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Old 01-18-2017, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,053 posts, read 3,379,100 times
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Salem or Portland, Oregon. Mountains, woods, rivers, ocean not too far away.

Twin Cities, Minnesota. Probably better in the jobs department. Lots of lakes, woods, rivers, great city parks. No ocean but the world's largest lake (by surface area) is a few hours north.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:31 AM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,710,646 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernbored View Post
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.

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...
March would probably be a good time to visit upstate NY, if you can handle it then, you'd be OK.

Ithaca is more of an artsy liberal type area, more the type of town where they would be more shocked that you did go to church than if you didn't. Employment is rather spotty, it's the sort of area where they require a Ph.D for an essentially clerical position because they can, and can also pay it as a clerical position. Outdoor activities are a little harder to discover here than in other areas but you can find them. Once you get ten miles out of town you will find it less surprising that the Federal government counts Tompkins County as Appalachia, though Hillary ran over 40 points ahead of Trump. Honestly there are fewer startups and services here than one would expect spinning off from the largest Ivy League institution - not that there aren't any, but they tend to be smaller and harder to find.

State College might be the most Midwestern of Northeastern college towns, with a stadium-centered undergraduate party scene you just don't see to the same extent in Ithaca. The area is liberal by central PA standards, but not as much compared to college communities. Centre County went for Hillary by less than 2 points over Trump, as an illustration of a distinction with Ithaca. Due to larger tracts of surrounding public land, the mountain outdoors is more prominent here and easier to find than in Ithaca. The area seems to be more startup friendly, perhaps as a result you have to drive about 15 miles out to find more evidence of social Appalachia.

Carlisle seems to be trying to build its own image distinct from Harrisburg, the core city of its metro. There is no longer much gap in between, soon it probably will be limited to the Federally purchased Appalachian Trail corridor. It's close enough for weekend day trips to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and (if you take first train in and last train out) New York City. You might get asked if you want sweet or unsweet tea, it's about on that border. The old courthouse has cannonball dents on it, marked "July 1, 1863." You also might get asked what church you attend. There is a bit more ethnic diversity here, and not as well correlating with class distinctions. Dickinson College is tiny and does relatively little to liberalize local politics, the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks (where promising colonels come to learn to be generals) honestly is more prominent. Trump ran 19 points ahead of Hillary in Cumberland County.
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Old 01-19-2017, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Baldwin County, AL
2,446 posts, read 1,047,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cavsfan137 View Post
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.
Thanks for the suggestions! I have researched both Madison and Harrisburg (work opportunity), and both seem like they could be contenders, but I have never been to either. Boise, Syracuse, Toledo, Springfield, and Scranton all kind of fall into the same category for me. Never really researched them, and haven't thought much about them. (Less so with Syracuse, as ck has gotten me to look a little around there). I don't know much about the cities, but they are in areas that would work for us, and I have always thought that the "2nd tier" cities can sometimes have more appeal than the larger ones.


I also think you are right about Colorado Springs.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Baldwin County, AL
2,446 posts, read 1,047,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jas75 View Post
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.
We wouldn't mind being isolated, as long as there is plenty of things to keep us busy nearby, which I imagine would be the case in Rapid City. It certainly doesn't lack for nature and outdoor activities, but that center strip of states (From ND through TX) is really at the bottom of our list of possible relocation areas. My wife, not sure why exactly, has an aversion to the "plains states".


I have been through Ft. Collins, but have never actually been TO Ft. Collins, but hear it is nice. I also know someone who lives there, so I guess that could be a plus as well.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:32 AM
 
56,515 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
March would probably be a good time to visit upstate NY, if you can handle it then, you'd be OK.

Ithaca is more of an artsy liberal type area, more the type of town where they would be more shocked that you did go to church than if you didn't. Employment is rather spotty, it's the sort of area where they require a Ph.D for an essentially clerical position because they can, and can also pay it as a clerical position. Outdoor activities are a little harder to discover here than in other areas but you can find them. Once you get ten miles out of town you will find it less surprising that the Federal government counts Tompkins County as Appalachia, though Hillary ran over 40 points ahead of Trump. Honestly there are fewer startups and services here than one would expect spinning off from the largest Ivy League institution - not that there aren't any, but they tend to be smaller and harder to find.

State College might be the most Midwestern of Northeastern college towns, with a stadium-centered undergraduate party scene you just don't see to the same extent in Ithaca. The area is liberal by central PA standards, but not as much compared to college communities. Centre County went for Hillary by less than 2 points over Trump, as an illustration of a distinction with Ithaca. Due to larger tracts of surrounding public land, the mountain outdoors is more prominent here and easier to find than in Ithaca. The area seems to be more startup friendly, perhaps as a result you have to drive about 15 miles out to find more evidence of social Appalachia.

Carlisle seems to be trying to build its own image distinct from Harrisburg, the core city of its metro. There is no longer much gap in between, soon it probably will be limited to the Federally purchased Appalachian Trail corridor. It's close enough for weekend day trips to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and (if you take first train in and last train out) New York City. You might get asked if you want sweet or unsweet tea, it's about on that border. The old courthouse has cannonball dents on it, marked "July 1, 1863." You also might get asked what church you attend. There is a bit more ethnic diversity here, and not as well correlating with class distinctions. Dickinson College is tiny and does relatively little to liberalize local politics, the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks (where promising colonels come to learn to be generals) honestly is more prominent. Trump ran 19 points ahead of Hillary in Cumberland County.


