While your daily walk on your lunch break or after work is, of course, an incredible habit to have, there’s something special about taking a long hike among nature. Getting out and moving has become a huge trend among social media users, and if you’re looking to step things up this year, consider a visit to one of these cities for a hike that you just might want to do over and over.
LawnStarter conducted a study to find the best cities for hiking in 2022, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Taking into account a wide range of hiker-friendly factors, from hiking access and quality to trail difficulty to natural hazards index, the team found the best cities to get your steps in this year.
In first place is Portland, Oregon. It’s little surprise that the Pacific Northwest state came out on top, with its picturesque trails and great walking climate (for the majority of the year.) The views are spectacular—on a clear day you can spot neighboring mountains like Mount St. Helens—and there are plenty of walking routes to choose from.
Second place goes to Tucson, Arizona, while Phoenix, Arizona comes in at third place. While you’ll be braving the heat year-round, Arizona boasts many beautiful hiking trails for all abilities. In fact, Phoenix has the most hiking routes overall, including the South Mountain Park and Preserve and the Echo Canyon Trailhead, both boasting jaw-dropping views of the city.
Fourth place goes to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Oakland, California, rounds out the top five. Both of these cities have easy access to hiking supplies and have a wide range of trials to take your pick from.
Unless you’re a cranky toddler, I think we can all agree that naps are good — wonderful, even. But when it comes to the type and style of nap, though, I’ve learned that people have strong opinions. Apartment Therapy’s editorial team is no exception. I challenged some of our staff to debate over their preferred nap spot, and try to convince everyone else that they have the superior sleep situation.
Check out how it all went down in our Slack conversation below [lightly edited and condensed].
Tara Bellucci (News & Culture Director): hello @here who’s ready to throw down about NAPPING
Megan Baker (Home Projects Director): ok which one of us is wrong, ie which one of us thinks bed naps are superior
Megan: i didn’t come to play
i came to lay
on a couch
Tara: ok let’s start with opening statements of 1-2 sentences of your position and go from there
Terri: several people are typing
Megan: ok here is where i stand: beds are for SLEEPING and a nap is not SLEEPING. a nap is in its own category entirely
Charli: If I’m at home, and not a hotel, couch naps reign supreme. When I go to bed, it’s an experience, and I don’t want it to be interrupted or cut short. My bed is my oasis. So when I need to nap, the couch is the perfect place. I feel like I’m sneaking in extra rest/self care. Like an added bonus.
Maddie: bed naps are far and away the superior naps, but you have to use a blanket on TOP of your covers. you can’t get under your comforter. that is only for night sleeping
Terri: i agree, comforters are NOT for naps
Adrienne Breaux (Tours Director): The reason why couch naps are superior: Naps are a little bit naughty. They’re like little stolen moments of slumber. When the rest of the world is toiling away at work, you’re crawling into your own personal heaven of quiet. So they HAVE to be in any place other than the bed. Because bed is for night sleeping only, and I think when you sleep under the covers, you are confusing your brain and body
I mean, I agree that if there’s a bed nap, it HAS to be on top of the covers
I also sometimes will lay perpendicular
Charli: If I had to “nap in bed” (that’s not a thing) I would certainly do it on top of the comforter.
Megan: adrienne, i fully agree. i have succumbed to bed naps, usually by accident when i am trying to read, and i always wake up in total confusion
Maddie: i understand that couch nap people believe a bed is a sacred place for sleeping, but my no under-the-comforter rule fixes this
Terri: my position is thus: both naps are good, but happen under different circumstances. couch naps, for me, are always accidental: i’m reading or watching tv, and then the sweet, sweet claws of slumber grasp me and i melt away
bed naps are intentional and i WILL AND DO flop myself onto bed for a quick midday power nap as needed
Tara: do y’all just have the world’s comfiest couches tho?
Megan: no i can sleep literally sitting up
i do not need a comfy couch
although i will say mine is pretty comfy, albeit a tiny bit short for a full lay-down
Adrienne: i have a nap CORNER
it’s an oversized lounge chair from the ’70s along with a heavy pouf
Charli: I too have a nap couch/corner, it’s divine — good sunlight and breeze for afternoon spring naps, a window, and it was an investment.
Megan: i don’t like to be in bed in not pajamas. address please
Maddie: i nap in bed in sweatpants
Terri: NAP CLOTHES?
(i know nap dresses are a thing, but!)
