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Old 11-03-2010, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 12,180,312 times
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I'm wondering about progressive "northern / midwestern" (culturally and politically) small (less than 300,000 population) cities within an eight-hour drive of Atlanta, GA. I might be planning a move within the next few years to be closer to my family (parents / siblings) who, despite my attempts to convince them, don't want to move back to the Midwest. I will most likely (90% chance) remain in Minnesota, but my family really wants me to move "closer" to them.

Cities I'm interested in are:

Bloomington, IN
Athens, OH
Auburn, AL
Sewanee, TN
Young Harris, GA
Morgantown, WV
Champaign-Urbana, IL (this may be more than 8 hours away)

Would any of these fit the bill? The only ones I've been to are Athens and Bloomington, which I enjoyed. I'm looking for a city similar to Mankato, MN, and with a decent economy (a small college town). Politically progressive or moderate areas are better, though I'd consider living in a more conservative area as long as it's tolerant of other political views. Weather isn't that important, though I'd prefer a place with some semblance of winter.

Also, I'd welcome any other city suggestions not on this list.

Also, for those that know me as the "south hater:" This post is not a joke / flamebait / trolling . I don't hate the south and I'm not here to bash the south.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Tuscaloosa,AL
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Auburn is a very nice town with a strong economy. Obviously since it's in Alabama it's going to have a large amount of conservatives, but it's a college town with a fairly large university (25,000 students). So there will be more progressives than in other towns in Alabama or the south. It's a little bit under two hours to Atlanta.

Another college town you might want to check out is Athens, GA. I've never been, but from what I hear it is an extremely nice place.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Asheville & Chapel Hill, NC.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:47 PM
 
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Perhaps something like Lexington KY or Charlottesville VA might work. Maybe even Clemson SC.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:49 PM
 
Location: The City
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Charlottesville VA is a great choice, one other to consider may be Charleston WV
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Thanks for the suggestions. These places certainly seem interesting. I'm not really interested in Athens, GA, as it's only about 45 minutes away from where my parents live (a little TOO close) and it's close to being an Atlanta exurb.

North Carolina is not at the top of the list because of weather (hurricanes / floods) and the high number of Northeastern (NY, NJ) transplants. I'm looking for more of a Midwest feel.

I've heard Auburn was similar to Mankato. It seems like a cool city.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:49 PM
 
65,518 posts, read 91,343,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazoopilot View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. These places certainly seem interesting. I'm not really interested in Athens, GA, as it's only about 45 minutes away from where my parents live (a little TOO close) and it's close to being an Atlanta exurb.

North Carolina is not at the top of the list because of weather (hurricanes / floods) and the high number of Northeastern (NY, NJ) transplants. I'm looking for more of a Midwest feel.

I've heard Auburn was similar to Mankato. It seems like a cool city.
Auburn is interesting as many people from my part of NY have moved there.

Another place that might work is Knoxville TN due to the large influence from the University of Tennessee.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Columbus, Ohio ... extremely progressive and vibrant city, great urban feel, big city amenities, low cost of living, attractive suburban areas and a solid economy.


Columbus, Ohio Travel Guide - Hotels, Attractions, Dining
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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A lot of midwesterners (with or without local roots) are moving to Knoxville because of the economy.

Louisville KY is on the border of the midwest.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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There's also Cookeville TN, since you seem to like smaller. But i don't know about Sewanee, it is very small and somewhat isolated.
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