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Thread summary:

Moving to Kentucky: Lexington, buying a house, hiking trips, young parents, Louisville.

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Old 12-02-2007, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Portage, MI
24 posts, read 70,833 times
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My daughter (10 months), wife (24), and I (25) currently live in Portage, MI. We have both spent the majority if not all of our lives in MI and feel its time for a change. We aren't going anywhere in MI due to the lack of a decent economy and jobs. We have both taken many vacations south and love the eastern Kentucky, western Virginia, eastern Tennessee area. Its an amazingly beautiful area with all the mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers. This coming summer or fall my wife and I would like to relocate to an area that has all these amenities but yet still has a decent nightlife or at least things to keep younger parents entertained or places to let loose. We would also like a place that we can raise our daughter without fear of endangerment or a lot of crime and a good set of schools. It would be nice to at least be a short drive away from good shopping (malls and et-cetera), places to see some good live music, places to get good food, maybe even an airport and/or train station. Although, we do not want to be stuck in the city. I guess you could say we would like to live "just up the mountain" from there where we can have privacy and where we can get on some four wheelers and romp around the mountain, put on some hiking boots and go for a hike, or go fishing or hunting. Anyone have any good ideas or locations??? Thanks a ton!
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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If you're wanting to stay in Kentucky and "live up the mountain" from a decent city, you need to check into either Lexington or London/ Corbin. L/C is about 50,000 people, there is a small mall in Corbin and it's pretty much the center of everything going on in SE Kentucky. Lexington is a metro of about 500,000 with lots going on all of the time. It does lie in the shadow of Louisville and Cincinnati (both around an hour away), but Lexington has managed to retain more of a residential, small town feel, but on a large scale. Louisville tends to be more industrial and Cincinnati is not really in the mountains at all. Lexington is about 30 minutes from "the mountains" and London/ Corbin is actually "in the mountains." Bluegrass Airport in Lexington has more around 150- 200 flights daily. Lots of great restaurants in Lexington, it's quite diverse for a city its size. You need to come and take a look to see for yourself. It's about as nice as any city you'll find anywhere in the Ohio Valley..... As much as it kills me to say it, check out Knoxville, TN if you want to be right in the mountains....
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:17 PM
 
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Sorry to be picky, but Lexington is not 30 minutes from "the mountains". 30 minutes to the east puts you in Winchester, 30 minutes south you are in Richmond and there aren't any mountains in either of those towns. You have to drive about 1.5 hours before you start to hit anything that looks much like a mountain. Red River Gorge is a great area a little over an hour away with awesome hiking and rock climbing. The land is very hilly, with steep terrain and lots of cliffs, but it still isn't what I would call mountainous. London is sort of in the mountains, more among the hills but a little east from there the hills get much larger. Morehead may be someplace to consider. It is right on I-64. Again, the terrain is more like big hills, but it is pretty. Cave Run Lake is nearby as well as the Daniel Boone National Forest. Morehead State University is there, which probably would bring a few options for entertainment. Honestly though, I don't know if anything in the mountains of Kentucky fits your bill that would have job opportunities, entertainment options and good schools.

Knoxville and Chattanooga, TN definitely would and the tri-cities area in TN might. Roanoke/Blacksburg in VA is another option. Roanoke is a medium sized city and VA Tech dominates Blacksburg which would mean lots of good bars, live music and more than likely good schools. Charleston, WV also comes to mind. It is a pretty medium sized city, right in the hills of WV with lots of hiking, moutain biking, whitewater rafting, snowskiing... close by. I don't know what the economy is like though. I'm only a little familiar with these areas, so I'm no expert by any means. Just throwing out a few options.
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Old 12-02-2007, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN
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Chattanooga is not in the mountains really, some of my family lives there. I completely forgot about Roanoke, that would be a good option. Don't even bother looking at Charleston, WV- WV as a whole is one of the economically poorest states in the country and Charleston, being the largest city, isn't even 150,000 people! Roanoke, Knoxville, or the tri cities would be a good bet. Ok so Lexington is a bit further (it takes me about 45 minutes to get to the mountains WITHOUT speeding)- which route do you take to where it takes you 1.5 hours?
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Apex, North Carolina [Shepherds Vineyard Subdivision]
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Thumbs up Hmmm, how about Kentucky!

