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Old 11-28-2016, 08:14 PM
1,833 posts, read 1,259,425 times
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I looked over your list a few times and, to be honest, only one city really jumped off as a match, or close to it. No large metro or city in the US South is, as a whole walkable, except maybe Miami (of course, there are parts of nearly every large city where you can get by without a car).

Three possible issues I can think of with Miami is that you might consider it too hot, I don't believe it has a large tech industry, and the city does have a reputation of being materialistic, but that's more something you have to go and feel for yourself to judge.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:05 PM
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,467,170 times
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Originally Posted by veeplus View Post
*LA/Santa Monica/Long Beach
Pasadena would be more your style than Sacramento.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:11 PM
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I think you'd like Grass Valley or Nevada City. They are both in the same general vicinity in Nevada County.
Grass Valley some Tech Companies. AJA Video treats their employees very well. Also try Grass Valley Group
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:53 PM
Location: Richmond, VA, from Boston
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Richmond would fit. Virginia Beach would not. Boston will be too cold etc. etc. No way Miami, which is not the slightest bit walkable outside one little neighborhood (south beach). Atlanta would not work unless you love traffic.

Narrow it down, and the go visit. You've got various types of places, it's too broad. At least you could do a type, like Richmond/Austin. Both great cities, RVA is like Austin was 20 years ago. What does that mean? You want more developed, more expensive, but still cheap compared to SF, go Austin. Booming but earlier in the cycle? Richmond.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:04 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone, this is super helpful!! We're going to look into all the suggestions, especially Philly since several folks have recommended it!

WanderingFar: I would love to move to East Bay, but the housing prices are only slightly lower than SF.. almost a million dollars to own anything bigger than a condo in a walkable area :/

McdonaldIndy: I didn't mean to get into politics. It's just that the Trump issue is personal and emotional for us. We wouldn't blink an eye at moving somewhere where people voted for Dole, McCain, either Bush, Romney (hey I may've voted for Kasich or Jeb if they'd made it far enough!) but Trump is just.. different. My mom is Muslim, I have gay friends, know many immigrants (I'm 1st generation), know many strong women, etc. I am not bigoted against people who voted Trump (my bf's parents did in fact) and I am happy to visit any Trump county and interact with the folks there. I just don't think I would be happy LIVING in a place where the general vibe reflects positive feelings or even acceptance of having the most powerful position in the world filled by someone that (on top of his lack of experience, childish temperament, and refusal to accept facts, e.g. global warming) repeatedly demonstrated intolerance towards people of other races, religions, sexes, sexual orientations, with disabilities, etc. And by the way, this isn't a sentiment that is unique to SF.. I grew up and went to college in NC and pretty much all my friends there feel the same way. Sadly the wound is still raw! That said, it's not a hard fast criteria.. I'm open to being convinced otherwise! Sorry if I came off bigoted, really didn't mean to come off that way or start any kind of political conversation. I respect all, just can't help having very personal feelings about this topic when it comes to where I'm going to spend the next many years of my life. Sorry
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:41 PM
Location: Aurora, CO
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If you don't like it hot/humid for months on end then I agree that Austin and Houston are not good fits (nor is Dallas-Fort Worth).

On top of that, the outdoorsiness factor of the Texas triangle is pretty low. Austin's great - by Texas standards - but compared to truly outdoorsy areas it's average at best (IMNSHO it's in part because of the poor summertime climate and a glaring lack of public land).

DFW and Houston try to be outdoorsy, but they're well below average in that regard. Camping and hiking (at least near DFW) is a joke. I know more people there who come here to camp & hike than those who stay close by and do it in North Texas or Southern Oklahoma.

You might want to look into New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, or Southern Utah.

Last edited by bluescreen73; 11-28-2016 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:45 PM
1,938 posts, read 2,862,649 times
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Originally Posted by veeplus View Post
We've been hopping around over the past 8 years and have lived in Durham, Atlanta, Seattle (also Bellevue), and now San Francisco. We like SF but are sick of how overpriced everything is and obviously there is no way to buy a house here. We'd like to find a city where we can settle down for a little while. We've been researching cities online for MONTHS but are still struggling because it's such an important decision (we've moved around so much already and it will be costly/bad for career/difficult to move yet again if we don't like the place, especially after buying a house).

Here are our preferred criteria and some information about us:
1) Weather is very important since we love spending time outside. I can't stand cold winters (like sub freezing) and summers that are so hot/humid that you can't go outside for months at a time don't really work either. In general we prefer warmer weather though. SF actually isn't great because it's constantly foggy/windy in the summer.. need some more sunshine

2) Walkability/transit/biking is very important. We've gotten used to not having to drive anywhere within the city and would like to maintain that. We do own a car but only use it for going out of the city or running car-required errands like going to Lowe's.

3) We are into good food and enjoy drinking so a foodie culture would be good (without being overly pretentious and overpriced like some of SF is becoming). Diverse, authentic ethnic cuisines and a range of cheap to expensive food options is ideal. Also want to be able to buy fresh seafood and produce any time of year.

4) Within a few hours of the city we like camping, going to parks and lakes/rivers (for picnicking, hiking, canoeing, etc.), and wine tasting. Overall enjoy nature so we don't to be somewhere surrounded by barren wasteland or just more city/suburbia.

5) We enjoy festivals (e.g. ethnic fests, state fairs, food/drinks fests), markets (e.g. farmers, flea), performances (e.g. musicals, comedy), live music (the chill kind, not super overcrowded concerts or festivals), and random events (e.g. outdoor movies). The city we move to should have a decent amount of events/activities year-round.

