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Old 06-03-2016, 10:44 AM
 
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I've heard some pretty bad things about Kentucky, to be honest. But I've always had a romanticized view of the state because of my love of history and my ancestral connections there. I've been to Covington once or twice as an adult but haven't been anywhere else since I was very small.

I'm studying to get certified as a high school teacher, and am hoping to find somewhere warmer (but not too warm, my wife hates extreme heat--but not as much as bitter winters) but still within driving distance of family here in mid-Michigan. Kentucky has a similar cost of living to where I live now, but what are some other comparisons and differences between the two states? Aside from Louisville where the density is a lot higher than I'd prefer.

Obviously it's a general question so I would expect generalized answers. I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, but I know there's a lot of people who have moved between the two states and might have useful observstions. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Very similar, geographically. Rolling green hills, horse farms. Michigan has colder, snowier winters, but Kentucky still sees all four seasons.

There's a massive divide, socio-economically, between the state of Kentucky, and the three most populated areas of Kentucky (Louisville, Lexington, and Covington). Most of the "bad rep" with Kentucky falls in line with the smaller towns and villages in the hills and hollers. These areas are often impoverished and poorly educated. Lexington and Louisville fall in line with just about any other mid-sized city in the mid-west. Safe, educated, cultural.

I absolutely love the state for its scenery and history. Anywhere you go, there's another beautiful farm, creek, valley, etc. You'll also find historical plaques all around the state, pointing out famous buildings, birth sites, battle grounds, and more. It's also a very central location. You're pretty much a 6-10 hour drive of anything on the east coast / gulf coast. Boston, NYC, DC, the Carolinas, Florida, New Orleans -- all relatively easy to access for weekend trips / vacations. Growing up, we'd do road trips absolutely everywhere, which really broadened my experiences. As a kid, it was one thing to read about the Battle of Gettysburg, and another to actually drive to the site, and watch a reenactment.

As for visiting Michigan, I-75 runs right through the state, and shoots all the way to the top of the mitten.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
7,339 posts, read 5,132,228 times
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So, you've heard some pretty bad things about Kentucky? Well, get ready to hear some more.

If you don't like extreme heat, cross Kentucky off your list right now. I'm from the upper Midwest myself, and summers down here are sheer hell. And when I say summer, I don't mean July and August, like up north - I mean mid-May through most of September. That beautiful green landscape you see in the spring is baked brown, and you can just hear the humid air sizzle and buzz from the heat. If you're an outdoors person, you may be surprised to learn how little time you're going to want to actually spend outside - it's just too hot. You know how up north you get 5, maybe 10 days every summer that are just smoking hot? Down here, you get that many in a week or two. It's like living in an oven.

You're a teacher, you say? Well, god knows they can certainly use more good teachers down here. But the quality of education in Kentucky frankly sucks out loud compared to states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, and it's not because students are dumber here - it's because the education system is 30 years behind the developed states. There just isn't the emphasis on excellent outcomes that you commonly find in more advanced states. I think a lot of that is attributable to the overbearing religious fundamentalism that is so deeply-woven into the culture here - they don't want none of them new-fangled notions, especially in the rural areas.

You asked for comparisons from people who've moved from one area to the other, and all I can say is that in every single respect, when I compare Kentucky to the Upper Midwest Kentucky comes up short. Every single respect. Of course, part of that is that I don't mind winters at all, so people who hate winter would evaluate the two areas differently. But aside from that, I can not think of a single area where Kentucky compares favorably to the Upper Midwest. Not one. You know all those stereotypes about the South? There's a reason for every single one. I would not recommend Kentucky to anyone but an enemy.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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^^^ To counter the above post -- Using data from this same website, and pulling up information for Lexington (as I'm most familiar with it):

1. Summers are hotter than Michigan's, but I think that is a lot of exaggeration.



Lexington's average high temperatures are in the upper 70's / lower 80's. There are the few heat waves that push into the 90's, but for the most part summers are very mild. Humidity year-round averages around 70-80%, with a spike towards 90% from mid-July to early September. Mid 80's with 90% humidity will make you sweat, but it doesn't really prevent you from doing much. I'm living in Arizona now, and it's currently 112 outside! You want to live in an oven? Come visit me in Scottsdale. It's supposed to be 117 all weekend, and will top 120 in some parts of the Valley.

