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Old 03-13-2010, 11:45 AM
 
14 posts, read 42,000 times
Reputation: 18

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I'm looking to move my family next year, and we're not sure where we want to go. We don't like big cities, but we need to be somewhere that is big enough to support a hospital and some industry. We'd like someplace with a good Southern charm (and by that, I am NOT speaking in some kind of secret racial or ethnic code). I've been to a lot of places in Florida, and I don't know if there are any places that meet that criteria anymore. We'd like someplace that:
1) has at least 75,000 people in the metropolitan area, but not too big (no Miami, Jacksonville or Tampa)
2) Has friendly people who won't look down on someone with a country accent
3) Has more than one major industry
4) Has nearby small towns within a twenty-minute commute
5) Has some good fishing, hunting, or hiking nearby
6) Is not overrun by criminals
Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't care about hurricanes, or the presence of people with pick-up trucks.
I had thought maybe Pensacola might fit the bill, but there are almost no positive comments about it on this board.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:14 PM
 
11,371 posts, read 7,346,239 times
Reputation: 4523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbobster View Post
I'm looking to move my family next year, and we're not sure where we want to go. We don't like big cities, but we need to be somewhere that is big enough to support a hospital and some industry. We'd like someplace with a good Southern charm (and by that, I am NOT speaking in some kind of secret racial or ethnic code). I've been to a lot of places in Florida, and I don't know if there are any places that meet that criteria anymore. We'd like someplace that:
1) has at least 75,000 people in the metropolitan area, but not too big (no Miami, Jacksonville or Tampa)
2) Has friendly people who won't look down on someone with a country accent
3) Has more than one major industry
4) Has nearby small towns within a twenty-minute commute
5) Has some good fishing, hunting, or hiking nearby
6) Is not overrun by criminals
Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't care about hurricanes, or the presence of people with pick-up trucks.
I had thought maybe Pensacola might fit the bill, but there are almost no positive comments about it on this board.
It sounds like the Panhandle is what you are looking for. There is probably some parts of northern and central Florida that could fit your description.
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Old 03-13-2010, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
186,985 posts, read 76,886,683 times
Reputation: 130259
FL has become such a melting pot since my youth I can't see any real southern except up near the GA and AL state lines. An there it is small towns that have not allowed massive cookie cutter development. Don't give credence to comments on this board about any area you seem to like. Visit. That is the only way to know what is for you. FL has malcontents that give negative responses because it is not like it was back home.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Floribama
14,983 posts, read 31,366,361 times
Reputation: 13784
I suggest the Chumuckla area in Santa Rosa County. It's a rural area with lots of farms and horse ranches, close to Milton and Pensacola, and near Blackwater River State Park. Most folks there speak with a Southern "country" accent so you'll fit right in. They even have a Redneck Christmas Parade every year.

The Molino area in north Escambia County is another possibility.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:51 PM
 
15,191 posts, read 31,137,880 times
Reputation: 18359
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbobster View Post
I'm looking to move my family next year, and we're not sure where we want to go. We don't like big cities, but we need to be somewhere that is big enough to support a hospital and some industry. We'd like someplace with a good Southern charm (and by that, I am NOT speaking in some kind of secret racial or ethnic code). I've been to a lot of places in Florida, and I don't know if there are any places that meet that criteria anymore. We'd like someplace that:
1) has at least 75,000 people in the metropolitan area, but not too big (no Miami, Jacksonville or Tampa)
2) Has friendly people who won't look down on someone with a country accent
3) Has more than one major industry
4) Has nearby small towns within a twenty-minute commute
5) Has some good fishing, hunting, or hiking nearby
6) Is not overrun by criminals
Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't care about hurricanes, or the presence of people with pick-up trucks.
I had thought maybe Pensacola might fit the bill, but there are almost no positive comments about it on this board.
Check out Lakeland. To me it still has a Southern feel, a small city of under 100,000, lots of beautiful lakes for fishing, etc. We lived there for 2 years and found the people to be VERY happy and VERY friendly! There are lots of industries in this area, it is more diversified than a lot of Florida. Lots of small charming towns within 20 minutes or so, i.e. Winter Haven, Auburndale, Lake Wales, Plant City to name a few.

