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Old 07-07-2014, 08:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbell75 View Post
Newport Beach, CA. World class restaurants, hotels, shopping, nightlife, some of the best beaches and best weather in the country and it even has its own island (Balboa). Laguna Beach. Everything Newport has plus some of the best art galleries in the US and a lovely little village downtown.
I wouldn't really call that an independent city, it is part of greater L.A.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by things and stuff View Post
Bloomington, IL is the best small city under 200k that I've probably ever been to. Its like something out of a TV sitcom.

Its what I grew up thinking small towns should be like, with a grid, no real ghettos, very safe, no traffic, great schools, civic pride, cute little downtown, great bike trails, and super cheap houses.

Bloomington, IN is nice too but are not to be confused.
Funny that both get suggested within a couple posts, and they both fit the criteria. I like Bloomington, IL as well.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:09 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,586 posts, read 14,379,099 times
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Might be a bit bigger total CSA than you are looking for, but definitely not suburbs. Close to Asheville, so topography and weather are quite similar, but not as hip, cool, (or well known) as Asheville either
Johnson City, Tennessee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
6,490 posts, read 16,188,466 times
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How about Staunton, Va? City is ~24,000, metro ~118,000

https://www.google.com/search?q=stau...w=1024&bih=672

Nearby Harrisonburg has a population around 50,000 and a metro around 126,000. Not as beautiful a downtown as Staunton but maybe more of a cool factor due to a large university and younger population.

https://www.google.com/search?q=harr...w=1024&bih=672
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:17 PM
 
Location: O.C.
2,821 posts, read 2,757,746 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander_Crews View Post
I wouldn't really call that an independent city, it is part of greater L.A.
Huh? It became a city in 1906 and its in Orange County, not LA County
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbell75 View Post
Huh? It became a city in 1906 and its in Orange County, not LA County
Ugh, just gotta get snotty, huh?

It doesn't fit the criteria, and Greater L.A. includes Orange County:

Quote:
The US Census Bureau defines the Greater Los Angeles area to include the entire Los Angeles county, Ventura County, Orange County and the two counties of the Inland Empire, making up the "Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA" Combined Statistical Area.
Greater Los Angeles Area
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I said earlier, the more isolated, the more influence the city has over it's region, the better. Newport Beach does NOT anchor Orange County.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:30 PM
 
3,147 posts, read 2,948,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
Might be a bit bigger total CSA than you are looking for, but definitely not suburbs. Close to Asheville, so topography and weather are quite similar, but not as hip, cool, (or well known) as Asheville either
Johnson City, Tennessee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I would count it inside the criteria, good suggestion! I actually considered moving there once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lammius View Post
How about Staunton, Va? City is ~24,000, metro ~118,000

https://www.google.com/search?q=stau...w=1024&bih=672

Nearby Harrisonburg has a population around 50,000 and a metro around 126,000. Not as beautiful a downtown as Staunton but maybe more of a cool factor due to a large university and younger population.

https://www.google.com/search?q=harr...w=1024&bih=672
Wow, I GOTTA visit Staunton.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:34 PM
 
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
273 posts, read 349,944 times
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Johnson City appears to be way under the radar. Anyone here ever live there, or stay there for an extended period of time? It's on my list of "to-visit" cities.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:18 AM
 
56,867 posts, read 81,192,796 times
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A lot of cities in states like Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas would fit in terms of size and isolation.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
3,451 posts, read 3,409,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
I'd definitely add Traverse City to that list. Technically it only has 14k people in it. But that has more to do with Michigan's impossible annexation laws. It has an urban area that exceeds 60k people, a metro area like mentioned 150k, and amenities of a city six times its size or more.
True, but it's a very seasonal area. During the summer months it has a very different feel than during winter. I know what that's like, having grown up across the water in Door County WI (Sturgeon Bay is under 10,000 and has a nice downtown and oversized amenities for its size as well, but the city and especially surrounding areas boom and then shrink considerably).

Not a bad call on the Yooper city (Marquette), though I personally prefer the smaller Houghton/Hancock area, as Marquette seems to think it's something it is not. I like Marquette just fine, but it's a small town in the middle of nowhere and it isn't punching much above its weight in terms of amenities (which are vastly overrated by locals). Still probably the only UP choice that makes sense for this discussion.

For Wisconsin, Xander mentioned La Crosse, and a lot of the UW system cities would probably qualify - Stevens Point, La Crosse, Oshkosh, and so on. Sheboygan has seen somewhat of a renaissance lately, and while a lot of the citizens are stuck in timewarp 1985, the amenities have risen quickly and being one of the country's top golfing destination doesn't hurt. I can't quite put Eau Claire or Wausau in this group, but they are nice small cities for the most part that are a bit away from inclusion. Kenosha isn't bad, and has had "big city" amenities such as their trolleys (Streetcars in Kenosha, Wisconsin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) for some time now. Being directly between Chicago & Milwaukee and NOT being Racine doesn't hurt, though maybe it isn't "stand-alone" enough for inclusion.

WI cities well-outside inclusion: Superior, Beloit, Fond Du Lac, Racine, Manitowoc, etc.
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