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Old 04-30-2012, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,901 posts, read 5,302,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naycha View Post
I currently live in NJ (have my whole life) and want to make a move to an area where I can do all sorts of outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, etc. I'm not looking to live in the middle of nowhere as I would like to be near some stores for general shopping like a wal-mart, target, kmart or similar.
I am a 33 single man though looking to change that lol. I am looking at Colorado because that is where I have visited a few times (Denver & Boulder) and liked the overall vibe out there. If you have any suggestions outside of Colorado I would like to hear those too. Thanks!
Well certainly Colorado is a good choice. Here are some other choices with some brief pros/cons:

  • Colorado. Dry air = less bugs. Not much rain = more enjoyable outdoors experiences. Lots of sun throughout the year.
  • California. Lots of outdoors opportunities, but higher cost of living, and more people thronging the campgrounds.
  • Wyoming and Idaho: sparsely populated = easier finding solitude and available campgrounds. also cheaper. more enjoyable outdoors experiences, but harsh winters and shorter hiking seasons
  • Seattle, Portland (Pacific NW coasts): beautiful mountains but lots of rain and grey skies.
Of the above choices, California gives you the most year-round availability of hiking, camping, and fishing. Both Colorado and California give you the drier experience.



The most "raw" outdoors experiences are probably in Idaho and Wyoming. What I mean is the fewest people and the largest areas that are still untouched.



Lots of people in Oregon and Washington state are into the outdoors, which is fine as long as you resign yourself to spending a lot of time in the rain.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:16 PM
 
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Wow, some really great responses and plenty to think about. Washington is definitely out for me due to the fact that it is rather dreary (to me anyway) with all the rain and cloudy days. California is on my list of places to look into and Wyoming sounds like another one for me to do some research on. Thanks all!
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:19 AM
 
590 posts, read 1,070,044 times
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FYI - Eastern Washington is a completely different climate than Seattle and also much closer to Idaho and Montana. Colorado has plenty of sunshine but also plenty of wind. Along the Front Range snow is possible 9 months of the year and in the mountains even more.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:34 PM
 
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Wink A note on PNW climate

A note on climate. Eastern Washington, running through the panhandle of Idaho into Montana, are distinctly different and drier climates than that far wetter west of the Cascade mountains; but my understanding that this region still experiences a fair bit of overcast sky in the winter. Not as much so as Portland, OR or Seattle, WA—who take the cake (baring Forks, WA)—but still more so than customary in Colorado. Someone wanting lots of sun would probably be advised to avoid the Pacific Northwest altogether.

The Sierra Nevada mountains of California; throughout Nevada for sure; the Wasatch of Utah; mountain Colorado; as well as mountains in New Mexico—all enjoy a fair amount of sun throughout the year. Storms come and go, but the sky is seldom entirely overcast for long.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,901 posts, read 5,302,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naycha View Post
Wow, some really great responses and plenty to think about. Washington is definitely out for me due to the fact that it is rather dreary (to me anyway) with all the rain and cloudy days. California is on my list of places to look into and Wyoming sounds like another one for me to do some research on. Thanks all!
Your ability to enjoy living in Wyoming depends on your liking of small towns and cold winters. If I'm not mistaken, Wyoming is the least populated state in the lower 48. A lot of it is also a pretty boring (in my opinion): an endless landscape of sagebrush. The interesting, mountainous parts are very far from towns of any decent size. I really enjoy camping and hiking in the western/NW parts in the summer months, but I wouldn't be able to stand living there year-round, because I don't like suffering through months of cold and I prefer living close to big cities.

I enjoy living near the California coast with its year round mild weather and access to a lot of interesting things: the beach, the Santa Cruz mountains with its redwoods, the north Marin county/ Napa Valley area, the Sierra Nevadas to the east, and so forth.

Yesterday I took the day off and went with a friend to fish at a lake about two hours north of San Francisco. Pretty country up there and it's really cool to be able to get away and up into the coastal mountains.

There's definitely a lot of outdoors and nature here, but as I mentioned before it comes at the price of a higher cost of living and many more people that are trying to enjoy the same outdoors. Yesterday driving back was an endless string of cars through Napa Valley. And often it's difficult to find parking at many of the local area trailheads.

But on the plus side, almost nobody was at the lake which was awesome (we had the good fishing spots to ourselves) and the lakes down here dont' ice over in the winter like they do in Colorado.

That said, Colorado is still a great option.
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
3,901 posts, read 5,302,147 times
Reputation: 1505
Your ability to enjoy living in Wyoming depends on your liking of small towns and cold winters. If I'm not mistaken, Wyoming is the least populated state in the lower 48. A lot of it is also a pretty boring (in my opinion): an endless landscape of sagebrush. The interesting, mountainous parts are very far from towns of any decent size. I really enjoy camping and hiking in the western/NW parts in the summer months, but I wouldn't be able to stand living there year-round, because I don't like suffering through months of cold and I prefer living close to big cities.

I enjoy living near the California coast with its year round mild weather and access to a lot of interesting things: the beach, the Santa Cruz mountains with its redwoods, the north Marin county/ Napa Valley area, the Sierra Nevadas to the east, and so forth.

Yesterday I took the day off and went with a friend to fish at a lake about two hours north of San Francisco. Pretty country up there and it's really cool to be able to get away and up into the coastal mountains.

There's definitely a lot of outdoors and nature here, but as I mentioned before it comes at the price of a higher cost of living and many more people that are trying to enjoy the same outdoors. Yesterday driving back was an endless string of cars through Napa Valley. And often it's difficult to find parking at many of the local area trailheads.

But on the plus side, almost nobody was at the lake which was awesome (we had the good fishing spots to ourselves) and the lakes down here dont' ice over in the winter like they do in Colorado.

That said, Colorado is still a great option. A couple of the little tourist-like towns that we passed through yesterday reminded me of the mountain towns in Colorado, with their microbreweries, day spas, etc. I was telling my friend that you can find great microbrew in most of the mountain towns you visit all over Colorado (and in Denver too).
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