Megan: i am very grossed out by outside clothes in bed
i know that’s not the topic here but it’s how i feel
Adrienne: strong no outside clothes on bed
Charli: Nap clothes is a thing. I have nap leggings and outside leggings.
No bras for naps! Ever!
Terri: …no bras ever, period
Adrienne: bra ALWAYS comes off for naps
Megan: i will admit here that most of my clothes are now nap clothes
so i don’t change if i’m on the couch
Maddie: also you can only take a couch nap if other people aren’t around
unless you dont mind snoozing in front of people just walking by you i guess
Megan: depends on who the people are!
Charli: I can sleep around anyone. Self care. LOL
Adrienne: if other people are around, you have to create physical and mental barriers
for example, i will sometimes create a pillow fort
Adrienne: so you need a light and sound blocker first
which is where the head one comes in
but then you also need to feel surrounded and supported, which is where the top and leg pillows come in
Charli: I love that you have photos 💀
Megan: i do something not as extreme but similar, adrienne
if i really want to zone into my nap, i turn my face toward the back of the couch
and pull up a blanket real high
Terri: i actually sleep better with people around
quiets down the loud thoughts in my mind, AND feels sneaky, which makes sleep more appealing!
Megan: @Terri do you do earbuds or anything?
Terri: no, they are v distracting and annoying
Charli: I have a nap playlist too
Maddie: a nap playlist is bonkers. WHITE NOISE ONLY
GIVE ME LOUD FANS
Charli: Anita Baker’s voice always rocks me to sleep! And Nina Simone too
Adrienne: i would prefer gentle sounds of nature but a lot of times i have to do ear plugs
wow anyone who can fall asleep to music… sorry you’ve lost me on this one Charli
white noise or no noise only please
Megan: i love a nap playlist for a plane but for home naps i go au naturale, baby
my go-to sleep album for a decade has been plans by death cab for cutie
Maddie: my white noise machine sets the mood for nap time
Terri: nature sounds, podcasts, tv, etc. i can fall asleep to, but i’ve never tried music
Charli: I hear you, Adrienne! Nature’s playlist is a song too. The birds on the weekends outside my window understand the assignment!
Megan: i use white noise for my nighttime sleep! never daytime sleep
Adrienne: the best nap in the entire world is a friday afternoon nap while it’s thunderstorming
tell me i’m wrong
Charli: Rain naps are a must!!
Terri: rain naps are the BEST
Adrienne: all pets cuddled up
Megan: ok who here is a prolific fall-asleep-wherever-whenever-if-i-am-tired napper
Adrienne: i weirdly can’t sleep everywhere
i do need a lot of things to line up
Maddie: ok i know this isn’t part of the discourse right now, but falling asleep as a passenger in car? so easy, so good
Terri: perhaps the best nap, maddie
ok that’s the real wild card here
i LOVE car naps
Adrienne: i can’t ever get comfortable!
y’all are wrong!
Tara: i always feel bad if I’m the only other person in the car tho
Megan: sometimes when i am sleepy in a car i just wish that the drive would be another hour or two
Terri: saaaame, you can even like feel when the end of the road trip is near, even as you’re napping
Adrienne: honestly i get very sleepy when i drive i can’t drive anywhere long distance when it’s my normal nap time i worry
Megan: i have fallen asleep on: cars, trains, planes, boats
Maddie: it reminds me of how some people put baby carriers on top of dryers to get them to sleep. bc of the rocking or whatever. that is a car nap for me
Megan: i fell asleep on a passenger ferry sitting in a dining chair once
i would nap on a dryer
Charli: Ranking Naps: 1. Beach/Vacation outside naps. 2. Couch naps. 3. car naps. 4. Midday naps, period.
Megan: ok so for couch and/or bed naps, what is your blanket situation
Maddie: you don’t need any of these fancy accessories for a bed nap, just saying
Adrienne: sofa throw at maximum!
but honestly i like a jacket or sweater thrown over me a tad
Megan: don’t you get chilled??
Maddie: a light blanket for a bed nap. sometimes no blanket if i’m feeling really sleepy
Charli: soft throw only!!
i am outnumbered here
i want to be enveloped in blanket
Terri: i do a little fetal position curl-up and self-heat
Charli: I like blanket + breeze when I can for my couch naps. The perfect combo!
