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Old 08-15-2008, 04:07 PM
 
101 posts, read 417,662 times
Reputation: 123

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From a distance (across the country), Altoona looks like a great place to live. Cheap housing, super low crime, good schools....

am I missing something? I'm getting my information from Sperling's Best, Realtor.com, and the Altoona City website.

Is Altoona actually the great little small town it appears to be?
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:23 AM
 
48 posts, read 168,698 times
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If you search the Pennsylvania forum, you will see that Altoona has been getting a bad rap lately, but I think that Altoona is a very nice and welcoming city. I wouldn't exactly call it a little small town though, 125,000 people live in the Altoona Metro. The school system seems pretty good, and the hospitals are quite good. Altoona has a very nice shopping area to the south of the city where just about everything can be found. There are also 2 amusement parks, a minor league baseball team (Altoona Curve) and many other things in the city.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:54 AM
 
1,932 posts, read 4,456,258 times
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Default I concur..

Altoona overall is a very nice city. All cities have some problems and some problem spots, not just Altoona. I believe the good outweigh the bad. Besides The Altoona Curve minor league baseball team and Lakemont Park & Island Waterpark, it also is home to a branch campus of Penn State - Penn State Altoona - and has the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum and the Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark (http://www.railroadcity.com/hc/index.php - broken link). There's lots to see and do and it can be a wonderful place to live and raise a family.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:20 PM
 
101 posts, read 417,662 times
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Thanks for the responses! We're from the L.A. metro area, and now live in Boise, Idaho which at 200,000 people feels small town to us, lol. I notice that according to Sperlings, the crime rate for Altoona and Boise scores the same. And Boise feels very safe to me (but maybe that's just because I'm used to living where police helicopters fly overhead telling residents not to come out or go near their doors and windows until the suspect their chasing has been apprehended??)

Anyway, I sure appreciate your feedback, thanks!
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:06 PM
 
520 posts, read 2,354,404 times
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certain parts of altoona are not that safe and have some gang activity. stay away from the government housing areas. Hollidaysburg and Duncansville are nice small towns only a few miles from altoona that are nice and very safe.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,306 posts, read 1,603,108 times
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I am from Altoona and am so glad I left. There isn't much to do and the "main part" of Altoona is being run down by people coming from the big cities, collecting free money, and selling drugs. (Especially 6th ave) I graduated from Altoona as well. It wasn't all that bad when I went and I received a decent education.
Personally I think Hollidaysburg is nicer and if you want a more rural, small town fit you could try Bellwood...each is about 15 minutes from Altoona.
If we ever move back to the area, we will move to State College...State College still has somewhat affordable housing, growth, the University (Penn State) and all that includes (museums, creamery, the Bryce Jordan Center, all sports), and beauty.
Good luck in whatever you do. Oh, and I recommend you stay away from Juniata as well (little sub section of Altoona) we lived there and my parents moved as they saw the downturn.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:23 AM
 
36 posts, read 153,163 times
Reputation: 19
Our son attended Penn State Altoona and lived on campus in that town for two years before transferring to State College. To be honest, I'm very happy that he's not there anymore. The in-town area is depressed-from what my son says-alot of drug addicts, poverty, ect. Take time and investigate before you make any commitments. You'll be glad you did. Good luck to you!!
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