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Old 06-16-2009, 07:31 AM
 
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In my moves around the country the Hershey, PA area is probably the safest feeling, home to the Penn State medical center Penn State Hershey Jobs and to highly rated schools (Derry Township or Lower Dauphin are names to check on the school rating websites). Right near the state capital and blossoming local cultural opportunities, see http://www.city-data.com/forum/penns...ea-thread.html . 2 hours on the weekend drive to DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia or 3 to NY City and Amtrak is option to Phila and NYC too (that's how we take our daughter). If you like your towns neither fakey nor scary, you might choose to live in Welcome to the Hummelstown Business Partnership Association (Lower Dauphin school, walkable to much of town on new sidewalks) and your kid will surely have you here a lot: Awesome Unique Childs Toys Hershey Hummelstown Childs Unique Toys Unusual Unique Baby Toy Store
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:28 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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Topaz,

I would strongly recommend you look into Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is one of the most well-preserved colonial cities in America, with a visible 400 year long history and an incredible concentration of historical architecture. It is a city of 20,000 with a very vibrant, very walkable downtown. It has a lot of cultural offerings for its size.

The public schools are generally considered very good (you might also want to look into nearby Exeter and Durham, whose public school systems are among the very best in the state), and there are a number of private schools in town. Portsmouth is a very safe city and NH has the lowest crime rate in the nation.

Portsmouth is in a very lush, green setting -- where the mixed deciduous / coniferous forest meets the Atlantic Ocean. NH is the second most forested state in the US, after Maine, which is just across the bridge from Portsmouth.

The only potential sticking point I see is the winters. New England is known for having cold, snowy winters, but being right next to the ocean does moderate the climate considerably, so snow doesn't stay on the ground all winter long (definitely no 9-foot snow drifts! ) and the temperatures are warmer than inland areas. Winter highs are typically around 35-40 degrees and summer highs around 75-85 degrees. There's nothing like sunbathing on the beach in September and then walking along a snow-covered beach in December.

Just a few photos to give you a taste for Portsmouth:













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