Megan: i want the largest blanket possible
so it covers me all the way to my toes
and has enough extra to roll up next to my face
Tara: why are sofa throws so mis-sized
Adrienne: they are never long enough to pull up to my neck and reach my feet at the same time
Megan: this is the real scandal!!!!
but i also fetal roll so it’s usually okay
i end up using multiple to be able to cover my toesies
Adrienne: see that’s where pets and pillows can come into play
you can use them to strategically cover open spots
Adrienne: i also really, really do not want my partner to nap with me
this is my time
this is not cuddle time
Charli: Agreed! No new (nap) friends. It’ a solo activity.
Put some respect on my naps.
Maddie: i love when my dog sleeps in her bed beside mine because the sound of her snoring puts me to sleep
Charli: Pets are great warmth. They’re also nap magnets. They know when a good couch nap is happening and run to join!
Tara: what’s your nap length
Adrienne: i nap… for a long time
it’s longer than a normal human
Adrienne: okay but i’m not even asleep in 5 minutes
that’s not a nap you’re just closing your eyes
Megan: i’d say my ideal is an hourish
i preface this by saying i do not often nap on purpose
my ideal nap is accidental
Terri: i will wake up and WANT to nap longer, but i know that leads me down a path of destruction
i will wake up in another century if i do that
Charli: Weekend naps, minimum an hour. Weekday “disco naps” minimum 25 minutes lol
Maddie: wait…. 5 minutes??? is not??? a nap???
Terri: y’all ever do a coffee nap
i love those
Megan: it’s a “disco nap”
Adrienne: that’s what i’m saying that’s just closing your eyes
THESE AREN’T OFFICIALLY NAPS Y’ALL ARE OUT OF THE CLUB
Terri: i know!!! but like… i’ll set a timer for 20 mins and then jolt up 5 mins later!
Megan: wow terri
that’s a super power
Terri: haaaave i mentioned i have sleep issues?
Megan: my trouble with naps is usually that i get sucked too deep in
Charli: I want to be your nap guide, Terri
Terri: i used to be a deeeep deep napper, but that just fucked up my nighttime sleep to an unbelievable degree
Tara: is there a nap length where it’s no longer a nap and is a sleep
or is sleep a place
Charli: Good question, Tara! I feel like if I slept more than 2 hours, I probably should have gone to bed…lol
Adrienne: an hour to hour and a half is an actual nap and the way it should be i feel strongly
Megan: @Charli i feel the same
Adrienne: you don’t actually get any sleep if it’s any shorter!?!?
i nap often and i sleep a ton at night YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL
Terri: but the point of napping isn’t sleep, it’s rest
Maddie: anywhere between 30 mins and 1.5 hours works for me
Megan: anything less than an hour is just “shutting my eyes”
i feel like it’s between the two!
rest is 10 minutes of staring at the ceiling
Tara: ok yes what is everyone hoping to get from naps?
Terri: just a little refreshment, for me
Megan: a nap is a baby snooze
a sleep is a full bedtime
Charli: If I sleep less than 25-30 minutes my heart races when I get up and I feel worse, not better
Maddie: when i nap, i hope to get up afterward and have my eyelids not be heavy anymore
Adrienne: i’m fully looking to fall asleep and wake up not feeling tired.
yes! my head feels heavy when i’m sleepy and need a nap
Megan: yeah i want to feel awake again
Charli: I’m hoping to rest my mind and body for a moment to recharge
Adrienne: i wake up and i have energy and i feel less stressed
Maddie: “yeah i want to feel awake again” evergreen tweet
Charli: Socks on or off for naps? I can’t do socks in bed or naps! (like bras)
Adrienne: i wear socks 24/7
Terri: never socks whilst sleeping
must keep the feet open to the elements
Tara: my feet are always cold lately so i’m team sock
Megan: mmm good question, i don’t like socks for bed sleeps but i can get into socks for couch sleeps
yeah i just want to be cozy
Maddie: i will wear socks if i choose no blanket tho
Megan: i’m completely baffled by no blanket
Adrienne: as a taurus i’m HORRIFIED by no coverage or extra coziness
Megan: whenever i do any length of sleep i get chilly
Terri: as an aries, you’re all wrong
Adrienne: but tauruses are the queens of comfort we do reign supreme about these things
Terri: guys i really want to nap now
i’m not even tired
but i want the sensation
Charli: Tara, if we take a nap after this do we get extra credit?
