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Old 02-12-2007, 09:42 AM
178 posts, read 677,340 times
Reputation: 62


Actually, both posters above are right. There are some really
cool stores like Urban Outfitters (which my daughter and her
friends loved) and other cute and funky type stores... geared
towards the younger smaller size college girls.. and I'm sure
there are stores for older professional women... expensive and
out of my price range. It is overun by young college and younger
kids in downtown. The traffic down there is a little crazy and you
better watch before you cross the street. The other towns besides
SLO are much saner traffic wise.

If you like a slower pace of life (excluding downtown SLO) with
great weather, down to earth people, beautiful scenery, near the Ocean
that you can go to pretty much anytime (except 4th of July weekend)
and find your own spot with no problem ,most of the time it's uncrowed
at Pismo Beach (Avila is quite a bit more crowded but very nice) then
you'll probably love it. If you are more of a city person and are spoiled
to the amenities a big city area offers.. well, you probably won't like
it for more than a weekend visit.

Last edited by la quinta family; 02-12-2007 at 09:55 AM..
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:34 PM
10 posts, read 46,123 times
Reputation: 10
Smile Checking In Again

Hi Everybody!
Thanks everyone for your continued input. Cre8 (website info) and GreatBasin (pic of downtown SLO), much appreciated! Photos really are invaluable. I lived in a college town once before (Evanston). SLO is probably very similar (but much nicer!).

I'm not a particularly materialistic person and live pretty simply. By a certain age I've found I've pretty much satisfied my need to acquire things. At this point in my life I'm more concerned about the basics: stable job, putting away money for retirement, etc. For shopping, I don't have particularly extensive needs. I'd just want reasonably-priced places to shop for groceries and neccessities. Access to a good library or two would be a definite plus! Out here I have access to a really good library system that supplies a lot of my entertainment needs (can check out really good recent DVDs and CDs in addition to recent book releases). Book, record and antique shops are really more to my interest than clothing boutiques. For clothes I prefer to shop at one-stop places like Sears or KMart or other reasonably-priced places. I like thrift shops, too. I used to do a lot of thrifting when I lived in the city. I've purchased great stuff in second-hand shops that are clean and practically brand new. I'm not a money-to-burn type person and am willing to search for places where I can get the most for dollar. I think that will be especially important in CA!!!

I've made a little more headway in my research of the 3 regions. Practically speaking, it looks like if I go for MB, I'll be working in SLO for sure or maybe up north towards Atascadero area. For living, I'd prefer to rent out a small place in MB instead of living in SLO. Don't think I'd care to be in too close proximity to college kids at my age! I've done that before. I think at the end of the day I'd prefer a little peace and quiet. No offense intended.

If I go for PH, looks like I'd definitely be working in Oxford or Ventura. Job prospects in PH appear to be nonexistent. I did find some inexpensive studios in Oxford Shores advertised in the $700 range. I'm wondering, though, how dicey they might be because of the low price. Stripped down and basic is fine as long as they're clean and everything's in working order. I'd rather not live somewhere where I'm paying for stuff I probably won't use anyway (like pool, fitness gym, etc.).

So far Carp doesn't sound like it would be a good match for me for practical and lifestyle reasons, but I'll keep researching it and keep an open mind. I'd still appreciate any input/experiences from people re this town.

