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Old 03-03-2021, 11:53 AM
 
5 posts, read 3,424 times
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Hi! I'm from San Francisco, California, and am considering making a move to South Dakota.

Everything in San Francisco is pretty much unfortunately closed by government order, and will (shamelessly!) admit I do miss the "comforts" of the world. Would anyone know of a good city or town in South Dakota that has
  1. Good "buffets" -- will admit I do have quite an appetite! Don't care what buffet is (Indian/Chinese/American/etc...) as long as it's open and operational!
  2. Gyms with nice "amenities" -- like pools, hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, etc. I've enjoyed those at the YMCA and other gym locations (which, of course, in San Francisco are all closed down!)
I work as a software engineer (programmer) and my occupation is, basically, all virtual. So, I would be one of those "work-from-home" guys.

So far I'm researching the following cities:
  1. Sioux Falls -- looks like the largest city in South Dakota
  2. Rapid City -- looks like the largest city in western South Dakota
  3. Spearfish -- online I'm always reading nice things about it!
*Edit: it would be great if the area also has things like
  • Shooting ranges -- well I'm far from a firearms expert but it would be nice to try it out! (Probably like a rental for like an hour or so)
  • Nightlife -- not necessarily college-age, but would be great if there are some bars/clubs around with a more 20-30's/40's age crowd.
  • Not too heavy on the mask regulations -- here in San Francisco, if walk around outside without a mask (or "chin-strapped" mask) the people on your path will literally go out of their way to try to walk 6-15 feet "around" you. Sometimes walking off the sidewalk into car traffic too!
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:59 PM
 
217 posts, read 85,862 times
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Bringing your $300,000 California wages to South Dakota where a similar job here pays under $95,000 will make you very unpopular and fast FYI. Also don’t come here hating on the governor on social media like so many other liberals that moved here. Just food for thought
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:54 PM
 
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I think Sioux Falls is your best bet by far, but to be honest, based on your list, I think you'll need a much bigger city to be happy. If you want to be in the general region I would suggest the suburbs of Minneapolis / St. Paul.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:20 PM
 
Location: NE SD
135 posts, read 252,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
I think you'll need a much bigger city to be happy.
jdhpa is right. SD has a similar population to San Francisco proper, but spread out over 77,000 square miles. Needless to say, the offerings are slim.

The Twin Cities area is a good recommendation. It's nice and the suburbs aren't crazy like the core cities. If I were you I'd also check out places like Omaha or Kansas City. Possibly Des Moines too.
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Old 03-04-2021, 04:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nachofries View Post
Bringing your $300,000 California wages to South Dakota where a similar job here pays under $95,000 will make you very unpopular and fast FYI. Also don’t come here hating on the governor on social media like so many other liberals that moved here. Just food for thought
But, I like your governor! I think she is great : )

Although, now that you mention it -- there is a significant influx of liberals moving there? (Or population in general?) I hear that a lot on social media mostly with regards to Texas though -- especially the big cities (Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, etc...). Also, the big Texas cities are generally liberal -- for example, the 2020 election-by-county map for Texas shows those counties as blue. However, the same map for South Dakota instead depicts the counties for major cities like Sioux Falls and Rapid City as red.

(I'm not a South Dakotan, of course, so I don't know what it's "actually" like -- hence, why I'm asking!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
I think Sioux Falls is your best bet by far, but to be honest, based on your list, I think you'll need a much bigger city to be happy. If you want to be in the general region I would suggest the suburbs of Minneapolis / St. Paul.
Well, I don't mind a small town : ) I may be coming from a big city / populous area, but I feel like I don't need a million things going on everywhere at once to be happy //

Plus -- from those folks who I've met here in San Francisco visiting from small towns (outside of California), it does seem to me like people there are a lot friendlier too...

Last edited by maz20; 03-04-2021 at 05:17 PM..
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:16 PM
 
2,296 posts, read 1,711,283 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maz20 View Post
Well, I don't mind a small town : ) I may be coming from a big city / populous area, but I feel like I don't need a million things going on everywhere at once to be happy //

Plus -- from those folks who I've met here in San Francisco visiting from small towns (outside of California), it does seem to me like people there are a lot friendlier...
I think people from small towns are friendlier

Some things I suspect you won't like, though:

- less variety: In the Bay Area you could go to a different restaurant every day and never repeat, that won't be the case in a smaller town
- island fever: If you want something that isn't available where you are, you may have to drive hours through relatively unpopulated areas to find what you need. Some people find the lack of "people around" to be unsettling, it really can feel like living on an island.
- less availability: There's probably nothing you need that you can't find somewhat locally now, in a smaller town that won't be the case. Some things just won't be there.
- less "new" technology: New products / services are generally rolled out in the largest metros first to capture market. The Bay Area is probably just about first to get everything. It can take years to expand out to smaller towns.
- less medical care: The amount of local medical care available depends directly on the local population size. What you need may not be available locally, and you have to travel a long way to get it.
- less convenient air transportation: You have 3 large airports in the Bay Area (that I know of), a smaller town may have none at all, or at best a daily connection to a hub.
- more varied weather: In the winter roads and airports can be closed, and you can't leave. In the summer it can be hot, like an oven. The Bay Area has moderate temperatures year-round, that won't be the case anywhere away from the Pacific coast.