Megan: once, when we’d just moved in and didn’t have any furniture and i just wanted the tiniest bit of sleep
i laid down with my head on the dog bed
it was not terrible
Adrienne: i have… absolutely napped on a dog bed or two in my life
just like, you think you’re cuddling the dog… but then you fall asleep
Tara: ok closing arguments… have you learned anything new? do you want to share a favorite nap of all time (or recently)
Terri: i learned that my naps are too short for this crew
Adrienne: closing argument is that if they really don’t make you feel good, don’t do them. but if you’re not napping because you think you shouldn’t or something, let yourself nap!
Megan: i’m interested in trying a smaller nap but i cannot do five min, sorry terri
Adrienne: embrace napping! it’s not laziness it’s self care!
Megan: fully agree
nap the way you like to nap
Maddie: “LET YOURSELF NAP”
Megan: be the nap you want to see in the world
Adrienne: and i personally think that you SHOULD be quiet if someone around you is trying to nap that’s just nap courtesy
Terri: yeah no i refrain from naps because my insomnia gets so bad, but my doctor is like “sleep is sleep. please nap and don’t worry about it”
Charli: I learned that I might sleep even better without music and I’d like to share that if you can afternoon Couch Nap under a cross breeze on a weekend afternoon, it’s a game changer! This was fun everyone!
Maddie: i want to share a recent fave nap of mine. i was very sleepy from waking up super early, so i drank some cold brew to perk myself up. but it didn’t work so i somehow laid down for a 30 min nap and woke up feeling on top of the world
Terri: THAT’S A COFFEE NAP
i love them
Megan: oooh i need to try a coffee nap
that is my assignment for next week
Charli: I need coffee nap instructions!
Terri: drink something caffeinated, take a nap, and you’ll wake up like 15-30 mins later ready to take on the day
the caffeine kicks in and wakes you up and carries you through
Megan: my best naps? were when i woke up early with our puppy while he was potty training
and i would lay him on my chest and just snooze a little bit before real morning
it was perfect
Tara: everyone try a new nap and report back
Charli: Love that, Tara! Challenge accepted
Megan: i can’t wait to rock my nap world
For parents, rest is often a tricky, slippery thing. There’s the age-old adage, “sleep when the baby sleeps,” which sounds great in theory, but not so much in practice when there are emails to answer, laundry to put away, and a million other things that are only possible to achieve during those precious, quiet stretches of naptime. And when children are older, houses are very rarely quiet at all. But rest goes beyond napping or closing your eyes, and the definition of rest will always be different for everyone.
Apartment Therapy turned to some busy parents and caretakers to find out how they prioritize their own rest in the midst of their busy schedules, along with how they encourage their equally busy children to slow down and rest too. Ahead, check out some of their tips — and remember, rest is just as crucial for your mind as it is for your body.
What constitutes rest, anyway?
Like anything else, rest looks and feels different for everyone because everyone has different needs. But for the most part, it’s common to view rest as any activity that leads to feeling recharged. As Kate, a mother of two and yoga instructor explains, “Rest, to me, is something that feels restorative, rejuvenating, or nourishing in some physical, mental, or emotional way.”
For Kara Nesvig, a freelance writer and mother who lives in Minnesota, there’s an important ingredient for her rest: having alone time. “Being a parent is a lot of being touched, needed, and wanted — and while I love that, I also like to be by myself,” she says, adding that her restful activities are always changing, and might include taking a bath, reading a book on her patio, or even working out. “Over the past five months, I’ve also gotten really into exercise and have found that I feel so much more alive and recharged after a challenging spin class or weights workout, which was a big surprise to me,” she says. “So sometimes rest is exercise!”
A key component of rest is removing external stressful stimuli, while also trying to shut out any thoughts that might create anxiety or worry. Taylor Grothe describes rest as the ability to “unhook her brain” and take some time for herself. Grothe, who lives in Connecticut with her partner and two daughters, pointed out that the job of being a parent never stops. “Anytime I can just sit and not worry about the state of my small humans… is restful.”
Similarly, Nesvig shares that she opts to unplug during restful activities to minimize distractions. “Rest is taking the dog for a long walk without Slack notifications or checking my email,” she saya. “Rest is making dinner or doing 15-20 minutes of stretching at the end of the day. It’s also going to bed, turning off phone alerts, and reading a book until I fall asleep.”