If anyone has any additional photos or anecdotes to share about MB, PH or Carp, I'd love to see/hear them! Thanks again.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:07 PM
Location: CA Coast
1,900 posts, read 1,665,881 times
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I think you will like Morro Bay,, spend a little time wandering about there are very nice neighborhoods,, funky, not slick
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Old 02-14-2007, 02:55 AM
Location: Ca Cap & Central Ca
182 posts, read 841,831 times
Reputation: 103
Hello There!
Hmmm...very interesting to read people's perceptions of SLO county. I have been here 25 years. grew up in Orange County. This state has REALLY changed! But, it is true, SLO County seems to be the place that time forgot. Growth has been tremendous in the years I have lived here. The SLO of today bears little resemblance to what it was 25 years ago. but... it is truly a great place to live in. Very little smog or pollution, lots of unspoiled open land and coastal areas, residants who value the land and each other... Natives who grew up in the agricultural age.... the wine industry is exploding here...tourism is huge...CalPoly University (one of the best in the nation) in SLO has a huge impact on SLO City with truly half the city's population. Speaking of CalPoly...it is true that the college students seem more disrespectful and discourteous with each passing year. But it would be a shame to lump all of them together and ignore the less visible good student citizens.
Atascadero does not have much in the way of industry or employment except for Atascadero State Hospital (criminals and svp's).
Paso Robles has a great downtown square, lots of old victorian homes making up the core of the old town; with lots of new homes and tracts along the river. Great restaurants, a thriving downtown, and the wine industry make this a very desirable town to live in. There are also other industries here; light manufacturing.
Morro Bay is truly a fishing village and retirement area, although this is changing now.
Avila Beach is the "bannana belt" with the least coastal fog. The oil companies did do a massive cleanup a few years ago which included demolishing the downtown and rebuilding it.
Los Osos/Baywood Park is just around the Bay from Morro Bay. A little less expensive to live in, more family oriented, but currently embroiled in a sewer controversy. The district does not have a wastewater processing plant and everyone is still using septic tanks, as are many other districts and communities in the county. Not a big issue if you are renting here, but could be expensive if you own a house and the treatment plant finally gets built with financing through assessment of property owners.
Pismo Beach is a bit funky yet, but has fabulous restarants.
The five cities area (south county coast...Arroyo Grande, Oceano, Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, and Shell Beach) has a wide range of housing options and neighborhoods and is gradually beeing rebuilt which is pushing out undesirable elements.
Gangs are scattered throughout the county, but one can avoid the areas. It is not truly a large or truly visible factor yet.Crime is still very low.
Major employers in the county are CAlPoly, custa College, the prison in SLO (hidden out on HWY 1 between SLO and Morro Bay), ASH, DCNPP (Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant), government, some scattered industries, agriculture, lots of Mom and Pop businesses along with a growing number of big box stores....lots of hidden small shops here such as the movie industry, computer related, telecommutors, commutors who work long distances away, etc. Lots of art here, culture, ....
Medical care is lower quality than I would like, probably due in part to remibursement rates, as already stated by a different poster here.
Well, my post has gotten quite long and I hope it has been informative for you? Please forgive my typos and syntax errors-I am rather tired.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:09 PM
10 posts, read 46,123 times
Reputation: 10
Smile Reply to mmouwse

Hello mmouwse!

Thanks very much for your input. It's given me a good overview of the different regions' employment/industry and housing situation (2 of my top concerns), as well as the community makeup.

For the SLO county employers you mentioned ASH. Is this a hospital or does it stand for something else?

Do you like SLO County better than Orange County? If so, why?

I'm curious, too, about the large college population in SLO. Does anybody know what percentage actually stay in the county after graduation and work there? Or do graduates tend to branch out more? (I think Great Basin said he was a teacher. If so, do you teach at university or at another level GB?) Or anybody else maybe know some stats re the college grads?

Many thanks again, everyone. You're wonderful!
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:41 PM
Location: CA Coast
1,900 posts, read 1,665,881 times
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Well, I live in Tahoe, but grew up in the Central Coast, third generation there. 6th generation in California.

I hope like heck to retire when we move south. SLO County is a very fine place. all it lacks is skiing. The story I have heard is SLO has the best educated blue collar work force in the country, that is because the Cal Poly graduates don't want to leave and will do whatever it takes to stay.

This was strange, a comparison of SLO with Orange County. SLO is paradise, Orange County is a suburban desert, vanillia flavored houses as far as the eye can see.
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Old 02-28-2007, 06:32 PM
2 posts, read 7,485 times
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Default PH vs Carp Vs SLO

Port Hueneme: Not such a great place- bit run down; I live on its border and never have reason to go there. Oxnard on the other hand has 3 beach neighborhoods. I live in one. Hollywood Beach is nicest but $$. Silver Strand, Oxnard Shores (now called Mandalay Beach) rentals are like $2000-2500 for a house. The posters who talk about Oxnard crime are just referring to a few small neighborhoods most of us never have reason to go to!

As far as living as youngish single, Silver Strand best bet- some CSCI kids, number of SeaBees, young families, retired- mix. Hollywood Beach lovely but majority retired, many 2nd homes (lived there 4 yrs). Oxnard Shores nice, also a mix, families, retired and prof. Silver Strand most "active". All rents $$, mostly $1000-2000. There is nowhere in Oxnard Shores I would call dicey in any way for rentals. HB not affordable for many; studios now $1000-1200.

Carp- pretty, but small, $$, and almost no jobs. Many more jobs in neighboring Ventura which is over 100K people now. Most who work in SB now commute from Ventura.

