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Thread: OT: Cool Places to Live

  1. #1
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    Default OT: Cool Places to Live

    It's the off-season, so bear with me...
    After living in Spokane for over 15 years and wanting to explore some different pastures, my wife and I are considering relocating. Being a teacher/nurse couple, we can move virtually anywhere. So I ask you, dear board members...what are some cities worth living in? I'd really appreciate some
    feedback.
    A few criteria: 1) Must be warmer than Spokane (the past two winters have broken us. I don't care to see snow again if I can help it. Okay, maybe a light dusting...but no more owning a snow shovel) 2) Still in the western US. 3) Reasonable home prices (Spokane values or a little higher). 4) Good outdoor scene (mountain biking, hiking, natural areas.
    So let me hear it. Thanks to all who share!
    Last edited by jimmycarter; 07-18-2009 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Can't have those spelling errors....dang iPhone.

  2. #2
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    I lived near Boise (as a kid) and liked it. Much more temperate.

    I'd suggest Boise...if you can handle living in Idaho.
    The Kennel: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."

  3. #3
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    Default Worth looking at

    Two years ago my father moved to an area in eastern Texas. I asked why the h*** there? After visiting a I have a new outlook for the "Cowboy state." Hills covered in pine, hickory, and oak trees. Green on green. Home prices half of Spokane, but so are the wages. Great barbeque, Dallas cheerleaders, and year around activities. All-in-all not a bad place. Southwest is almost west isn't it?
    Last edited by Zerogame; 07-17-2009 at 06:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    austin, texas. everywhere else is a distant second at best.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I don't know if Austin Texas counts as Western United States, but if so, I really enjoyed visiting that area last year.

    I love North County San Diego but the prices would probably rule it out.

    There are a couple of towns in Colorado, but they'll see plenty of snow.

    I guess I'm left with Medford, Oregon based on your criteria. A little small, but I liked the weather (warmer than here), the outdoor activities, the (relative) proximity to the mountains and ocean, and the smaller population than big cities like SF, Oakland, Portland, or Seattle.

  6. #6
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    Default amen, north county

    Quote Originally Posted by mgadfly View Post
    I don't know if Austin Texas counts as Western United States, but if so, I really enjoyed visiting that area last year.

    I love North County San Diego but the prices would probably rule it out.

    There are a couple of towns in Colorado, but they'll see plenty of snow.

    I guess I'm left with Medford, Oregon based on your criteria. A little small, but I liked the weather (warmer than here), the outdoor activities, the (relative) proximity to the mountains and ocean, and the smaller population than big cities like SF, Oakland, Portland, or Seattle.


    Im in Del Mar, which is abt 20 mi north of the San Diego airport........awesome area for recreation, etc......traveled the US quite a bit....nothing close, but Missoula, Boulder and upstate NY are in the conversation....

  7. #7
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    I lived in Bellevue, and l would not mind living there again. Lots of jobs, fun outdoor, not too hot, not too cold..a little rainny, and not too far from the Zags.

  8. #8
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    JC:

    The nurse/teacher combo might be a bit dicey here in Reno: the schools are whacking headcount. Healthcare jobs, OTOH, remain in high demand. Housing prices have cratered but I don't know if they're "in Spokane's range."

    The other criteria would be nicely met in the Reno-Sparks area.

    You are very fortunate to have the means and the courage to make such a change. Congratulations and happy hunting !


    The GUB Resource Library: Stats, Blogs, Brackets, & More. . .

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  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=mgadfly;445212]I don't know if Austin Texas counts as Western United States, but if so, I really enjoyed visiting that area last year. /QUOTE]

    missed the "western U.S." critieria. need to work on my reading skills.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagMan in Philly View Post
    I lived in Bellevue, and l would not mind living there again. Lots of jobs, fun outdoor, not too hot, not too cold..a little rainny, and not too far from the Zags.
    Bellevue's house prices are pretty darn ridiculous, though.

