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Old 05-07-2018, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Ventura County, CA
25 posts, read 8,605 times
Reputation: 30

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My wife and I will retire before long, and have always wanted to live in the Appalachian area. We have traveled some in GA, TN, NC, SC, and a little in WV. I have kind of had my heart set on Northeastern TN, but the more I look at some of the mountain towns of WV, I am wondering if I should reconsider. We want to live in a high enough elevation to avoid too long of periods of hot/humid summers, and we want to be within a reasonable distance of a larger city with a good sized airport. I am thinking about a place like Bethlehem or something similar.

I would really appreciate some honest opinions about this. We are in good health and enjoy people from every walk of life. I have had a few different professions and I will certainly want to find some type of job or volunteer work. I am not a fanatic about it, but I like to fish and work on my old truck. My wife likes to shop and talk.

A little help?
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:27 PM
 
663 posts, read 397,399 times
Reputation: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude24 View Post
My wife and I will retire before long, and have always wanted to live in the Appalachian area. We have traveled some in GA, TN, NC, SC, and a little in WV. I have kind of had my heart set on Northeastern TN, but the more I look at some of the mountain towns of WV, I am wondering if I should reconsider. We want to live in a high enough elevation to avoid too long of periods of hot/humid summers, and we want to be within a reasonable distance of a larger city with a good sized airport. I am thinking about a place like Bethlehem or something similar.

I would really appreciate some honest opinions about this. We are in good health and enjoy people from every walk of life. I have had a few different professions and I will certainly want to find some type of job or volunteer work. I am not a fanatic about it, but I like to fish and work on my old truck. My wife likes to shop and talk.

A little help?


West Virginia is a geographical anomaly in the continental US. We are blessed with four distinct season most years and that means while we can have wonderful snowy winters we can also hit high temps for the prolonged period of summer we call Dog Days. Personally, while it can get over 100 you don't see it happen often. I think Charleston does it a couple of days each summer but we have had several years in a row where we haven't. High temps of 95 is rather normal and a cold summer can be 85. Nights may only fall into the 70s but usually they bottom out in the 60s and we wake up with thick morning fall most days. The big difference between here and elsewhere is the humidity levels. It can get hot but is not a sweltering hot. Likewise it can get cold but it is not the kind of cold where no amount of clothing will help you.


You really only have 2 choices with your mountains plus access to services: Charleston and Morgantown. Both have good elevations around them and both have decent to good shopping, Morgantown wins out a bit because you can drive to Pittsburgh, but their airport is kind of a dud unless you also go to Pitt for that. The other decently sized cities on the border, Huntington and Parkersburg, do not have the topography you are looking for, but are closers to larger cities.


I don't think you will find a perfect match.


You might go a bit outside your box and take a look at Lewisburg/White Sulphur Springs WV. While there is no airport or even what I would call minimal shopping you get your terrain and temps and are a short drive from Roanoke Virginia where you can shop and fly.


If the heat is negotiable, you might just consider Roanoke, it has everything else on your list.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,646 posts, read 7,766,969 times
Reputation: 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude24 View Post
My wife and I will retire before long, and have always wanted to live in the Appalachian area. We have traveled some in GA, TN, NC, SC, and a little in WV. I have kind of had my heart set on Northeastern TN, but the more I look at some of the mountain towns of WV, I am wondering if I should reconsider. We want to live in a high enough elevation to avoid too long of periods of hot/humid summers, and we want to be within a reasonable distance of a larger city with a good sized airport. I am thinking about a place like Bethlehem or something similar.

I would really appreciate some honest opinions about this. We are in good health and enjoy people from every walk of life. I have had a few different professions and I will certainly want to find some type of job or volunteer work. I am not a fanatic about it, but I like to fish and work on my old truck. My wife likes to shop and talk.

A little help?
I'd look into Elkins, WV. It is pretty high up in the Alleghenies, and summers are more mild. You will get more snow though. Pittsburgh is the closest city.

