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Old 10-19-2013, 02:12 PM
 
8 posts, read 5,420 times
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Hi All,

I would welcome your thoughts on best places to live for this 40 year old selectively-outdoorsy woman (me).

High Priority
1. Place inspires awe. Take this however you wish. For me it means that there is something special about the place like a very dark night sky where I can see the milky way clearly or no sounds except for the buzzing of bees or the chirping of birds and a beautiful mountain top to hike to by myself. Or maybe it’s an ocean beach where I can sit for 3 hours just in contemplation watching the waves roll in. I don’t need all of the best things – just a few to make me feel connected to the universe and inspire the daily awe that I need.

2. Place has outdoor exercise options that are "accessible" to me. By “accessible” I meant that that
a) I won't freeze to death doing them,
b) I can do after work because it's AT MOST a 20 minute drive away, and
c) I can do most of the year because the weather isn't too hot, too cold, or too rainy.

3. Community has high buy-in to sustainability. In other words, I'm not the only person who knows what a straw bale home is or who is not using plastic bags in the store. Would love it if the city is progressively sustainable.

4. Has good-paying, sustainability-focused jobs - I'm a decently paid energy efficiency professional looking to go even greener in my job focus. My dream company's main focus is to make something sustainable that is not currently sustainable or to make some other large shift in industry or society that will increase sustainability by a good order of magnitude.

6. Is warm/tolerable for most of the year. I'm thin and don't handle the cold well. If it's under 40 degrees F for most of the year, I'll be stuck inside unfortunately. I can tolerate a little bit for a little while but not a lot for a long time.

7. Not too much rain or snow. Again, I get cold pretty easily, and I can tolerate a little for a little while. But too much will be difficult for me.

8. I can easily, quickly get to places where I can't hear the sound of cars, planes, humans. I need downtime and it would nice to live close to a place where I can get my fill of quiet awe on an almost daily basis.

9. Able to find housing where I can live close to work and grocery stores, and can even bike there. Would be great to not need a car while in town.

10. Air is not heavily polluted
11. Lack of natural disasters

Medium Priority
1. Near some water and is green
2. More advanced hiking options, (at least a few over 3000' elevation gain would be nice)
3. Good cultural mix, not all one race, one religion, etc.

Things I don't care about:
1. Schools quality - I don't have nor intend to have children
2. Entertainment - I don't need symphonies, movies, museums, art shows, etc.
3. Cost – please put down all your ideas regardless of cost
4. Prestige
5. Crime rate
6. Tax rate

Thank you in advance for your input!
Patricia
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:28 PM
 
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Sedona, Arizona. Oak Creek Canyon area.
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:39 PM
 
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Except for (4) your criteria scream out "Asheville". You will find some people who shere your priorities in Roanoake, but they will be in the minority. Charlottesville is very educated and upscale, but is a bit more than 20 minutes to the mountains. Knoxville has a very "green" mayor, but again, the mountains are a bit further away. There is an "urban wilderness" network of hiking trails right in town. Oak Ridge TN is your best bet for good jobs with the DOE - it also has a system of greenways and hiking trails right at the edge of town. 20-40 minutes to the cumblerlands, debending on where you live.

Oh wait a minute, I forgot about Boone, NC. That might be ideal for you except for its high elevation brings a lot of snow (for the southeast). Again, jobs is the big ???
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanny Goat View Post
Sedona, Arizona. Oak Creek Canyon area.
Thank you but jobs are scarce there. Wish they weren't. It's a beautiful town.
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Old 10-19-2013, 03:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by creeksitter View Post
Except for (4) your criteria scream out "Asheville". You will find some people who shere your priorities in Roanoake, but they will be in the minority. Charlottesville is very educated and upscale, but is a bit more than 20 minutes to the mountains. Knoxville has a very "green" mayor, but again, the mountains are a bit further away. There is an "urban wilderness" network of hiking trails right in town. Oak Ridge TN is your best bet for good jobs with the DOE - it also has a system of greenways and hiking trails right at the edge of town. 20-40 minutes to the cumblerlands, debending on where you live.

Oh wait a minute, I forgot about Boone, NC. That might be ideal for you except for its high elevation brings a lot of snow (for the southeast). Again, jobs is the big ???
This list is a great starter list. Thanks. I can further check out jobs there. Thank you!
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:32 PM
 
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You may have loosen up some of the criteria, as I don't think there any place that fits all of it. Perhaps places like Morgantown WV, Blacksburg VA, Fort Collins and Boulder CO and Rome GA, among others, may work if the criteria is adjusted.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiking_patricia View Post
Thank you but jobs are scarce there. Wish they weren't. It's a beautiful town.
For some reason, I thought you already had a job, working at home. Sorry I didn't read that clearly. Sedona doesn't have too many jobs--maybe tourism related. Good luck on your search.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:49 AM
 
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I agree that either Asheville and Boone seem to fulfill the overall criteria best, with a slight edge to Boone in terms of jobs/economics.
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Old 10-20-2013, 06:05 AM
 
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Great! Thank you all! Any other suggestions from different regions?
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:03 AM
 
56,960 posts, read 81,305,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiking_patricia View Post
Great! Thank you all! Any other suggestions from different regions?
In the Northeast, I guess Burlington VT, Ithaca NY and Amherst MA come to mind, but some of the criteria in terms of weather and perhaps mountains. I believe that they fulfill the rest of the requirements.
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