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Old 01-22-2009, 12:09 PM
 
79 posts, read 204,980 times
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Hi,
My family and I are ready for a change we live in Virginia about 2 hrs west of DC we have found the mountains still have the DELIVERANCE feel to them.

What is the best town there for a family with a 10yr and 6 yr old; they love to swim on swim teams. We thought Shenandoah Valley here got snow but we have not seen any in 2 yrs. We want to see snow with bright sunny winter days. We want to be close to water, but not right on it. Within a short drive would be nice. A pet friendly place with allot outdoor activities

We would like to be within 2 hrs of museums and zoos like DC , a town where kids are safe, a sense of community, great job growth, low crime and communities with children for mine to play with.

I grew up all my life at the beach of NC. I miss friendly people, the kind that invite you to dinner to welcome you and handshakes mean something. Almost a Mayberry feel with clean streets and modern stores nearby.

Are there any towns like that there?
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Central Iowa - Ankeny
337 posts, read 1,421,563 times
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The Quad Cities (Davenport) would be where you will find these things with water ... it lies on the Mississippi.

Des Moines has more job growth, etc.. and has a few large lakes in the region.

Snowy and sunny days are found here. Mayberry to an extent - as posted in previous threads, the people are friendly but reserved. Don't expect southern comfort.
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,780,590 times
Reputation: 1210
Quote:
Originally Posted by natepickle View Post
We would like to be within 2 hrs of museums and zoos like DC , a town where kids are safe, a sense of community, great job growth, low crime and communities with children for mine to play with.
?


The museums and zoo like DC is kind of a tall order, with the exception of the Omaha Zoo in Nebraska which surpasses the zoo in DC. Omaha is two hours from Des Moines and Council Bluffs is a suburb of Omaha on the Iowa side. The Rosyln Art Museum in Omaha, Des Moines Art Center and the Figge in Davenport are all top rated smaller art museums. Other than that, there's not much. I do like the State Historical Building in Des Moines though.

Pretty much any of the larger cities in Iowa would get you low crime, good job growth and a sense of community.
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,586,141 times
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The Quad Cities have a bigger zoo than Des Moines (at least until they expand theirs) but not as big as Omaha's. We also have a pretty good Science and History Museum, and the Figge as mentioned earlier. The real plus to the QC is that 2 and a half hours away in Chicago you have as many museums and other attractions as you'll find anywhere in the US.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,834,759 times
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It's going to be a tall order to find some of those things anywhere in the country, like high job growth and modern stores in Mayberry. But here are some ideas that might be worth a look.

Around Des Moines, you might look at the Johnston or Grimes area. They're suburbs of Des Moines, so they're close to the jobs and attractions there...but they still have a small-town feel (although both are getting more suburb-y). Lots of young families, just up I-35 from Jordan Creek mall, and close to Saylorville Lake. Adel might be one to consider too, but farther out from the city.

Farther out from Des Moines, you might want to check out Pella. A really (almost freakishly) clean and pretty city, with a really strong sense of (Dutch) community. Central College, a cool private school is there, but you'd have to drive an hour to Des Moines for zoos and museums. It's also very close to the highly underrated Lake Red Rock.

Around my area (Iowa City), you might want to look at Solon, North Liberty or West Branch. They're close to Iowa City and the university, and the cultural stuff going on there. Solon and West Liberty are pretty small, and North Liberty is more of a true suburb. All are pretty close to Coralville Lake and Lake MacBride.
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:09 PM
 
204 posts, read 944,790 times
Reputation: 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by natepickle View Post
What is the best town there for a family with a 10yr and 6 yr old; they love to swim on swim teams. We thought Shenandoah Valley here got snow but we have not seen any in 2 yrs. We want to see snow with bright sunny winter days. We want to be close to water, but not right on it. Within a short drive would be nice. A pet friendly place with allot outdoor activities

I grew up all my life at the beach of NC. I miss friendly people, the kind that invite you to dinner to welcome you and handshakes mean something. Almost a Mayberry feel with clean streets and modern stores nearby.

Are there any towns like that there?
My best suggestion is LeClaire, Iowa

The city has revitalized their small, but charming downtown which is right on the Mississippi Riverfront. The natural setting is very gorgeous and the location is close (within 15 minutes of the Quad Cities, approximately 2 hours from Chicago) to modern amenities.

The city has a population of about 3,000...so you'll definitely get that Mayberry feel. The school system is tied in with Pleasant Valley, which is a Class 4A district, so you'll have access to scholastic events like swim teams, etc. Usually, towns of 3,000 and under in Iowa do not field swim teams due to lack of participation/facilities.

It is just outside the Quad City area and has grown steadily during the last 20 years. Homes are affordable, but also are very nice and charming. LeClaire is not a sprawling suburb, but rather a small city that has some history being a Mississippi River town.

You might want to check it out. I make frequent stops through the city for my job (driving a delivery truck) and love the quaint charm. The scenery is among the prettiest you can find in the upper Midwest.

Last edited by mfrerkes; 01-22-2009 at 09:17 PM..
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:49 AM
 
520 posts, read 2,353,347 times
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When I read this post, I was thinking of Pella. It fits most of your criteria, though it does not have great job growth. It is near Lake Red Rock and has a sense of community. It may take some time though for others to accept you into the community.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Omaha
2,716 posts, read 6,379,750 times
Reputation: 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by natepickle View Post
Hi,
My family and I are ready for a change we live in Virginia about 2 hrs west of DC we have found the mountains still have the DELIVERANCE feel to them.

What is the best town there for a family with a 10yr and 6 yr old; they love to swim on swim teams. We thought Shenandoah Valley here got snow but we have not seen any in 2 yrs. We want to see snow with bright sunny winter days. We want to be close to water, but not right on it. Within a short drive would be nice. A pet friendly place with allot outdoor activities

We would like to be within 2 hrs of museums and zoos like DC , a town where kids are safe, a sense of community, great job growth, low crime and communities with children for mine to play with.

I grew up all my life at the beach of NC. I miss friendly people, the kind that invite you to dinner to welcome you and handshakes mean something. Almost a Mayberry feel with clean streets and modern stores nearby.

Are there any towns like that there?
I would say the Des Moines area fits your description. Iowa has a lot to offer and being centrally located you could explore it all. Des Moines ain't bad either.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,340 posts, read 8,961,420 times
Reputation: 1225
Well, Council Bluffs Iowa would fit your criteria as well. Its right across the River from Omaha which has our Famous Zoo and several Museums, and also there are quite a few parks, however I think the East Side is better then the West Side. West Des Moines Iowa would also work as well as the Quad City area.
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Old 01-24-2009, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Minnesota..California Dreamin'
195 posts, read 1,006,844 times
Reputation: 73
Decorah, Iowa. It's only about 8,000 and not near a Metro area ( closest are Lacrosse, Wis and Rochester, MN, but they are closer than two hours- Rochester is nice), but I don't have enough words to describe how you'd like Decorah, Iowa. Check it out online, it's in beautiful NE Iowa. If you want something bigger, try Dubuque, Iowa- it's also NE Iowa and is about 30,000 or over. It's on the border with Ilinois, across from Galena. Pick NE Iowa- nothing else in IA like it. Dubuque is right on the Mississpi, so maybe you wouldn't like it, but Decorah is not.
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