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Old 10-26-2013, 10:22 AM
 
11 posts, read 12,081 times
Reputation: 22

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Hi everyone,

Thank you in advance for your help!

I moved to Santa Cruz from the east coast (originally from midwest) 3 years ago. At first I loved it, I love the outdoors, the weather, the healthy food and plenty of things to do. I work in alternative medicine/ counseling and also work from home on the computer quite a bit doing web design so being able to take a break and hike has been lovely. I do feel very blessed to be able to live in this area of the country, just not sure Santa Cruz itself is the best fit so looking for some guidance as I can live anywhere and CA is a huge place.

The things that I love and would like to have:
- temperate weather, not below 40 or above 90
- close to the ocean but doesn't have to be right on it
- other hiking available within 20 min drive
- healthy food
- things to do like hiking groups, yoga, singles events (I'm 40 and single)
- educated, open-minded, good-hearted people

Things I'd like to get away from:
- drugs - I'm totally ok if that is someone's choice, no judgment, I just don't prefer it and actually get a headache from it and in Santa Cruz you smell pot walking down the street and I can't seem to find anyone to date who doesn't smoke.
- poor housing - I'm cool paying a good amount but not for squalor, seriously, I looked at a house this week for $2300 for a small home that was moldy, falling apart and just disgusting. The housing market in Santa Cruz is horrible and after 4 months of looking for a new house, I'm exhausted by the process.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, trying to choose my words, I do appreciate I'm not from here so some of this is just really new for me. California is beautiful and I do love aspects of living here. I've considered Santa Barbara and SLO but from the forums it seems perhaps they wouldn't be a good fit. I've also considered Mill Valley area. Love your feedback.

Thanks!!
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:37 AM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,437,888 times
Reputation: 12307
Hello and welcome.
Look at Ventura if you want the seacoast town thing, or Ojai up in the hills if you want a stronger eco environment. There is a Ventura County forum here.
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Old 10-26-2013, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Mountains of Oregon
15,321 posts, read 17,773,576 times
Reputation: 10672
My Aunt, Uncle, cousins have loved living in Sonoma many years...

For many years we loved living in the Monterey area, Prunedale, Carmel Valley...
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:20 AM
 
Location: SoCal
542 posts, read 1,261,123 times
Reputation: 749
Have you been to central or southern CA? Seems to me that much of CA from SLO down to San Diego would generally meet your requirements (I have not been north of SLO, so I cannot comment on that). I live in OC and think it could work for you. I would recommend taking a trip around the state to see what area appeals to you most.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Santa Monica, CA
64 posts, read 88,696 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyfully789 View Post
Hi everyone,

Thank you in advance for your help!

I moved to Santa Cruz from the east coast (originally from midwest) 3 years ago. At first I loved it, I love the outdoors, the weather, the healthy food and plenty of things to do. I work in alternative medicine/ counseling and also work from home on the computer quite a bit doing web design so being able to take a break and hike has been lovely. I do feel very blessed to be able to live in this area of the country, just not sure Santa Cruz itself is the best fit so looking for some guidance as I can live anywhere and CA is a huge place.

The things that I love and would like to have:
- temperate weather, not below 40 or above 90
- close to the ocean but doesn't have to be right on it
- other hiking available within 20 min drive
- healthy food
- things to do like hiking groups, yoga, singles events (I'm 40 and single)
- educated, open-minded, good-hearted people

Things I'd like to get away from:
- drugs - I'm totally ok if that is someone's choice, no judgment, I just don't prefer it and actually get a headache from it and in Santa Cruz you smell pot walking down the street and I can't seem to find anyone to date who doesn't smoke.
- poor housing - I'm cool paying a good amount but not for squalor, seriously, I looked at a house this week for $2300 for a small home that was moldy, falling apart and just disgusting. The housing market in Santa Cruz is horrible and after 4 months of looking for a new house, I'm exhausted by the process.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, trying to choose my words, I do appreciate I'm not from here so some of this is just really new for me. California is beautiful and I do love aspects of living here. I've considered Santa Barbara and SLO but from the forums it seems perhaps they wouldn't be a good fit. I've also considered Mill Valley area. Love your feedback.

Thanks!!
Check out San Luis Obispo. Nice hip college town near the ocean, but not on it. Santa Barbara is not too far away if you want to go shopping or to restaurants. The food in SLO is pretty good too. And you'd have to go to the Moon to get away from drugs.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,264,682 times
Reputation: 3145
Sounds like you might like a short trip to the other side of the bay--Monterey.

It's far less scruffy than Santa Cruz, but it may command a bit higher price.
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Old 10-26-2013, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Central Bay Area, CA as of Jan 2010...but still a proud Texan from Houston!
7,484 posts, read 8,701,020 times
Reputation: 8885
There are plenty of good options not far from where you are.

I personally would not want to live in Monterey...I would be bored out of my mind there.

The North Bay has so many beautiful areas as well. There you are close to the ocean with plenty of hiking areas. Sausalito, Mill Valley, San Rafael

Next you might think about any area between Pescadero and/or Half Moon Bay and Pacifica.

There are also plenty of good options in Southern CA.

Good Luck and I am sure you can find someplace suitable.

Last edited by TVC15; 10-26-2013 at 12:13 PM..
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Baghdad by the Bay (San Francisco, California)
3,530 posts, read 4,264,682 times
Reputation: 3145
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVC15 View Post
There are plenty of good options not far from where you are.

I personally would not want to live in Monterey...I would be bored out of my mind there.

The North Bay has so many beautiful areas as well. There you are close to the ocean with plenty of hiking areas. Sausalito, Mill Valley, San Rafael

Next you might think about any area between Pescadero and/or Half Moon Bay and Pacifica.

There are also plenty of good options in Southern CA.

Good Luck and I am sure you can find someplace suitable.
I was thinking North Bay too, but it often gets up above 90 up there, which was noted as the threshold. I do agree with you on Monterey's "relaxed" lifestyle. Is it sleepier than Santa Cruz, though?
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,094 posts, read 22,952,534 times
Reputation: 35230
What about somewhere like Alameda, even? Alameda has a beach, very walkable, lots of character, quaint, lots of Victorian houses, farmer's market, and you'd be close to Berkeley and tons of meet-ups in the SF Bay Area and groups, etc., etc. Lots more going on.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:56 PM
 
Location: The High Seas
7,379 posts, read 13,346,087 times
Reputation: 11702
If you can afford it, it's hard to go wrong with Santa Barbara. For cheaper, go to Ventura.
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