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Old 04-18-2008, 07:25 PM
 
262 posts, read 704,317 times
Reputation: 39

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Some one in another post said something to the effect of --
Quote:
DC was just a lot of governement buildings, and it gets pretty rural soon.
(I may have minsinterpreted what was meant however...)

So is the DC area fun for family living (we have two young kids)? My original assumption is that it will score highly in the most of the following:
National mall, museum, zoo, aquarium -- for weekend fun (always fun, or get tired of it
Good dining options in DC and close-in NoVa (compare to..?)
Easy access to beach (where?)
Access to mountains / skiing (where?)
Easy access to NYC and Philadelphia for long weekend fun
Am I correct, or hopes too high?
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:25 AM
 
14 posts, read 41,433 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by athensvaasi View Post
Some one in another post said something to the effect of -- (I may have minsinterpreted what was meant however...)

So is the DC area fun for family living (we have two young kids)? My original assumption is that it will score highly in the most of the following:
National mall, museum, zoo, aquarium -- for weekend fun (always fun, or get tired of it
Good dining options in DC and close-in NoVa (compare to..?)
Easy access to beach (where?)
Access to mountains / skiing (where?)
Easy access to NYC and Philadelphia for long weekend fun
Am I correct, or hopes too high?
The wife and I just had 2 kids (5-month-olds, now), but we've been in Northern Virginia for a long time. Me, on and off since around 1983. Mostly on.

The DC area is HUGE. That "government buildings surrounded by rural areas" might have been true in the 60s and 70s. But now, the area is negatively impacted by some of the worst traffic in the nation. LOTS of people live here. Congestion is pretty bad. You have to plan your life around it. Be aware of accidents/closures, and for heaven's sake don't plan on joyriding during rush hour (which is roughly 3-7pm).

That said, the high density of people here has a huge upside: tons of activities. TONS. Metric, I believe. Anyhow, it's alot. Let Google be your friend. And the Washington Post. Any local resources you can get your hands on. Lots of museums (mostly free), the National Zoo, tons of historic stuff and groups for any kind of activity. Just google the activity you want for the area you are searching in and check out the results. We've recently found several groups whose primary purpose is to go for walks with their babies. Great for the wife.

Dining is phenomenal. I'd compare it favorably to L.A, San Fran, NYC, Buenos Aires, Rio, London. Hmm... maybe not London. British food is a bit drab. There are clusters/areas where great restaurants congregate. Shirlington comes to mind. There's a hot spot in Crystal city. Chinatown in DC. Adams Morgan for Ethiopian/Brazilian/Asian. Seven Corners to Bailey's Crossroads for ethnic Latin American and Vietnamese. Of course, high-dollar spots in Georgetown and Old Town. Tysons corner is pretty upscale. Lots of wealthy folks here; and they like to eat out. Often.

We are not close to beaches. The closest is probably Ocean City, MD, at 3-ish hours away. That just south of Delaware, which has plenty of its own beaches. So, other than Chesapeake Bay/Potomac River for water activities, you have to drive pretty far to get to real sand and surf.

Mountains/skiing, there are some decent options. This is East Coast skiing, so don't expect the Colorado experience, here. You've got Snowshoe in West VA, Seven Springs in PA, and a couple of smaller places closer in. You can google that stuff, too. Massenutten, Bryce (sp?), etc. Other than for skiing, look for Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Mts (West on rte 66), about 1.5hrs outside of the beltway. Very nice. Camping and canoeing, etc. Even hot-air balloon rides near Front Royal.

NYC and Philly. DC is 1 hour from Baltimore, 2.5-3 hours from Philly and 4-5 hours from NYC. And that is without significant traffic.

