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Old 10-06-2015, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
18 posts, read 22,403 times
Reputation: 18

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Hello City Data Forum-ers,

I'm in search of information and advice.

I'm looking to move and, thanks to my job, basically any location within 40/45 mins of an airport is open as a place to live.

So I'm reaching out for some help. I know what I want (listed below, in order of priority); what are a few places you think would fit the bill?

1. Social connections & deep lasting friendships
a. I tend to connect with people best through volunteer work, playing flag football (poorly), classes at local museums, pot lucks, or hiking clubs.
2. Husband Material
a. This matters to me a lot. I'm in my early 30s and hoping to meet a guy I can spend the rest of my life with. I like brainy, considerate guys that are curious about the world. DC had lots of these guys, but I'd prefer to go somewhere new!
3. Sunny weather! Mild winters with some snow are a plus.
a. Favorite spots for sun are San Diego and Colorado Springs.
b. I like the way DC freaks out when there's snow and the whole city shuts down for a quarter inch. Are other cities like that?
c. Cold, snowy winters aren't a deal-breaker, especially if you can get out of downtown and go cross country skiing or some such thing. It'd be great if spring would start in March, though, instead of May.
4. Ability to drive & get out of the city
a. I'm looking for a place that has mild traffic on weekends. Somewhere you can budget 20 mins to drive 13 miles off rush hour. If it takes 45 mins to drive that same 13 miles during rush hour, that's cool.
5. Lots of arts, museums, architecture, and things to do
a. If the city has a guidebook devoted to the acres of museums in the city, it's probably a good fit (Surprisingly, Los Angeles falls in this category)
The tricky things: I want to be close to my family, but they're pretty spread out (parents in Washington State, extended family in Wisconsin, sibling in North Carolina). In the next 3 - 5 years, if I don't find the "right" guy, I'd like to adopt kids. So having a strong support network is important. Boston (where I have a close friend) and Seattle (close to parents) would probably be the two leaders there.

My job: I travel for work, meaning 4 - 5 days on the road (currently to Arkansas). I love my job. I'd like to keep doing it with my current company for as long as possible. To do that, it helps to keep the travel to 8 hours or less one way.

Cost of Living: The more reasonable the better, of course (reasonable, to me, is <$1300 for a 1 bedroom), but I can go up to $2500 for a studio/1 BR for the right spot. I'd like to buy a house or condo in the next few years and at least 1 bedroom for under $400k would be my preference.

And, places currently under consideration:
1st Tier: Oakland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis
2nd Tier: Seattle, Boston

Places I've lived in the past: DC, Chicago, Milwaukee

Potentially going on the list (haven't visited any of these places, yet): Charlotte, Charleston, Annapolis

I like small(er) towns near major metro areas, but realize that can be tough when traveling.

If you made it to the end of this post, THANK YOU! City data always steers me in the right direction, so thanks in advance for your sound advice!
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:37 AM
 
1,472 posts, read 1,301,307 times
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Split your travel distance in half with St. Louis or Kansas City? Denver or maybe Salt Lake City?
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:00 AM
 
42 posts, read 52,917 times
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Have you considered Atlanta. It is very well connected in terms of air travel. Flights to Arkansas would be very short and probably cheap compared to flying from LA or Seattle. Also you will be closer to your friends in North Carolina. Also Atlanta is ranked as one of the best cities for Singles and Millennials. So you will have good chances of meeting your future partner here. I have lived in LA and have family in San Diego. The dating game in LA is not that easy and I felt that most of the relations I had there were very superficial and revolved around my financial and social status. San Diego is very good with weather but it doesn't have a good singles scene - the city is mostly composed of upper middle classes families in their 40s.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,099 posts, read 1,124,793 times
Reputation: 1384
If you're looking for a smaller town near a major metro, you could try Williamsburg, VA. Puts you within an hour of both Hampton Roads and Richmond.
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Old 10-06-2015, 01:39 PM
 
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,440,738 times
Reputation: 12307
Seattle. High ratio of men to women, arty town, educated population, nature near, your parents are there. Travel inland for sun.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:08 PM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,716,682 times
Reputation: 3788
Harrisburg, PA has a mobile young professional scene (lawyers, lobbyists, various hangers-on in the state capital). We sometimes see rat race refugees from DC area not otherwise with family ties.

My wife and I met in the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club although more younger folks gravitate toward various meetup groups nowadays. You can see the wooded ridgeline bordering a 25,000 acre wilderness from the city. (Its non-sexy name "State Game Land No. 211" cuts down visitation. ) Less than two hours' drive will get you to where you (and your companion) are guaranteed to meet more bears than people.

As for business travel MDT has had fairly good service for a C-level city although it's been impacted by airline mergers. Taking a train to PHL is not unusual (transfer from Amtrak to SEPTA at Phila's 30th St Sta).

Weekend getaways to Phila/NYC are aided by frequent Amtrak service. Any DC point is within 3 hr drive on weekend, Baltimore about 1.5 hr drive, about 2 to Phila suburbs.

This area is slightly more winter savvy than DC although not much. If winter sports availability is a bigger factor maybe the Albany, NY area is worth considering, also with frequent trains to NYC, 1.5-ish hour drive to many Adirondack, Catskill, and Green mountain hiking/XC ski venues, and a 3-ish hour drive to your target Boston.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
18 posts, read 22,403 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks for the great suggestions!

Salt Lake City: Speaking from ignorance here. Looks like a great place, but would a non-Morman be bit out-of-place?

Denver: Spent a week working there and stayed in the LoDo area. I do like the city, but it seemed very modern and spread out. Is there an area in Colorado (aside from Boulder and Ft Collins) that is a bit smaller with a bit of historical flavor?

St Louis & Kansas City: *Heading to St Louis & KC forums for research*

Atlanta: I've visited a couple times and love the Chattahoochee River National Rec Area, but the rest of the city was kind of meh for me. What are your thoughts on Savannah?

Seattle: Yeah, I'm going to try the commute from Arkansas to Seattle a couple times to see if it's a killer or not. It's a great city.

Williamsburg: Love the area, is there a singles scene? Is the community active? Heading over to the data side of City Data to do some research

Couple other thoughts: Any opinions on Indianapolis or Charleston? I've some very strong arguments for Indianapolis (great cost of living, lively job market, lots of things going on, and good airport). Don't know much about Charleston (aside from it being under water).

Thanks guys! Just talking through the options helps clarify what I'm really looking for.
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,236 posts, read 24,424,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanHiker View Post
Denver: Spent a week working there and stayed in the LoDo area. I do like the city, but it seemed very modern and spread out. Is there an area in Colorado (aside from Boulder and Ft Collins) that is a bit smaller with a bit of historical flavor?
Golden. Kind of.

Colorado Springs, particularly in Old Colorado City. Manitou Springs too.

A lot of Colorado cities/towns have an "old" part of town. Some more genuine than others.
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:42 PM
 
Location: San Diego
35,182 posts, read 32,161,514 times
Reputation: 19742
Springs for the win. I lived there 12 years and if it wasn't for the occasional brutal winter I'd still live there.
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Old 10-06-2015, 05:43 PM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,716,682 times
Reputation: 3788
Pittsburgh is a major-league city with museums and universities pitching above its game (the type specimen of Tyrannosaurus rex is only the beginning). Fracking for "wet" gas significantly helps the economy of the Paris of Appalachia. It's a city of close-knit neighborhoods with character in abundance, unfortunately it's no longer an airline hub but one hop to them all at least. Escaping to the woods is easier than in many places: as a teaser, this fellow is based there: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani/
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