  11. #11
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    Based on your criteria, my recommendation is the Sierra Nevada foothills of California -- places like Pollock Pines, Auburn, Shingle Springs, ect. It's a high enough elevation to have pretty moderate summers, but it's also low enough where you'll rarely ever get measurable snowfall. Plus, you're an on the edge of the El Dorado National Forrest, 1 hour from Lake Tahoe, 1 hour from downtown Sacramento, and a little less than three hours from San Francisco. Plenty of lakes, rivers, campking, hiking, biking, or anything you would ever want to do in an outdoor setting. Plus, it's an amazing time to buy in that area. Home prices have come back to reality in the last year.

  12. #12
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    Don't laugh, PUEBLO Colorado. The biggest downside is the distance to the airport. It's no longer a steel mill town and the cost of living is way lower than the Springs or any part of Denver GSA.

    PS what's wrong with Plains Ga?
    Birddog

    Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

  13. #13
    alaskazagnut Guest

    Default Northern Cali.

    Humboldt or Del Norte counties in Northern california. Anywhere between Eureka and Crescent city is mild summers, snow in winters, surfing, skiing, and some of the best national parks in the world. IMO it is still the pacific northwest so you still can (and should be) a Zag fan. Forget Humboldts weed reputation, that crap is everywhere. It is some of the most comfortable climate I have ever felt year round. Friendly people, low crime, and now even affordable housing.

    Check out the Arcata area and redwoods national park and tell me that is not one of the most perfect places in the U.S.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskazagnut View Post
    Humboldt or Del Norte counties in Northern california. Anywhere between Eureka and Crescent city is mild summers, snow in winters, surfing, skiing, and some of the best national parks in the world. IMO it is still the pacific northwest so you still can (and should be) a Zag fan. Forget Humboldts weed reputation, that crap is everywhere. It is some of the most comfortable climate I have ever felt year round. Friendly people, low crime, and now even affordable housing.

    Check out the Arcata area and redwoods national park and tell me that is not one of the most perfect places in the U.S.
    I agree with everything you said there. Mendicino is amazing!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskazagnut View Post
    Humboldt or Del Norte counties in Northern california. Anywhere between Eureka and Crescent city is mild summers, snow in winters, surfing, skiing, and some of the best national parks in the world. IMO it is still the pacific northwest so you still can (and should be) a Zag fan. Forget Humboldts weed reputation, that crap is everywhere. It is some of the most comfortable climate I have ever felt year round. Friendly people, low crime, and now even affordable housing.

    Check out the Arcata area and redwoods national park and tell me that is not one of the most perfect places in the U.S.
    I second this idea. Arcata and the surrounding area are spectacular.

    Portland and the surrounding areas are also excellent.
    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right

  16. #16
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    Like I'd say anywhere but North Phoenix, AZ...

    low property taxes, awesome weather, especially when Zag season is on, margaritas, killer deals on homes with swimming pools, season tickets to the AZ Cardinals, John McCain , and oh yeah, possibly Micah Downs...it doesn't get any better than that!

  17. #17
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    1. Boise.......growing, good housing with good pricing, great 4 season sports town.
    2. North SD County...nice nice weather, home pricing falling quickly, lots of recreation.......and the ocean is free. San Clemente is perfect
    3. Santa Rosa, Cal or somewhere in N CA. Lots of rain for 1 month or so in WInter, but it's close to everything.
    4. East of Sacto finds lots of smaller cities. East to the Mountains or West to Sacto or SF. Nice people without the crime.

    Biggest problem me and the wife had was finding a place to live because we liked all of the above. Nothing wrong with Salt Lake either but the culture is "confining". Fills the bill though. California is out of money and the teachers are restless. They should be.

  18. #18
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    Thats a easy one Boise for sure,much milder weather,great outdoors,the state is always in the black,low prop.taxes,great country,conservative? very
    Rob in nowhere AZ.

  19. #19
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    I'm partial because I grew up here. I have lived in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) since 1964.

