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Loving Where You Live

Old Sep 30th, 2007, 06:01 AM
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Posts: 69
Loving Where You Live

My husband and I have to decide where we want to live next (and probably permanently). Because the last two places were determined for us, we really want to get this right. Please help us decide by telling us why you love where you live.

We are both from Michigan and HUGE water-lovers, so big lakes or coastline are a must. Also, we're both active, so the more outdoor activities, the better!

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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 06:08 AM
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That is really a very personal decision, but for me I love the New Jersey Shore. Having the ocean at the end of my block and being not far from a major airport and NYC makes it ideal.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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Maybe it would help if you explained why you didn't want to live in michigan
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 09:17 AM
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Wel, I love living in Seattle. The entire Pacific Northwest is a very beautiful region, lots of coastline and lakes, plenty of outdoor activities.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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Actually, we love Michigan, and very well may go back. But we want to explore other options, and I think finding out what people love about where they live is a great way.

Incidentally, I think that the northern lower pen. of Michigan is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I am a midwesterner by birth and upbringing---went to a major Big 10 university--and a New Englander by way of having spent the adult portion of my life around Boston. I preface my reply to your query with this info, b/c I think the "culture" of the area has as much or more, IMO, to do with your ability to love where you live. Therefore, I would try to do a kind of personal assessment and try to find a place that not only matches your interests but that speaks to who you are.

I could never return to the Midwest, and that is not a slam against it, just that it does not resonate with the person that I have become. So my advice for loving a place is to look at the very big picture before you commit.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Alaska has everything you want, including a lot of coastline.
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I wouldn't necessarily take this as a scientific survey, but the quiz asks some interesting questions that you may not have thought about:

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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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I'm with Suze, for two reasons that immediately come to mind: weather and bugs. I grew up in Northern Indiana, where the winters were cold, the summers were stifling, and the rain was intense. We had screens on all doors and windows, and if someone left a screen open the house would fill with flies. Mosquitos were an outside annoyance. My travels in the service took me to the Gulf and East Coasts, where pretty much the same conditions prevailed to some degree (ever been in Panama City, FL when the temperature is 40? They don't/didn't plan on cold weather when they built houses).

Here in Seattle the weather is moderate all year round, and we can leave doors open without a qualm. I will physically leave Seattle in an urn, and so will my Yankee wife.
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Old Oct 1st, 2007, 03:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 71
Perhaps I should respond with "where NOT to live"...

I have been living in South Florida, just north of Ft Lauderdale for the last 20 years. Yes, we have coast line, beautiful weather with lots of sunshine. Years ago, the cost of living was extremely cheap, houses and condo's quite affordable. Housing/costs as you know has changed and things , like everywhere else and are at a stand still.

The problem here is, people are extremely rude. Its almost like "its every man for himself". No human courtesy.

In "the season" you cant drive anywhere as the roads are packed and you can forget about getting into a restaurant, unless you dont mind waiting 2-3 hours for a table.

The english language is almost non-exsistant.

If it wasnt for family obligations, elder parents and a disabled brother, I would be long gone.

If your thinking of Florida, go north...
LauraStenicky is offline  
Old Oct 16th, 2007, 05:29 AM
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Posts: 69
Thanks to all of you for your replies. Aounds like a lot of people love Seattle or the Northwest writ large, which is definitely one of the possibilities. We are also thinking about the Northeast, possibly Maine or Vermont. We both went to school in Virgina and like it there, but miss the water for sure. I'm also entertaining some more off-beat locations, like Montana (on one of the larger lakes), but our jobs will likely affect our decision as well. If anyone else has any suggestions, I'd love to ehar them!
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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I really suggest you do the findyourspot site. You'll get answers that reflect far more than just weather and activity levels, and water availability.

There really isn't as much culture war out there as seems to reflect so highly on Fodors, IMHO. I do think there are good people everywhere. But crime and also schooling and more than politics or any other culture feature, you do have to consider density.

People density is extremely important to quality of life in lots of ways, both negative and positive.

If you are from areas of MI that I think you seem to know and love, you are not going to be as happy with places that are cheek to jowl people.

I'm reminded every single time I come home from MI to IL. Driving, living, moving, shopping, etc.- an entirely different kind of experience despite the nature/water/ availabilities etc.

I just can't wait to get out of IL, despite its having some real plusses, just for that feature (too dense-full of people muck)and tax levels alone. I'm a pauper after taxing- literally.

If you love lakes- you sould do a lake search on findyourspot.

If I were you I would look sincerely into the town of Traverse City, MI.

It also has to be one of the most beautiful, aesthetically, I've ever seen on any continent. I always do look through spring fed lake lover eyes.

