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Old 07-13-2014, 04:18 PM
 
75 posts, read 126,689 times
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I will first start my post by saying that currently my husband works for a virtual organization based in DC and I am a teacher, so we have jobs that "move well". That being said, things can always change and our moving plan is years out and would be dependent on finding solid employment, at least for one of us to cover our family.

We love Denver, but we are both ocean people at heart and are missing being able to drive to the beach in less than a day. We are not skiers, but do enjoy the mountains.

What we are searching for may not exist, but if ever anyone knew their cities, it's this forum.

So here goes. Our new city/town would offer the following:

1 - Lower cost of living. Denver is not cheap, particularly housing. (So there goes California.)

2 - Socially liberal politics, or at least something progressive.

3 - Good eateries. I am a DC-area native (though have lived in CO for 11 years and DC is very different than what it once was) and my husband is from Brooklyn, NYC. We are foodies who enjoy lots of different ethnic cuisines and only go to chains when the kids are in tow.

4 - Good K-12 school system. While I love Colorado dearly, the schools here are in trouble and I don't want to replace that with another troubled school system.

5 - Beaches within a day's drive or less.

6 - Ditto mountains.

7 - Mild winters, but four seasons. I could do without snow altogether, while my husband hates humidity, so there will have to be a little give here for both of us. We both miss the spectacular fall colors of the east coast. Not big fans of lots of rain or gray skies.

8 - Good higher education system. Coming from NY and VA originally, we had our pick of many different in-state colleges and universities. Neither of us feels that CO offers that for our children (basically two large schools to choose from, and a small smattering of smaller ones), and while they may choose an out-of-state school, we would prefer it to be a day's drive or less. Paying for at least 2 kids (we hope for one more) to fly home often, on top of tuition, is not financially feasible for us.

9 - Culture - racial and ethnic diversity, thriving local businesses (we don't shop Wal-Mart very often, for instance), art appreciation, museums, etc. Again, I grew up with DC at my fingertips and my husband went to high school in Manhattan, so moving to Denver was an adjustment for us. We have watched it grow and enjoy being able to take visitors to both the museums and for hikes.

Basically, we are not looking for a white bread, cookie cutter, strip mall paradise. It just may be that Denver is as good as we are going to get, but we sure do miss the ocean and the school systems.

Family has also all migrated to Colorado, so I would be remiss to add that we'd be starting over social network wise, and the last time we did that, we were college grads, so life is very different now. We would miss our family and friends and want a close-knit and friendly community.

Thanks for all of your input, looking forward to hearing what people throw out there.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Hmm. i can't really think of many options that would be cheap. Seattle or San Diego seem great for you, but they're quite pricey. Maybe the Tampa Bay Area?
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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Asheville, NC?
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:43 PM
 
75 posts, read 126,689 times
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Yes, we'd love SD but the Cost Of Living seems higher than where we are. My perception of Seattle is it's too rainy but I've never been there.

I know zero about Tampa, is it fairly liberal?

Asheville seems like a nice fit, albeit a bit far from the ocean (I think?) however when I looked it up on Wikipedia, one of the top employers is Wal-Mart and that doesn't seem like a super thriving economy.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:47 PM
 
75 posts, read 126,689 times
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Would the Raleigh area be a good fit?
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
5,443 posts, read 8,170,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leosmama View Post
Would the Raleigh area be a good fit?
It's not quite on the ocean like you'd like, but I think it fits nearly every other part of you criteria. Another place to consider is Norfolk or Virginia Beach.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:04 PM
 
75 posts, read 126,689 times
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Thanks! It's fun to have places to explore. We have a friend who just moved from Denver to Wake Forest and is very happy with the move. I don't know much about VABeach/Norfolk other than I had a college roommate from there (Hampton Roads) and she always claimed it was conservative.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Research Triangle Area, NC
3,780 posts, read 2,588,754 times
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You pretty much described Chapel Hill, NC.

2 hours to the beach, 2 hours to the mountains

higher-education dominated town (UNC, one of the best public universities in the country)

all 4 seasons but winter is mild

one of the "foodiest towns" in America

highly regarded public k-12 schools

Chapel Hill is pretty expensive by NC standards; don't know how it would compare to Denver though.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:59 AM
 
75 posts, read 126,689 times
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Thank you!

What about Richmond?
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:10 AM
 
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Richmond could be a great fit for you, though I don't actually know anything about the schools there.

I'll give another vote to Chapel Hill, or really any part of the NC Triangle. Other parts of NC that could work for you do include Asheville (the economy is better there than you think. Lower metro unemployment rate than Denver, Richmond, or any of the other NC metros, according to the latest BLS numbers: Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas, and the largest employers are actually the hospitals) or maybe Winston-Salem. Though at the moment, it's hard to recommend NC for a teacher (if you haven't followed, there has been a lot of controversy in NC over school budgets, teacher pay, etc.), though there seem to be some hopeful signs of minor progress on that front.
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