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Old 01-29-2012, 02:03 PM
 
89 posts, read 142,047 times
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I live in MD right now, and I simply don't like it here, and I will be moving in the next couple of years. My search has narrowed down to the Tampa area, South Florida and Colorado (Don't even know how I have such different places). I have family in both locations, but most of my family is in MD. All jobs and budgets aside, which do you think would be better for me based on this:

Reasons I'm considering FL-
- I don't mind heat and humidity, I actually like it
- I love the beach, boating, fishing etc...
- Idea of year round warm weather
- Family friendly areas? (maybe?)
- Love sports, Florida has plenty of sports
- Year round outdoors activities and warmth

Reasons I'm considering CO-
- The Rocky Mountains
- All of the outdoor opportunities
- Downtown Denver
- Family friendly areas
- So much sunshine
- Again, plenty of sports in Colorado
- This is just something I thought I would throw in. I love hiking and fishing and all that stuff that you can use the mountains for, but I simply don't ski or mountain bike or snowboard etc...

So, just basically a summary of that, I love being outdoors and I love sunshine and warmth, don't mind humidity. Also, I'm a big sports fan. So, again, all jobs and budgets aside, which place would be better for me? Any other suggestions? Thanks guys.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:18 PM
 
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If you're young and have no spouse or children, go first with Florida and if that doesn't work out then try Denver later on.

Florida's oceanic location is nice and is more what you're used to in MD with the ocean, the bay and so many rivers.

Denver is a total change. It does have all 5 major league sports, but attending those isn't cheap.

IMO it's better to watch most sports on TV and only attend a few games in person, so I'd lean towards actually participating in Florida's year-round water-borne activities. You can run and cycle there too, just as you'd do in Denver.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:48 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply Mike. I think the main reason I have Colorado as an option is because I'm very curious about the "western" lifestyle. I live in a small rural town, and honestly I love the small town feel. It's close to DC and BMore and it has it's own downtown, and shopping within 30 minutes. Can I find something like this in CO or FL?
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:31 PM
 
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The biggest misconception that most Easterners have of Colorado, and the Rocky Mountain West in general, is that rural areas in this region are similar to those back East. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Eastern areas have many small towns, usually located only a few miles apart, many of which were settled even before the railroads were built. Small towns in Colorado were nearly all created either because of or directly by the railroads. Some didn't even exist until the automobile age. Because of that, those towns developed much differently--economically, demographically, and socially--than did most Eastern small towns. To this day, most Colorado small towns are centered around agriculture (ranching or farming), the extractive industries (mining, oil and gas), and--more of late--tourism and retirement communities. Those latter communities really aren't "real" small towns because most of their residents are either part-time residents and/or transplants from metro areas--they are not normal small towns, either demographically or socially. Towns dominated by the extractive industries are also different. They often have somewhat transient populations, and will boom and bust in regular cycles. The closest thing, socially and demographically, to small towns in other regions of the US are Colorado's farming and ranching communities, but even in those the socio-economic fabric is different. Adding to that mix is the fact that small towns in Colorado--and even more so in neighboring states--may be dozens of miles apart from one another, and sometimes a two hundred miles or more from a major city--completely different from the Eastern states. Finally, most of the Rocky Mountain West is a demographic dichotomy: most people living in large automobile-dependent metropolitan blobs (Denver, Colorado Springs, etc.) where most of the jobs are, and a sparsely populated hinterland with very limited economic opportunities. The small communities scattered from 50 to 100 miles from the metro areas are often not autonomous small towns, but merely gatherings of housing developments nearly totally dependent on the nearby metro area for shopping, jobs, medical services, etc. They are utterly automobile-dependent, with the residents spending inordinate amounts of time in their cars every day just to be able to live there. One usually has to get 125-150 miles from the metro areas to find some relatively self-sufficient and self-sustaining small communities.

As for the "Western" lifestyle, most metro residents of Colorado may think they are living some "Western lifestyle," but they are really just suburbanites living the way suburbanites live just about anywhere else in the United States. Most of them (including some regular posters on this forum) don't have clue about what being a true Westerner is all about. They think that just living here instantly qualifies them as a Westerner. Nope.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDborn View Post
Thanks for the reply Mike. I think the main reason I have Colorado as an option is because I'm very curious about the "western" lifestyle. I live in a small rural town, and honestly I love the small town feel. It's close to DC and BMore and it has it's own downtown, and shopping within 30 minutes. Can I find something like this in CO or FL?
IMO a "western lifestyle" is as much a myth as other nostalgic and romanticized versions of people living in various regions; not unlike the silliness of being a "rugged individualist" and other similar creations. Madison Avenue would have us believe that if you drive an open-air Jeep, wear khaki-color pants and smoke Camel cigarettes that you're a rugged individualist.