6) Other hobbies are board games, cats, video games, movies/TV/books (especially scifi/horror/fantasy), DIY food/drink (e.g. jerky, pickling, etc), DIY crafts (e.g. 3d printing, knitting), casual biking, cooking. We're on the nerdy side. Would be cool if there are some like-minded people.

7) In terms of vibe, we are laid back. The fast-paced, suit/stiletto wearing, materialistic, clubbing, NY-style culture is totally unappealing to us. More nerds/hipsters preferred over bros.

8) We are politically left-leaning, and while we appreciate diversity of opinions we prefer not to live somewhere with a large concentration of people who are not accepting of other religions, sexual orientations, ethnicities, ways of life, etc. Don't think we could bring ourselves to live in a county that voted Trump.

9) Our families are near Raleigh, North Carolina and Columbus, Ohio. Would be nice to be a bit closer to them (but not too close but not a requirement.

10) Relatedly, being close to a good airport is a definite plus. In addition to being easier to visit family, we like to travel and plan to do it fairly often.

11) We want to live in a neighborhood with some soul to it (both in looks/architecture and vibe/things to do), definitely not treeless cookie cutter suburbs. Want to be within city limits but have a backyard (even if it's small).

12) I am in tech so some availability of tech jobs would be great. BF is in accounting so theoretically should be able to find a job anywhere.

13) Obviously affordability is a factor, but we're fine with a small house and are willing to pay a little extra for good location. Anywhere will be wayyy cheaper than SF

14) There are friendly people everywhere, but it's easier to make friends some places than others (e.g. see Seattle Freeze). We're on the introverted side and would prefer to live somewhere where there are plenty of people around our age that are open to making new friendships (not just sticking to existing groups).

15) We have a dream to start a small business one day so ideally we'll find some place where that is relatively easy to do.

16) Finally, at some point in the future we will probably start a family so while this isn't a priority right now, wherever we move shouldn't be terrible for raising a family.

I know it's a lot and there's no such thing as the perfect city that will fulfill all of this, but hoping for something close.

Some that we have thought about, along with their top issues based on what we've heard/read, are listed below.
EDIT: this list does NOT mean that we have eliminated all these cities. Merely trying to start conversations about pros/cons and learn more about them. We are well aware that we will not be able to find a city that meets all our ideal criteria. It's just a question of which city meets them the closest.

*Sacramento - not a top city, not enough to do?, not foodie enough?, hard to find tech jobs, prices going up quickly, airport not great. However this is a top contender for us right now given the weather and its proximity to the Bay Area.
*Austin - too hot/humid, heard that it's already getting overcrowded
*Houston - too hot/humid, traffic, not sure if it's hip/cool enough, too 'Texas'
*Boulder/Denver - too cold
*Columbus/Cleveland - not hip/cool enough, too cold
*Atlanta - not walkable, landlocked
*Savannah/Charleston - not big enough cities
*LA/Santa Monica/Long Beach - smog/pollution, not walkable, traffic, expensive except in sketchy areas
*San Diego - expensive, also we visited and the vibe seemed kind of 'bro-ish' but maybe we didn't get a good enough sense
*Portland/Seattle - weather too gloomy/not enough sun
*Chicago/DC/Boston/Minneapolis/Philly/Pittsburg/other northeast cities - think they're too cold, but open to being proven wrong; fast-paced east coast vibe?
*Richmond/VA Beach - not big enough cities?
*RTP/Charlotte - not big/hip enough? Not walkable?
*Albuquerque - too inland, not great for diverse food, may as well move to Sacramento if we decide on this size city

Any advice is GREATLY appreciated. I didn't see any other threads that covered our specific criteria but if you know of some past threads that might be helpful, please point me to them.

Thanks in advance!
Ha! This list is hipster to the hilt, but I don't think you will ever meet all of your criteria in the U.S.

Totally agree with your Trump post.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:18 PM
Location: East Coast of the United States
17,312 posts, read 19,591,548 times
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Originally Posted by veeplus View Post
*Chicago/DC/Boston/Minneapolis/Philly/Pittsburg/other northeast cities - think they're too cold, but open to being proven wrong; fast-paced east coast vibe?
DC has colder temperatures mainly from December to mid-March. Not nearly as cold as the other cities mentioned here, but you can expect to see snow, sleet and freezing rain every year. The summer months get hot and humid in the daytime. However, it is pleasant in the early mornings and evenings. Great for outdoor activities. It's an actual 4-season climate.

It sounds like you're looking for coastal Ca weather in other parts of the U.S., and that is not likely to happen.
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Old 11-28-2016, 11:44 PM
226 posts, read 168,255 times
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I say either Boulder/Denver, which are not as cold as you might think, or learn to love the gloom and move to Portland.
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:07 AM
Location: 352
5,122 posts, read 3,894,379 times
Reputation: 3494
Washington DC sounds perfect except for the weather. It's something youd just have to get used to, with any city.

As someone else said, its hard to find a city that has the transit and walkability, has the tech, and even has the airport(s), while having LA-esque, 75 and sunny weather. Youll have to make sacrifices on perfect weather. Its not that hard to get used to though, and who knows you might end up enjoying being able to pelt your s/o with some snowballs.

A couple notes, while you say Charleston is too small, i'd still give it at least a look, especially for what all youre asking for.

You definately need a car in Atlanta, but theres definately walkability in Midtown, downtown, Buckhead, and all in between. Dont let the massive suburban surrounding fool you. Atlanta also far and away has the best and busiest transit for any southeast city.

Charlotte is definately big. Walkability is an issue, but Charlotte is improving in the front. Uptown is definately hip. Charlotte is definately a good and adforable place to start a family as well.

Raleigh definately wouldnt hurt either to check out. It seems to be the Austin without all the growing pains, yet.
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