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Old 09-22-2016, 08:41 PM
 
8 posts, read 5,666 times
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Hi all,

We're a couple of MD-natives who have lived in the UK/Bay Area/Southern California/PA hoping to move and would love your opinion.

We're not looking for perfect and willing to make compromises.

Criteria (in order of importance)

1. great air quality -- fewer than 4 weeks a year with pollution due to forest fires or weather inversions is fine, but the air should be great 95%+ of the time

2. trails, parks, greenways, cute walking neighborhoods (city/suburban/rural) -- don't really care which as long as it's possible to walk for miles on something that is not a road (and doesn't run right next to a road) with green/scenery

3. good weather for walking -- want as many "walkable days" as possible, I really don't care if the other days are unacceptable because it's too hot* (>85), too cold (<45 or feels like it), too windy, too rainy, too humid, etc. as long as there are as few of them as possible. I'm looking for a place that has ~ 240 walkable days (so 2 out of every 3 days you can take a 2 hour walk at some time without feeling miserable).

* too hot -- a place that is cooler in the mornings or evenings but not mid-day is fine, I just need two hours after 8am and before 8pm that have nice temps for walking

4. can buy a nice new/remodeled house for < $350k (if the job market is non-existent) willing to go up to $500-600k for places with at least a decent job market (Portland/San Diego are what I would call decent job markets)

5. Green, not brown and dry -- So Cal, CO, NV, etc. all seem too brown and dry

6. Few ticks/mosquitos -- it's okay if you often get a tick or two hiking on trails in the woods, not okay if you often get a tick sitting in your well-maintained backyard or walking the dog around the neighborhood; or you get 10s of ticks hiking a relatively well-maintained trail. I'm willing to accept more ticks if the tick-borne diseases are not too bad in the area.

7. Few/no problems with predator animals -- It's fine to have coyotes and other wild animals, but I don't want somewhere where they are very used to humans and will stalk people and grab pets off leashes (as can happen in some places in Southern California)

8. Little congestion/quieter pace of life -- the ideal situation would be a small town atmosphere but with the park amenities you usually get in bigger cities

9. Friendly people -- We don't really care about finding friends or people who share our politics or other views, or any cultural events/amenities for meeting people, but we do like general friendliness (smiling when you pass by in the street, holding doors open, etc.) -- we don't really care if all the friendliness is fake and the people are really religious and secretly judging us as long as they seem nice.

Things we don't care about either way -- music events, clubs, restaurants, proximity to shopping, coffee shops, school quality, demographics

Places we're considering --
Frederick, MD; Shenandoah Valley in VA; Portland, OR suburbs; Bellingham, WA; Sequim, WA; Ashland, OR

Any other ideas? Thoughts on the above places?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:10 AM
 
13,632 posts, read 22,089,695 times
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You should consider the Atlanta suburbs and exurbs.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Olympia, Washington
1,299 posts, read 715,997 times
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It sounds like you want the PNW though I'm not sure if you personally would consider that "good weather for walking" (outside of the summer months I mean).

Last edited by fluffydelusions; 09-24-2016 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX and wherever planes fly
1,565 posts, read 2,403,809 times
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Raleigh, NC- Nationally Ranked Greenway System it is awesome! Weather is temperate most of the year and the mountains and beach not too distant. THey have a great website as well. Google it.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:45 PM
 
8 posts, read 5,666 times
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Thanks for the response. Are there any particular suburbs/exurbs you recommend that have a good park/greenway system and not as congested as Atlanta? Atlanta certainly has the greenness I want, but it's air quality looks mediocre (but not terrible), perhaps the exurbs have significantly better air quality?
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:49 PM
 
8 posts, read 5,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffydelusions View Post
It sounds like you want the PNW though I'm not sure if you personally would consider that "good weather for walking" (outside of the summer months I mean).
Thanks for the response. Yes, I'm having a difficult time determining exactly how much of an impediment the weather in the PNW is to daily walking. Some people make it sound like it is drizzling all the time, but others just say that winter is very overcast but it's not actually raining all the time. It's hard to figure out if the latter group just don't consider constant light drizzle to be rain.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:54 PM
 
8 posts, read 5,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taynxtlvl View Post
Raleigh, NC- Nationally Ranked Greenway System it is awesome! Weather is temperate most of the year and the mountains and beach not too distant. THey have a great website as well. Google it.
Thanks for the response. North Carolina is a state I have very strongly considered in the past due to the mild climate and greenway systems which seem much better than in other states, especially for the smaller cities. The air quality around Raleigh isn't very good, is this something you notice? Is it better in the suburbs of Raleigh? What are some more suburban/rural areas near Raleigh that you would recommend that have excellent greenway systems? Also, are ticks or mosquitos a problem? Someone scared me off of North Carolina because they said bugs were much worse there than in Virginia/Maryland.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,106 posts, read 1,082,314 times
Reputation: 1960
I live in Bellingham and I'd say that this city fits the criteria for what you're looking for, to a tee. Fluffydelusions is right; "good" walking weather is subjective, but as someone coming from CO and NC prior to that, I can say that I've walked and biked in this region far more so than the other places I've lived.

Our biggest concern moving from CO was lack of sunshine, but I believe that concern is overblown. The amount of daylight (or lack of, in the winter) probably has a more noticeable effect. But with a moderate climate and a general lack of snow near the coast, I find myself on the trails quite often, even in the winter. It rains, but less than the east coast, and the drizzly times don't seem to keep anybody from doing anything, really. A nice waterproof shell is key.

NC is not bad, though it's a little muggy and hot in the summers for my tastes (outside of the mountains, which are lovely and cooler). But the dedication to hiking and biking as actual forms of transportation-and systems that connect with each other- isn't there yet, at least compared to Washington. But not a bad choice- I enjoyed my years there quite a bit.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,244 posts, read 24,491,477 times
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Snohomish County, WA.
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Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, and the Washington state forums.
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Old 09-26-2016, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,698 posts, read 23,726,563 times
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Cleveland has many walking trails and beautiful scenery in it's Metro Parks. People will smile and say "Hello" along the trails.The weather is fine for hiking except in the winter unless you like to hike in the snow. You can buy a lot of house for your budget. As far as jobs go, it all depends upon what you are looking for. There are many walkable in good neighborhoods. It's green here pretty much of the time.

Hiking and Walking | Recreation | Cleveland Metroparks
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