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Old 01-17-2017, 02:52 PM
 
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Check out Frederick, Maryland. It's an hour outside of both Washington DC and Baltimore, located in the foothills of the northern Blue Ridge Mountains and about 90 minutes to the Chesapeake Bay or three hours to the Atlantic coast. It has a low unemployment rate (3.6%) and close proximity to the I-270 Tech Corridor as well as northern DC/suburban Maryland commerce hubs like Gaithersburg and Rockville.

Downtown Frederick Partnership
About Us
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:29 PM
 
Location: The Springs
1,770 posts, read 2,141,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
Boise, Salt Lake City, and Colorado Springs.
Agree. Here's some info on Colorado Springs:

Colorado Springs Vacation Planning & Tourism Information | Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas via ATX
1,256 posts, read 1,479,306 times
Reputation: 1737
The Northwest Arkansas metro is a hidden gem. It is in the Ozarks and the cities take full advantage of the topography with parks, lakes, bike trails, mountain biking, etc. Great hiking and rivering within short drives.

Booming local economy, too.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Baldwin County, AL
2,446 posts, read 1,048,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewjdeg View Post
Duluth, Minnesota if you don't mind the cold.
I have not heard a whole lot about Duluth.... From what I have heard, it is a bit run down and hockey obsessed. Is that correct? Not necessarily worried about either, but it is about all I have heard anyone say of the area, so anything of interest nearby? I know of the lake, but that is about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vter View Post
Burlington, VT
I have always heard good things about Burlington. I know it may be a little expensive for the pay scale of the area, but that doesn't concern me much, from what I have seen of the area. It is certainly beautiful and ticks most of our boxes.


Now, Glens Falls and Ithaca I do know a bit about, and they are both on our list. Carlisle I am not too familiar with. It does look like a nice, neat little town though, so I will be doing some more research on it. That part of NY intrigues me for some reason. We are going to be up that way in March (Actually NJ, but we plan on looking at a few places while we are there.), so hopefully I can check them out then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
State College, PA has a number of different industries not all connected directly with the university. Mountain biking, hiking, hunting are big in the area, but you probably won't constantly be asked what church you attend. With bike paths, detached or newer complex housing, and much new construction, it feels more like a mountain West community or perhaps an outer DC suburb, than it does the tired old industrial towns with shabby rowhomes for 150 miles around it. There are even enough roads now to avoid the undergraduate party scene, folks who were last there 50 or even 20 years ago don't recognize the place.
I will admit, I have never looked at Central PA. I have looked around Philly and Pittsburgh a bit (I could, in theory transfer to one of those cities with my current employer), but never the more central areas. Judging by what I have been told of some of the cities in the central portion, maybe I should...




Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Check out Frederick, Maryland. It's an hour outside of both Washington DC and Baltimore, located in the foothills of the northern Blue Ridge Mountains and about 90 minutes to the Chesapeake Bay or three hours to the Atlantic coast. It has a low unemployment rate (3.6%) and close proximity to the I-270 Tech Corridor as well as northern DC/suburban Maryland commerce hubs like Gaithersburg and Rockville.

Downtown Frederick Partnership
About Us
Frederick does seem like an interesting place. It is very close to a lot of things we would be interested in, that's for sure. According to its page on this site, it doesn't seem to expensive either, which is a plus. As odd as it seems, this would be a great location, the city seems to be what we want, I have always seen it mentioned... yet I have never really researched it.... I will be doing so now though.


Thanks for all the replies guys! Keep em comin!
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Baldwin County, AL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kar54 View Post
Don't get me wrong, I love Colorado Springs, but it is a little bigger than what we are looking for. We have spent a few weeks, over several years, in both Colorado Springs and Denver. We love them both, but they are not quite what we are looking for. If there are any smaller cities/towns nearby that would fit, I am all ears though!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
The Northwest Arkansas metro is a hidden gem. It is in the Ozarks and the cities take full advantage of the topography with parks, lakes, bike trails, mountain biking, etc. Great hiking and rivering within short drives.

Booming local economy, too.
Yea, NW Arkansas is a nice place. We used to live in Memphis, and have spent a good deal of time in Arkansas (Places like Mountain Home, Hot Springs, and a few days in Bentonville). We could never live there though.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:07 AM
 
29,946 posts, read 27,415,389 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernbored View Post
Don't get me wrong, I love Colorado Springs, but it is a little bigger than what we are looking for. We have spent a few weeks, over several years, in both Colorado Springs and Denver. We love them both, but they are not quite what we are looking for. If there are any smaller cities/towns nearby that would fit, I am all ears though!
Exactly what size place are you looking for, and are you looking at just the city/town population or the population of the whole area?
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Baldwin County, AL
2,446 posts, read 1,048,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
Exactly what size place are you looking for, and are you looking at just the city/town population or the population of the whole area?
Well, I wouldn't say we have a certain size, but we are looking for smaller metro areas in general. I know CS has less than 700k in the metro, but it feels larger, to me at least. We are definitely down for CO, but we don't really want to be in any of the large, built up areas. The fringes of those areas may work, though.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:16 PM
 
3,788 posts, read 3,011,092 times
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Metros that are larger than 250K (enough to have some job potential), but smaller than Colorado Springs, in the regions you listed as preferable:

-Boise, ID (though it is growing and may be a 1,000,000 PCSA in the next decade or two. Big Mountains though)
-Syracuse, NY (Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario, Gorges, Wineries, Rolling Topography, Cheap COL, Liberal/College City)
-Toledo, OH (Cheap COL, right near Lake Erie, close to Detroit for big city amenities, great parks system/culture for size.)
-Ogden, UT (Cheaper and smaller than Salt Lake, may be too religious for you though. Also big mountains)
-Madison, WI (A bit more expensive, bustling yet fun downtown, liberal, great lakes/topography around)
-Springfield, MA (Close to mountains, historic/punches above weight, etc., less expensive than Eastern MA)
-Harrisburg, PA (Poconos/AT close at hand, reasonable COL, lots of attractions/day trips around)
-Scranton, PA (Like Harrisburg expect likely cheaper, but also less going on)
There are too many name so I won't keep going down to 250K, but Eugene, OR is a place that seems like a dream to me.

Colorado Springs may feel larger because of increased density due to the mountains, or also due to the fact that the city limits population is approaching 500,000. Also, it's a popular tourist destination and almost a part of the Denver CSA, so it's possible you could find a larger place that feels smaller.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
7,592 posts, read 4,014,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernbored View Post
Frederick does seem like an interesting place. It is very close to a lot of things we would be interested in, that's for sure. According to its page on this site, it doesn't seem to expensive either, which is a plus. As odd as it seems, this would be a great location, the city seems to be what we want, I have always seen it mentioned... yet I have never really researched it.... I will be doing so now though.!
Frederick is a nice place to live. there's a nice state park that has an overlook of the city.

but it is expensive to live there. even a cheapish townhome can start around 300K. and commuting to DC area on i-270 is a nightmare.
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,570 posts, read 749,380 times
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If you don't mind a truly isolated small metropolitan area with a vastly different environment than the Alabama Gulf Coast, maybe consider Rapid City, SD. Mount Rushmore is the most famous attraction in the area, but there is also a great deal of natural beauty and recreation throughout the Black Hills. The weather fluctuations in that region are massive - but it's comparatively a lot milder than the rest of the Dakotas.

Based on the discussion of Colorado in this thread, Fort Collins may also be worth checking out given you prefer smaller areas. Great outdoor accessibility and a vibrant small metropolitan area with a mix of university and high tech influences, but the cost of living is pretty high.
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