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Old 12-31-2012, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1 posts, read 1,033 times
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My wife and I will be relocating within the next 12-18 months due to the completion of her residency. We currently reside in Philadelphia, PA. We are both 30, no kids, but looking to start a family. She is an internal medicine doctor, and I myself am a school psychologist. My wife is from CA (San Jose) with majority of her family still there, I am originally from PA (Scranton), but my family has since relocated to the Asheville, NC area within the last 3 years. We live a very urban lifestyle, so we are not ready to pack it in to the suburbs just yet. We are looking to move out of a major city, but very much interested in a small-medium sized city (100-400k pop.)

Interests: access to outdoors, cultural events, sporting events, quality schools, proximity to major hospital network/university, access (2-3hrs) to bigger cities

I've read just about every "top cities" and "best places" report and blog only to become so totally overwhelmed with rankings and advice.

A few places on our list that keep coming up are:

Scottsdale, AZ
Colorado Springs/ Boulder, CO
Atlanta/Athens, GA
Portland,OR
Santa Barbara/ San Diego, CA


Any insider info about any of these places, or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Also, anyone who has been in this situation or considered some of these options???? Insights would be greatly appreciated.

Kindly,

Tom
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:39 AM
 
21,218 posts, read 30,435,315 times
Reputation: 19671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karbowski82 View Post
We are looking to move out of a major city, but very much interested in a small-medium sized city (100-400k pop.)

Interests: access to outdoors, cultural events, sporting events, quality schools, proximity to major hospital network/university, access (2-3hrs) to bigger cities
The Durham/Chapel Hill/Carrboro NC metro area would be my suggestion given your criteria. The presence of both Duke University and University of North Carolina offers plenty of cultural/sporting events and their two major university hospitals and network affiliates. The Chapel Hill/Carrboro Public School System is one of the best in the nation and #1 in North Carolina. It's a very outdoorsy area with lots of greenspace, parks, rivers, lakes and hiking/biking venues. The only negative might be the "access to a bigger city" criteria, as it's above your 2 to 3 hour limit, though bear in mind neighboring Raleigh might ease that for you. It's routinely just above a 4 hour drive to Washington, DC.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:49 AM
 
56,754 posts, read 81,082,761 times
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What about other factors like weather, proximity to family and the type of outdoor activities?
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 10,401,410 times
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I can't speak to which is the best match for you, as I've not got experience of them all. I can speak to Portland, and what it's attractions are, though.

First I'd say, the climate in Portland is the most different from the others. So you have to determine whether that's something you can handle. But that aside, it has all your other requirements. Of course, the outdoors are right at your door. You're within 90 minutes of year-round skiing at Mt. Hood, the Oregon Coast, the Columbia River Gorge with it's world-class wind-surfing. Lots of running and biking paths. It's a major bicycling town. Spectator sports are available ... but not great for major league sports. No football or baseball. Soccer is huge, though. And lots of participation sports. Join a Dragon Boat team, an Adult Kick Ball team, Hood to Coast team, etc.

OHSU is in Portland, the state's medical school, Providence is probably the biggest hospital system.

As for culture, there's a thriving local theater scene, a great opera company, symphony, ballet, etc. Plus you get the normal traveling Broadway shows coming through regularly. Some good museums, a pretty thriving art scene. Events like First Thursday in the Pearl, or Last Thursday in the Alberta Arts district. The food scene can't be beat, with farm-to-table probably being the dominant "theme" of local restaurants. The food cart scene (something like 475 food carts) give you lots of great variety for very low cost. Farmers Markets are everywhere.

Access to bigger cities ... well, Portland's pretty remote. Seattle would be the only short drive (though that gives you access to more major league sports). But, it's a short hour hop by airplane to San Francisco (and your in-laws), two to Los Angeles.

Best of luck on making a decision that suits your family best.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:36 PM
 
56,754 posts, read 81,082,761 times
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If you don't mind staying in the Northeast, perhaps the major Upstate NY metros or maybe a metro like Springfield or Worcester MA. Pittsburgh may work as well.

Other metros like Madison WI, Omaha NE, Des Moines IA and Salt Lake City UT may be worth a look.

This may help in terms of educational attainment of top 100 metros: Cities with the Most College-Educated Residents - Graphic - NYTimes.com
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,438 posts, read 4,230,218 times
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Portland and San Diego both seem to be quite a bit larger than you say you're looking for (100-400k). If you really want a metro area of that size, look at Eugene, Oregon.
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