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Old 05-13-2013, 09:46 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,690 times
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Hello,

I am originally from a very small town in Northern New England. In the last few years I have been living in Florida (yuck), and sorely miss the mountains and forests and cold air of the north. I am currently deciding between relocating back to New England, or to Washington, specifically because a couple of my friends have been living there for a while now and the climate attracts me. While both areas are beautiful IMO I am interested in perhaps experiencing something new and being close to the dramatic views of the Cascades.

What I am wondering though, is if there are small, isolated towns that are located near or at least within view of the Cascades? My friends live in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Seattle is a great town and I enjoy it, gorgeous views, however, I am simply not a city person. I prefer the wilderness, and a lot of it. I am very outdoorsy. I do not particularly want neighbors directly next to me and want to be able to step out my back door and straight into the woods. A home that is not on a main road is a plus. So, I am looking for communities where isolation is the key, geographically and population-wise. I am looking for communities that have less than 10,000, and they can be as low as 500 for all I care (my town had 600 -1000 depending upon season). I do prefer for whatever community I am in to be not too much farther than 30 mins from a town where I would be able to run errands (ie Walmart, groceries, other supplies and shopping). The community I actually live in can have these things possibly, but, again, that is less important than being away from population density. A town close to those things but not too close is more desirable.

So, are there communities like this in Washington that are near the mountains? If so, can anyone give me some names of communities to start researching? I have only seen the densely populated area around Seattle, which was not for me, so unfortunately I have not had time to explore, and it will be some time before I would be able to travel again. Looking to do some homework in the meantime. As a reference for anyone who has been, I am from the Vermont-New Hampshire area, so, very small, quaint towns. Quiet. Any advice anybody has is very welcomed, thanks!
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:29 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
29,221 posts, read 48,677,940 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squall183 View Post
Hello,

I am originally from a very small town in Northern New England.

... small, isolated towns that are located near or at least within view of the Cascades? My friends live in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Seattle is a great town and I enjoy it, gorgeous views, however, I am simply not a city person. I prefer the wilderness, and a lot of it. I am very outdoorsy. I do not particularly want neighbors directly next to me and want to be able to step out my back door and straight into the woods. A home that is not on a main road is a plus. So, I am looking for communities where isolation is the key, geographically and population-wise. ... too much farther than 30 mins from a town where I would be able to run errands (ie Walmart, groceries, other supplies and shopping). ...!
Plenty of places for you in WA, BUT it is socially MUCH different than New England (be prepared).
You day small town, but you mention no neighbors. so... Do you want a rural house, or a SMALL town? (either are possible)., but MANY more choices if you can live rural. (few minutes from Neighbors.) Much is quite accessible (from paved road) MUCH different that when I lived in Colorado and you needed 4x4 to get up your 5 mile long driveway (in dry weather).

You want to be close to Schools?
Jobs,
Healthcare?
Skiing,
Water (beach or lake)
How much do you want to spend?
Renting or owning?
Need acreage (for animals?)
Gardener?
Artist?

We MUST know your climate desires. We_t Side or Dry Side. Winters / (elevation dependent) is very different. We_tside can have LOTS of very wet snow, as well as LOTS of rain to wash snow away (usually with in a couple days). Sometimes I will have 1-2 ft of snow, and just 3 houses down the road (less than a mile in distance and only 300 Ft Elevation, will only have rain.) ON DRY side of Cascades, it can be powdery snow and COLD wind. It might stay for a week (or all winter). Vegitation is also quite different. Lots of undergrowth / bushes / berries on We_tside, and more arid on east side (often Pine vs, Fir Trees).

These differing climates may only be 30 min apart.

I live in a National Scenic Area in South WA (in Columbia River Gorge). I have very few neighbors, and NO MORE allowed. + I am <10 minutes from a full service town and chain grocery (~ 15,000) and 20 minutes from international airport (PDX)

I would look in Wenatchee / Cashmere area, Colville, Winthrop (fairly remote and expensive), or White Salmon if you like dry. (and many more places)
Zillion places if you like we_t side.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:53 AM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 9,586,272 times
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I live in a very small community in Lewis County. My "town" has a post office and that's about it and the closest store to me of any kind is twelve miles from home.

But......Chehalis/Centralia is 25-30 miles away and everything I need is pretty much right there - there is a WalMart (not a favorite of mine), a K-Mart, movie theater, a couple of Safeways, as well as a Grocery Outlet and Shop-N-Kart, Home Depot, a number of fast food restaurants, as well as some other "fancier" restaurants, such as Applebees, and a few decent Mexican and Chinese restaurants.

What I like is that I when I make my once a week trip into "town," I can start in Chehalis and make the loop through Centralia and pretty much find whatever I need. I do make a once a month trip to Longview to go to the best grocery store ever (Winco) - there is one in Olympia/Lacy as well.

The ocean beaches are an easy day trip; I have Mt. St. Helens practically in my front yard and Mt. Rainer in my back yard.