There is a college in the town, and if you like blue collar type pursuits and enjoy visiting Appalachia I don't think there would be too much of a culture shock.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:34 PM
 
Location: North Alabama
637 posts, read 1,778,154 times
Reputation: 593
Elkins is a nice place in my opinion based on our two stays there. Temperatures are usually 7 or 8 degrees lower there than what we see daily here in north Alabama (I track it on my cellphone). I love snow, which Elkins has a good bit of each year. Beautiful scenery and lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation. You might want to look at southeastern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, and southwestern Virginia as well.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:01 PM
 
Location: elkins wv
259 posts, read 230,265 times
Reputation: 135
If you have any specific questions about Elkins let me know I live there. Buckhannon 30 minutes away is a great town also. Elkins is about 2 and a half hours to Pittsburgh and 4 hours to Washington D.C.. Elkins is starting to go up in elevation and the temperature is generally a few degrees cooler than most the rest of the state. Its within 2-3 hours of many lakes and state parks many with in a hour. Its within a hour of 3 ski resorts and close to lots of lake and stream fishing and camping. There isn't a lot of new homes built but plenty of reasonable homes to choice from. Elkins and Buckhannon both have a hospital that are ok for small towns and their are 3 major hospitals within a hour and 2 hours away from Elkins. Both major hospitals are thirty minutes less time from Buckhannon. Both towns have small private colleges and some descent restaurant choices in both.Both towns are kind of artsy and both have many festivals and events. If you have specific questions let me know.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Ohio via WV
406 posts, read 365,104 times
Reputation: 244
As others have said, Lewisburg or Elkins would likely best fit what you're looking for. Potentially Fayetteville or Summersville as well. If you're looking for somewhere a little bigger, Morgantown or Charleston would be your best options.

You mentioned Bethlehem? As in the Wheeling suburb? That's not really "Appalachia". That's more northern Ohio/western PA rust belt.
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Old 05-09-2018, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,034 posts, read 5,491,719 times
Reputation: 15079
Health care as you age will be very important. I have been looking for that perfect retirement spot in the Appalachians as well and searched from WV to Tennessee. Poor health care eliminated my #1 choice Johnson City, TN. I have no idea how the health care is in WV. I don't want to offend but I'm thinking it's not top level in the smaller mountain towns and that could be the difference between living a great retirement and, well.....
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
4,646 posts, read 7,766,969 times
Reputation: 2861
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Health care as you age will be very important. I have been looking for that perfect retirement spot in the Appalachians as well and searched from WV to Tennessee. Poor health care eliminated my #1 choice Johnson City, TN. I have no idea how the health care is in WV. I don't want to offend but I'm thinking it's not top level in the smaller mountain towns and that could be the difference between living a great retirement and, well.....
Good point. Elkins is about 1.5 hours from Morgantown, which has a top notch hospital system. I am not sure how the more local doctors/hospitals are.
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Old 05-09-2018, 05:40 PM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
10,588 posts, read 10,596,752 times
Reputation: 7101
In addition to Morgantown, there are first rate hospitals in Charleston and Huntington. I think there are also good hospitals in Wheeling, Parkersburg, and the Eastern Panhandle. Somebody closer to those areas can give a better opinion.
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Old 05-10-2018, 08:44 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (lovely hills but no ocean...)
968 posts, read 478,719 times
Reputation: 1085
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Health care as you age will be very important. I have been looking for that perfect retirement spot in the Appalachians as well and searched from WV to Tennessee. Poor health care eliminated my #1 choice Johnson City, TN. I have no idea how the health care is in WV. I don't want to offend but I'm thinking it's not top level in the smaller mountain towns and that could be the difference between living a great retirement and, well.....
Health care, though, begins with you. Keep searching the Appalachians. It's amazing. Be healthy, take control etc .. Like someone else said somewhere, their friend lived around dozens of hospitals in Boston and died young. WV hospitals are good enough.
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