U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-30-2014, 07:32 PM
 
Location: DC
3,286 posts, read 10,585,284 times
Reputation: 1301

Advertisements

I've been happily living in DC for about 7 years now, and am generally content to stay here but am not set on spending the rest of my life in the area. However, my boyfriend (who is from the area) has an itch to move. We were talking recently, and while I'm not opposed to moving I realized that I don't know much about many cities.

So, can anyone sell me on a new place to call home?

Here are my general preferences:
  • Prefer an urban area (I'm a city girl, and I love the energy of a city), but I also like smaller areas that have a lot of activities and things to do. For example, while I know it's much smaller than other major cities, I do like the Raleigh-Durham area
  • Able to pursue a career in the economics field (for me, his career is a bit more flexible)
  • Walkable neighborhoods with shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.
  • Near water and outdoor activities (like to kayak/canoe and hike). I'll admit to being a coastal snob and wanting to be near (i.e. within a few hours' drive of) an ocean, but I haven't totally written off the rest of the country.
  • Easy to meet new people and break into a group of friends (one thing I like about DC is that I've met a lot of incredibly friendly people, so even an introvert like me has a huge network of close friends)
  • Interesting, laid back people who can speak on a variety of topics (I'm partial to travel, current events, international issues, but can talk about most things but pop culture....I'm useless when it comes to pop culture. This is another thing I like about DC...a nerd like me fits in)
  • Decent weather. I actually like having 4 seasons and don't mind the weather in DC, but think New England might be too cold. If I absolutely have to choose, I prefer heat to cold, since my body tends to shut down when I'm cold.

From cities I've been to, I really like Seattle, Vancouver, and San Francisco (who doesn't), and am originally from Philadelphia and like that city as well. Boston is really nice, but would be concerned about the winters, and have little interest in New York. No particular reason when it comes to New York, mostly that for the cost I feel like I can find what I want somewhere else. I haven't really seen anything to get me very interested in Florida, I'm not a huge fan of developments or gated communities. Honestly, when I travel domestically I tend to go to smaller towns that are fantastic, but aren't places I'd want to live full time.

Thoughts?

Thank you!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-30-2014, 07:42 PM
 
1,833 posts, read 1,811,322 times
Reputation: 921
San Francisco or Portland!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-30-2014, 07:49 PM
 
Location: ATLANTA
708 posts, read 807,423 times
Reputation: 285
Atlantaaaaaaa !!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-30-2014, 07:50 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
6,631 posts, read 8,320,280 times
Reputation: 7587
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniperbleu View Post
I've been happily living in DC for about 7 years now, and am generally content to stay here but am not set on spending the rest of my life in the area. However, my boyfriend (who is from the area) has an itch to move. We were talking recently, and while I'm not opposed to moving I realized that I don't know much about many cities.

So, can anyone sell me on a new place to call home?

Here are my general preferences:
  • Prefer an urban area (I'm a city girl, and I love the energy of a city), but I also like smaller areas that have a lot of activities and things to do. For example, while I know it's much smaller than other major cities, I do like the Raleigh-Durham area
  • Able to pursue a career in the economics field (for me, his career is a bit more flexible)
  • Walkable neighborhoods with shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.
  • Near water and outdoor activities (like to kayak/canoe and hike). I'll admit to being a coastal snob and wanting to be near (i.e. within a few hours' drive of) an ocean, but I haven't totally written off the rest of the country.
  • Easy to meet new people and break into a group of friends (one thing I like about DC is that I've met a lot of incredibly friendly people, so even an introvert like me has a huge network of close friends)
  • Interesting, laid back people who can speak on a variety of topics (I'm partial to travel, current events, international issues, but can talk about most things but pop culture....I'm useless when it comes to pop culture. This is another thing I like about DC...a nerd like me fits in)
  • Decent weather. I actually like having 4 seasons and don't mind the weather in DC, but think New England might be too cold. If I absolutely have to choose, I prefer heat to cold, since my body tends to shut down when I'm cold.