Been researching all around Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennesee. Terrain wise you like me would probably prefer all the towns around the Cumberland Plateau and mountain areas. Nightlife wise you would probably prefer Louisville, but it is a couple of hours from any mountains. Public school wise for you little one there are good school districts in Boone County [Northern KY], Oldham County [east of Louisville], and some hit and miss good schools surrounding Lexington, Asheville, and Knoxville. Value wise, you can't beat KY. You can buy 2200-3200 sq ft nice newer homes on 1/2 acre or more [sometimes up to 5 acres!] in almost all of KY for under $250K, I have found to expect to pay 10 to 20% more in neighboring states for the same quality and size of home. I think if $$ are not a issue, definately check out Asheville, NC, and Roanoke, VA. My personal favorite is Asheville, think of it as a combination of the active outdoor lifestyle of Colorado with Big Mtns surrounding it, plus the beautiful green and kickback attitude of Kentucky. I would worry about it's economy though being more of a tourist town. Do your research, it's a BIG decision.
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Old 12-03-2007, 08:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebird1012 View Post
Chattanooga is not in the mountains really, some of my family lives there. I completely forgot about Roanoke, that would be a good option. Don't even bother looking at Charleston, WV- WV as a whole is one of the economically poorest states in the country and Charleston, being the largest city, isn't even 150,000 people! Roanoke, Knoxville, or the tri cities would be a good bet. Ok so Lexington is a bit further (it takes me about 45 minutes to get to the mountains WITHOUT speeding)- which route do you take to where it takes you 1.5 hours?
I guess it depends on what you consider a mountain. You don't start to hit elevations over 2000ft until you get to Floyd county to the east or Clay County to the south. Both of which are much further than 45 minutes away. I have a friend whose family is in Breathitt County, which is almost 2 hours southeast. Even then it is really just big hills that are maybe 500-1000ft peak to valley. I'm just saying that if the OP is looking for terrain like the Smokies or the Blue Ridge Mountains, they will be disappointed by anything within a couple hours of Lexington.

Last edited by rnc76; 12-03-2007 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 12-03-2007, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Portage, MI
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Wow, thanks a ton! It looks as though southwest VA or east TN may better suit our needs and wants.
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
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Don't be fooled by the "non-mountain" responses above. I live in North Eastern, Ky in Rowan County (Morehead) and without speeding it took me 1 hour from North Lexington to get home outside of Morehead just this weekend.

While I WILL agree that if you are lookiing for HUGE mountains.. then you need look elsewhere, BUT I live in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains (Rowan County)... while we are not in high elevations.. it is beautiful and mountainous and from Morehead up I-64 East all the way through West Virginia, I would say it's exactly what you're looking for.

Grayson and Ashland are only about 20-40 minutes from Huntington, WV which has a ton-o things for people to do if you want concerts, fancy restaurants, amusement parks, tons of bars, etc. Morehead doesn't have a nightlife persay, but the average age of residents is exactly what you and your wife are, as we have Morehead State University and we are a town of just under 6,000 people. Rowan county (Morehead) sits in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest and is only about 9 miles from Cave Run Lake... check their websites out!! Great fishing, swimming (even have a US Forest Service beach), camping, boating, etc. Hiking is all over the place... schools are ranked pretty high for Rowan county. None of the area here is "dry", yet we have low population, so lower traffic, lower crime, VERY low cost of living... and yet... we can drive to work in larger cities if we can't find work in the small town we live in.

