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Old 07-24-2019, 01:17 PM
 
16 posts, read 7,308 times
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Retiring somewhere in the South. The 7 towns/cities we have narrowed it down to are: Durham, Fayetteville AR, Oxford, Gainesville FL, Huntsville, Charlottesville Va, Athens Ga. Forgot about Bentonville, AR. Which of these towns might best fulfill our want list:

* Fairly large unpolluted lake in the vicinity with access for swimming

* Has seafood, Greek, Indian, and at least 4-5 fine dining restaurants, and for those fried food cravings, some local "joints" with good seafood.

* Good buyers market for 3bdrm, 2bath, 10 year or younger house for max 450k

* In the college towns, no more than about 20% student population. (I believe I read that Fayetteville has about an 18% student pop)

* A physically attractive town, with some nice architecture, and lots of trees in and around.

* A fair amount of green spaces and parks

* Within 45 minute drive or so of state or national parks with hiking trails

* Some cultural and political diversity

* Some cultural activities and events

* Grocers who carry a good selection of organic produce.

* Several volunteer service organizations

Thanks for any perspectives you can give from your own experiences in any of these locations.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
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Charlottesville and Fayettevillle are the best two for hiking and outdoor stuff.

I prefer the scenery in Charlottesville the most of out of these cities.

In my view, Oxford is not a good geographic location for retirement unless you went to Ole Miss or otherwise are a big Ole Miss sports fan.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:34 PM
 
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I'd suggest Fayetteville. I'd throw Charlottesville in the mix if cost of living isn't an issue (its COL is a bit high). These 2 have the best balance of things you're talking about of the group of cities. Fayetteville will give you way more house for the $$$ than Charlottesville.
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Illinois
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Sounds like you've already chosen Fayetteville in your heart. Can't blame you, wonderful area there in NW AR, SW MO and NE OK. Enjoy!
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
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Oxford is a lot smaller and more quaint than any of the others on the list. If you are looking for small town charm Oxford has it in spades.
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Old 07-24-2019, 05:13 PM
 
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Thanks for your perspectives. C'ville and Fayetteville are the two I lean toward. Still researching Huntsville/Florence area, and I'm thinking Gainesville might be too hot and not so far inland it couldn't get the brunt of some hurricane winds.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:24 PM
 
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Don't count out Athens. It's my favorite here -- but you can't go wrong with Athens, Charlottesvile, or
Fayetteville. All three have arts, amazing food, amenities nearby and in the case of Athens and Chrarlottesville, major city amenities pretty close. Charlottesville definitely the most expensive option.

Huntsville and Durham are places that you move for work, I think the other 3 have a laid back/sophisticated vibe that would be nice for retirement (although I know Huntsville and Durham are very nice places to live and would be fine choices).

I wouldn't move to Gainesville or Oxford without some tie to the area.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:36 PM
 
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Thanks, JG. for your input. After seeing how far of a drive it is to Lake Hartwell from Athens, I think it will have to be a lower priority than a little north of Fayetteville. In addition to Charlottesville being more expensive, which might eliminate it, I saw today that it has higher than national average crime rate. Surprised me.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:57 AM
 
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Pretty similar to what I'm looking for eventually in the places you mentioned. Not retirement age though...yet!

I like what I've read/researched about Florence, AL area, including Huntsville.

Rome, Ga comes to mind as well.

I've also looked alot at Chattanooga, Tn and surrounding, such as Cleveland, Maryville, and Johnson City. May want to check those out too.
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Old 07-25-2019, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Greenville SC 'Waterfall City'
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Why did Huntsville and Durham make your list if the rest are college towns?

I lived in Huntsville for two years and I liked it. It has some nice outdoor shopping centers.

It has little mountains next to downtown to the east. Monte Sano State Park is great for hiking. The Big Cove suburb on the east side of those mountains has some affordable neighborhoods.

This is the Google streetview of Cecil Ashburn Road over the mountain to Big Cove. https://www.google.com/maps/@34.6615...7i13312!8i6656


The thing that I did not like about it is there is no direct way to get to Atlanta to go to SC, without going through the GA mountains on a curvy road.

You have to go up to Chattanooga and back down to Atlanta, or go due south to Birmingham and then east to Atlanta.

Last edited by ClemVegas; 07-25-2019 at 03:37 PM..
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