From cities I've been to, I really like Seattle, Vancouver, and San Francisco (who doesn't), and am originally from Philadelphia and like that city as well. Boston is really nice, but would be concerned about the winters, and have little interest in New York. No particular reason when it comes to New York, mostly that for the cost I feel like I can find what I want somewhere else. I haven't really seen anything to get me very interested in Florida, I'm not a huge fan of developments or gated communities. Honestly, when I travel domestically I tend to go to smaller towns that are fantastic, but aren't places I'd want to live full time.

Thoughts?

Thank you!
Seattle, Portland, and Austin.

Seattle is on the Pudget Sound and is a two hour drive to the actual Pacific Coast of Washington state. Portland is about an hour and a half to the coast of Oregon but it can be eerily too cold for casual trips or using the water for activities, driving distance, so not bad at all. Seaside is the closest coastal town to Portland, just Northwest of the Portland area. Austin is a three and a half hour drive to the beaches around Corpus Christi but they are underwhelming, maybe drive two hours extra and go to the South Texas ones near Port Isabel or the Padre Islands, which are better than the Corpus Christi area ones.

Don't know what your budgeting is, so going off the assumption that you're looking for less costly places (since you brought up Raleigh-Durham in your post), I would also add in Sacramento. Like Portland, also 80 - 85 miles from the coastline and the same general tier as Portland and Austin in cost of living. I see you're asking about the San Francisco Bay Area, lets put it this way, you need a MINIMUM of DOUBLE the budget you had in Washington DC or will need in Seattle to live in a respectable area of San Francisco. It doesn't really taper off in the suburbs (the pricing), you'll need a minimum of twice Washington DC's budget. That's on the generous price end too. So keep that in mind, it's the most expensive place in the United States by far, so make sure you either have money ready to go or a job secure before moving out there. Vancouver is the same way, except you'll need at least a MINIMUM of TRIPLE the budget you had in Washington DC (by United States dollar value) to sustain a life at a similar level in Vancouver and there is the fact that both you and your boyfriend need to get to work immediately on your immigration or visa papers if you're really going to Vancouver. I wouldn't recommend moving to Vancouver without a secured job either, that would be a terrible mistake, unless you just have piles of cash sitting around not being used. Vancouver is one of the, no, actually the most expensive city in all of North America. Keep that in mind and it's in another country, so getting there and legally being able to stay there isn't as easy as crossing lines on a map. Plan ahead, especially if you're focused on San Francisco and Vancouver. Still, if you want the reasonable distance to the coast (comparably timed to Washington DC en-route to Ocean City or other points in Delmarva), plus things like kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, so on then Sacramento, Austin, and Portland are your best choices.

Top recommendation would be Seattle. If you want to leave Washington DC, try to go with the best possible option available to you and that fits your requirements. Although I'm not entirely sure if making a lateral move in terms of cost of living on the opposite end of the country makes any sense, but provided you can secure employment / school admissions, so on, it's the best choice.

If you want even cheaper and have a mind open enough to be way in the interior (you wont be driving to any salt water beaches from here), then try Columbus, Ohio. Then again, if you're going interior, might as well go Denver.