People are very friendly and as people like to say "we are about 20 years behind the times" here in Eastern, KY. Many people say this as an insult, but to us....it's a HUGE compliment. We respect other people on the ROAD, as our NEIGHBORS, in GROCERY STORES, etc. People wave at strangers here. People smile and tell you hello, even if they've never seen you a day in their life. Neighbors watch out for their own kids, AND your kids... to keep them safe (nosy-ness) is an epidemic here.. but it's funny!! Communities are huge into sports teams for the children here, clubs, dances, football, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, 4-H, music... There are several colleges throughout this area.. and people actually have morals here. You are accepted no matter what religion you are... yes.. even if you are athiest... they might not understand that.. but you'll still be treated with respect (while some might try to convert you!!! LOL in a nice way!!).

As you can tell, I love it here... and I was NOT born here... I moved to Kentucky at the age of 21 years old (to Lexington/Richmond area) and now live in Morehead by choice! I was born and raised in California... was in the military, lived in Texas, Idaho, Michigan and West Virginia as well... so I've experienced life elsewhere...

Please don't rule out Kentucky for you and your family... You might just miss out on the happiest future you can give yourselves!!!

Good luck and best wishes to you and yours!
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:24 PM
 
276 posts, read 714,881 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desiree253 View Post
Don't be fooled by the "non-mountain" responses above. I live in North Eastern, Ky in Rowan County (Morehead) and without speeding it took me 1 hour from North Lexington to get home outside of Morehead just this weekend.

While I WILL agree that if you are lookiing for HUGE mountains.. then you need look elsewhere, BUT I live in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains (Rowan County)... while we are not in high elevations.. it is beautiful and mountainous and from Morehead up I-64 East all the way through West Virginia, I would say it's exactly what you're looking for.

Grayson and Ashland are only about 20-40 minutes from Huntington, WV which has a ton-o things for people to do if you want concerts, fancy restaurants, amusement parks, tons of bars, etc. Morehead doesn't have a nightlife persay, but the average age of residents is exactly what you and your wife are, as we have Morehead State University and we are a town of just under 6,000 people. Rowan county (Morehead) sits in the middle of the Daniel Boone National Forest and is only about 9 miles from Cave Run Lake... check their websites out!! Great fishing, swimming (even have a US Forest Service beach), camping, boating, etc. Hiking is all over the place... schools are ranked pretty high for Rowan county. None of the area here is "dry", yet we have low population, so lower traffic, lower crime, VERY low cost of living... and yet... we can drive to work in larger cities if we can't find work in the small town we live in.

People are very friendly and as people like to say "we are about 20 years behind the times" here in Eastern, KY. Many people say this as an insult, but to us....it's a HUGE compliment. We respect other people on the ROAD, as our NEIGHBORS, in GROCERY STORES, etc. People wave at strangers here. People smile and tell you hello, even if they've never seen you a day in their life. Neighbors watch out for their own kids, AND your kids... to keep them safe (nosy-ness) is an epidemic here.. but it's funny!! Communities are huge into sports teams for the children here, clubs, dances, football, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, 4-H, music... There are several colleges throughout this area.. and people actually have morals here. You are accepted no matter what religion you are... yes.. even if you are athiest... they might not understand that.. but you'll still be treated with respect (while some might try to convert you!!! LOL in a nice way!!).

As you can tell, I love it here... and I was NOT born here... I moved to Kentucky at the age of 21 years old (to Lexington/Richmond area) and now live in Morehead by choice! I was born and raised in California... was in the military, lived in Texas, Idaho, Michigan and West Virginia as well... so I've experienced life elsewhere...

Please don't rule out Kentucky for you and your family... You might just miss out on the happiest future you can give yourselves!!!

Good luck and best wishes to you and yours!
Listen to this lady! She has great knowledge when it comes to KY! I know because I'm trying to move to eastern KY myself!
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Old 12-05-2007, 07:37 AM
 
21 posts, read 98,423 times
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Well I live in Pikeville. It is in the mountains and they have some great schools and you can see live entertainment and the East Ky Expo Center..They have had some great acts there. Rather large named bands..This is a mall in South Williamson , Ky about 25 minutes away and its about and hour and a half away from Charleston, which there is an nice Airport there. Its also about an hour from Huntington, WV. Its a metro type place with malls and good places to eat....but its all got a down home feel to it...I guess it depends on what you want...
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