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Old 09-13-2006, 01:17 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,118 posts, read 20,954,648 times
Reputation: 4685
Default Which town would you pick for the following...

I'm only just vaguely toying with the idea of moving right now, as Atlanta is the armpit of mutant humans and I know that one day I'll reach the boiling point and leave.

By the time I leave, I will have enough money saved up and doing photography on the side that job markets won't be the biggest concern, so here's my "list" of what I'm looking for. Tell me if there is anyplace that realistically fits this description:

1) A larger town/smaller city feel that has a nice somewhat touristy walkable downtown area with a variety of shops, restaurants, etc.

2) I can deal with cold and snow... F5 tornados I cannot. Someplace out of the zone of western tornado alley monster tornados.

3) The small town feel (see #1) withOUT the skinheads or thugs seen in some small towns in some areas. In other words, "laid back country", but not "hick".

4) Last, since photography is my thing, some nearby areas good for such a thing. State or National Parks, rivers, wetlands, etc...


Anyplace fit the bill?
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:30 PM
MHT
 
434 posts, read 1,592,158 times
Reputation: 136
Default Mt

Helena has a great downtown area. Small city/small town feel. Lots of activities both in town and outdoor. MT as a whole is a great place for photography. Bozeman is beautiful but to me it has lost that small town feeling. Also - very expensive to live. Missoula has a great downtown, not as much a small town feel but lots to do and beautiful.
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Old 09-14-2006, 11:45 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,118 posts, read 20,954,648 times
Reputation: 4685
Thanks for the info!
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Old 09-14-2006, 03:08 PM
 
138 posts, read 289,292 times
Reputation: 73
What about Hamilton, Whitefish, Polson, Kalispell? They are not too big, are close to Glacier National Park, have lots of little stores run by 'mom and pop' between them, there is unbelievable beauty in the mountains for you to photograph- there are Indian reservations right there to photo if you want. There is beautiful summer to photo, and then the opposite- harsh but beautiful winters... The wildelife is there all the time- why not photos for calenders, postcards, or pictures? Just a thought. It is more expensive as far as real estate goes, but I don't know about food, utilities, etc.
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Old 09-15-2006, 08:55 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,118 posts, read 20,954,648 times
Reputation: 4685
Thanks again - hey, no one has answered the tornado issue. Is Montana in the "big honkin' f5 twister" zone or not? I always associate those things with Kansas or Oklahoma, but someone told me once they dropped down as far north as Montana too.
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:13 AM
 
3 posts, read 27,963 times
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Yes there have been a few tornados to hit Montana...I myself was sucked out of my grandpa's truck back in 84.....but that is usually more on the eastern side of the state! I have never seen or heard of any in the western part.....also try Missoula, and the surrounding towns....
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Old 09-15-2006, 10:36 PM
MHT
 
434 posts, read 1,592,158 times
Reputation: 136
Default Montana towns

All the of the previous towns are great. Whitefish is pricy but absolutely gorgeous. If you ski it is a super place to be. Hamilton isn't far from Lost Trail ski area either. The golf course at Polson - can't beat it as far as beauty - between the mountains and the lake.
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Old 09-16-2006, 12:09 PM
 
78 posts, read 540,582 times
Reputation: 50
Default Flathead

I just got back from a business trip to the Flathead, and Whitefish fits your requirements perfectly. Touristy downtown, close to Glacier NP and other outdoor areas, and so on. Some great restaurants used by locals as well as tourists, very close to major lakes where, for example, I saw the most incredible red sunset, and lots more you'd probably like. Not terribly far from Kalispell which I understand is a regional city (so large enough to have some major stores and such), though I didn't get down there. Nearby Columbia Falls is also neat and a bit closer to Glacier, but it's still pretty much a one-company town, has no exciting downtown, few if any good restaurants, and so on. Whitefish fits your criteria better, however.

Other than the Flathead, I believe others have mentioned Hamilton and other areas. You'd probably like them as well.

You probably should start with Glacier and Yellowstone NPs and move out from those, exploring nearby communities. E.g., near Yellowstone are Gardiner and West Yellowstone, and further away are Big Sky, Livingston, Bozeman. You'll definitely find Gardiner and W. Yell. also touristy with lots of restaurants, great views, and so on. Big Sky as well, but that's a region of people with lots of money--private communities and so on.

In spite of what you may think about Montana, you're probably not going to find "thugs" or "hicks" a major factor in any town in MT, especially not in the gorgeous mountainous regions.

Montana's not a major tornado area by any stretch of the imagination, especially the part of the state in the mountains (which includes the Flathead). No need to worry about F5s here, though pretty much any weather event can happen anywhere, so I'd never say never about F5s in ANY part of the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atlantagreg30127 View Post
I'm only just vaguely toying with the idea of moving right now, as Atlanta is the armpit of mutant humans and I know that one day I'll reach the boiling point and leave.

By the time I leave, I will have enough money saved up and doing photography on the side that job markets won't be the biggest concern, so here's my "list" of what I'm looking for. Tell me if there is anyplace that realistically fits this description:

1) A larger town/smaller city feel that has a nice somewhat touristy walkable downtown area with a variety of shops, restaurants, etc.

2) I can deal with cold and snow... F5 tornados I cannot. Someplace out of the zone of western tornado alley monster tornados.

3) The small town feel (see #1) withOUT the skinheads or thugs seen in some small towns in some areas. In other words, "laid back country", but not "hick".

4) Last, since photography is my thing, some nearby areas good for such a thing. State or National Parks, rivers, wetlands, etc...


Anyplace fit the bill?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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