station. Suffice to say, there's a strong green vibe emanating from Seattle--which should make its Earth Day one of the best in the country. Head out for volunteer projects in parks across the city, or check out the Post Intelligencer's list of Earth Day events, which range from green festivals to habitat restoration projects to kids' fairs.

Photo via Sustainability Index

4. Portland

Oregon's biggest city is widely recognized as one of the greenest cities in the US--and as such, it's a prime city to celebrate Earth Day in. Perhaps the most bike-friendly city in the country, you can celebrate this Wednesday by biking to work and beyond. Working out on Earth Day? Help generate clean electricity while you do at Portland's greenest gym. Portland City Repair will host Earth Day events, and Oregon Live has a list of some intriguing options as well.

Photo via WS Radio

3. San Francisco

The city's mayor Gavin Newsom got TreeHugger's seal of green approval as the best local politician in 2009's Best of Green awards. So it's no surprise that his city is one of the best places you can spend Earth Day. Celebrate San Francisco ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, advancing solar power initiatives, ditching the plastic bag, and getting ready to promote electric cars--there are events all over the city, from Earth Strolls to the San Francisco Zoo Party, there's plenty to do in ol' SF. Check the SF Examiner's Earth Day list for even more green activities like tree planting and cruises on hybrid ferries.

Photo via Pollution Issues

2. Washington DC

Celebrating Earth Day in our nation's capitol this year has a symbolic power behind it--regardless of how you gauge our current president's performance on the economy or foreign policy, it's pretty clear that he's helping change things for the greener. His EPA has just announced that greenhouse gases are a dangerous pollutant--one of the biggest steps ever taken in government environmental policy. There's been a slew of other green changes in Washington, with encouraging climate and energy bills, plans to clean up the capitol power plant, and progress on just about every green front. So if you're in DC, you'll have plenty to celebrate--and plenty to do. Thousands already flocked to the National Mall last weekend for a massive festival and concert in celebration of Earth Day, where Chevy Chase emceed and the Flaming Lips played a set. For the rest of the week, has a solid list of Earth Day Events for the DC area.

Photo via World News

1. New York City

The biggest city in the US is also a front runner for the greenest--with arguably the best public transit system in the nation, centralized apartment-based living, easy access to farmer's markets and CSAs, and a walking-friendly urban layout, New York is green without really even trying to be. So even though people think grey, not green, when they picture the Big Apple, it's one of the hands-down best places to celebrate Earth Day. With a ton of events and happenings in New York, if you find yourself in the city on Wednesday, the question won't be what to do--it'll be what not to do. Take an audio tour of the country's most famous park. Stroll through the greened-out Grand Central Station. Grab an organic cocktail (and TRU Organic will plant a tree to say thanks). Head to a sustainable fashion show. Get the idea? There are plenty of options for green--and make sure to round out the rest of the week with Earth Week events like The 'Earth . . . It's Kind of a Big Deal. They'll screen An Inconvenient Truth, help you calculate your carbon footprint, and help bust anti-green myths. Or head to the huge Earth Fair at Grand Central on either April 24th or 25th for live music, green exhibits, and green businesses. Go to Earth Day New York to find even more events.

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