I think I have the best of all worlds - my home is rural and secluded but I have all the services and stores I need 45 minutes away; there are a couple of small towns with limited store options that are closer (12-13 miles from my home) that I can go to if I just need a few things (too expensive to do all my shopping there, though). Occasionally, I have to drive into Olympia (about 25 miles from Centralia) for some reason or another; Seattle is, I think, about 80 miles from Centralia.

I think the population of Chehalis/Centralia combined is around 25,000; the total population for Lewis County is around 76,000.

There are a number of communities similar to the one I live in (most a little bigger, with at least a store) in this area.

Anyway, good luck in your search; if there's anything more you'd like to know about this part of the state, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Last edited by Cinebar; 05-14-2013 at 02:01 AM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:59 PM
 
Location: A little corner of paradise
689 posts, read 1,384,272 times
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I am far from an expert. My husband moved up to WA about 6 weeks ago, and I will be joining him in a couple of weeks. Our criteria was very similar to yours. We found a place on the western border of Monroe. Its a rental on a ranch, has a 1/4 mile driveway back to the house, and backs up to state forest. Not much mountain view, but a walk in the woods is right out the back door. It takes my husband about 45 minutes to get to Bellevue, and 20 min to get to Bothell. It takes almost 10 minutes just to get to the town of Monroe. There seems to be an "eww" attitude toward Monroe, but where we are is rural and beautiful, and my husband LOVES it
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 9,586,272 times
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There are also some nice (small) communities within a fairly easy commute of Olympia (Yelm, Tenino, Rainier) but that are also very rural and have some terrific views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascades.

There are also some others that are a little farther out (Eatonville, Ashford) that I THINK are pretty easy to get to from Tacoma (I've only been out that way a couple of times - coming home from Seattle/Tacoma a couple of times, we came off at Puallyup and took the long way home through that area - Highway 7, I think?).

Anyway, there are lots of small communities in this state that I think would meet the poster's criteria - we've barely scratched the surface.

Last edited by Cinebar; 05-14-2013 at 03:17 PM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:01 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,942 posts, read 9,586,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaRed View Post
I am far from an expert. My husband moved up to WA about 6 weeks ago, and I will be joining him in a couple of weeks. Our criteria was very similar to yours. We found a place on the western border of Monroe. Its a rental on a ranch, has a 1/4 mile driveway back to the house, and backs up to state forest. Not much mountain view, but a walk in the woods is right out the back door. It takes my husband about 45 minutes to get to Bellevue, and 20 min to get to Bothell. It takes almost 10 minutes just to get to the town of Monroe. There seems to be an "eww" attitude toward Monroe, but where we are is rural and beautiful, and my husband LOVES it
Oh! And welcome to the state to you and your husband, MamaRed!

I hope you guys will be very happy here. I, myself, am a very loyal Washingtonian and I can't imagine living anywhere else (although I've thought about it a few times - usually in the middle of winter when I've had my fill of grey days and rain and mud - and even then, my goal was to try to move to the "east side" of the state, where there is way less rain).

Again.....welcome!
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:27 PM
 
4 posts, read 10,690 times
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"
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Plenty of places for you in WA, BUT it is socially MUCH different than New England (be prepared)."
I don't want to ask too much of a loaded question here, but can you elaborate? I am a pretty open-minded person, from what I experienced while in Washington I did not feel particularly out of place amongst the locals. The two friends of mine who are out there currently are both former New England transplants, and they love it.

Last edited by Count David; 05-14-2013 at 10:56 PM..
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:30 PM
 
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Also want to say thanks to everyone who replied, you definitely helped out. There are definitely some options you guys listed that sound like they meet my criteria, so I appreciate all the input. I am glad to hear there are so many options, I figured there would be, but you never know. I will definitely be checking out some of the above mentioned places, so thanks a bunch!
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:45 PM
 
7,758 posts, read 14,787,201 times
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Check into Anacortes, which has the whole oceanfront scenery going on and is not too far off a drive from the mountains.

If you want to live away from the water and closer to the mountains: Arlington, Mt. Vernon, Burlington. Arlington and Mt. Vernon are close to Bellingham which is a small city (but the "big" one around there) and it'll have everything you need. Arlington isn't too far from Marysville which will have all the basics you need.
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Old 05-15-2013, 01:47 AM
 
Location: A little corner of paradise
689 posts, read 1,384,272 times
Reputation: 1239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinebar View Post
Oh! And welcome to the state to you and your husband, MamaRed!

I hope you guys will be very happy here. I, myself, am a very loyal Washingtonian and I can't imagine living anywhere else (although I've thought about it a few times - usually in the middle of winter when I've had my fill of grey days and rain and mud - and even then, my goal was to try to move to the "east side" of the state, where there is way less rain).

Again.....welcome!
Thanks so much, Cinebar! I was supposed to join him mid-June, but now I'm really pushing for Memorial Day weekend. I'm a little worried about the "gloomy" winters, but I'm really hoping my lifetime of desert summers has prepared me for "extreme" weather. (We're creeping up on 110 already) I'm so excited to get to be outside in the summer!!!
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