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Where to live?

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I am hoping to relocate soon and would appreciate any advice. I live in the Washington DC area and would love to get out because of the high cost of housing, horrific traffic and the generally up tight atmosphere. (Things I do like about this area are cultural opportunities, diversity and living near the coast.)
I would probably rather not go as far as the west coast. I would consider the northeastern states but not too far north since I do not want to deal with super cold winters. I am mostly looking at the south, as far west as Texas. I am thinking of a mid-sized city--no smaller than about 80,000. I kayak and would love to find somewhere with outdoor activity options. I am a single woman in my 40s and would love to live somewhere that (like DC) has other single people and dating options. (Small southern towns filled with families with children are probably not right for me, and I am also not looking for a place filled with retirees.) Places I am considering so far are Virginia Beach, Wilmington (NC), Asheville and Austin.
I work in healthcare, in a profession that is in demand throughout the US, so I am not too worried about finding a job.
Any thoughts from anyone would be appreciated.

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