U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-29-2009, 02:23 AM
 
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
3 posts, read 3,684 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Hi, I currently live in Gold Coast, Australia and I would like to move to USA and live there for a year or two or so. I'm working on obtaining a visa that would allow me to live there for this length of time. I am self funded, so job opportunities aren't a consideration.

I need to decide where to live. I love hiking, going to the mountains, landscape photography, and I am absolutely in love with the US national parks, and I would like to visit them as often as I can. So based on these, I would probably say I should live somewhere in the west.

Some general places I am considering:
Seattle (rains too much)
Portland Oregon
California (where?)
Las Vegas (seems central enough- to CA and to Utah's national parks)
Boulder Colorado (close to Rocky Mountain National Park, also denver which is a flight hub)
Arizona ??

I prefer relaxed city, relatively small, and doesn't have too much traffic. I don't mind traffic going to the main CBD during peak hours. I prefer places where parking is easy and mostly free, not having to park in parking buildings and pay $7/hr. Coin parking meters are cool. Opportunity to make new friends, lots of activities (I love meetup dot com), relatively lower cost of living (why choose to pay more and live in a more expensive city?)

I have been to San Fran and the roller coaster roads scare me I have been to LA and San Diego... not really sure if I like SD. LA seems cool and I met many NICE people there that can become my regular friends if I chose to live there. But LA is exxy and smoggy I believe that there are nice, friendly and easy going people everywhere so I hope that won't be an issue.

I love Lake Tahoe, but flight is only through Reno and not so central (e.g. two legs to Dallas). I stayed mainly in South Lake Tahoe which seems too small a town to have any decent social life (e.g. through meetup dot com).

I would like to be able to jump in the car and go to a hiking trail head within an hour or less, with many trails to choose from. Equally I would like to be able to go to a major airport (that would have jet aeroplanes) within an hour or less.

So if anyone can give me some feedback or suggestions or even help me brainstorm this... I would really appreciate it. Thanking you in advance!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-29-2009, 03:30 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,324 posts, read 6,996,682 times
Reputation: 3504
Tired of living on the east coast in australia? is that why you're only looking at the western states? :P

I don't know too much about the following places, but off the top of my head I think that youd really like parts of Tennessee and North Carolina. They're definitely well known for gorgeous natural landscapes and plenty of hiking in the mountains. And certainly they both have quite a few cheaper, relatively smaller, relaxed cities in which to live. (Maybe, by extension, parts of Georgia and South Carolina as well?)

Check it out...maybe you'll see something you like. I have no agenda here as I have absolutely no connection to the states I mentioned.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 04:40 AM
 
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
3 posts, read 3,684 times
Reputation: 10
The East Coast of Australia is great, and I feel very happy living here, especially on the Gold Coast. The weather is absolutely great, and the people are also great. I have lots of wonderful friends here. Lots of hiking trails within an hour or less, and the beach is only 15 minutes away. I just want a change of scenery - and I really love the USA national parks - madly in love! The ice capped mountains are gorgeous. Thanks for the tip I'll read up on NC. I have been to Tennessee (Gatlinburg - to the Smoky Mountains national park) the town feels too touristy and small to me though but I quite like it. Can you please be more specific e.g. suggesting a few towns around those states that you mentioned? Thank you.

Last edited by mupps; 01-29-2009 at 05:30 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,061 posts, read 16,104,972 times
Reputation: 9402
I'd look at Asheville, North Carolina. It's a small city (about 500,000 metro), but there's a good amount going on and it's close to hiking and Mountains. It's laid back but there's enough to do. Not hard to drive there at all.

Also worth looking into is Portland, Maine. Another small one (about 250,000 metro) but very close to the Mountains (White Mountain National Forest is about an hour's drive) while being on the coastline. It's also in relatively close proximity to Acadia National Park as well as Baxter State Park (look it up, in my opinion it's good enough to be a national park). The culture in Portland is really laid back and it's cheap and easy to park. There is no shortage of hiking and other outdoor activities here.

I've also heard good things about Santa Fe New Mexico in regards to it being a cool, easy going city. There's plenty of forest and hiking around it too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 08:17 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,260,685 times
Reputation: 5131
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I'd look at Asheville, North Carolina. It's a small city (about 500,000 metro), but there's a good amount going on and it's close to hiking and Mountains. It's laid back but there's enough to do. Not hard to drive there at all.
That's exactly where I was going to suggest. One of the most photographed areas around (especially in Autumn when trees start to change color). Small city but known for a strong arts community for a city of the size. Touristy but not tacky. Tons of outdoor activities. Charlotte, NC is only about 1.5 hours away and Atlanta is 3.5 hours away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,061 posts, read 16,104,972 times
Reputation: 9402
^Yeah, there's an excellent arts community and it is close enough to big city amenities in Charlotte and Atlanta. I find it to be one of my favorite places in the South Eastern U.S. It's hard to beat Asheville for scenery in Autumn.

Portland Has Boston at 2 hours away, but it's colder (and a bit smaller) than Asheville.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Teaneck, NJ
1,576 posts, read 5,142,476 times
Reputation: 683
I heard those places are nice, but im not first hand info. I never been out west, but... Maybe i can give you places im familiar with on the east coast.. Lake George, NY (has plenty of mountains and beautiful scenery) it's a nice place to check out
Also, Cumberland, MD is a nice place
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,324 posts, read 6,996,682 times
Reputation: 3504
Quote:
Originally Posted by mupps View Post
Can you please be more specific e.g. suggesting a few towns around those states that you mentioned? Thank you.
I think I'm on the same page with all the other posters...

I was mainly thinking about Asheville, NC. There are probably many other good areas in the states I mentioned, but I'll have to do some research before I post on those. Of the places you listed out west, all of them could work out well for you. I'd particularly recommend Portland and Boulder.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
4,229 posts, read 15,426,312 times
Reputation: 2294
I'd also say Tennessee or North Carolina. Boone North Carolina would be nice if your younger since it's a college town. I'd also check out somewhere in New England like New Hampshire? Ever heard of Mount Washington? It's beautiful there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2009, 12:58 PM
 
Location: moving again
4,382 posts, read 15,336,643 times
Reputation: 1594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newarkbomb View Post
Also, Cumberland, MD is a nice place
Cumberland has a nice location and i personally find it attractive, but it is very economically depressed.

Frederick would be better as it has lots of hiking trails, Catoctin mountain state park, Gambril state park, etc right there and the town itself is great, alive, and not depressed. Not that Cumberland doesn't have great parks around, its just the town itself that would make me not want to recommend it
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top