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Old 04-24-2015, 11:52 AM
 
143 posts, read 144,364 times
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After visiting both cities several times, I'm still stuck. Huntsville is a great city, but so is Auburn. Auburn is smaller, quaint and what I have been looking for in a town. I believe it has a great future.

Both have great schools, promising economies.

Can you help? I know this is a Huntsville forum, but hopefully those who have visited both can advise honestly.

Love that Auburn is closer to the water (ocean) -- both have great lakes nearby in Guntersville and Lake Martin.

We are a family of four. Husband works out of a Nashville office, but works from home -- no commute.
Son goes to University of Alabama and the other is 12 and in honors classes and runs cross country.

We love to bike and that is one of the draws of Auburn. It is the only city in Alabama to receive a Bronze award for biking by America Bike Friendly cities/ The League of American Bicyclists.

Anyways, thanks for your help!
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:12 PM
 
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There is a movement in Huntsville to become much more bicycle friendly. The existing bikeways are terrific.
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:27 PM
 
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Well other than your son resenting picking Auburn over Tuscaloosa, I think Auburn might actually be better for you. If you like that small town feel and sense of community, it is a great place.

The only real knock I've got on Auburn is its lack of big city amenities, but if you are okay with that, Auburn is a phenominal place to raise a family. It also is only about 90 minutes from Atlanta which is a true Alpha city.

With that being said, Huntsville is a great town as well. There are good school systems in the area, and an educated population... and it is significantly closer to Nashville if that matters at all for your husband's work.

I really don't think you can go wrong in either place.
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Alabama!
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Another possibility: Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham has a great cross-country team, is about an hour from Tuscaloosa, has easy access to I-65 to Nashville, and is 2 hours closer to the ocean than Huntsville. Lake Logan Martin is about an hour east. Two hours from Atlanta.
Bicycling....not so much, plus big hills, bigger than Huntsville's.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:31 PM
 
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Mountain Brook is significantly more expensive than Auburn and some of the nice areas around Huntsville. OP did not give a budget, but if Mountain Brook is affordable, it could certainly be considered... though Birmingham may be too big of a city for OP's preference.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:43 PM
 
143 posts, read 144,364 times
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I driven to Mountain Brook and loved amenities like the Whole Foods, but not sure how bike friendly it is. I think if I were to be near Birmingham I would go toward Trussville or Chelsea, but I don't know anything about those towns other then quick research and learning about their communities. Don't get me wrong, Mountain Brook seems wonderful -- but it is a little too close to the city for me.

Right now we live in Franklin, TN -- We have lived on the beach in Florida and Madison, WI (with a few other states mixed in through the years) Franklin, TN is ridiculously expensive. Looking at the cost of living comparison. Hypothetically if we made 100K in Franklin, TN we could drop to 75K in almost any of the cities in Alabama and I don't see where our quality of life would change that much -- if anything it would IMPROVE tremendously because of a little warmer weather, in state tuition for our son, lakes closer to us, smaller city... etc.

Thanks all for your input. You have so many cool towns to be proud of in Alabama!!
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:45 PM
 
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Auburn has an Earthfare and another organic market -- was happily surprised to see both!

Huntsville will be getting a WholeFoods this year.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalNomad143 View Post
I driven to Mountain Brook and loved amenities like the Whole Foods, but not sure how bike friendly it is.
Gosh, I'm not sure if a place could be more bike friendly - or at least that doesn't stop the hordes of them I've seen driving through.

Mountain Brook Bike Trails - Maps of Bike Routes in Mountain Brook, AL
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Old 04-24-2015, 05:25 PM
 
143 posts, read 144,364 times
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Mountain Brook unfortunately hasn't received the bike friendly award. When we lived in Madison, WI we could ride bikes anywhere safely... it was truly unbelievable how far and long the bike paths went. The reason it is important for us is both sons run and we all ride bikes. My husband and I can ride our bikes along the road, but that isn't safe for the kids so we look for those things to be put into a town we choose.

Mountain Brook is a great town though!!
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Old 04-25-2015, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Madison, AL
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I've lived in both, and they are COMPLETELY different....but if I had my choice honestly, I would live in Auburn. I went to school there and we go back quite often and its really amazing how the city is growing. I really don't know how to explain it....it just "feels good" to me, its just always felt like home. Schools are excellent and the real estate market is thriving, its made several national lists. Believe me, we keep our eyes open for job opportunities there. I have several friends from college that live there and they will probably never leave. Auburn University is thriving and growing by leaps and bounds which will just continue to benefit Auburn, Opelika and the surrounding areas. There is just nothing but positives happening there.

The only thing is gameday during the fall. If you're not a fan that could get annoying because Auburn is taken over on fall weekends and the traffic is terrible....makes it very hard to get around town. For me, I would love to be there each and every weekend to experience the atmosphere, its like nothing else. Auburn is primarily a college town, so you have to really like living in that type of city.

I would also rather be closer to ATL than Nashville or Bham.

I could not deal with traffic around Mountain Brook on a day to day basis....also, between Chelsea and Trussville I would live in Trussville hands down. Chelsea is the "trendy" pick right now but the traffic is unreal in that area. My friend lives in Chelsea and she is always complaining about how long it takes her to just run typical errands, having to drive down 280.

Just my honest opinion....but we are completely happy in Huntsville as well. Its an amazing city with so much opportunity and growth, and the best "metro" in the state to live in IMO. But every time I go to Auburn I don't want to leave.

I have a friend in Auburn who is a GREAT Realtor if you ever need a recommendation.

Also, if you are a Walking Dead fan they are going to be filming parts of the next season in Auburn.

Last edited by LCTMadison; 04-25-2015 at 08:00 AM..
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