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Old 01-12-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
8,214 posts, read 16,700,075 times
Reputation: 9463

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Hello,

I am a California native living in beautiful Colorado currently. But unfortunately I miss the coast too much to stay here for good. So I am looking to move back to the West Coast, either Portland (suburb) or N. Cal. I need to have reasonable access to 'both' the coast and mtns -within a few hours either way.

So I wanted to get your suggestions for decent central towns. My wife is tired of big cities, so SF and SJ are out. I was thinking of places like Livermore, Stockton, etc... But from other threads here I hear Stockton is a high crime area with some not so appealing 'valley' smog, heat etc... Some even referred to it as an armpit. We have visited Modesto and didn't really like it. Morgan Hill looks good for close proximity to the coast. But it seems pretty far (3.5+ hours) to the Sierras, Yosemite, etc...

I grew up at the beach in S. Cal. and don't want to live there again - overpriced, overcrouded and too dry.

Any N. Cal. suggestions for a mtn. and coast lover would be appreciated.

Thanks,

- Derek
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:39 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 29,154,335 times
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San Mateo. Drive west on 92, and you get the Santa Cruz Mountains, and then the ocean at Half Moon Bay. Hard to beat that!
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:06 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
1,482 posts, read 5,174,271 times
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In comparison the Santa Cruz Mountains are just foothills compared to the Sierras though. Still beautiful but lacking all the cold weather activities.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:21 AM
 
15,639 posts, read 26,259,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Hello,

I am a California native living in beautiful Colorado currently. But unfortunately I miss the coast too much to stay here for good. So I am looking to move back to the West Coast, either Portland (suburb) or N. Cal. I need to have reasonable access to 'both' the coast and mtns -within a few hours either way.

So I wanted to get your suggestions for decent central towns. My wife is tired of big cities, so SF and SJ are out. I was thinking of places like Livermore, Stockton, etc... But from other threads here I hear Stockton is a high crime area with some not so appealing 'valley' smog, heat etc... Some even referred to it as an armpit. We have visited Modesto and didn't really like it. Morgan Hill looks good for close proximity to the coast. But it seems pretty far (3.5+ hours) to the Sierras, Yosemite, etc...

I grew up at the beach in S. Cal. and don't want to live there again - overpriced, overcrouded and too dry.

Any N. Cal. suggestions for a mtn. and coast lover would be appreciated.

Thanks,

- Derek
Look in Gold country -- Auburn, Galt, Grass Valley... we went up to a town called Paradise a year or so ago and it was gorgeous.....
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
8,214 posts, read 16,700,075 times
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I agree with ImRandy about Santa Cruz Mtns which I am very familiar with. My wife is from SJ and we were married the the Santa Cruz Mtns.

But these are not the kind of 'mountains' I am referring to. That is why I specifically mentioned Yosemite and the High Sierras in my original post.

There is a big difference if you enjoy visiting the Sierras.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
8,214 posts, read 16,700,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
Look in Gold country -- Auburn, Galt, Grass Valley... we went up to a town called Paradise a year or so ago and it was gorgeous.....
I actually went to a friend's wedding up in Grass Valley and thought it was a beautiful area. The reception was on a ranch and there were a lot of rolling hills and open spaces. Thanks for the suggestion.

I'll take a look at distances to coast and mtns. on a map. I think our friends up there go to Tahoe for closest Mtn. Access.

- Derek
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:16 PM
 
Location: In the Redwoods
30,358 posts, read 51,942,966 times
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Yes, Stockton is an "armpit" - trust me, I lived there for 3 years while attending UOP, and got out the SECOND I graduated! I've only driven through Grass Valley, but agree it seems like a nice place... you might also look into Chico, or the foothills above Sacramento (Auburn and thereabouts). Or if you want to be really far north, Arcata/Eureka is a very nice area on the coast.
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,722 posts, read 14,724,505 times
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Check out Tracy, Manteca or Lathrop in the central valley. Also check out Los Banos. These are small towns and thanks to foreclosures, houses are going "cheap". I have seen signs in the area by developers announcing auctions of brand new houses they can't move.

Last edited by humboldtrat; 01-12-2008 at 05:38 PM.. Reason: new thoughts
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
8,214 posts, read 16,700,075 times
Reputation: 9463
Thanks for confirming my previous research on Stockton Gizmo.

How about eastern bay suburbs such Livermore or Brentwood? They seem to be about an hour from the coast and 2-3 to Yosemite and the Sierras. Is it as hot and smoggy there as Modesto, Stockton or Sac.?

Although the Arcata/Eureka areas is nice, it is too far from the Sierras for me. Plus the ecomony isn't what I would think of as thriving especially for my line of work which is software engineering.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:39 PM
 
Location: In the Redwoods
30,358 posts, read 51,942,966 times
Reputation: 23776
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Thanks for confirming my previous research on Stockton Gizmo.

How about eastern bay suburbs such Livermore or Brentwood? They seem to be about an hour from the coast and 2-3 to Yosemite and the Sierras. Is it as hot and smoggy there as Modesto, Stockton or Sac.?
They're not as hot as Stockton/Sac area, but definitely warmer than the coastal & foothill towns. Livermore is okay, but not personally where I'd choose to live, and I don't really know about Brentwood. Have you considered the foothills northeast of Stockton, like Jackson & Sutter Creek? That's a gorgeous area with some very cute towns, though it's a bit isolated & full of retired people... not sure how old you are or if you mind being isolated, so those could be either negative or positive qualities. You can also get to Tahoe pretty easily from there, using highway 88, so that's always a bonus! Also look around Sonora county, which is really nice according to some people I know up there. Btw, I lived in South Lake Tahoe for a few years, and really loved it, so you might also try there - or just down the mountain in/near Placerville.
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