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Old 10-28-2012, 09:17 PM
Location: BMORE!
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Baltimore is a decent city.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:43 AM
Location: One of the 13 original colonies.
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Reputation: 8024
Charleston, South Carolina. Great city with many Northern transplants.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:57 AM
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Smaller communities often mentioned in many retirement guides
Oxford, MS (University, intellectual/cultural)
Clemson, SC (University, near I-95, large lakes, and mountains)
Mt. Dora, FL (historic charm, walkable, has the oldest university in FL, 20 miles from beach)
Charlottesville, VA (University, sophistication, scenery, high quality of life, but pricey)
Hendersonville, Brevard, NC (mountains, Appalachian music and crafts)
Chapel Hill, NC (universities, scientists, cosmopolitan, cultural opportunities - taxes are a little high)
Murray, KY (rated #1 retirement town in USA, by Rand McNally analysts- large lakes, fishing, university)
Fairhope, AL (very low property taxes, Gulf coast, art galleries, beaches)
Wilmington and Southport, NC (beaches, golfing, university, access to military bases/hospitals)
Pinehurst, NC (renowned golfing mecca, low humidity)
Lexington or Blacksburg, VA (universities, mountains)
Williamsburg, VA (world-famous colonial living-history town, excellent theme park, golfing resort developments, access to military bases/hospitals)
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:11 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,446 posts, read 2,289,358 times
Reputation: 1361
I think it is funny that you are from Chicago, but Atlanta is "too urban" for you.

Nevertheless, based on what you say, maybe either Charlotte or Raleigh/Durham. Both are plenty larege enough to offer the conveniences of a large city, but they are not especially urban. Also they both have large numbers of transplants so they are not intimidatingly "southern". They are warmer than Chicago, but have milder summers than cities in the deep south.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:52 PM
21,190 posts, read 30,372,337 times
Reputation: 19627
Originally Posted by fsfan View Post
Can anyone give me some suggestions about different cities in the Southeast? We're retiring and would like to move south from Chicago. My fear is that we wouldn't be accepted by most southern communities because we're not ultra-conservative nor religious. We're not adverse to religion... we just don't want to live in a community that revolves around everything Jesus. We love music, good food, and don't want to drive 50 miles to get to the closest Target.

Not interested in South Florida --- too hot.
Not interested in New Orleans --- too humid.
Not interested in Mississippi --- too ... Mississippi.

Any suggestions?

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

It's one of the most educated metro areas in the US and as a result has the culture/food scene to support it, not to mention the benefits of two prestigious universities (Duke and UNC). It's a diverse, blended community of people from all over the US and the world, so "fitting in" isn't a concern as everyone seems to mesh.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:10 PM
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Reputation: 11136
Given your desire to not live somewhere that "revolves around everything Jesus", you are not going to want to go further out than the suburbs of some of the faster growing cities in the South. The reality is that one doesn't have to get very far from the cities before communities become increasingly about their church life. I agree with others that have mentioned the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) & Charlotte but I'd also add Austin and Nashville to the mix. All of these cities have boatloads of transplants and communities that should make you feel comfortable. Austin can get very hot for a very long time in the Summer but its other attributes probably make it worth considering. The other three areas have more balanced seasons that are distinct but with much milder Winters like you had in Atlanta.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:35 AM
Location: Wonderland
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Reputation: 63422
I recommend Asheville, or the historic triangle region of Virginia (Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown). Very different from each other but both beautiful.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:16 AM
Location: FLORIDA
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:03 AM
Location: Columbia, SC
1,860 posts, read 4,441,865 times
Reputation: 776
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
Smaller communities often mentioned in many retirement guides
Clemson, SC (University, near I-95, large lakes, and mountains)
Think you meant I-85 since Clemson is about 3 hours from I-95.

For the OP, I would look at any of the major cities in the Carolinas or Tennessee depending on how close you want/need to remain in proximity to Chicago.

Obviously, the biggies like Nashville or Charlotte will offer you the 'closest' comparison to Chicago that these regions can offer, but definitely would recommend considering Charleston, Columbia, Raleigh, Knoxville, Asheville, Greenville or Greensboro; while in the Bible Belt, there are definitely plenty of non-religious people and believe it or not, most people I've found living here do not shove 'Jesus' down your throat. The most you'll probably get asked is where you go to church and depending on your answer, just leave it at that. At least that's been my experience in 5 years living in Columbia.

I personally have really liked living here because we basically get 3 seasons avoiding the dreaded Winter that I don't miss a bit having lived in Ohio. Fall & Spring are absolutely beautiful here, and the coldest it gets is typically a few January nights into the low-20s/upper teens and daytime highs in the upper 30s/low 40s, and that's the extreme. The great thing is even when there is a cold snap, 2 days later it will 55 and sunny.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:57 PM
Location: Charlotte, NC (in my mind)
7,946 posts, read 15,045,063 times
Reputation: 4482
Is Atlanta an option? If not, the following might work for you.

1. Charlotte
2. Raleigh-Durham
3. Nashville
4. Asheville (small but extremely hipster)
5. Memphis

I don't know if you are against smaller places, but Charleston, Birmingham, and Little Rock might be options for you as well.
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