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I've lived in Evansville all of my life (46 yrs) and it is a great place to raise a family! There's plenty to do for a city of this size, of course, it's nothing like the big cities. But, it's very close to several. We're running to Indy tomorrow and it's only a 3 hour drive. Monday we've got to go to Nashville and it's only a 2 1/2 hour drive. Louisville is even closer. We also drive to St Louis (3 hours) and Cincinnati (4-41/2 hours) quite often. I love the proximity to large towns, but the safer atmosphere of a relatively small town.
We've lived on the Westside for 16 years now and absolutely love it! We live across the highway from USI in a nice subdivision. Houses in our neighborhood probably range from $150,000 to $300,000 and up. It is a fantastic neighborhood! Everything we need is only 5 minutes away - many banks, grocery stores,gym, movie theater, WalMart, lots of restaurants, library, etc. Just about anything you need.
Our schools are awesome here on the Westside, too. They usually do as well, if not better, than most of the other EVSC schools on their state test scores. There's a lot of school spirit over here, also. We don't have a child in high school right now, but we do love going to our high school (Reitz) football games. It's a good time and we always run into lots of our neighbors and friends. Our football field is one of the best in Indiana - we've had over 10,000 at a recent game against our "other" Westside school, Mater Dei.
I run to the Eastside at least 3 or 4 times a week and it is only a 20 to 30 minute drive depending on traffic. That is where the mall and many, many restaurants are located. Downtown is pretty calm, but we do have Casino Aztar down there. They've built the area up down there quite nicely. They built a Jillian's with restaurants, bowling, games, etc. Ri Rah's Pub is there, also. The museum is on the riverfront, as is a beautiful walkway with a fantastic view of the Ohio River(By the way, you can see all of this from the top of Reitz Hill, where our high school is).The Northside is expanding really fast. Lots of new subdivisions popping up out there.
Sorry for rambling, but I don't think Evansville and the Westside were getting a fair shake. It is really a great city to live in and very safe. Of course, there are neighborhoods to stay away from on any side of this city. I've lived on the southeast side of town, northside, and westside. The Westside has been the best for our family.
This is super helpful for another relo person - can you assess the public schools?
Originally Posted by paptofour
Overall, is Evansville a good city to live in? >...Maybe I'm a bit partial, But I think Evansville is a great place to live. I have lived here my entire life and also raised my family here.
Is it ok to live near USI?>... USI is a great west side area, Gently rolling terrain with some forest just on the outskirts of town, yet close to everthing one would need.
How is the traffic, especially for newly licensed young drivers?>...Evansville has one main artery that is mostly elevated multi lane (Lloyd Expressway) that goes right through the middle of town East and West. It is heavily traveled with 40-50 MPH speed limit. Hwy 41 is another main artery, mostly two lane divided that goes North and South with LOTS of stop lights, again usually a fair amount of traffic. I-164 is kinda like a loop around the city, although it does not go all the way around. It travels mostly around the East and South side. Veterans Parkway picks up I-164 on the south end and leads Westerly to the river front and downtown area. Diamond Ave is a main artery on the North side of town that goes East and West. Just like any other town, keep your mind on the driving and watch the other guy.
What is the weather like in the winter? Much snow or ice?>...Generally speaking, Evansville weather is not as bad as the rest of the state as far as ice and snow. Seems like there is a line about I-64 and North of there that gets the worst of it. However there are exceptions, A couple of years ago Evansville had a 22" snowfall. However that is very rare. Also the winters can be never ending with many consecutive gloomy days without ever seeing the sun. Spring is always a welcome relief! The humidity in the summer can be devastating at times.
Where is the nearest full service airport?>... Evansville has a regional airport. I think probably the closest large airport would be Louisville KY., about two hours drive time away. Also, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Nashville are all within 3-4 hours drive time.
Are the homes expensive and are the real estate taxes high?>...Again, generally speaking, as with most area's there are homes in all price ranges. As far as property taxes, I'm thinking someone else may answer that better than I ever could. There has been a recent re-assesment in Vanderburgh County with quite a few disgruntled home owners appealing.
Can anyone recommend a realtor? >... Again, not sure how much help I can be, but two names that come to mind are Emge and Helfrich realtors. They have been around for as long as I can remember. I think they have a good reputation and I am thinking they are family owned.
Hope this helps.
THIS IS SUPER HELPFUl - Can you assess the public schools in and around the area
I would LOVE anyone to assess the schools a little more in-depth. We have 2 10 yr old boys and a baby. My husband will be working for Brostol M/S and we have concentrated our efforts in the Castle school system as well as Mt. Vernon.
Castle is huge, but as far as the academics, not real sure. Mt. Vernon would be my second choice, out of the two.
The north side of Evansville boasts some really great schools in Scott (K-5), Oak Hill (6-8), and North (9-12). From what I've heard, they are either seriously considering or have already decided to build another high school which would be to the far north of the county and would aleviate some of the overcrowding at North.
I went to all three of these schools, and they were all great. We are moving back home, my husband will be working for GE in Mt. Vernon, but we're choosing to live in Haubstadt, mainly because my husband is from there and really wants to live there again. It's a wonderful small town, as is Fort Branch (lived there the first 5 years of marriage). Haubstadt school (K-8) is ranked 10 out of 10 at greatschools.net You should check this website out for further information regarding ISTEP scores and other demographics.
While I agree a lot with Jman07's opinions of Evansville (as I think I am in about the same situation as Jman, young, just graduated college and living in a bigger city with more to do now), I do have to say that Castle academics are fantastic. I went to Castle High School and graduated in 2001 and I feel like I got a very good education there. I went on to Indiana University, majored in Biology, and now I am almost done with pharmacy school at Ohio State University. As far as Evansville schools academically, I don't know a lot, but I think if your kids/students are motivated they can do well just about anywhere.
Castle and Mt Vernon are truly apples and well, spoiled oranges.
Newburgh is a nice suburb with many newcomers and the associated amneties. Castle is an excellent school with many opportunities. There are so many more housing options in Newburgh than Mt. Vernon.
Mt. Vernon is a small town that is honestly, pretty run down. The plants spew toxins in the air, the downtown is pretty well abandoned and there are very few restaurants or shopping areas. I can't imagine a newcomer enjoying Mt. Vernon whatsoever.
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