Ithaca's startup scene has picked up within the last few years: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn...?client=safari

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works

Start-ups learn prototyping at Ithaca incubator

https://ithacavoice.com/2016/03/spar...ev-wins-award/
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Atlanta metro (Cobb County)
1,558 posts, read 743,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southernbored View Post
We wouldn't mind being isolated, as long as there is plenty of things to keep us busy nearby, which I imagine would be the case in Rapid City. It certainly doesn't lack for nature and outdoor activities, but that center strip of states (From ND through TX) is really at the bottom of our list of possible relocation areas. My wife, not sure why exactly, has an aversion to the "plains states".


I have been through Ft. Collins, but have never actually been TO Ft. Collins, but hear it is nice. I also know someone who lives there, so I guess that could be a plus as well.
I would say Rapid City, which is in close proximity to Wyoming, has more in common with locations further west than other cities in the Great Plains states. The terrain is more rugged and the climate is drier and sunnier than elsewhere in what is typically considered the Midwest. I don't think jobs are very high paying in the area, but unemployment is low and South Dakota has no state income tax.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:43 AM
 
21,185 posts, read 30,343,833 times
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Originally Posted by Simpsonvilllian View Post
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.
There are currently 77 three bedroom homes listed in the 250K-300K bracket alone with the average median household income at 82K per year, so it's clearly not expensive for the average resident. In terms of a I-270 commute into DC or the the northern DC suburbs, it's not necessary with plenty of options in/around Frederick.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Baldwin County, AL
2,446 posts, read 1,047,024 times
Reputation: 601
Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
March would probably be a good time to visit upstate NY, if you can handle it then, you'd be OK.

Ithaca is more of an artsy liberal type area, more the type of town where they would be more shocked that you did go to church than if you didn't. Employment is rather spotty, it's the sort of area where they require a Ph.D for an essentially clerical position because they can, and can also pay it as a clerical position. Outdoor activities are a little harder to discover here than in other areas but you can find them. Once you get ten miles out of town you will find it less surprising that the Federal government counts Tompkins County as Appalachia, though Hillary ran over 40 points ahead of Trump. Honestly there are fewer startups and services here than one would expect spinning off from the largest Ivy League institution - not that there aren't any, but they tend to be smaller and harder to find.

Ithaca looks like, to me, that it may be harder to make ends meet and live the life you want than in other areas. I like the "artsy" vibe of the area, but like you kind of get into above, I fear that it is a little more "pretentious" than I would like, and may be a little harder to find a decent paying job than a lot of the other areas we are looking at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
State College might be the most Midwestern of Northeastern college towns, with a stadium-centered undergraduate party scene you just don't see to the same extent in Ithaca. The area is liberal by central PA standards, but not as much compared to college communities. Centre County went for Hillary by less than 2 points over Trump, as an illustration of a distinction with Ithaca. Due to larger tracts of surrounding public land, the mountain outdoors is more prominent here and easier to find than in Ithaca. The area seems to be more startup friendly, perhaps as a result you have to drive about 15 miles out to find more evidence of social Appalachia.

Yea, I had always thought that State College was Penn St. and not much else. Of course, I have never been there, so wouldn't know that for sure. That is one of the reasons I hadn't looked at it very much, as we want more than just a college town. It definitely looks like if would be a good base for outdoor activities though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ki0eh View Post
Carlisle seems to be trying to build its own image distinct from Harrisburg, the core city of its metro. There is no longer much gap in between, soon it probably will be limited to the Federally purchased Appalachian Trail corridor. It's close enough for weekend day trips to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and (if you take first train in and last train out) New York City. You might get asked if you want sweet or unsweet tea, it's about on that border. The old courthouse has cannonball dents on it, marked "July 1, 1863." You also might get asked what church you attend. There is a bit more ethnic diversity here, and not as well correlating with class distinctions. Dickinson College is tiny and does relatively little to liberalize local politics, the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks (where promising colonels come to learn to be generals) honestly is more prominent. Trump ran 19 points ahead of Hillary in Cumberland County.

As to the bold... This would be great! The ideal place for us would have a mixture of outdoor activities and nearby bigger city type amenities. We wouldn't need the big city stuff every week or anything, but knowing it is nearby and accessible would be great. We are good with ethnic diversity, and in fact think it makes for a better culture for an area, so that could be good for us.


Now, we don't have to have some liberal mecca, or a place that is totally irreligious or anything like that. We would just prefer a place that is more liberal than not, that it isn't unheard of for someone to be an atheist. We are absolutely fine with a place where the majority are church goers, or an area that may be a little more conservative. We just don't want it to dominate life, as it does here in the south, if that makes sense. We are looked at like we are from outer space when people find out we are liberal atheists that are from the south. We have lost people that we considered friends due to it. We just don't want to be somewhere like that.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:53 AM
 
2,727 posts, read 5,146,110 times
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Boise has an expanding job market and is known as a tech city. There is a university downtown and headquarters for several national and worldwide companies and is excellent for outdoor recreation.

The Boise River which runs through the city and downtown is popular for trout fishing and rafting. The Boise River Greenbelt is in a league of its own and there are hundreds of miles of single track in the Foothills above the city as well as a ski mountain. It is a mountain biking city and is also home to some Olympian cyclists. There is a whitewater park near downtown and if you like to rock climb the Black Cliffs are just outside of city limits in the Boise River Canyon.

The topography is also interesting, south of town is the Snake River Canyon and north is endless alpine wilderness in the mountains that stretches continuously into Canada.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Baldwin County, AL
2,446 posts, read 1,047,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jas75 View Post
I would say Rapid City, which is in close proximity to Wyoming, has more in common with locations further west than other cities in the Great Plains states. The terrain is more rugged and the climate is drier and sunnier than elsewhere in what is typically considered the Midwest. I don't think jobs are very high paying in the area, but unemployment is low and South Dakota has no state income tax.
I see what you mean. Like I said though, my wife has some kind of aversion to that strip of states. She also doesn't really want Montana or Wyoming either. I would love to visit Rapid City and see what it's about though.
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