SLO- lovely, but not cheap. Costs about same as Ventura to rent or buy a home. Most houses cost $600K and up. Paso Robles and other surrounding towns sig. cheaper to live in, certainly to buy a home in. Central Coast is almost paradise in my opinion and rivals No. CA. Less crowded than parts of No. CA too.

Last edited by Chocolatehorse; 02-28-2007 at 06:57 PM..
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:55 PM
10 posts, read 46,123 times
Reputation: 10
Smile Reply to ChocolateHorse

Hi ChocolateHorse,

Thanks very much for your input. I'm curious if you have ever lived in the SLO/Morro Bay region before or are you just familiar with it through visiting? You, like most people in this thread, have overwhelmingly had good things to say about SLO in particular.

Feedback not as positive for PH. One good thing I've found through research is that PH has more affordable condos right on the beach. I've read several internet articles re: this. I could never afford a home in Carp or SLO/Morro Bay probably. Other than a possible condo purchase, I'd probably be strictly a studio apartment renter. Thanks for the specifics, though, re: rents. My previous post mentioned that I found some studio apartment rentals in Oxnard Shores posted in the $700 range. Do you think this is realistic/real for a studio? I was worried about what type of area this might be in for that amount. But you say there are no dicey rental areas at all in Oxnard Shores --were you referring to apartments as well as houses? Appreciate your input on this because you're an insider there.

Yeah, I've heard how beautiful Carp is, but I too kind of doubt I'd be able to work there locally. It would be my ultimate goal to be able to walk/bike to employment if at all possible. With MB, I'd probably have to commute too. With PH, at least there is the base for possible local employment.

Well, I'll keep researching . . . Please let me know what you think about the Oxnard Shores rentals I mentioned. I think I found them on Craig's list and they seem to have a very good reputation. Thanks again!
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:29 AM
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,794 posts, read 9,634,367 times
Reputation: 1425
Originally Posted by cinbad68 View Post
...I found some studio apartment rentals in Oxnard Shores posted in the $700 range. Do you think this is realistic/real for a studio? I was worried about what type of area this might be in for that amount. But you say there are no dicey rental areas at all in Oxnard Shores...
This is true. Oxnard Shores is OK.

Originally Posted by cinbad68 View Post
Yeah, I've heard how beautiful Carp is, but I too kind of doubt I'd be able to work there locally. It would be my ultimate goal to be able to walk/bike to employment if at all possible.
Carpinteria has few jobs. There are two industrial centers, one at either end of town; you'll find most jobs in one of those two. If you end up commuting to Santa Barbara or Goleta, be prepared for horrendous traffic. Something you should know is that for jobs, Carpinteria is no different than the Santa Barbara south coast, generally, in that jobs pay 40%, 50% less than those same jobs pay in other areas.

If you like the idea of biking to work, you might consider either Ventura or Santa Barbara, where you'd have a better chance of living close to jobs. Oxnard is ok in this regard, too, but in that case you should look near the Financial District, central to transpo options. Oxnard, in spite of what some would have you believe, is a tremendously convenient city as everything is close by. If you look, you can easily find yourself walking distance to everything from Chinese take out and pizza to department and grocery stores. There are tons of walking/biking shortcuts all over Oxnard. I can ride my bike from one end of town to the other with little need to use major thoroughfares. The ones I do use have clearly marked bike lanes. Plus the city is a hub for transportation. Just so you know, both Ventura and Oxnard are actively implementing master-planned bicycle networks.

I lived in Carpinteria for a time and got very tired of, more often than not, having to travel outside of Carp when I needed something -- including work. Another thing about Carp that got old for me is that the town rolls up and goes to sleep at, like, 9:00 p.m. You want a burger and beer at 9:30? Forget it! Every thing is either closed or closing. But, the natural beauty of Carp is undeniable. Decision, decisions. I have friends in Carp who would not live anywhere else. For me, being close to services, job opportunities and commuting options is more important. Shorter distances, less need to drive, errands accomplished quickly. But that's me. To each his/her own. Good luck in your continued search.

Last edited by Winston Smith; 03-02-2007 at 01:31 AM..
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:27 PM
28 posts, read 96,031 times
Reputation: 12
Smile Outside your range

I know you have your spots picked but you might want to consider San Clemente which sits on the Orange County and San Diego border. It is a cute little town with almost no crime. It has a beautiful coast. It is underdeveloped. The Ocean Institute is nearby at Dana Point. There is terrific hiking in the hills around San Juan Capistrano and bicycling south through Camp Pendleton. Great people from all over. Very well educated folks who sought out relaxed beach environment. I love it here.
It might be a stepping stone from urban Chicago to beach life....
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