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Old 09-22-2011, 07:22 PM
 
5 posts, read 10,586 times
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Hey all - thanks in advance for your opinions and information. My family and I are considering a move from Portland, Oregon to either Nashville or Raleigh-Durham. I would appreciate your opinions on which city may be the best for us for the following:
1. Family-Friendly: A lot of young families and a community very welcoming to transplants
2. Proximity to Outdoor Activities: We are very active and love hiking, the mountains and the water
3. Cultural Activities: We are not interested in a raging nightlife (our 1 year old has something to do with that) but are very interested in museums, opera, concerts, plays, etc.
4. Good schools, public and private
5. Weather: It seems like they're pretty similar but I always like to hear pros and cons from those that live there (we love all 4 seasons and don't particularly mind hot/humid summers)
6. Housing affordability and cost of living (we'd be looking in the $250-$300K range)
7. Overall feeling of community and friendliness
8. The downtown: Cool things to do downtown, homeless problems, restaurants, etc.
9. Scenery: Is the city pretty? Clean? Lots of green/parks?

Thanks again for all of the input, it is much appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I like both Nashville and Raleigh a lot, and from your list of criteria, I'd bet you'd be more-or-less equally happy in either place. And they're actually quite similar to each other, so the answers to several items on your list will be similar for both.

To me, the biggest difference is that Nashville feels much more like a real big city, much more urban, in both the good ways and the bad ways. Honestly, there are advantages and disadvantages to that. Raleigh feels more like an overgrown small city, which again, is both good and bad. Nashville also has a much more substantial downtown, whereas Raleigh's downtown is a lot smaller and less impressive. But despite being a little unassuming, downtown Raleigh is actually quite a pleasant place to live, dine, or hang out, with decent amenities for a city its size.

In my opinion, the climate in Nashville is a touch more extreme than in Raleigh, both a little colder in winter and a little hotter in summer. But they're awfully similar.

One possibly significant difference is that Raleigh is "only" 2-3 hours away from the Atlantic Ocean coast and its beaches and other attractions. There's nothing like that anywhere near Nashville.

Again, they're both very nice areas, and not all that different, and I would think you'd like either one a lot.

Last edited by tompope; 09-22-2011 at 07:48 PM..
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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Thanks so much for the input! Having lived in San Diego for 20+ years and being relatively close to the coast in Portland, I must say, being within driving distance to the ocean is a huge plus for Raleigh...
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:48 PM
 
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We recently made the move from the Chicago suburbs to Cary. We also very seriously considered Nashville. Specifically, we looked at houses in Brentwood. In the end Nashville did not appeal to me. Traffic in Nashville is pretty bad. I just did not like at all the layout of the Nashville suburbs. I also felt that Nashville is much more overtly religious. It was just a very in your face thing in Nashville. Im not religious, but if you are that might be fine for you. I feel like you get more/better house for your money here than Nashville. So far, this area seems very welcoming to transplants simply because most of the people you meet are transplants.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:59 PM
 
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I'm not sure I agree that the traffic or the layout in Nashville is substantially worse than that of Raleigh or the Triangle, but I guess that's mostly just a matter of opinion. I do agree that MB1972 that real estate seemed to be a little less expensive in Nashville than in Raleigh, and/or that you get more for your money in terms of housing there. But the difference is not enormous, and even if Raleigh's a little more expensive, one could argue that "you get what you pay for." And I also agree that I feel the influence of the aggressively Christian religious community more strongly in Nashville than in Raleigh. Raleigh is still in "The Bible Belt," and there are definitely a higher proportion of churchgoers there than in a lot of Northern and Western cities (Raleigh also just has a remarkable number of churches. As you drive around, it seems like there's a church on every block in some places! Sadly, only two Church's Fried Chicken restaurants in the area, though: one in Raleigh and one in Durham). But I don't feel the Christian influence as strongly in Raleigh, and I think non-Christians and non-churchgoers may be a little less stigmatized than in Nashville.