Last edited by Trafalgar Law; 10-30-2014 at 08:42 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2014, 12:33 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,967,264 times
Reputation: 3503
Since I don't know much about jobs in economics, to me it seems like most cities will do just fine. Even a place like LA, where the majority of people may not fit in with your interests, is still so large that you should be able to make plenty of friends who are similar. So if the limiting factors are 1) not too small a population 2) not too cold 3) not too expensive since NYC represents poor value then I'd suggest researching all MSAs over 2 million excluding NYC, SF, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Boston. FL can indeed be partially characterized by gated communities and country clubs, but there's plenty of options outside of that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2014, 06:39 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,359,201 times
Reputation: 19627
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniperbleu View Post
Here are my general preferences:
  • Prefer an urban area (I'm a city girl, and I love the energy of a city), but I also like smaller areas that have a lot of activities and things to do. For example, while I know it's much smaller than other major cities, I do like the Raleigh-Durham area
  • Able to pursue a career in the economics field (for me, his career is a bit more flexible)
  • Walkable neighborhoods with shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.
  • Near water and outdoor activities (like to kayak/canoe and hike). I'll admit to being a coastal snob and wanting to be near (i.e. within a few hours' drive of) an ocean, but I haven't totally written off the rest of the country.
  • Easy to meet new people and break into a group of friends (one thing I like about DC is that I've met a lot of incredibly friendly people, so even an introvert like me has a huge network of close friends)
  • Interesting, laid back people who can speak on a variety of topics (I'm partial to travel, current events, international issues, but can talk about most things but pop culture....I'm useless when it comes to pop culture. This is another thing I like about DC...a nerd like me fits in)
  • Decent weather. I actually like having 4 seasons and don't mind the weather in DC, but think New England might be too cold. If I absolutely have to choose, I prefer heat to cold, since my body tends to shut down when I'm cold.
If you're looking for a city where people tend to be more open and where it's easy to make friends, neither of the usual ad nauseum referral cities of Seattle or Portland will fit the bill so much. As someone who similarly lived in DC for many years and moved away to a smaller city for several years after that (coincidentally Durham) I would highly recommend that as an option since it's already something you know you like. Durham is one of the most educated cities in the country and has a very friendly population from all over the country (and world) which makes for a non-insular place to live where you don't have the feeling that your crashing various cliques. There are a lot of really nice shopping options and a top-notch food scene that far exceeds the area population in terms of quantity and quality. The presence of RTP (Research Triangle Park) and three major universities (Duke, UNC and NCSU) along with umpteen other options should provide some good employment options. Durham has some nice walkable neighborhoods, with the Ninth Street District and Brightleaf Square area my favorites. Durham also has a moderate four season climate with about three months of each season (beautiful Falls and Springs) along with very little snow. It's a bit over two hours to the beach or mountains and a few choices for in-town kayaking or hiking options.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2014, 07:57 AM
 
56,569 posts, read 80,870,855 times
Reputation: 12499
Perhaps Richmond VA could work as well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2014, 08:00 AM
 
545 posts, read 815,811 times
Reputation: 299
Bethlehem-Allentown, Pennsylvania
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2014, 12:12 PM
 
483 posts, read 422,384 times
Reputation: 654
Some of these suggestions are puzzling to me, but so it goes on City-Data...

Part of this decision will be driven by what you need from your job. To my knowledge, the market for economists is pretty small in many cities and if you are looking for a career where there are growth opportunities and interesting work, your choices may be limited.

That said, San Francisco (and the greater Bay Area) meets all your criteria, but of course housing there is very expensive. You would not need to make twice as much as in DC, as stated above, but it is at least as expensive as where you are now. I don't think everyone realizes just how expensive DC is now too. SF has lots to do, should have good career options -- though DC and NYC may be best for economists, walkable neighborhoods, easy access to the ocean, hiking, and other outdoor activities, interesting and smart people, and good (albeit unique) weather.

Also don't sleep on Los Angeles. While it has a reputation for glitz and superficiality, that really only is one small facet of the city. There are just as many (more, even) scientists as starlets, and you can find a neighborhood and social scene that fits your personality. Access to nature is good, although not quite as easy as San Francisco. There are lots of great neighborhoods throughout the city and as the subway expands, they are becoming more and more accessible by foot. I think San Francisco better meets your criteria than Los Angeles but they are both good options.

I have similar likes and preferences in cities to you, and DC is one of my favorite cities, so I understand why you're happy there. There are precious few cities in the US that are as walkable, with as many cultural resources, as DC. The Metro is great. My short list of comparable cities is: NYC, Chicago (although I don't know it well), LA (more car-centric, but becoming less so and offering more socially and culturally than you'd think), SF, Boston, and Seattle.