I'm on the MI wetlands in Cass County- (S/SW Central- not too far from Kalamazoo) 600 acre lake and 1000 more acres wetlands- bird sanctuary. Last Sunday with all the people out doing apple picking and cleaning up after the football games, there were about 5 cars total on the 12 mile ride to PawPaw and the 94. LOVE IT.
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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I've lived in NH almost all my life. For the past 30+ years we have lived in my husband's hometown. My niece went to college in Maine so considered job offers in Maine and northern NH. She took northern NH because the pay was equal but the cost of living in NH was much cheaper. We had considered a move to VT because it is less built up than NH. We live near Concord which has the reputation for being an hour from everything (coast, mountains, Boston, etc). We have great medical care. There are towns in NH that still have their own personality including Concord which has a lovely downtown. For the most part, people care about their towns and cities. A town near us seems to be a magnet for artists and writers, has an independendent bookstore that also provides a meeting place for community events. NH has a lot of small museums. People like to make a tribute to the past and I see a lot who seem to have one foot still in the last century. I know people who still work with draft horses or oxen. The League of NH Crafts is a strong and vital organization. We can hike, cross-country ski, etc from our door. Lots of friends enjoy kayaking. The Army Corps of Engineers created a large network of flood control dams so now there's hundreds of acres of land open to recreation. Quite a few formal state parks. Around our largest lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, there are at least 3 summer theaters. There are quite a few art and music programs for children as well as the usual sports programs. It is common for me to see people doing some serious training for road, bike or ski races. A lot of communities still depend on volunteers to run the town, keep the library open, staff the volunteer fire dept, etc. I think it makes a difference to have people who love to do participate in their community compared to professional staff who do the job because that's what they are paid to do. The selectmen who manage the town affairs do so because they care about the town. The pay is a pittance and they rarely have political ambitions.
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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I live in the Tampa Bay area and the beaches are the best, it's close to Orlando, the weather in winter is not too warm and not too cold. Plus there's a housing glut and you can get fantastic deals on homes down here.
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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We live in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at the base of the Grand Teton Mountains and an hour south of Yellowstone. It's a resort town and there's only 3% of Teton County that is not national parks or national forests, so land prices have gotten astronomical, but if you can afford a home here, it's a fantastic place to live. The neighboring valley, Teton Valley, Idaho is much cheaper but offers the same amenities and I would recommend exploring it as well. In the winter there are three ski resorts to choose from and all kinds of areas to go snow mobiling and cross country skiing. I've always thought of my son working in a city someday, standing around a water cooler and telling his coworkers that he skied Jackson Hole every weekend as a kid! It's been an amazing place to raise a family!

I'm not much of a winter person anymore, but summer is perfect in the mountains. There is so much to do: fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, boating, camping, etc. It's never too hot, it's not humid, and there aren't any bugs. The days are really long and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world is literally out your backdoor. There are several lakes around the area, and nothing can beat boating on Jackson Lake and looking up at the Grand Tetons! Everyone in Jackson is very active so there are two rock gyms, bike paths everywhere and a very active Parks & Rec department offering a huge assortment of activities.

Most of all, though, I like living in a small town where I can be anywhere in 10 minutes. I like knowing so many people in my community and being involved in my church and in our kids' sports organizations. My husband is also on three different boards. It's rewarding living in a place that is small enough that you can be involved and make a difference if you want. There's something comforting about living in a small community where you always see someone you know and you don't have to worry much about crime, gangs, etc. The whole town will show up at a football game or a basketball games or at a fundraiser for someone who has fallen on bad times. People care about each other.

Because it's a resort town, Jackson is very cosmopolitan in the dining and theater/entertainment options it offers, even though it's a small town. That's really nice! The worst thing about Jackson is that it is isolated. The nearest mall is 1 1/2 hours away and we travel a ton for our kids' sports games, but we're not huge shoppers, so that doesn't bother us, and I've come to enjoy the traveling. It's expensive, but it lets us see new places and gives us family time.

We've felt very fortunate to have "landed" here 18 years ago.

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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
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We live along the beach in North Florida. We've lived here for 9 years now. We were both born and raised in California and then lived in Maui for a little while, then job transfers took us to Utah (7 years), Georgia (15 years and now here in Florida (9 years).
We love it here! It has so many sunny days and, although it can be very humid in the summer, the rest of the year is wonderful. (Especially in the winter when we're hearing of blizzards in other parts of the country). Unlike the other post on Florida, I've never known people, at least on this end of Florida, to be anything short of very kind. Our neighbors are wonderful, people will strike up a conversation with you in stores, etc. It may be just certain parts of the state that have a rudeness issue. People always ask me if we still feel as though we're living on vacation. My reply: "every day."
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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No question that the people in South Florida are rude. Quite opposite is the case here in Tampa Bay. People in general are polite, friendly and considerate in this part of Florida. It's one of the reasons my wife and I enjoy it so much, and no, were are not retirees.
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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Native San Diegan and this is such a great place to live and we have lots of Pacific ocean where we all sail, surf, water-ski, boogie board, snorkel etc..
Real Estate prices are coming down and the weather is considered the best in the world, which means we play all year round!
Old Oct 16th, 2007, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
First I would like to say that in order for a person to say that "All people in South Florida or anywhere else are rude, that person needs to be able to say that they actually met all of those people and this is how they are qualified to label so many people as rude"...being Floriday, most of the people there live elsewhere too and that would mean that those other cities are full of rude people too lol

I have lived in California - San Francisco has all you would like.
Southern Ca .. nice too..

I have lived in NYC and think that outside of the city, as long as you can get there within an hour or 2, is ideal. NY State has some of the most beautiful mountains and forests and seashore!

I lived in NC and in North Florida- active depends on how you like heat and humidity and hurricanes..but the coast is very nice..and for the record, everyone that I met in my year and a half there, was nice and not at all rude.

I lived in Portland Oregon recently- I could make a very long list of all the things I love about Oregon, the people, the forests , the amazing coastline and the quality of life short, it is close to perfect and one of my favorite places to live..

Where you decide to live, ultimately depends on how that place appeals to you, so I guess you have to start making lists, doing research and go visiting wherever it is that might appeal to you..cost of living is a huge factor as well as housing..
We have done this a few times now- it can be great fun and a great adventure-Best of Luck to you!
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Old Oct 16th, 2007, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Growing up in Hawaii, I couldn't wait to leave - "getting off this rock" is what many of my friends were saying.

I did leave and lived on the mainland for about 8 years. Then I returned home and I can't imagine ever living anywhere else.

Most of it is because my entire immediate family lives here, but I also now appreciate what I took for granted when I was growing up - the wonderful weather, beaches and abundance of outdoorsy things to do.
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