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Old 03-10-2011, 02:11 PM
 
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If you could move to either one, and job, cost of living, housing were not an issue, which one would you choose?

Thanks for all your thoughts.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
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Depends on what you're looking for.

Salem is a much bigger city and is more diverse than Grants Pass and has more to offer in cultural activities, especially since Portland is easily accessible in about 45 minutes. However, Salem doesn't have the breathtaking mountains and utterly pristine rivers and lush forests that Grants Pass/Josephine County has.

If you want a quaint small town that is very isolated and in one of the single most beautiful locations in the USA, then Grants Pass would be a great choice. If you would prefer a larger town with more cultural and other amenities, and with a proximity to a major city, and less offerings in the way of natural beauty (Salem is in the middle of the Willamette Valley farmlands and is flat, flat, flat), then Salem would probably be for you.

If you need frequent access to good healthcare facilities, I'd choose Salem. There are long waits for specialists in Southern Oregon. Endocrinologists, pain management specialists, urologists, and so on may require you schedule months in advance.

Are schools an issue? There are okay and great schools in both Salem and Grants Pass areas.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:22 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
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The travel radius for the two leaves little comparison. Salem is close to Portland and dozens of other interesting places. Grants Pass is close to Medford and not much else. That favors Salem. For just the cities themselves, the choice is a bit more difficult for me. I don't care much for Salem, I think it's rather bland and there are far better choices in that part of the valley. Grants Pass is perpetually "up and coming" (people have been saying that about it as long as I've lived in Oregon -- over two decades). But it still has a ways to go, IMO. I'll say this, though. There are a lot of people who live in Grants Pass who wouldn't live anywhere else in Oregon. Most people in Salem don't have that kind of allegiance to where they live.

All in all, it's a bit of an odd comparison. If you're a Salem-type of person you probably wouldn't be comfortable in Grants Pass and vice-versa.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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Can you describe Salem-type vs Grants Pass type?

I thought there are tons of places to go around Grants Pass: Oregon/California cost, Redwoods, Crater Lake, Mount Shasta, Mount Ashland..

I guess Salem has easier access to Bend and eastern Oregon.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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It's an odd comparison because Grants Pass is a city of 35,000 compared to Salem's 150,000. People who live in Grants Pass want smaller city life and it is an outdoor mecca. I tend to think of Grants Pass as "mountain town" kind of living. People who love hunting, fishing, being nestled in the hills, smaller city life.

Salem is much more typical suburbia in culture and structure.

Honestly, I don't understand how you came up with those two cities. What are your criteria for finding a place to live?
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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I have never been to Oregon and I have potential job offers from both Salem and GP. Jobs are very similar (healthcare), so it comes down which place I would like more. So far it seems like GP would be perfect, although I can not completely rule out Salem. They seem both like a nice places to live..
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltwater View Post
I have never been to Oregon and I have potential job offers from both Salem and GP. Jobs are very similar (healthcare), so it comes down which place I would like more. So far it seems like GP would be perfect, although I can not completely rule out Salem. They seem both like a nice places to live..

Well what would be your ideal place to live? We can tell you which one is closer to that. Maybe it will help to narrow your choice down.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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I think the key factors is the job and they both fit the bill.

Then mild weather with winter temps above 30F. Rain is ok, as much there are sunny spells to brake the gloom. (I used to live in England and suprisingly loved the rainy weather). Love the greenery, outdoors, mountains, coast, hiking, camping and all that good stuff. Big cities are ok to visit not to live in them permanently. I don't care about malls, in fact right now I live next to huge "walking mall" in VA and I have only been there twice in 8 months. Corner coffe house would be nice. My wife is into organic products, home cooking, she is a big fun of fresh produce (farmers markets). We are both eco friendly types, we care a lot about the enviroment. If I had to live in a "big city" would choose walkable/bike friendly town ie Portland/Eugene with tons of green spaces. What else? Decent schools, safe, kid friendly community.

People keep repeating that Southern Oregon/GP has the "redneck vibes", with all the monster truck shows, hunting, muddy pick up trucks, maybe little meth houses sprinkled here and there
Not sure if this a real issue or not. I have lived in Southern Arizona (Tucson) and I was not really bothered by it.

Thanks for taking ur time to respond
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:24 PM
 
Location: the Beaver State
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The redneck vibe in Southern Oregon is nowhere near as bad as the Redneck Vibe in Eastern Oregon. (In my opinion,) compared to my (admittedly limited experience) with rednecks in Arizona, I think it's comparatively low key.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltwater View Post
I think the key factors is the job and they both fit the bill.

Then mild weather with winter temps above 30F. Rain is ok, as much there are sunny spells to brake the gloom. (I used to live in England and suprisingly loved the rainy weather). Love the greenery, outdoors, mountains, coast, hiking, camping and all that good stuff. Big cities are ok to visit not to live in them permanently. I don't care about malls, in fact right now I live next to huge "walking mall" in VA and I have only been there twice in 8 months. Corner coffe house would be nice. My wife is into organic products, home cooking, she is a big fun of fresh produce (farmers markets). We are both eco friendly types, we care a lot about the enviroment. If I had to live in a "big city" would choose walkable/bike friendly town ie Portland/Eugene with tons of green spaces. What else? Decent schools, safe, kid friendly community.

People keep repeating that Southern Oregon/GP has the "redneck vibes", with all the monster truck shows, hunting, muddy pick up trucks, maybe little meth houses sprinkled here and there
Not sure if this a real issue or not. I have lived in Southern Arizona (Tucson) and I was not really bothered by it.

Thanks for taking ur time to respond
Southern Oregon really is pretty moderate, in my opinion. At least in the city limits. There are some real wackos when you start to get more outside the city itself. Grants Pass is almost like a microcosm of a larger city in that the leafy, historic neighborhoods and downtown areas are somewhat liberal, then you have the more conservative areas outlying.

Anyway, drivers in Grants Pass are NOT very bike or pedestrian friendly. Luckily, the speed limit in most residential neighborhoods is 25, the streets are wide with lots of bike paths, and not a lot of traffic. If you live on the north side (of the Rogue River) then it's VERY bikeable.

My mom has told me that a lot of businesses downtown have been closing their doors because of the economy, but when I was living there the year before last there were 5 coffeehouses downtown, including an organic coffee roasting place, two metaphysical bookstores (and I think another hiding out in a neighboring residential area), several hip restaurants with vegan/gluten-free/organic options, several theatre companies, a fair trade gift store, the largest farmer's market in Southern Oregon where you can get plenty of organic produce, two health food stores, a natural/organic supermarket (Gooseberries--it's great), and two Ray's supermarkets and a Fred Meyer that all have a great selection of natural and organic foods and produce.

So the liberal, eco-friendly community is definitely there, but you do have to search it out. If you can co-exist with the rednecks who live there also then you'll be fine.

As for schools, Grants Pass High School is a pretty decent school, as are many of the elementary schools in the Grants Pass School District #7. The middle schools are only so-so.

Grants Pass IS an outdoorsy person's paradise, however. Plenty of hiking and fishing and camping and so on. Also the redwoods and the coast are only 1 1/2 hours away. Beautiful, beautiful place. Not to say Grants Pass doesn't have its issues, because the description I've given is a little one-sided. But it is a great little town. Do a flickr image search for 'Grants Pass' and take a look.
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