Why advocating for rest matters
Sneaking in chunks of rest can be difficult for anyone, and for parents or caretakers with nonstop schedules, it can sometimes feel nearly impossible. Jennifer Camiccia, a mother of four and grandmother, tells Apartment Therapy that it’s important to learn how to accept help. “If someone offered to take my kids, I would gladly say yes,” she reflects.
Camiccia, who lives in California and is also a caretaker for her elderly in-laws, pointed out that it’s also crucial to schedule relaxing activities into your day. “If rest isn’t built into that plan in advance, you might find yourself depleted and exhausted,” she says. “I’ve felt this way too many times to count, so I learned to listen to my body and my emotions.”
For Dan, a father of two from North Carolina, advocating for that alone time is key. “The best thing my wife and I do is try to be honest when we need to take time for ourselves, even if it’s just 10 or 15 minutes, and the other one is with the kids,” he says. “Obviously it’s not always possible to do this, but we try to give each other little breaks whenever we can.”
But it’s important to bear in mind that rest doesn’t have to be a big event — nor does it need to take a long time at all. And with busy schedules, sometimes little chunks of rest can also be valuable, as Kate has learned. “I try not to wait for big windows of rest,” she says. “Instead, I try to incorporate small pockets of rest into my day. I’ll flip through a magazine or do some gentle yoga stretches while my kids are playing next to me.”
It’s time to banish rest-associated guilt once and for all
If you’ve ever felt guilty for resting, you’re definitely not alone. A “hustle”-obsessed culture (not to mention a capitalist society) can trick people into thinking that rest is unproductive — but that’s actually not the case at all. Rest helps keep your body healthy and ready to tackle whatever busy schedule tomorrow might bring.
As MK Pagano, an author and mother from New Jersey puts it, “I’m of no use to anyone, least of all myself, if I don’t get enough sleep.” Pagano, who is expecting another child next month, pointed out that lack of sleep and rest has negatively affected her health in the past, so it’s rare that she’ll prioritize work over taking care of her body. “I’ve learned to set firm boundaries when it comes to work,” she says, adding, “Protecting my time and my health is more important to me. ”
Similarly, Camiccia says that she’s “learned the hard way” what happens to her body when she doesn’t prioritize rest. “I’ve suffered with migraines since I was ten, and a huge trigger for me is stress,” she says, explaining that she builds time into her day to either read or go outside and enjoy nature to keep her stress levels low.
But it can be challenging to put one’s well-being first. Grothe admitted that prioritizing her rest is something that she struggles with, describing it as “a balancing act.” However, she knows that rest is valuable, and she uses a variety of self-talk to encourage herself to recharge without worrying about other things that need to get done. “The house will eventually be clean, and doesn’t need to be right now,” she explains. “Sitting outside [or reading a book] helps me broker inner peace, so that I can be a better mom.”
The busiest members of any packed household might be the children themselves. Daily schedules can be filled with school or daycare, activities like ballet lessons or sports, camp, vacations — the list goes on. Rest, then, can and should be a family affair, one that’s modeled and encouraged for all ages.
Just as she builds rest into her own day, Pagano makes sure it’s part of her three-and-a-half year old daughter’s as well. “I implemented a schedule and a routine for bedtime, naptime, and sleep, and used things like white noise and blackout curtains,” she says. “It seemed to work; my daughter has always been a good sleeper.”
For older children, rest can be more activity-based — and away from the distractions of screens. “All my kids love nature,” Camiccia reflects of her now-grown children. “Going on hikes, watching the sunset, going to the beach are all ways they relax. I was always a big believer in having quiet time to read without phones or the television constantly on and I think that helped as well.”
Like most learned behaviors, rest can be habit-building, and parents have the opportunity to mold the way children view and prioritize the concept. Grothe hopes her daughters will understand that rest is something people choose, plan for, and prioritize.
“Rest is an active thing,” she says. “It’s a real part of the day.”
Working is exhausting but, unfortunately for most people, it’s a total necessity. Come Friday evening, after spending 40-plus hours at an office or switching from Zoom call to Zoom call at home, most people are pretty wiped out. And though getting a full night’s sleep every night can ease some of this fatigue, it can also be helpful to take little breaks throughout the day to keep yourself motivated.
Enter “rest snacking,” a phrase we’re officially coining to encompass all the small ways you can rest throughout the day before getting a “full meal” of actual sleep at night. Whether you only have a few seconds between calls or a bit more flexibility, consider working a few of these rest snack breaks into your daily routine to feel instantly refreshed and a bit more rested.