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Old 12-06-2017, 12:27 AM
2 posts, read 1,317 times
Reputation: 10


I'm looking for some advice on where to move to.

Some background info on my situation:
I'm feeling quite lost in life and I've been somewhat a drift the last couple of years. I finished an americorps program in Maine and then ended up spending 6 months in St. Louis to help out a family member. I'm currently in Boulder Co, staying temporarily with a friend just to get back on my feet after dealing with some rough family stuff. I didn't much like St. Louis. I loved New England, but am freaked out by the prevalence of Lyme disease there(I spend a lot of time outdoors). Also I didn't like the weeks where the temperature didn't get above 0 in the winter and ice storms when I was in Vermont. I'm tired of traveling and just want to live somewhere, any advice would be helpful. I didn't finish college due to some mental health issues when I was younger, so my goal is to live somewhere long enough to get in state tuition and then finish my degree(going to a college that's not too expensive would be nice).

Some things I'm looking for:
A small-mediem sized city/large town, with a nice culture and community feel that's potentially connected to a larger metropolitan area. I crave great outdoor activities(I love skiing, biking, hiking, back packing, kayaking). I love water and the ocean. I love swimming in ponds and floating down rivers. I want to live somewhere that's green and has seasons, especially snow. I would like a place with a fun night life for a single person in their mid twenties, music scene is a bonus(I like ska, rock, and indi). I enjoy “the arts”(symphonies/art museums), international cuisine, good beer, and fun coffee shops. Liberal, good economy, low cost of living and a place that's safe to walk around. It would be nice to be around open minded people who care about the world and won't be prejudice of the fact that I will be a transplant. I have asthma, so air quality is a concern for me.

What I've considered:
I'm debating about staying in boulder, but I don't like how pretentious/entitled many of the people are around here. I don't like how dry boulder is and how far away it is from the ocean. I've been debating about Bend Oregon, however it seems like it would be a bit too isolated for my taste. I've thought about Eugene OR, but I'm worried about it's air quality, and that there might not be much going on for somebody who is young but not currently in college. I'm concerned that I wouldn't be able to walk around Portland Or without being harassed. Oregon seems like it might be the place I'm looking for, but I'm stressed out about it's economy and lack of job opportunities. Washington concerns me because I've heard that the people there can be somewhat stand-offish and that it's hard to make friends there(the Seattle freeze?). I've heard that the Seattle metropolitan area is ridiculously expensive?

Any suggestions? Thank you!

Last edited by Smallgalaxy; 12-06-2017 at 12:39 AM..
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:54 AM
Location: Washington State desert
5,537 posts, read 3,690,388 times
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Your title states, "Northern Coast", so I'm a little confused. Places like Bend, OR, or even Eugene or Portland, OR are not considered "the coast".

Seattle and Portland are both expensive.

I would take a look at Medford, Oregon, (though not really liberal), and if you really want the coast then Newport or Lincoln City are the biggest areas along the immediate coast. Longview/Kelso, WA is another more inland option, just an hour north of Portland and about 2 hours south of Seattle. The above mentioned areas are less expensive than Seattle or Portland. Good luck.

Last edited by pnwguy2; 12-06-2017 at 01:31 AM..
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:43 AM
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I guess I was thinking of Eugene as part of the coast because I'm from New Mexico originally and have spent most of my life in places where you would have to fly to get to a coast. In my head a couple hour drive to get to a coast still seems "coastal".
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Old 12-06-2017, 01:55 AM
Location: Washington State desert
5,537 posts, read 3,690,388 times
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Got it! Eugene is about 90 minutes to the coast, Medford and Portland about the same.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:30 AM
21,188 posts, read 30,359,201 times
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I would recommend Olympia WA

It's a city of around 50K located 30 minutes south of Tacoma (an hour south of Seattle) and is the state capital. It's located at the southernmost point of the inlets from the Pacific so has easy access to the water, and is 90 minutes from the Pacific coast. The cost of living is far less than Seattle for example (one bedroom apartments readily available for $900-$1000 a month), is much more laidback and subsequently much friendlier in my opinion, is liberal politically and has a four year university that excels with older,non-traditional students (Evergreen State College). The only drawback may be air quality given inconsistent data.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:38 AM
Location: Beautiful Rhode Island
6,846 posts, read 11,113,881 times
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Sounds like Providence would fit since you loved New England. Our climate is mild compared to VT.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:16 AM
Location: Chibostoncaliseattle
2,084 posts, read 1,102,334 times
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Asheville, NC immediately comes to mind, but you're not going to get the skiing and overall winter experience that you would in New England or the Pacific Northwest. NC has some skiing, but it's admittedly very underwhelming. Asheville is the southern version of Burlington, VT. I'd argue that Boulder, CO is very similar to both, which makes me wonder why you want to leave? I'm assuming that college choices and lack of water are playing a major role..

If you can handle the cold days, Portsmouth, NH is my front runner. Loads of bars, talented chefs, a music scene, coffee shops, beautiful beaches, healthy mix of young professionals that want to get away from the high cost of living, and you're only ~60 min. from the white mountains, ~60 min. from Boston, and ~60 min. from Portland. University of New Hampshire has a campus in Portsmouth, but the main campus is in Durham which is located about 20 miles west. Really strong school with a good foothold in New England if you decide to stay. Overall, it's just a great balance of beautiful coast, outdoor activity, and convenience.

In the Northwest, I think Bend and Eugene come to mind, so you're on the right track. That said, you can head east from Seattle and in about 45 min. you're in the mountains. Living somewhere in the outer ring of Seattle may be a good bet? While the cost of living is somewhat high in Seattle metro, expect it to be a bit more around Boston/Portsmouth. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of life vs. cost of living in Seattle. Boston is atrociously high, whereas Seattle is totally doable.

Having lived in both metro areas - Seattle and Boston- I can honestly say that they are incredible places to live. Boston is a bit more vibrant. A lot more people walking around, restaurants and bars are crowded, the waterfront in the city and north shore/south shore are buzzing in the summer. It's much more like NYC or Chicago in that regard. Seattle is a bit more mellow, which plays well with the culture. You have the ability to get to any outdoor activity in 45 min. Boston is going to offer better beaches, great canoeing inland, etc. but the closest true mountains are ~2 hr. northwest. I compare the two metro areas because Portsmouth can be lumped into Boston metro. I believe you even have train access to Boston.

What do you think, OP?
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:39 AM
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Pretty much any city in New England is blue. But some cities like where I went to college like Amherst and Northampton are a little too liberal for my taste.
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:04 AM
Location: Seattle
565 posts, read 563,944 times
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I would definitely take a look at Tacoma, Olympia, and Bellingham.
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Old 12-09-2017, 04:44 PM
Location: Olympia, Washington
1,258 posts, read 699,374 times
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All the cities you mention out this way aren't really considered coastal (~90 minutes to the coast). All the coastal cities out here (PNW) are quite small and not much going on compared to coastal cities on the east coast and California. I imagine because they are battered with rain (100+ inches) and wind for much of the year. That said, there are many places along Puget Sound to live that are much cheaper than Seattle as mentioned above.

Last edited by fluffydelusions; 12-09-2017 at 05:24 PM..
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