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Old 06-14-2009, 06:40 PM
 
15 posts, read 26,223 times
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Hello everyone,

We are new to the forum but have enjoyed reading my posts over the last few days. I hope you have some useful input for us. The question is where some of the "best" places to live are on the southern East Coast, i.e., with that we are referring to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. My wife and I--both in our early 30s w/o kids (for now)--will move to that area in a few months because I need to be in the closest time zone to Europe due to my work and my wife needs the comfort of her home land USA. Southern East Coast because the north gets too cold for us.

We have done quite a bit of research over the web but since we haven't been to three of those four states ourselves and traveling extensively through all of those states will take too much time, we hope to receive some helpful input through this thread that will point us into the "right" direction. My working from home allows us to live anywhere really. Thus we're looking for the highest quality of life at a reasonable price. My wife is from SoCal and both of us like some areas around Santa Barbara and San Diego, but it's simply too expensive if your income is the same wherever you live ... and the time difference from Central Europe is 9 hours compared to 6 hours when you live on the East Coast, i.e., 3 more hours of sleep per day!!!

What cities/areas in FL, GA, SC, and NC meet all (!) of the following criteria from your point of view?
WEATHER:
mild winters, i.e., avg. temperatures don't drop below 50F; sunny and green throughout the year--we understand that requires rain and/or humidity
CULTURE:
a place where people like to go out and do more than just east in restaurants; we lived north of LA for some time and that seems to be much of what people understand 'going out' to be; a place that offers live music gigs on a regular basis and has interesting cafés, libraries, etc. to hang out out, performing arts theaters would be a plus
SIZE:
having lived around LA, we try to avoid major cities and the bad traffic; anything up to approx. 150,000 inhabitants is fine; too small and you generally have to drive more than half an hour to do things, which discourages spontaneous activity; proximity to an airport would be a plus
SURROUNDINGS:
of course, moving to the East Coast, one is closer to the beach, but we don't need to live right by the beach; we do enjoy hilly areas that are lush and green and have rivers/streams running through it, but at the same time, we don't mind living right on the beach if it isn't windy all year, which is generally the prob along the coastline

So if you could live anywhere in any of those four states, where would you move to? And which cities meet our criteria? We look forward to your ideas.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,521,110 times
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Charleston, South Carolina is a beautiful city. North Charleston is to be avoided at all costs (from what I've heard). I've never been to Savannah, GA, but I've heard great things about it.
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:39 AM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,244,473 times
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You've ruled out everywhere but Florida. I'm not aware of any location in GA, SC, or NC that stays above 50 degrees year-round, even at the beach. In fact, you probably are limited to the Miami/South Florida area. Which actually might work fine for you based on what you describe.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:39 PM
 
15 posts, read 26,223 times
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You're right about the temperature. That's best case, of course. But we do not want to limit ourselves to Southern Florida. So I guess the temperature not below an average of 50 needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Main thing for us is that it does not have long stretches of wintery weather (30-40F). Any suggestions taking this modification into consideration?
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
3,562 posts, read 4,964,959 times
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Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah,
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:35 PM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,244,473 times
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Yes, Charleston, Wilmington, and Savannah are your best bets.

Down here, wind is your friend.



Even if I take them with a grain of salt, I'm still left with the perception that your expectations are too high, too specific, for you to enjoy this area. You sound like you really like where it is you currently live, except for the cost.. there's no way to find all that, for cheaper.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:42 PM
 
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 12,346,516 times
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Charleston, SC, Savannah, GA, and Wilmington, NC (in that order) seem to be the best bets for you outside Florida. You may also want to consider Jacksonville, FL.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:47 PM
 
6,046 posts, read 10,060,420 times
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If you go by average daytime highs, there are many areas in all 4 states that are above 50 year round. The further north you go, the more likely you are to have days between 30-40, but they are not the norm
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:54 PM
 
5,969 posts, read 7,755,949 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmac9wr View Post
Charleston, South Carolina is a beautiful city. North Charleston is to be avoided at all costs (from what I've heard). I've never been to Savannah, GA, but I've heard great things about it.
I agree, Charleston SC would be a good choice for the OP.

http://www.charlestoncvb.com/
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:57 PM
 
22,769 posts, read 26,244,473 times
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I've lived in Charleston and Wilmington.

downtown Charleston is the cultural mecca of the area, no question. In my book its on par with much larger cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, etc.

Wilmington has unbelievable weather, but is sorta isolated, sorta backwoods. Certain aspects of it remind me of southern California, surfing, the film industry, fashion, materialism, attitudes.

Savannah, I don't know how to peg. It is artsy, but it feels 3rd-world like New Orleans in the sense that "The wheels ain't on too tight..."

In all three cities, you have a lot of people who move to be "close to the beach", but beach access in all three areas can be a big hassle. All three cities will see lots of seasonal tourists, and will probably feel far away from the national/international "action", compared to SoCal, South Florida, NY-NJ, San Francisco, etc..
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