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Old 09-20-2011, 12:27 PM
13,710 posts, read 9,011,400 times
Reputation: 9835


It really sounds like SF is the place for you.

But here's a rundown of other places you mentioned:

Santa Rosa, San Rafael, Napa, Novata - the Marin county is mostly for families. It does have their share of singles but I've always consider them to be bedroom communities. Santa Rosa is too isolated imo.

Santa Cruz / Monterey / Salinas - I love the surf/dive/boat culture there. If you loves the ocean I think you'll like this area but if you don't, you may get tired of it quickly. SC has the college town vibe. Note that they're a bit tucked away and traveling thru highway 17 can be a hassle. Personally, I'd rather live in SJ and travel to SC on the weekends but that's just me. SJ is about 40 mins from SC and it's more connected to the rest of the bay area.

San Jose - SJ is a big place, housing can be cheap or it can be very expensive depending on location. I think its nightlife is underrated. People work very hard in the Silicon Valley, 60+ hrs per week are not uncommon. A pharmacist doesn't have to worry about overtime but your SJ friends may occasionally have to work thru the weekends and can't hang out with you.

Sacramento - Sac Town is nice, it basically has no connection to the Bay and functions as its own universe. Most people also don't realize how huge Sac is, especially when talking about the county. Sac has almost everything that the Bay Area has just by virtue of its sheer size but it's very spread out, so a car is a necessity. It's very hot in the summer but you'll get used to it quickly and maybe even enjoy it. Housing is cheap. Many residents are government workers. You'll notice that Sacramentans have a knack for expensive toys (boats, jet skis, motorcycles, dirt bikes, snowboards, etc) because they can afford them with a monthly mortgage of $1,000. I think Sac has a nice balance of nite life/outdoor activites - wake boarding, snowboarding, dirt biking are popular and the venue close by. The people tends to lean conservative, unlike the Bay Area.
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:27 AM
Location: Michigan
6 posts, read 21,087 times
Reputation: 11
Everyone, thank you so much for all of your input. This information is very helpful! I have a much better idea now of how to narrow my search.

jade408: Thank you so much for the tip to look into Pharmaca. It looks pretty much like a place I've dreamed I could work as a pharmacist. I'll definitely be applying!

I actually got an e-mail last night from my company to set up an interview for sometime next week! So exciting! I need to let them know my top three areas by tomorrow, so again I thank you for your help!

Oh, to answer a few of the questions from the posts - I prefer warm/hot and dry as far as weather goes, but I can style my hair curly and that helps me adapt just fine to foggy and misty. I'm not interested in a sleepy suburb, so I think I now know some areas that are not for me. When it comes to rent, yes, I'll probably be able to spend more than $1,000/mo. I'll just be moving out there with so much debt from school. I'm hoping to shift my finances toward my savings instead of continuing to spend.

Have a lovely day!
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:16 AM
Location: Mt Shasta, california
26 posts, read 90,972 times
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If you move to Sac do not think it is going to be like SF...Sf people are extremely friendly and accepting of all different kinds of people. Sacramento can be clickish and not even close to being as friendly as bay area towns/cities.
Yes you can see some plays but if you want plays like on Broadway back in NY than SF is the place to be!
Plus nothing in sac come close to ACT plays.
I had season tickets to SAC and ACT plays and ACT always were extremely enjoyable....
Now positive things about SAc is it is cheaper...you can get to Tahoe in less than 2 hours...but if you like ocean it will take about 3or 4 hours ...where if you choose like Napa it is only hour away and Tahoe is 3 hours...so guess it depends on what kind of life you want..
If you are just average joe than Sac being cheaper might be for you. If you are different in any way and would like to be accepted hands down as being just normal than SF bay area ...plus the art/music is just superior. Berkeley is great place to live...Marin, Santa Rosa, Napa and I love Monterey and Santa Cruz areas...in fact i might move down there myself from my remote location of Mt Shasta!
The aquarium is excellent as is Carmel period....just depends if want to travel to mountains or not.
Good luck on your move....but follow your dreams ...SF is expensive as is Napa but it is not as expensive as it was 5 years ago...good luck...
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:25 AM
4,285 posts, read 6,062,439 times
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Honestly, if you like the vibe of SF, I'd highly recommend trying out the city for a few years. I lived in SF for 4 years when I was single and loved it. Eventually, you want to move out and start a family, but at least you can say that you tried it. San Jose can be pretty nice if you want to have somewhat of a city vibe, but more laid back and quiet than SF. San Rafael is a nice suburb in Marin county, but the transportation to SF is not that great.

Other than that, I wouldn't recommend any of the others. I'm not that impressed with Novato and Napa is a great place to visit or retire, but seems a little slow. The same goes for Monterey where it seems to be mostly older people. I've lived in Salinas before and would definitely not recommend it. There are unsafe areas, but the town itself has a social life that revolves around church and agriculture. Not a great place for an educated person.

Santa Rosa just seems to be more removed as well. There are great wineries nearby, but you can't do that all the time.

Sacramento seems just ok as a city, but can't really compare to the Bay Area.

My 2 cents.
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Old 10-02-2011, 01:06 AM
3,634 posts, read 6,031,662 times
Reputation: 11375
Originally Posted by jaijai View Post
I really don't like Sacramento.
I know that there are nice areas but it's in the central valley, it's hot, hot, hot in the summer and the air quality is terrible and, if you appreciate beauty (natural and otherwise) ... well, you won't find it there (subjective i realize).
I cut most of this post but I agree with it pretty much. Last year I moved from Davis (near Sacramento) where I worked at the UC for several years to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. I lived in San Francisco for 18 years before moving to Davis and I just don't like the Sacramento area for the above reasons. The heat in the summer is pretty tiresome - kids in my neighborhood were rarely outside during the day unless it was in a pool, and I actually had a little bit of respiratory problems from the bad air there that I never had anywhere else I've lived. It takes a couple hours (give or take) to get to the ocean or mountains. I think the saying is "Sacramento - two hours from everything in the middle of nowhere." The Midtown area is cute, hip, and happening, but there are a LOT of crappy parts of town and the rapid decline in housing prices has left a lot of neighborhoods with many foreclosures and areas getting seedy.

Since I semi-retired I wanted to move someplace with beaches and mountains, but relatively inexpensive, so I ended up where I am now and love it. But when I was younger and didn't care so much about spending a lot on housing to live in the middle of a fantastic city, San Francisco was an amazing place to be. I'm glad I lived there, and while I'll never move back, I do plan to vacation there at least once a year and visit old friends. If you like the city and can afford it, it's worth experiencing, even if just for a little while.

Jaijai's other suggestions, like Monterey and Santa Cruz, are good, too.
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