Be aware that as mentioned above, we have some malcontents on this board who will undoubtedly show up to tell you what a pit it is, but it is simply not true. Visit for yourself, and I believe you will like what you see.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,909,466 times
Reputation: 3838
Sounds like you might like Northern Lake County (Leesburg). We're halfway between the Ocala Natl Forest, horse country, and big city Orlando. There are several large lakes here for boating and fishing. Many small communities along 441 with good shopping, community activities, hospitals, orange groves, and hills. If you stay away from Clermont, Mt Dora, and the Villages you'll find it's very affordable. Rt 25/27 south of where 441 splits is very rural.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:36 PM
 
Location: FLORIDA
8,964 posts, read 6,258,842 times
Reputation: 3380
The panhandle, Clermont, Lakeland, parts of NE FL (Jax too big, as you mentioned already). I'd look into the "heartland" of FL (Sebring/Lake Placid areas), but it's not really a metro area. Ocala, Tallahassee perhaps.

You like what I like, and it's hard to find - but not impossible. It's easier to tell you where NOT to go than it is to tell you where to go. It sucks, but its the "melting pot" that FL has become.
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Miami
6,853 posts, read 19,802,755 times
Reputation: 2907
OP - The Panhandle, Tallahassee, Ocala, Gainesville, Lake City are all pretty southern fealing cities.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Dillon, Montana
586 posts, read 1,718,449 times
Reputation: 592
Lake City, Columbia County.

Lake City is at the crossroads of I-75 and I-10, 90 miles west of Jacksonville. The town of Live Oak is just 20 miles further west and Branford is slightly south where the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers meet. Last time I was there, Branford's school was K-12! There are beautiful blue water springs and the Ichetucknee Springs/River too. The town of White Springs is a countrified place too. It's as "country" as you get, where tur-uck has two syllables! Almost everybody has a bass boat, a float boat, and a horse or two. It's VERY agricultural. And yes, while I lived there I cut the grass and found a car . . . And yes, the porch did collapse on the dogs but they were ok! Really.

One day my neighbor asked me if I wanted a "mess of fish," and dropped a 20 lb catfish on my porch. Another day it was a field dressed deer! There is just about anything you'd want to hunt, and my 14 yr old daughter nearly landed a 14lb large mouth once.

What else . . . Houston is pronounced House-ton . . . sweet tea is what they drink in the daytime . . . It get's WAY too hot in the summer and brutally cold (teens to 20's) in the winter (at least at night). I really miss the Whippoorwill calls in the evening and the Spanish moss, but I sure don't miss the heat!

http://www.city-data.com/city/Lake-City-Florida.html

Tracey
Now in Boone, North Carolina!! We still have snow on the ground!
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:33 AM
 
1,468 posts, read 4,165,902 times
Reputation: 1071
Quote:
Originally Posted by hymnsinger View Post
Lake City, Columbia County.

Lake City is at the crossroads of I-75 and I-10, 90 miles west of Jacksonville. The town of Live Oak is just 20 miles further west and Branford is slightly south where the Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers meet. Last time I was there, Branford's school was K-12! There are beautiful blue water springs and the Ichetucknee Springs/River too. The town of White Springs is a countrified place too. It's as "country" as you get, where tur-uck has two syllables! Almost everybody has a bass boat, a float boat, and a horse or two. It's VERY agricultural. And yes, while I lived there I cut the grass and found a car . . . And yes, the porch did collapse on the dogs but they were ok! Really.

One day my neighbor asked me if I wanted a "mess of fish," and dropped a 20 lb catfish on my porch. Another day it was a field dressed deer! There is just about anything you'd want to hunt, and my 14 yr old daughter nearly landed a 14lb large mouth once.

What else . . . Houston is pronounced House-ton . . . sweet tea is what they drink in the daytime . . . It get's WAY too hot in the summer and brutally cold (teens to 20's) in the winter (at least at night). I really miss the Whippoorwill calls in the evening and the Spanish moss, but I sure don't miss the heat!

http://www.city-data.com/city/Lake-City-Florida.html

Tracey
Now in Boone, North Carolina!! We still have snow on the ground!
I read about some crazy religious movement in Lake city. I thought it was silly till I did some checking. Have you heard anything about it or experienced it? It kind of made me check Lake city off my list.
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