The Good Life (With Benefits) Ten towns where you can ski, bike, climb or paddle your career into early retirement.

Where does New York banking giant Goldman Sachs have it second largest U.S. office? Not in Los Angeles, Chicago, or Miami, but here at 4,300 feet above sea level in the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. And it's not just Goldman, which employ2,200 people here: Large divisions of Wells Fargo, Fidelity, and RBS Securities have also set up shop in Salt Lake City, making it one of the country's least likely financial centers, a surprisingly sophisticated yet affordable alternative for those who are as ambitious in the boardroom as they are on the slopes. Technology is also booming, which has led some to refer to the area as Silicon Slopes. 

"There are misperceptions about Utah, but we bring people here and they get over them really fast," says Jeff Weber, who handles HR for Instructure, a digital-education company. Case in point: Last November, an out-of-the-closet lesbian, Jackie Biskupski, was elected mayor. There are concert venues, bars, a ballet, a symphony, and the Utah Jazz.

"I don't think you could ask for a more rewarding work-life balance," says Matt Belkin, a tech exec and recent transplant. "When I worked in Silicon Valley, it was go, go, go, grind, grind, grind," he says. "There was no balance I worked 120-hour weeks. And here, it's just the opposite." ~ Jeff Tyler