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Old 11-11-2015, 10:33 PM
 
20 posts, read 21,949 times
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Hi all,

I am originally from the NW burbs of Chicago. For the past 6 years after college graduation, I've lived in Indianapolis. I never planned on staying here very long, but my job, grad school, and a boyfriend kept me here. Now that I am graduating from grad school and I'm single, I'm seriously wanting to move out of Indiana (and most likely the Midwest). I miss Chicago a lot and would consider moving back, but I am bored with the Midwest and would like to try some place new. I'd also really like to avoid extreme winter weather (over it!) but I'm used to it so I could deal with it if it was somewhere I loved. I work in public health, and I was considering Atlanta or MN because Atlanta has CDC/contractors etc. and MN has a great health dept. LV appears to pay a lot for its govt. workers. I don't plan on moving unless I can land a job.

Here's what I'd like in a city (sorry if my bitterness about Indy comes through). I realize LV, Atlanta, and MN are all different and also don't all fit the things below:

-Good nightlife
-Lands lots of major artists/bands for concerts
-Natural beauty
-Small/unique non-chain businesses, especially restaurants
-Well educated population (even just culturally/worldly educated, not necessarily a formal education). I have a Master's degree. Although IN has many colleges, I feel like a lot of people here are uneducated and close minded.
-Preferably liberal leaning/diverse/cultured. I feel like I live in the Bible belt sometimes. It is quite conservative here. Not very diverse. People aren't very adventurous here or knowledgeable about life and cultures outside Indiana.
-Whatever the opposite of country life is. Country music and pick up trucks and hunting? Not for me.
-No extreme winters..temps above 35 or 40 please.
-Cheapish cost of living. IN is super cheap to live (and pays horribly) so I won't be able to afford high cost of living right out of the gate. Thinking apartment rent max $900/mo for a safe area.
-Younger population. I'm a single 29 year old female and I'd like to easily meet others who aren't completely settled down.
-Easy to find fun activities-festivals and the like
-Museums/zoos bonus

I grew up and basically live in suburbia now, so I'm not expecting to live downtown somewhere. Suburbs are fine Ruth me as long as I have easy access to a large downtown area.

I'm open to suggestions for other cities!!!!

Thanks all.
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Old 11-12-2015, 04:54 AM
 
21,185 posts, read 30,343,833 times
Reputation: 19604
Atlanta would fit your criteria well in my opinion and of your choices seems the best fit. I would encourage you to also investigate the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area in NC which would also hit your criteria very well too. Durham-Chapel Hill (and Carrboro) especially would be a great fit for you.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,704 posts, read 2,761,283 times
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Nightlife: Las Vegas
Concerts: Atlanta
Natural beauty: Minneapolis
Small businesses: Minneapolis
Educated: Minneapolis
Liberal: Minneapolis
Diverse: Atlanta, although it's extremely segregated. All of them are segregated, but parts of the core of Minneapolis might be the least so.
Not country: Minneapolis
Mild winter: Las Vegas
CoL: Atlanta I believe
Young population: Minneapolis
Activities: Minneapolis
Museums/zoos: Minneapolis
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
1,374 posts, read 1,193,619 times
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While Minneapolis is probably better for you in terms of education/educated populace, city parks/natural beauty, liberal viewpoints and politics, culture (including music, particularly the indie scene), and quality of life in general, our winters sound like a deal-breaker. If you think Indianapolis has extreme winter weather, you will not survive here.

Atlanta is probably your best bet. Winters there are mild, and you'll have access to the same amenities you will in Minneapolis with more luxury retail, more nightlife options, and more fine dining simply because it's bigger. It's noticeably cheaper than Minneapolis, too. The surrounding countryside is pleasant and even a bit scenic in areas, as it's in the Piedmont and not far from the mountains.

Las Vegas isn't a desirable place at all, as it lacks basically everything you listed as important except for mild winter weather and nightlife. It's also part of the Mormon Belt, which may be off-putting to you.
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,312 posts, read 6,962,789 times
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Of your list, Atlanta seems like the best choice. Aside from being a little countryish and bible belty, it hits on all other points. And really the city is pretty cosmopolitan so the country and bible influence is diluted.