In sum, DC has everything you could ever ask for, really. It just comes with a high price tag (literally)! High cost of living and awful congestion. So post specific questions about specific areas on these forums - and most importantly, check out the areas you are considering *in person*. And maybe rent first. Best of luck to you and yours.
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,817,519 times
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It really depends on what you mean by the DC area. Some parts are not good for families--unsafe, with too much traffic and crime. Other parts are excellent for families. For example, my neck of the woods is Loudoun County, which I would recommend for families, especially if your kids like to play sports. The sports and recreational activities available for kids in most of Nova is hard to beat.
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:42 AM
 
262 posts, read 704,317 times
Reputation: 39
normie, thanks for the word of caution. Since my current location is Atlanta where yoiu have to pick and choose where you live for crime + traffic, and the good suburbs are 25 miles from city center, it is probably not going to be that different???

vhblocker, thanks for your detailed response. That is mostly what I was thinking It seems like you generally get a well rounded satisfaction / fulfillment living in that area. And it will take a very long while before you feel like "been there done that"!
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:36 AM
 
846 posts, read 3,060,914 times
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There are plenty of good areas very close to the city center. There are some good areas in the city itself, if you don't use the schools. DC isn't like Atlanta where you have to cocoon yourself in the suburbs, though you can if you want to.

A lot of people from DC go to the beach at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It's not that bad a drive, and there are all sorts of beaches there, from secluded and natural to a boardwalk with taffy shops.
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:01 PM
 
262 posts, read 704,317 times
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Thanks for all your input. I think I may have found my next hometown... after a grueling (city data) search that involved Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Raleigh, NJ, Richmond... We were looking for a fun place, good for family living, diversity (Asian Indian), 500K or under (although initially I was looking for something lower priced), 4 seasons, access to other great cities, strong and diverse economy. I think this is it!
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Old 04-21-2008, 08:33 AM
 
Location: TX
3,029 posts, read 10,659,213 times
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we miss NOVA greatly...(except the cost of living!!) But yes the area as a whole has TON's to do.
(we lived in the Pittsburg area before....we liked VA better)
Yes, there are some bad areas just like any other city, but the good ones far outnumber the bad ones.
kids activites are plentiful through different parks and rec depts etc...
Trips into DC are great, there is a ton to see and do. all the smithsonians, other museums, monuments etc...
Like otheres have said there is resturants galore, shopping galore etc...
yes, there is some skiing close by, wintergreen resort and WVA and PA all are within a few hours drive.
Beach trip is alittle futher, there are some beaches on the chesapeak that may do for a day trip. But for a real Ocean beach you'll have to go a bit futher...Ocean city MD etc...
as others had said MANY people go to the Outerbanks for summer weekly trips, LOTS of houses and condo to rent.
Beautiful hiking in the Shenandoah Mts and camping.

yes, it has 4 seasons... spring and winter are short. Fall is beautiful and summer can get hot and very humid. (you'll get 1-2 good snows enough to enjoy, but not where you are shovling for months on end!)

Schools in NOVA are excellent, some of the best public school in hte nation are here.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:59 AM
 
Location: PWC
35 posts, read 103,573 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by athensvaasi View Post
National mall, museum, zoo, aquarium -- for weekend fun (always fun, or get tired of it)
Always fun, there's so much to see and do here. I've lived her all of my life and can still find new things to do. When you think you've done it all, go back to some of the places you've been before and see something new again.

Quote:
Good dining options in DC and close-in NoVa (compare to..?)
Lots of great places in DC and Northern VA depending on what you like.

Quote:
Easy access to beach (where?)
Ocean City, VA Beach, Dewey Beach, Rehoboth Beach to name a few

Quote:
Access to mountains / skiing (where?)
Western Maryland is 3 hours away and there's skiing there.

Quote:
Easy access to NYC and Philadelphia for long weekend fun
Fairfax County Parks have bus tours to NYC, we went for the Rockettes show last year and it was great!

Quote:
Am I correct, or hopes too high?
Not too high at all!
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Old 04-22-2008, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
657 posts, read 1,311,057 times
Reputation: 503
You will love it here, especially if you are coming from Atlanta. I am relocating back to DC next week from the Atlanta area. I missed the cultural activities, the diversity and the cosmopolitan atmosphere that I just couldn't find in Atlanta. Can't wait to get back. Good luck!
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:20 AM
 
5,210 posts, read 9,124,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back2dc View Post
You will love it here, especially if you are coming from Atlanta. I am relocating back to DC next week from the Atlanta area. I missed the cultural activities, the diversity and the cosmopolitan atmosphere that I just couldn't find in Atlanta. Can't wait to get back. Good luck!
Welcome back to the area!
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