One other thing Bear1776 mentioned is scenery, and Nashville perhaps has a bit more conventionally pretty natural scenery. The river and the bluffs give the landscape in Nashville a little more drama, for example the view from the Tennessee capitol building, which is spectacular and unlike anything in the Triangle. But I think the scenery around Raleigh is also very nice, in a more subdued way. It's mostly gently rolling in the city, with lots of trees and green space. The countryside tends to be wooded and hilly to the north and west of Raleigh, and flatter and more agricultural to the south and east. Both are fun and interesting to explore, as is the rest of the region.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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I have lived in both places. I miss Nashville so much and made great friends while living there. I would go back in a heartbeat. Unfortunately hubby is tied to only certain states being a lawyer. NC is my home--but I would love to go back to TN.

I lived in Williamson County while in TN. I find Nashville more expensive than Raleigh for housing compared to income. Schools are better (again in the area I lived in Franklin & Brentwood). There are tons more churches. People are from all over the country and eager to make friends. The music is wonderful every place you go. There are many hills and beautiful parks. Low crime. Weather is pretty much the same as Raleigh. My favorite is no state income tax and no dumb property tax for owning your car!

The bad: Not many corporate type of jobs unless you are in the music biz. The food is awful. Super land-locked. Getting flights out of there. 9.25% sales tax on consumption items.
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:07 PM
 
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I've lived in both. Nashville is great fun if you're into music or in the music business. Very artsy town. There are lots of things to do there; however, they are all usually in the downtown area and if something big is going on, you're going to be stuck in traffic. One July 4th, we were literally stuck downtown for three hours after a fireworks display. Nothing was moving anywhere. Crazy! The people seemed to be very cliquish there. And religious ties are strong. Housing can be less expensive. Also keep in mind that Nashville is a tourist area. And there are a couple of colleges so you also have the college kids in certain areas. Nashville was voted the friendliest town the year I moved there. Never got that feeling though. Lots of historical areas to visit and the people see very proud of that.

Raleigh has (dare I say it) less traffic and is not much of a tourist's destination. Also has colleges. Probably not as much going on, on a daily basis, but you can always find things to do on the weekends - festivals, live music, hiking. And things are more spread out. There are several lakes to visit in the summer and of course, the beaches nearby. Mountains in the fall and winter. The people here seem a little more open. People have been nice to me and seem more open.

I would definitely spend a long weekend in both places to try to get a general feel of things.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Thanks for all of the opinions, they are much appreciated! We are leaning towards Raleigh at this point, mainly because of the access to the ocean and the Eastern seaboard. I'll be opening my own sports chiropractic clinic and both cities would be good for that - so, we're blessed to be able to choose! Thanks again and more opinions/posts are welcome!
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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Every time I see a post on this Triangle area NC board asking about Nashville, I have to read the post a couple times to see which Nashville they are talking about. Sometimes it is not really clear and I just have to assume that outsiders don't know about Nashville, NC. Though not technically in the triangle it is on the eastern edge of it. They claim to be the oldest of the 13 Nashvilles in the US. The Town Of Nashville, NC, Nash County, North Carolina - Welcome
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:35 PM
 
920 posts, read 968,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffs555 View Post
Every time I see a post on this Triangle area NC board asking about Nashville, I have to read the post a couple times to see which Nashville they are talking about. Sometimes it is not really clear and I just have to assume that outsiders don't know about Nashville, NC. Though not technically in the triangle it is on the eastern edge of it. They claim to be the oldest of the 13 Nashvilles in the US. The Town Of Nashville, NC, Nash County, North Carolina - Welcome
Oh, come on! I'm calling bull. You can't possibly tell me that you read the title of this thread, and combined with its context, really believed there was a decent chance the poster was asking about Raleigh vs. Nashville, NC. In some contexts, maybe. In this context, no way. Sorry, but I don't believe it.
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