Minneapolis is an awesome city as well but definitely not as cheap and much worse weather.

Other cities to consider are the aforementioned Raleigh-Durham area, Denver, and perhaps Charlotte too.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:52 PM
 
20 posts, read 21,949 times
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Thanks all. Atlanta has definitely been the front runner for me. I grew up with brutal Chicago winters, but the thought of Minnesota makes me cringe when it comes to winter. I don't know much about NC, so I'll definitely look at that. Denver has seemed like a possible option as well (I'd tolerate snow if it meant mountains!) and I'll also look into Charlotte.
What is really important to me is:
1) New geographic surroundings- Chicago has Lake Michigan, but both Chicago and Indy are flat and boring geographically speaking.
2) Educated/cultured populace- Chicago is diverse and fits the bill, but it scares me a bit at how naive Indy residents are about life outside Indiana. Everyone here truly thinks Indy is the best place to live, and while there are worse places to live, there are also better/more interesting places to make a home. I don't really want to raise a family here.
3) Non-"country living"- Indy has a lot of rural influence..country music, hunting, pick up trucks...you know what I mean? That's not me at all. I'm a bit concerned Atlanta would be a bit like that as well, but from what I've seen there it seems to be less than here in Indiana.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:25 AM
 
41 posts, read 34,200 times
Reputation: 76
While not on your list, I'd strongly push you in the direction of Denver, Portland or even Seattle. If you can land a job with an appropriate salary in those locations.

Minneapolis is still the midwest (you said you were bored of it), is pretty flat (has hills), and has the coldest winters of the largest cities in the USA. Plus sides are everything else you listed.

Atlanta has mild winters, and the city core is fairly liberal and happening, but I don't think it hits your points fairly well.

Las Vegas is a party town, with a lot of uneducated transients going nowhere in life. Not really a place to make a career, or find your significant other.
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Old 11-17-2015, 06:37 PM
 
992 posts, read 937,739 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
While Minneapolis is probably better for you in terms of education/educated populace, city parks/natural beauty, liberal viewpoints and politics, culture (including music, particularly the indie scene), and quality of life in general, our winters sound like a deal-breaker. If you think Indianapolis has extreme winter weather, you will not survive here.

Atlanta is probably your best bet. Winters there are mild, and you'll have access to the same amenities you will in Minneapolis with more luxury retail, more nightlife options, and more fine dining simply because it's bigger. It's noticeably cheaper than Minneapolis, too. The surrounding countryside is pleasant and even a bit scenic in areas, as it's in the Piedmont and not far from the mountains.

Las Vegas isn't a desirable place at all, as it lacks basically everything you listed as important except for mild winter weather and nightlife. It's also part of the Mormon Belt, which may be off-putting to you.
This post hits the nail on the head. Plus, it sounds like you're wanting a different experience than the MidWestern one, so giving Atlanta a shot seems like a logical action.
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:14 PM
 
20 posts, read 21,949 times
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Thanks, all. Atlanta seems like the front runner right now.

I'll also look into NC and Denver. I think I'd really like Portland and Seattle, but I'm a bit put off by the cost of living right now. I'm not sure if Denver would be a great fit because I'm trying to escape snow, and I had layovers 3x this month in Denver and it was snowing every time haha!

I just visited Phoenix and it was nice. I was only downtown near the convention center and ASU, so I didn't see much. Would Phoenix possibly be a fit?

I think I've narrowed it down to SW or SE. I'd consider NW, but i need to live on my own for less than $1000 rent/month. Just want an upscale metro vibe. Indy is okay, but I'd like a more "Chicago" vibe in a warmer climate!
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Old 11-30-2015, 03:16 AM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,635,459 times
Reputation: 3625
Phoenix would fit your requirements of party scene, major concerts (music scene is improving), natural beauty, no extreme winters, cheapish cost of living, and younger population. Most of Arizona is still blue-collared overall, so not a lot with degrees but that''s changing. And Arizona has a culture of people who wear Tapout and Dickies khaki shorts who drive pick-ups and ride dirt bikes/ATVs for off-roading and occasionally camp and hunt but instead of country listen to metal... I think of them as the desert form of "country"
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