Originally Posted by Planningforthefuture
Hi everyone, I hope that I can get some ideas on some nice small towns. My best friends and I are hoping that one day we can live near each other again. Currently the three of us live in different states due to family obligations, which we are happy to do, but would like to spend our golden years together. This move will not take place for a few years but we want to start getting some ideas so we can take our yearly vacation to these areas and check them out.
Here is what we are looking for but of course we know we can't get everything we want
Nice downtown. It doesn't have to be big, just something with some shops, a restaurant (nothing fancy, a diner or coffeeshop) and a small grocery store to pick up some items between big shopping trips. I love to walk and to be able to walk to get a cup of coffee or pick up some groceries would be great.
My friends don't mind the cold but I like it warmer so we are compromising and am hoping for something with mild winters. We all grew up in the Northeast and would like less snow and cold.
We all love older homes and do not want our houses to look exactly like all our neighbors.
I do not want to live in one of those communities (gated or not). I want an old fashioned neighborhood (if that makes sense).
Does anyone know any towns that would come close to my description? Thanks for any help!
Check out DeLand, Florida. Only about 25,000 people living there. Still, it's a half hour from Daytona, an hour from Orlando and two hours from Jacksonville, so larger cities aren't that far a drive.
Neat, scenic downtown area with a lot of small shops and restaraunts.
Home of Stetson University so there's some decent culture and college sporting events.
The town itself features a lot of homes built in the early to mid 20th Century.
The climate is of course Floridian, and winters are mild, although you get an occasional cool spell in January and February where nighttime temps will dip below freezing.
Outdoor recreation is incredible near Deland. You are only a half hour from the Atlantic Ocean. You are also 15 minutes from the St. John's River and the Ocala National Forest. And right nearby are Blue Springs State Park (winter home of many a manatee) and Deleon Springs State Park (if you go, try the pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill on site...you won't be disappointed.)
Pictures of downtown DeLand:
Ocala National Forest: