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Old 12-26-2012, 09:05 AM
 
1 posts, read 958 times
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Although I have vacationed to other places in the country, I never lived anywhere other than the DMV area (grew up in southern MD and currently live in Alexandria, VA). My job allows me to work permanently from home and I wanted to take the opportunity to live somewhere new for a few years. I understand that only I can determine whether I would enjoy a certain location, but I would love to hear advice from those who are more experienced and know more about particular locations than I could gather from short visits.

I am a 25 year old single female engineer and earn about 82k/year and looking to live comfortably within my means somewhere out West. I am looking to escape the humid summers and ugly winters of the DC area. I have spent summers in Denver and love the weather and enjoy hiking and biking out there. I have also been considering California because of the weather and proximity to both mountains and the beach, but am concerned of the cost of living and whether the superficial stereotypes are true. Since I am only 25, I'd like to be around other young professionals and would prefer a livelier place where meeting people is a bit easier.

Also, are there areas that are walker friendly? Living in Old Town Alexandria I can easily walk to grocery stores, restaurants, etc. and while working from home, I enjoy mid day breaks and walking around town. From my experiences traveling out to San Diego and Denver, it seems that walking for everyday errands isn't as common? Or am I wrong? I haven't been to other major western cities and I understand that every location has pros and cons, but I would love to hear any comments. Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,428 posts, read 4,068,055 times
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Portland and Seattle have some wonderfully walkable neighborhoods, lots of young professionals, and the summers aren't humid. If rain doesn't bother you, one of them might be perfect.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:00 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,391 posts, read 23,771,085 times
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If you want walkable out west I would consider the northern half... i.e. SF, Portland, Seattle. But if it is a weather upgrade you are looking for none of these will be that much better than DC... A little milder maybe, but often less sun, more drizzle rain and fog... Exception would be the rest of the Bay Area, but then you lose a lot of the walkability and still paying top dollar, more expensive than any of your other out west options, and more expensive than DC. SF metro has very mixed weather depending on where you are. Generally the farther west and south you are, the better the weather, the farther east and north, the weather degrades. (Colder, greyer, more drizzle and fog)

Denver you will get about 6x more snow than DC and it lasts longer with wilder drops in temperature and far far less walkable.

SD and LA will give you almost ideal weather and access to beach and mountains, but less walkable neighborhoods than SF, Portland or Seattle...

Really anywhere you go there are trade offs.

Personally I think where you are moving from is one of the most balanced metros in the country, enough nature around, pretty mild winters by most of the U.S. standards, great walkability and access to other cities.

For you I would probably recommend LA, offers a little bit of everything you are looking for.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:02 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
5,256 posts, read 12,563,108 times
Reputation: 5094
I moved out west from DC and I can honestly say I have no desire to ever live on the east coast again. I moved to Seattle in the late 90s and spent 12 wonderful years there. Its an awesome city. After a promotion came up in Los Angeles I decided to give it a shot and I love LA. Living here you really get to experience what this city is all about. Everything is so different and I love it.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:14 PM
 
2,801 posts, read 4,739,550 times
Reputation: 2501
Phoenix, Scottsdale, AZ area.....you'll love it!
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,682 posts, read 11,899,593 times
Reputation: 7894
Quote:
Originally Posted by avocado87 View Post
Although I have vacationed to other places in the country, I never lived anywhere other than the DMV area (grew up in southern MD and currently live in Alexandria, VA). My job allows me to work permanently from home and I wanted to take the opportunity to live somewhere new for a few years. I understand that only I can determine whether I would enjoy a certain location, but I would love to hear advice from those who are more experienced and know more about particular locations than I could gather from short visits.

I am a 25 year old single female engineer and earn about 82k/year and looking to live comfortably within my means somewhere out West. I am looking to escape the humid summers and ugly winters of the DC area. I have spent summers in Denver and love the weather and enjoy hiking and biking out there. I have also been considering California because of the weather and proximity to both mountains and the beach, but am concerned of the cost of living and whether the superficial stereotypes are true. Since I am only 25, I'd like to be around other young professionals and would prefer a livelier place where meeting people is a bit easier.

Also, are there areas that are walker friendly? Living in Old Town Alexandria I can easily walk to grocery stores, restaurants, etc. and while working from home, I enjoy mid day breaks and walking around town. From my experiences traveling out to San Diego and Denver, it seems that walking for everyday errands isn't as common? Or am I wrong? I haven't been to other major western cities and I understand that every location has pros and cons, but I would love to hear any comments. Thanks!
Your correct about the lack of walking in many of the cities of the West. Especially places like here in the Phoenix area. Very auto dependent and its almost impossible, to get away from that fact here. Actually I lived in San Diego some years ago and walked all over. However one has to live in the Central Core of the city to do that. Denver also one can walk but again in the central core. The West is urban sprawl at its worst I'm sorry to say. That and many lack efficient transit.

My recommendations for cities one can walk in the West are San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, San Diego and Denver somewhat. That is if one lives in the areas of these cities or metro's, where actual neighborhoods were built. San Franciso being what I would say the most walkable. That is if one can take the hills.
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