    Positives:

    1) Strong local economy
    2) Lowest cost of living (for a sizeable community) in the state of Washington.
    3) Dry, warm climate.
    4) Excellent water recreation. The Snake river joins the Columbia river here.
    5) Outstanding local sport scene. Pro Hockey, Baseball, Indoor Football. Roughly a dozen High Schools within a 20 mile radius. A hotbed for baseball.
    6) Seems almost immune to significant natural disastors. No major earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, etc.
    7) Gaining a world wide reputation for quality wine production. Many, many wineries and grapefields.

    Negatives:

    1) Can get very hot (100+ for 10-30 days in a row)
    3) Can get some very high winds at times. Blowing tumbleweeds and sand creates some occasional major housekeeping inside and out.
    2) Community growing at a pace that the local government can barely keep up with the infrastructure expansion.


    Another area I really love is the stretch between Bend and Sisters Oregon. But be prepared to lay out a lot of money for that area.
    I miss Mike Hart

  20. #20
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    Flagstaff AZ is nice, but might get a bit too much snow for you.

    I moved to Vancouver, WA from Phoenix last year and really like it. Best of most tax areas (no income in WA, no sales in OR, low property tax, low auto registration) and close to all types of outdoor activities as well as big city life in Portland.

    I've lived in IL, OR, AZ, MA, and WA and like things about everywhere I've been, but Vancouver is working out great for my family right now.

  21. #21
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    I think the Eugene/Springfield area or Corvallis in Oregon fit all those criteria. We've found it very nice to live here, my wife (who grew up in Spokane) thinks it's very similar, except for the politics.

  22. #22
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    Default Portland

    I have lived around Portland for the last 15 or so years and love it.

    The climate is a little more mild in the summer (just a few degrees colder than Spokane in the summer, but also about 5 degrees warmer than Seattle) and the winters are fairly mild (usually just a dusting of snow)

    Recreationally there is Mt. Hood with 3 ski/snowboard resorts, with the biggest night ski area in the U.S. in SkiBowl. There is also Mt. St. Helens, which is a very nice place to hike. There are many lakes for water sports and also rivers.

    The Oregon Coast is about an our and a half away, which really isn't too bad.

    Sports wise there is the Blazers (easily the most popular here) as well as minor league baseball and hockey and in 2011 there will be professional soccer.

    The downside is the wetter winter climate, which can be depressing at times when you don't see the sun for weeks in the winter. Also, the traffic is far worse than Spokane, but that can be expected in any big city.

    Hope this helps!
    It's F4 or bust.

  23. #23
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    You are looking for 'the banana belt of the Rockies':

    http://www.bitterrootvalleychamber.com/seasons.php







    Last edited by lothar98zag; 07-20-2009 at 01:12 PM.
    'I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.'
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  24. #24
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    Default Cool Places

    Been to all 50 states and lived in 8 of them. Based on your criteria:

    Bend, Oregon - Not too much to not like about the place
    Encintias, CA. - little pricy but right on the beach (my current location)
    Sierra Foothills - Close to Tahoe but you can live below the snow line
    Northern California (anywhere north of SF) - Pretty sweet and easy
    Bitteroot Valley, Mt. - Not bad, but don't buy that easy winter stuff
    Prescott, Az. Nice climate - maybe too many retirees and Snowbirds
    Portland - Best big city area in the country for my money.
    Anything east of the 112th meridian is a wasteland!

    Check out the recent Money magazine. 100 best small towns in America to live in.

  25. #25

    Default Relocation Blues

    I haven't found what you are looking for in state, particularly to meet the weather criteria. I have already departed Spokaloo (many years ago to west side - alas, too crowded now). I became tired of the landscape, not so much phyically, but socially/politically. In reading the local news it appears that Spokaloo is still devoid of any concept of what it wants to be nor any sense of tasteful urban design, growth and planning. Historical buildings are continually sacrificed for WalMart design growth. The epicenter of downtown converted to a parking lot. Spokane Valley outrageously devoid of any planning other than the next fast food or box store location. I digress. Bozeman certainly flunks the weather test, but has a very strict design commission and is creating and absolutely terrific community. Sorry, nothing in this stare compares, certainly not Tri Cities nor Bellevue's rows of high rises..
    Good luck!

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