If you're generally happy with the lifestyle (pre-covid) you have in the Bay Area, IMO it's unlikely you'll be happy with the lifestyle of a smaller town. It's just very different, and if you like one you probably won't like the other much. If you want to try it in SD, I suggest Sioux Falls. It isn't a small town by any stretch of the imagination, and will have the fewest differences I mentioned above, but it's a lot smaller than the Bay Area. You'll definitely notice the difference. If you find it in any way limiting there, there's nowhere in SD that will be more to your liking.

Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:37 PM
 
5 posts, read 3,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
I think people from small towns are friendlier

Some things I suspect you won't like, though:

- less variety: In the Bay Area you could go to a different restaurant every day and never repeat, that won't be the case in a smaller town
- island fever: If you want something that isn't available where you are, you may have to drive hours through relatively unpopulated areas to find what you need. Some people find the lack of "people around" to be unsettling, it really can feel like living on an island.
- less availability: There's probably nothing you need that you can't find somewhat locally now, in a smaller town that won't be the case. Some things just won't be there.
- less "new" technology: New products / services are generally rolled out in the largest metros first to capture market. The Bay Area is probably just about first to get everything. It can take years to expand out to smaller towns.
- less medical care: The amount of local medical care available depends directly on the local population size. What you need may not be available locally, and you have to travel a long way to get it.
- less convenient air transportation: You have 3 large airports in the Bay Area (that I know of), a smaller town may have none at all, or at best a daily connection to a hub.
- more varied weather: In the winter roads and airports can be closed, and you can't leave. In the summer it can be hot, like an oven. The Bay Area has moderate temperatures year-round, that won't be the case anywhere away from the Pacific coast.

If you're generally happy with the lifestyle (pre-covid) you have in the Bay Area, IMO it's unlikely you'll be happy with the lifestyle of a smaller town. It's just very different, and if you like one you probably won't like the other much. If you want to try it in SD, I suggest Sioux Falls. It isn't a small town by any stretch of the imagination, and will have the fewest differences I mentioned above, but it's a lot smaller than the Bay Area. You'll definitely notice the difference. If you find it in any way limiting there, there's nowhere in SD that will be more to your liking.

Good luck!
Wow, nice review! Thank you! : )

By the way, I think I may have misspoken when I said "small town" -- by San Francisco / Bay Area standards, I would call Rapid City or Sioux Falls a "small town". But, now that I think about it, by South Dakota standards, those places are probably not "small" !

The only other city I mentioned in my OP -- besides Sioux Falls and Rapid City -- was Spearfish, although I imagine that would classify "small town" according to South Dakota standards too. Based on what I read online it seems like a very desirable place in South Dakota (I've read lots of glowing positive reviews about it), but sounds like it will come with all the points you mentioned above as well!

Also -- regarding "island fever" -- does that apply to things one would order online too? While I often hear about that with regards to Hawaii (since shipping means crossing an ocean!), I'd imagine at least outside of winter (when road quality is better!) that in South Dakota it should be a lot better...

Last edited by maz20; 03-04-2021 at 06:21 PM..
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:10 PM
 
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A lot less one day shipping than in the Bay Area.

But island fever refers to having to travel hours to reach another population center. On a real island it's because you're surrounded by water, in the western plains it's because you're surrounded by largely unpopulated land. Imagine if outside of the SF city boundary you had to go 50 miles to reach the next town of 2000 people.
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Old 03-04-2021, 08:09 PM
 
88 posts, read 180,582 times
Reputation: 225
You would do fine in Sioux Falls. It's fairly urban. Mask mandate but not really enforced. Can shoot guns at many ranges in the area. Plenty of nightlife for the over 30 crowd. Bakeries and nice restaurants galore. Who cares if you make $300,000 a year. There's whole neighborhoods where you wouldn't even be noticed. Winter does suck but frankly it is getting milder.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:51 AM
 
Location: MSP
512 posts, read 1,160,401 times
Reputation: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by maz20 View Post
But, I like your governor! I think she is great : )

Although, now that you mention it -- there is a significant influx of liberals moving there? (Or population in general?) I hear that a lot on social media mostly with regards to Texas though -- especially the big cities (Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, etc...). Also, the big Texas cities are generally liberal -- for example, the 2020 election-by-county map for Texas shows those counties as blue. However, the same map for South Dakota instead depicts the counties for major cities like Sioux Falls and Rapid City as red.

(I'm not a South Dakotan, of course, so I don't know what it's "actually" like -- hence, why I'm asking!)



Well, I don't mind a small town : ) I may be coming from a big city / populous area, but I feel like I don't need a million things going on everywhere at once to be happy //

Plus -- from those folks who I've met here in San Francisco visiting from small towns (outside of California), it does seem to me like people there are a lot friendlier too...
I very highly recommended that you visit the small towns and spend some time there before committing to living there. Rapid City and the Black Hills area is very lovely and I really enjoy visiting. Sioux Falls is nice too, but both places are too small for me and I’m not a big city person either. Check them out though. The Twin Cities are nice. More city amenities and still a smaller city, hometown feel and your closer to the natural amenities of northern MN. Check it out too, although the housing market is insane in the metro right now.
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