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Old 04-14-2009, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Kent-the Garden of England
69 posts, read 209,387 times
Reputation: 110

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Hi folks.

A big question for you! Big as America, in fact.

I'm a Brit who is looking to live in America for a few months at a time each year from now on. I'm not emigrating and do not need work. I'll spend more of the year in the greenbelt outside London, where I am extremely happy. I am not super-rich by any means, but am comfortably off and can afford to buy a nice enough home over there and have it maintained when I am back in the UK.

I'm hoping that my place in the USA will just be a nice place to kick back, relax, get involved with local stuff where I can and where I am wanted, make some new friends and generally enjoy a country and people I like very much.

Because the UK is pretty crowded, and because I spend a lot of time in London, I am NOT looking for a big, cosmopolitan city.

The kind of place I am looking for:

-comfortable and safe without being snot-nosed or manic about money and status
-friendly, relaxed...slightly arty or different is OK, but nothing pretentious...I like genuine warmth in a community, rather than it boasting a million artsy amenities...although some of those can be genuine and warm too
-LOTS of green stuff...especially trees
-near to genuine nature...not just one small state park that I'd have to drive to, but plenty of hikes, walks, maybe fishing, possibly hunting not too far away...I like the idea of hiking out someplace from my own property, or at the least only needing a pretty short drive to be in the middle of nowhere
-near enough to water...could be lakes, big rivers or the beach
-within a half day's drive of a decent-sized city and (genuinely) international airport
-probably no really new subdivisions or communities, or nothing too faked, like a golf resort...I like some of your older communities better
-a small number of good restaurants as well as the usual chains...I am not a picky, elitist Euro-diner...but every now and then I need something really good, or different
-a few friendly bars and pubs not too far away

I have had a few suggestions already. Although I know several aprts of America pretty well, I have never been to these:

-Raleigh-Durham-that part of NC
-A lot of Colorado
-New England
-Western Montana

In different ways all of the above miss one or two of my criteria, but that's cool. The criteria are just a guide, really. I'm interested in the South, because of the weather, but not exclusively so.

I'd really appreciate any steers you guys might have. You know the palce so much better than me.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Houston Texas
2,898 posts, read 2,877,672 times
Reputation: 877
I was going to suggest Houston area because it fits your criteria well, until I looked back and you said no really big cities

Louisville KY is a very nice mid sized city that fits well with what you are looking for. Maybe San Diego, Chattanooga TN, Corpus Christi TX, Knoxville TN as well
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Kent-the Garden of England
69 posts, read 209,387 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetclimber View Post
I was going to suggest Houston area because it fits your criteria well, until I looked back and you said no really big cities

Louisville KY is a very nice mid sized city that fits well with what you are looking for. Maybe San Diego, Chattanooga TN, Corpus Christi TX, Knoxville TN as well
Thanks. I'll add those to the list and look into them on this forum.

Yeah, Houston wouldn't be what I was looking for. Not because I believe all the bad things people say about it over there...just don't need another big city in my life. Brits badmouth London all the time for lots of similar reasons...but I love it. If you love Houston, good on ya!
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:34 AM
 
11,877 posts, read 32,908,658 times
Reputation: 8626
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleandoften View Post
Thanks. I'll add those to the list and look into them on this forum.

Yeah, Houston wouldn't be what I was looking for. Not because I believe all the bad things people say about it over there...just don't need another big city in my life. Brits badmouth London all the time for lots of similar reasons...but I love it. If you love Houston, good on ya!
Sweetclimber gave some good suggestions. I'll also add:

Asheville, North Carolina
Charlottesville, Virginia
Lexington, Kentucky
Savannah, Georgia
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:08 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,229,109 times
Reputation: 5131
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
Sweetclimber gave some good suggestions. I'll also add:

Asheville, North Carolina
I would HIGHLY "ditto" the Asheville, NC suggestion.

Sits in the mountains, lots of trees and outdoor activities. Autumn colors are only outdone by the New England area (and some might argue that). Smaller city, but still a "city" with amenities. Thriving arts community and lots of restaurants, but not "freaky artsy" by any means. Southern and "relaxed" but not quite as ultra-conservative as other Southern areas due to the arts scene there. Four distinct seasons - some snow but not a ton, some heat but not super humid, etc.