2. Education is a hard metric to pinpoint accurately, as there is a massive divide within Kentucky. Albert's point is valid if you're talking about some small town in the Appalachian foothills. Looking again at Lexington, nearly 40% of the population over 25 year sold has a bachelor's degree. and over 17% have a graduate degree. This is right at the national average. In this ranking, Kentucky jumped from 34th in the nation to 10th, due to education reforms and high-aimed goals. Given more specific areas in each state, I could find more exact information.



EDIT:


Seems like you've got high opinions of the schools in Oldham.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert_The_Crocodile View Post
[snip]

But - the reason it's getting more crowded is because it's a terrific place to live. I agree Shelby sounds like a perfect fit for you, but if there's anything about it you don't like you should at least take a look at Oldham. It's got a great school system, and it's a very safe area. Just as I-64 comprises a convenient freeway corridor westbound through Shelby, I-75 makes a convenient route from much of Oldham into the metro area from the north. We have a house there, and for my money it's the best place in the metro area. I don't know if I'd want to live anywhere else in the Louisville area. It suits us perfectly, but then again your tastes may be different.


Also, I find your thoughts on tint pretty funny -- I drove a convertible '75 Beetle when I lived in Kentucky. Would spend the entire summer with the fan off and the top down. Different strokes, I guess, but summers in Kentucky were always very nice. We almost never used our A/C at home.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert_The_Crocodile View Post
No, it serves a very significant practical advantage in some parts of the world. I live in Central Kentucky, and I wouldn't want to flail about throughout a Bluegrasss summer without window tint.

[snip]



And while there might not be many natural lakes, Kentucky has more miles of navigable waterways (lakes, rivers, etc) than any other state in the continental United States. There's plenty of lakes in the state, and boating is a pretty common thing in the summertime. I spent a lot of time in the summer on Laurel Lake, Lake Herrington, Lake Cumberland, and more. Most of our lakes are man-made. You say "Reservoir", but they don't serve the same purpose. A reservoir is designed to store water for consumption and use. Kentucky's lakes were all designed to control spring flooding. Used to, snow melt from the mountains would flood the creeks and streams in all of the Valleys, often flooding small, hard to reach farming communities. In a massive public work's project in the early 1900's, dams were built and entire cities were moved. This flooded several valleys, creating all the lakes we have today. Water is diverted into these lakes to prevent flooding in other areas. In a few of the lakes, you can actually go scuba diving through old towns and villages!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert_The_Crocodile View Post
There isn't much water in Kentucky, and literally only a handful of lakes. In 5 years of living here, I have yet to see an actual, natural lake.

If you want to live close to water, your best bet is probably a reservoir. They have a few dozen reservoirs scattered around the state, but frankly I wouldn't want to live too close to one. Every one that I've seen smells like... well... a reservoir. The rivers down here tend to be pretty dirty, and damming them up doesn't exactly make them any cleaner or any better-smelling.

Last edited by cab591; 06-03-2016 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:36 PM
 
6,832 posts, read 14,406,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VM1138 View Post
I've heard some pretty bad things about Kentucky, to be honest. But I've always had a romanticized view of the state because of my love of history and my ancestral connections there. I've been to Covington once or twice as an adult but haven't been anywhere else since I was very small.

I'm studying to get certified as a high school teacher, and am hoping to find somewhere warmer (but not too warm, my wife hates extreme heat--but not as much as bitter winters) but still within driving distance of family here in mid-Michigan. Kentucky has a similar cost of living to where I live now, but what are some other comparisons and differences between the two states? Aside from Louisville where the density is a lot higher than I'd prefer.

Obviously it's a general question so I would expect generalized answers. I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, but I know there's a lot of people who have moved between the two states and might have useful observstions. Thanks!
KY is a beautiful state and there are TONS of Michigan transplants here. I mean TONS. Come see for yourself why this is a gem of a state that has not been overplayed or overhyped like NC or TN, or GA or SC.

The best areas are in the golden triangle, but lots of the state has perks.

For you, I would recommend the suburbs of Louisville, maybe from Prospect to La grange on down to Shelbyville and Simpsonville. Still close enough to be surbuban yet far enough from Louisville to be like exurban small towns without all the density.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:34 PM
 
1,098 posts, read 1,308,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter1948 View Post
KY is a beautiful state and there are TONS of Michigan transplants here. I mean TONS. Come see for yourself why this is a gem of a state that has not been overplayed or overhyped like NC or TN, or GA or SC.

The best areas are in the golden triangle, but lots of the state has perks.