A few caveats/notes: Boston does offer a lot of what you're looking for, but the winters are long and the summers too hot and humid for my tastes (although DC is worse!). It can also seem a little provincial, in my experience. But catch it on a lovely spring or fall day and walk over the Charles and it is a wonderful place. Seattle is similar in some ways, seeming somewhat provincial and with weather that some don't like (personally I don't mind grey skies). But it is a good option if you are willing to move to a smaller city that will seem very far away from the rest of the country. Water and outdoor activities are also great there. Know that moving from DC almost anywhere you move will seem less vibrant and important, other than maybe NYC, Chicago, LA, and SF. Finally, I don't know how in Seattle. I don't know how you can assess whether it will be easy to make friends in a city. There are friendly and unfriendly people anywhere, and opinions on which cities are friendly are almost always impossible-to-verify subjective impressions. However, cities with lots of people moving in and out and where people aren't mainly hanging out with childhood friends would seem to have the most people looking for new friends. That would weigh in favor of big cities. Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-31-2014, 12:17 PM
 
1,833 posts, read 1,811,322 times
Reputation: 921
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashystyle View Post
Some of these suggestions are puzzling to me, but so it goes on City-Data...

Part of this decision will be driven by what you need from your job. To my knowledge, the market for economists is pretty small in many cities and if you are looking for a career where there are growth opportunities and interesting work, your choices may be limited.

That said, San Francisco (and the greater Bay Area) meets all your criteria, but of course housing there is very expensive. You would not need to make twice as much as in DC, as stated above, but it is at least as expensive as where you are now. I don't think everyone realizes just how expensive DC is now too. SF has lots to do, should have good career options -- though DC and NYC may be best for economists, walkable neighborhoods, easy access to the ocean, hiking, and other outdoor activities, interesting and smart people, and good (albeit unique) weather.

Also don't sleep on Los Angeles. While it has a reputation for glitz and superficiality, that really only is one small facet of the city. There are just as many (more, even) scientists as starlets, and you can find a neighborhood and social scene that fits your personality. Access to nature is good, although not quite as easy as San Francisco. There are lots of great neighborhoods throughout the city and as the subway expands, they are becoming more and more accessible by foot. I think San Francisco better meets your criteria than Los Angeles but they are both good options.

I have similar likes and preferences in cities to you, and DC is one of my favorite cities, so I understand why you're happy there. There are precious few cities in the US that are as walkable, with as many cultural resources, as DC. The Metro is great. My short list of comparable cities is: NYC, Chicago (although I don't know it well), LA (more car-centric, but becoming less so and offering more socially and culturally than you'd think), SF, Boston, and Seattle.

A few caveats/notes: Boston does offer a lot of what you're looking for, but the winters are long and the summers too hot and humid for my tastes (although DC is worse!). It can also seem a little provincial, in my experience. But catch it on a lovely spring or fall day and walk over the Charles and it is a wonderful place. Seattle is similar in some ways, seeming somewhat provincial and with weather that some don't like (personally I don't mind grey skies). But it is a good option if you are willing to move to a smaller city that will seem very far away from the rest of the country. Water and outdoor activities are also great there. Know that moving from DC almost anywhere you move will seem less vibrant and important, other than maybe NYC, Chicago, LA, and SF. Finally, I don't know how in Seattle. I don't know how you can assess whether it will be easy to make friends in a city. There are friendly and unfriendly people anywhere, and opinions on which cities are friendly are almost always impossible-to-verify subjective impressions. However, cities with lots of people moving in and out and where people aren't mainly hanging out with childhood friends would seem to have the most people looking for new friends. That would weigh in favor of big cities. Good luck!

I agree with you, the poster that said that you will need to make twice as much in SF as you do in DC to live there is totall BS. DC and SF almost go neck and neck in cost of living although of course NYC is worse than both. But yes DC is very expensive and it's getting worse. I think San Fran or Portland will be the best fit for them. Portland has that hipster type feel and they're young couple so maybe they will like it good post btw
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top