There are plenty of lakes, small rivers/streams in that area. You're a few hours from the ocean. If you would for any reason want "big city stuff", you would be 1.5 hours from Charlotte, and 3.5 hours from Atlanta. Read up on it - it really surprises a lot of people when they visit, and tons of people who have been come away from it wishing they could live there.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Ca2Mo2Ga2Va!
2,736 posts, read 5,951,554 times
Reputation: 1788
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
Sweetclimber gave some good suggestions. I'll also add:

Asheville, North Carolina
Charlottesville, Virginia
Lexington, Kentucky
Savannah, Georgia

Ohhhh, pick Savannah! I LOVE Savannah!
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:21 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,229,109 times
Reputation: 5131
Quote:
Originally Posted by breeze823 View Post
Ohhhh, pick Savannah! I LOVE Savannah!
Ok... go there in July and August and tell me that again. lol

I know a couple of Brits who have been to Charleston SC in the summer and nearly died, so I can only imagine what the very similar if not worse heat/humidity does to them in Savannah in the warmer months.

http://bestsmileys.com/hot/3.gif (broken link)
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
8,900 posts, read 13,236,781 times
Reputation: 1819
Long Island
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Houston Texas
2,898 posts, read 2,877,672 times
Reputation: 877
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleandoften View Post
Hi folks.

A big question for you! Big as America, in fact.

I'm a Brit who is looking to live in America for a few months at a time each year from now on. I'm not emigrating and do not need work. I'll spend more of the year in the greenbelt outside London, where I am extremely happy. I am not super-rich by any means, but am comfortably off and can afford to buy a nice enough home over there and have it maintained when I am back in the UK.

I'm hoping that my place in the USA will just be a nice place to kick back, relax, get involved with local stuff where I can and where I am wanted, make some new friends and generally enjoy a country and people I like very much.

Because the UK is pretty crowded, and because I spend a lot of time in London, I am NOT looking for a big, cosmopolitan city.

The kind of place I am looking for:

-comfortable and safe without being snot-nosed or manic about money and status-friendly, relaxed...slightly arty or different is OK, but nothing pretentious...I like genuine warmth in a community, rather than it boasting a million artsy amenities...although some of those can be genuine and warm too
-LOTS of green stuff...especially trees
-near to genuine nature...not just one small state park that I'd have to drive to, but plenty of hikes, walks, maybe fishing, possibly hunting not too far away...I like the idea of hiking out someplace from my own property, or at the least only needing a pretty short drive to be in the middle of nowhere
-near enough to water...could be lakes, big rivers or the beach
-within a half day's drive of a decent-sized city and (genuinely) international airport
-probably no really new subdivisions or communities, or nothing too faked, like a golf resort...I like some of your older communities better
-a small number of good restaurants as well as the usual chains...I am not a picky, elitist Euro-diner...but every now and then I need something really good, or different
-a few friendly bars and pubs not too far away

I have had a few suggestions already. Although I know several aprts of America pretty well, I have never been to these:

-Raleigh-Durham-that part of NC
-A lot of Colorado
-New England
-Western Montana

In different ways all of the above miss one or two of my criteria, but that's cool. The criteria are just a guide, really. I'm interested in the South, because of the weather, but not exclusively so.

I'd really appreciate any steers you guys might have. You know the palce so much better than me.

Thanks in advance!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachael84 View Post
Long Island
Somehow I think these two do not go together
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,901 posts, read 13,655,028 times
Reputation: 11535
I would go with the New England or North East area. I know how brutal even that flight can be and I can't imagine taking a longer flight, especially if you're also driving half a day to the airport.

Maybe check out the Poconos area (Pennsylvania)? I'm thinking somewhere in the lower part, between Wilkes-barre/Scranton and Allentown.
The Poconos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pocono Mountains Official Site - Poconos Vacation & Visitors Information, Maps & Outdoor Activities, Hotel & Resorts, Conference & Convention Facilities
It's about a 2 hour drive from Philadelphia Airport. Some places are very remote, some are more populated but no huge cities. Tons of genuine nature, greenary and outdoor activities you listed (my dad goes fishing in Jim Thorpe a lot). The Delaware River is north and east to this area and the Susquehannah River is to the west. There's also a lot of lakes and it would be about 2-3 hours drive to the New Jersey Shore. Restaurants and bars would depend on the specific area, sorry I can't narrow it down more but I would check out the general area.
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