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Old 09-17-2012, 05:02 PM
Location: Greenwell Springs
97 posts, read 1,219,921 times
Reputation: 77


My husband and I were discussing our ideal traits in a town last night and I decided to write them down and ask the lovely people of CD if they had any thoughts on places that our lists sound like. He is really against moving, but knowing how much I hate it here he had agreed to move - once. Basically we need to find a place we both really love or else we will end up back here. (NOOO!) Anyway here are the lists.

-Low crime
-Nearby clear water - lakes, rivers, creeks (He is from northern Arkansas and misses seeing the bottom of natural bodies of water. They are all gross and murky around here.)
-Comfortable weather - warm enough to swim in summer, not too much snow
-State/National Parks nearby
-Fun places to drive his Jeep
-Biking community, or at least a place where it isn't completely dangerous to ride - mountain biking a plus
-Pretty much any water sport - canoeing, kayaking, rafting, boating, SCUBA

-Four seasons
-Pleasant weather, especially summers - preferably low humidity and temps under say 85ish, though as long as I'm not instantly drenched in sweat the moment I walk outside it would be an improvement. Have I mentioned I hate it here? haha
-SNOW. It doesn't have to be much, but it should be nice powdery or crunchy snow. (I hope people know what I mean by this - you know that sound it makes when you walk on it? That.) Not just mush and preferably somewhere that is still sunny in winter so it isn't too frigid.
-Lots of interesting/pretty locations that are public for my landscape photography hobby.
-Hiking (Kind of goes with previous one)
-Dog parks or areas we can bring our (very large) dog. Dog friendly restaurants would be great.
-Variety of things to do/try both in town and outdoor activities. Local restaurants and shops, farmers market, art, library, movies, etc. Also, I would love to get outside more often but I'm really sensitive to the heat here and it just doesn't happen. Plus if the heat doesn't get you, the mosquitoes will, which brings me to....
-Fewer pests. Here mosquitoes are the worst, but we also have gnats, roaches, flies, ants, etc. Anywhere with less of these guys would be great.
-Preferably a moderate to liberal population, or at least an area that seems to care about the environment and doesn't look at you like you sprouted a second head when you tell them you don't eat meat. (Our neighbor's response when my husband told him I stopped eating meat was "On purpose?!" ) Also, people interested and experienced in homesteading would be a plus.
-Not a super high priority, but it would be nice to be within a short driving distance to various vacation spots, like National Parks, beaches, mountains, good road trip roads, or interesting/historic cities.

We both agree that we like areas where the homes are well-kept and interesting. Doesn't have to be any particular type of architecture, just not boring, run-down, or ugly. We also agree that we would like to live in a smaller city (NOT a suburb) within a two hour or less drive to a major city. Currently, we have to drive to Houston if we want to do certain things and a 4-5 hour drive is not really close enough for a one day trip to us. We would be okay either in the city itself for walkability or outside of it for land and privacy. Just no 'burbs, please.

Go ahead and rule out anywhere that normal people can't afford - my husband is a police officer and I don't honestly know what I would be doing.

Sorry this is so long, just wanted to be thorough. I'm looking forward to the responses! Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:35 PM
Location: Upper East Side of Texas
12,506 posts, read 26,484,308 times
Reputation: 4890
Austin, TX. (if you can consider that a small city)

Its less than 1 hour to San Antonio & 3 hours to Houston.

If Austin is too large for you look just outside of there to San Marcos. Its a small liberal college town between San Antonio & Austin.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:46 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,660 posts, read 85,316,320 times
Reputation: 36620
There are lots of them, every big city has a few, but rich people are gobbling up the real estate and running up the cost of living where mortals cannot hope to squeeze in. My niece lived in one, Cedarburg, Wisconsin, but was only renting and had to move out as housing costs soared. I lived in one myself, Oak Grove, Missouri, and the population there has tripled since I left. If there is a nice town, everyone will find it and start a race to see who can spoil it first.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:01 PM
Location: Michigan
4,649 posts, read 8,379,810 times
Reputation: 3774
A few cities in Michigan might seem like a good area to look. Maybe the west side along Lake Michigan though the winters can be extra harsh because of the lake effect. However, most cities and towns are only a couple of hours from Detroit or Chicago.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:02 PM
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 8,005,578 times
Reputation: 4096
As far as New England goes, you might consider looking into Keene, NH or Northampton, MA (about 2 hours to Boston), or Burlington, VT (about 2 hours to Montreal). I think they would tick a lot of your boxes, except for maybe having a bit too much snow for your husband.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:11 PM
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,733 posts, read 7,672,706 times
Reputation: 2029
Check out:

North Bend, Washington
Cle Elum, Washington
White Salmon, Washington
Snoqualmie, Washington
Trout Lake, Washington
Chelan, Washington
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:28 PM
87,609 posts, read 116,899,391 times
Reputation: 17782
Perhaps Fort Collins CO, New Paltz NY, Clemson SC and Upstate SC in general and Charlottesville VA, among others.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:37 PM
Location: Valdez, Alaska
2,758 posts, read 5,151,795 times
Reputation: 2804
Sounds like somewhere in Colorado. Blue skies, clear water, beautiful landscapes, dry snow with reasonable temperatures. Lots of neat little towns, and reasonable driving/flying distances to other interesting places. Seems like there would be lots of good 4-wheeling, but some parts can be crowded. Summers can get hot, but with hardly any humidity it would stiff feel better than where you're at. Maybe somewhere in Utah, or Reno, or Boise as well.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:50 PM
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,889 posts, read 12,741,612 times
Reputation: 3972
You would be amazed by the natural amenities within a 1 hour drive of NYC (and a lot of cross over with the Boston and Philly Areas)
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:56 PM
178 posts, read 569,150 times
Reputation: 110
I don't think your criteria is too much....

Basically if you even move 2 or 3 states North in ANY direction, you are going to rule out 1/2 of the negatives you listed...Bugs, getting more equal seasons, and less humidity and just hot weather, getting some crunchy snow-etc.

I would say that anything further North than Pennsylvania, and you will be getting more of Winter seasons, and less of equal seasons in length. I am in PA now, and we are very close to great landscape, lots of National state parks etc....and crunchy and powdery snow. I am not too fond of where I live now for various reasons though...but in your case, it may be as far North as you should check out, unless you are willing to try longer more snowy Winters!

Anyway, have you traveled much? I think you should take a trip to Kentucky/Virginia/and the Carolina's....and also towards Colorado and Tennessee also has a lot of what you are looking for.

It looks like you are in an area that is flatter and sort of boring for landscape....

There are plenty of great places out there that are just as you described. You might want to add more about yourselves and personalities rather than just the landscapes....it might help to narrow it down to more specific towns/small cities. Do you want to be around like minded people, or do you want diversity etc?
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