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Old 08-22-2016, 07:17 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,887 times
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My husband and I are 30ish, childless, and are self-employed in Sacramento, CA. We want a change of pace before we settle down on the West Coast to start a family, and we've always loved New England!

We're looking for a town with a good art/coffee/foodie scene, small cool shops, lots to do outdoors, and not too expensive for rent. Not too isolated but within an hour or two of a big city. Weather and schools are not a concern.

We like places like Williamstown and Concord MA and Hartford CT, but if anyone has any advice, I'd love to hear it! Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2016, 07:29 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
22,713 posts, read 21,774,672 times
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We're looking for a town with a good art/coffee/foodie scene, small cool shops, lots to do outdoors, and not too expensive for rent. Not too isolated but within an hour or two of a big city. Weather and schools are not a concern.

This is the definition of Northampton in the Connecticut Valley of Western MA. The big city would be NYC but I don't know if it would be close enough for you. You'd be two hours from Boston by car.

On the North Shore of MA, probably the small artsy towns on Cape Ann (Gloucester, Essex, Rockport. Also Salem or Newburyport--both are more urban and have the arts, coffee, foodie thing going on. You might like Beverly too; it seems to be coming up in the world and is a bigger place if you don't like small towns. Beverly has a great renovated theater too.

In Connecticut, probably some of the towns down by the shore. Old Saybrook, Branford, Guilford, Essex. They are a train ride from NYC. If you get much closer to NYC than that, it's just as expensive as the Boston area and it's not New Englandy at all. If you like Hartford, you probably mean West Hartford, not Hartford itself, or the surrounding towns like Avon and Farmington. West Hartford is more built up and has more going on than those two towns and it would probably be a good match.

There are other places and I'm sure others will advise.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:05 PM
 
Location: New England
2,190 posts, read 1,618,942 times
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It would be easier if you have a budget and desired apartment/house size. I second Newburyport, Portsmouth in New Hampshire is also a good option. I'd also take a look at Salem MA.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:54 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tysmith95 View Post
It would be easier if you have a budget and desired apartment/house size. I second Newburyport, Portsmouth in New Hampshire is also a good option. I'd also take a look at Salem MA.
Ah, yes, we're wanting a two-bedroom apt/house under $1500/month.
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Old 08-22-2016, 11:11 PM
 
4 posts, read 2,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
We're looking for a town with a good art/coffee/foodie scene, small cool shops, lots to do outdoors, and not too expensive for rent. Not too isolated but within an hour or two of a big city. Weather and schools are not a concern.

This is the definition of Northampton in the Connecticut Valley of Western MA. The big city would be NYC but I don't know if it would be close enough for you. You'd be two hours from Boston by car.

On the North Shore of MA, probably the small artsy towns on Cape Ann (Gloucester, Essex, Rockport. Also Salem or Newburyport--both are more urban and have the arts, coffee, foodie thing going on. You might like Beverly too; it seems to be coming up in the world and is a bigger place if you don't like small towns. Beverly has a great renovated theater too.

In Connecticut, probably some of the towns down by the shore. Old Saybrook, Branford, Guilford, Essex. They are a train ride from NYC. If you get much closer to NYC than that, it's just as expensive as the Boston area and it's not New Englandy at all. If you like Hartford, you probably mean West Hartford, not Hartford itself, or the surrounding towns like Avon and Farmington. West Hartford is more built up and has more going on than those two towns and it would probably be a good match.

There are other places and I'm sure others will advise.
Thank you so much in_newengland!! I'll look into those towns!
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:44 AM
 
12,004 posts, read 13,130,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemtheweaver View Post
Ah, yes, we're wanting a two-bedroom apt/house under $1500/month.
For the most part, that's 1 BR apartment pricing here in MA...unless you expand your search a bit further west.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Earth, a nice neighborhood in the Milky Way
2,629 posts, read 1,834,868 times
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I am not sure if it is too populated for you, but I would suggest you look at Providence, RI. It checks off a lot of your list.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:40 AM
 
Location: New England
2,190 posts, read 1,618,942 times
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Also Portland Maine. It's a great mid sized city.
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:43 AM
 
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I'd also vote for Portland. Far less congested, great food and coastal areas, very easy to get outta town. Also easy for short trips to Boston itself or Concord or "history" places. What a nice thing to decide to do at this time in your lives, best wishes!
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