Wikipedia defines "Western Lifestyle" as a social classification of people significantly influenced by the (often romanticized) attitudes, ethics and history of the American Western Cowboy Culture. Most cattle these days are in feed lots and most cattle workers are immigrants riding around in pickup trucks or on ATV's. One of my friends is from Nebraska where her family ranches cattle and they chase the strays on ATVs, not horses.

Jazzlover gave a superb explanation of the differences between small back east, which I know well as a native Marylander, be it an old railroad town in the mountains of western MD (Cumberland) or the fishing towns of the Chesapeake Bay (Tangier Island, etc). Those small towns were a primary reflection of the main industry and the norms, standards, limits and boundaries of the locals became the "lifestyle" of those areas, just as ranching did here.

No matter where located, a common thread through all of these towns is the basic goodness of the people, who were often some pretty rough-cut types at that, but with a certain grit to persevere and hold their pints.

I would not let any type of small town lifestyle be your main driver for this quest you're on. The old days are gone everywhere though there are pockets of old-school people in places all over the nation. Regardless where you go, you'll find landowners and ranchers out here who wear their boots, ride their horses and care for the land greatly, and you'll find fishermen in FL who respect the sea and care for her greatly.

If you really can't decide, then flip a coin and hit the road to sate your wanderlust and let the chips fall where they may.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Mike from back east wrote:
....and let the chips fall where they may
If yer talkin about potato chips, I'm hoping some of them fall on my plate.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
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Those are such different areas, I think you really need to decide what you like more first. I moved here from FL and I love it here, FL is such a nasty place in my opinion but some people seem to like it.

Do you like the mountains or ocean more? Humidity or dryness? Those are probably the 2 big questions. Some of your things I don't agree with though, FL year round outdoor activities? Have you visited during like June - August?
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:40 AM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
As for the "Western" lifestyle, most metro residents of Colorado may think they are living some "Western lifestyle," but they are really just suburbanites living the way suburbanites live just about anywhere else in the United States. Most of them (including some regular posters on this forum) don't have clue about what being a true Westerner is all about. They think that just living here instantly qualifies them as a Westerner. Nope.
I agree, it always gives me the giggles when people living on the prairie in Denver think they are living in the Rocky Mountains or living a rough western lifestyle.

Back when I was growing up, Denver was more of a cow town. Now so many people have moved there from all over it has lost it's distinct culture and identity.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:43 AM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snikt View Post
Those are such different areas, I think you really need to decide what you like more first. I moved here from FL and I love it here, FL is such a nasty place in my opinion but some people seem to like it.

Do you like the mountains or ocean more? Humidity or dryness? Those are probably the 2 big questions. Some of your things I don't agree with though, FL year round outdoor activities? Have you visited during like June - August?
We had a thread here a few months ago with someone considering Florida and Colorado.

I couldn't think of 2 different places to consider.

I would also add hot or cold to the mix. If you like warmth and heat, Florida has plenty. If you like cool and cold, Colorado has plenty. The dominate weather pattern in CO is winter and the dominate weather pattern in FL is summer.

I find Florida totally oppressive in June to August, but some people like 110+ heat indexes. Being along the beach moderates that though.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
We had a thread here a few months ago with someone considering Florida and Colorado.

I couldn't think of 2 different places to consider.

I would also add hot or cold to the mix. If you like warmth and heat, Florida has plenty. If you like cool and cold, Colorado has plenty. The dominate weather pattern in CO is winter and the dominate weather pattern in FL is summer.

I find Florida totally oppressive in June to August, but some people like 110+ heat indexes. Being along the beach moderates that though.
The beach helps some, but not enough. I went back for Xmas and my parents house is like 3-4 miles from the beach. It was 85 on Xmas day and I was sweating even inside the house.

I say June - August, but it's really much wider than that. It gets into the 90s in October also, it doesn't fall off much like places that actually have seasons.
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