For you, I would recommend the suburbs of Louisville, maybe from Prospect to La grange on down to Shelbyville and Simpsonville. Still close enough to be surbuban yet far enough from Louisville to be like exurban small towns without all the density.
You read my mind. I currently live in a town of about 30,000 people, but neighboring townships and cities boasting a metro area of 300,000 or so. So I live in a small town but near a bunch of other small communities which makes it feel a little big bigger than it is. So suburbs sound perfect. I'm used to driving 30 minutes to neighboring towns for things so that's not unusual.

With what little research I've done, I'm thinking the best places for me would be the Louisville-Lexington area or northern Kentucky (Independence/Covington/etc.).
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:58 PM
 
1,098 posts, read 1,308,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albert_The_Crocodile View Post
So, you've heard some pretty bad things about Kentucky? Well, get ready to hear some more.

If you don't like extreme heat, cross Kentucky off your list right now. I'm from the upper Midwest myself, and summers down here are sheer hell. And when I say summer, I don't mean July and August, like up north - I mean mid-May through most of September. That beautiful green landscape you see in the spring is baked brown, and you can just hear the humid air sizzle and buzz from the heat. If you're an outdoors person, you may be surprised to learn how little time you're going to want to actually spend outside - it's just too hot. You know how up north you get 5, maybe 10 days every summer that are just smoking hot? Down here, you get that many in a week or two. It's like living in an oven.


Statistically Kentucky doesn't get much hotter than Michigan, it just lasts longer. I'd love that. 80 and 90 degrees are common in July and August. The three months of summer we get here in Michigan (if we're lucky) just aren't enough. And increasingly spring and fall are shorter and colder and GRAY. The grayness kills me when combined with cold.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:42 PM
 
6,832 posts, read 14,406,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VM1138 View Post
Statistically Kentucky doesn't get much hotter than Michigan, it just lasts longer. I'd love that. 80 and 90 degrees are common in July and August. The three months of summer we get here in Michigan (if we're lucky) just aren't enough. And increasingly spring and fall are shorter and colder and GRAY. The grayness kills me when combined with cold.
April and May has lots of 80s in KY. Definitely Sept and October ....but you get cool days mixed in. We had days even in mid may with highs in the 50s (although rarely). I really enjoy the seasonality.

KY's high growth (but not too high) is the Louisville to Lexington corridor.

I really really think La Grange or Shelbyville KY are the spots for you! Come down and visit.

LA Grange certainly feels more midwestern and has more transplants. The town itself is probably 10k, and the county it is in is very small geographically (Oldham) and has around 70k people. Still close to Louisivlle but far enough away that you do your own thing. And La Grange is great bc it is a quick hour drive to Cincinnati, and from there an easy 4 hour straight shot up to Michigan.
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:04 PM
 
Location: In the Pearl of the Purchase, Ky
8,200 posts, read 13,694,181 times
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I don't know what part of Kentucky Albert is from but I've lived in Kentucky all my life (so far!) and haven't seen a lot of that sizzling weather he mentioned. Yes we've had some scorchers, but it usually settles down in a week or sooner. Hottest I can remember is a heat index of 110 just a few years ago.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:55 AM
 
8,374 posts, read 4,655,409 times
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I have lived in Louisville and Lexington, and love them both. (I have never lived in Michigan, but have visited often through out the years, my cousins lived in Ann Arbor, and Michigan was always one of my Dad's favorite places to vacation at...especially around Holland, Mich.)

Michigan is gorgeous, and so is Kentucky. It does get hot here in the summer, but it's not the seventh ring of hell that Albert makes it out to be (hey, he has a right to his opinion though....but if I hated it here as much as he does, I would be darned if I would live here!)

Kentucky ranks bad on education, but there are a few areas of the state that drag the rest of the state down on that issue. Louisville and Lexington - or any of the golden triangle usually have decent schools (we could always use another good teacher though!!)



Lexington
The Most and Least Educated Cities in America: Men's Health.com

^Number 16 - one of top twenty most educated cities in America

The Most and Least Educated Cities in America: Men's Health.com

^Lexington is in the top twenty five most Literate cities

http://www.today.com/parents/100-bes...2#.Uw4pX4UhCDu
^ The sixth best place to raise kids.

Louisville

These 10 Cities Have The Best High Schools In Kentucky

^Louisville has four of the top ten High School's in the state, and is listed here as the city with the best High Schools.
(Notice Oldham County is also listed in top ten cities - number seven PeeWee Valley).
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