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View Poll Results: Wht's the best area of the US to live?
New England 8 15.38%
Central Atlantic 3 5.77%
South Atlantic 4 7.69%
Northern Midwest 1 1.92%
Central Appalachia 1 1.92%
Central States/Plains 2 3.85%
Rocky Mts 8 15.38%
Pacific Northwest 19 36.54%
Southwest 10 19.23%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 52. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-19-10, 11:40 PM   #1
kjmillig
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Best area to live in the USA?

I'm currently living in Asia, and when we return to the US we don't necessarily want to move back to the Houston area where we left from and where I grew up. My criteria include: good bicycle commuting, job market/schools (I put these together because I'm a 6-12 teacher), sense of community, local history, stuff to do and see on day trips by bike or car, availability of medical services/hospitals. BTW, I will not live in California.
What are your recommendations and why?
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Old 09-20-10, 06:36 AM   #2
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DC area. Fairly recession proof and meets or exceeds all your qualifications plus some.
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Old 09-20-10, 07:42 AM   #3
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Someone voted "South Atlantic?" Uh, what good bike commuting exists there?
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Old 09-20-10, 08:51 AM   #4
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Detroit, Michigan
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Old 09-20-10, 09:08 AM   #5
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When you'll be returning is probably important; the economy sucks everywhere right now, so you really can't what the best place is until closer to your return date.

Don't completely rule out California. Lots of sunny days, temperate climate, and lots of great bicycling opportunities. Its going through some tough times right now (including a lot of school districts laying off teachers), but it should get better in the future. There are places you want to stay away from like the big 'megalopolises' (Los Angeles, where I live), but there's lots of other interesting communities throughut the state that'll fit you requirements.
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Old 09-20-10, 10:52 AM   #6
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How about Canada?, better health care access .
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Old 09-20-10, 05:33 PM   #7
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How about Canada?, better health care access .
I've actually looked at Canada and Scotland. After looking at the work visa requirements for Canada, it seems like it may not be that easy to move there. Am I wrong? It looks like Scotland makes it easier to get teacher certification and visa. Plus I have to convince the wife. She's leaning more to returning to the US.
As far as timeframe, it may be as soon as summer 2011, but maybe into late 2012. I'm trying to stay abreast of job market prospects.
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Old 09-26-10, 03:28 PM   #8
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portland oregon here. been almost everywhere around the world, and nothing compares to here. we're the greenest city there is, with tons of small business and local food options to meet your needs. plus were friendly and have a unique local culture
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Old 09-26-10, 03:34 PM   #9
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Year round cycling , how could one not choose California. Plus the terrain is incredible...
....California or Hawaii or nowhere.. Well, Oregon maybe. Job market.. I'd stay put..
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Old 09-26-10, 04:22 PM   #10
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If its nice real estate parasites ad a premium price to live indoors.
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Old 09-26-10, 04:42 PM   #11
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Southern New york! Not the city. We got short steep hills, long gradual climbs, the best of all 4 seasons and of course, the city is a short trip south! It's far enough from the city to maintain a country-like feel, but you're not out in the middle of nowhere. The Hudson valley region is beautiful.
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Old 09-26-10, 05:13 PM   #12
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You left one really important requirement off of your list. WATER! The south west is a disaster just waiting to happen. You also left out crime and traffic / population congestion. All major factors for picking a place to live.

Last edited by spinnaker; 09-26-10 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 09-26-10, 05:18 PM   #13
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Native Houstonian so somewhat biased but I'd look into the Hill Country if I wasn't looking at the Houston area. If I couldn't live in Texas, a disgusting thought to contemplate at all, I'd look at Tennessee over in the Knoxville area. That's a very nice area of the country. Louisville is also very nice and has a pretty serious bicycling community I believe plus a few good LBS's. I don't see a good poll choice to include the Hill Country and really might have to flip a coin between the other two so I'll let you figure out which one you want to add a point to for my choice.
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Old 09-26-10, 05:32 PM   #14
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You lest one really important requirement off of your list. WATER! The south west is a disaster just waiting to happen.
This country is surrounded by water. So the absolute worst that can happen in regards to water supply is that it becomes two to three times more expensive because we have to desalinate. The south west has plentiful sunshine, so you combine a solar plant with the desal plant and in the long run the costs are not so bad at all. Not much of a disaster.
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Old 09-26-10, 05:34 PM   #15
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This country is surrounded by water. So the absolute worst that can happen in regards to water supply is that it becomes two to three times more expensive because we have to desalinate. The south west has plentiful sunshine, so you combine a solar plant with the desal plant and in the long run the costs are not so bad at all. Not much of a disaster.
Desalinated AND delivered.
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Old 09-26-10, 05:42 PM   #16
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It depends.
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Old 09-26-10, 09:02 PM   #17
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I grew up in the midwest (Michigan) and now live in western Massachusetts. Rural New England is a pretty nice place to cycle, except when there's snow on the ground, but then you have hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing (XC or downhill). There are folks who commute year round, on studded tires if necessary. I might try that myself this winter. Drivers tend to be courteous and attentive to cyclists (outside Boston), but there are exceptions.

New Englanders take education pretty seriously though there are cutbacks everywhere. It doesn't get too hot in the summer, though when I lived in Middlebury, Vermont (2000-2004), there were a couple weeks each summer when AC was nice, and the locals said that hadn't been the case 10-20 years previously. We get ice storms and power outages but it's rare that we have earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or plagues of locusts. (We were nervous about Earl for a while this fall, though.)

I live in a town that was settled by European immigrants in 1659 and incorporated in 1651. There's a lot of local history (much of it unpleasant, of course). Good museums, good health care. Most of the farming around here is small scale, with a lot of vegetable farming, which means a lot of farmers' markets, farmstands, and community supported agriculture, unlike the year I lived in southwestern Ohio where there was nary a farmstand to be seen.

But there are other places that have many of those amenities--the upper Midwest (especially urban areas like Madison or the Twin Cities), good parts of Maryland, upstate New York....
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Old 09-26-10, 09:16 PM   #18
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If you don't mind the heat, Austin is a great city to live in. Excellent cycling culture and riding, decent public education (and universities).

The Northeast is pretty special, too, as described by others here.

I'm a western aesthetic kind of guy (I needz my sky and sun) so I'm partial to the Rocky Mountains and SW deserts myself.
The West Coast is pretty amazing, as well, where Portland would be my personal choice. I wouldn't rule out San Diego, Central Coast or Northern CA either.

Do you prefer smaller towns, big cities, coast, mountains? There are so many great places to live and work.
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Old 09-26-10, 10:11 PM   #19
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Colorado. Big city in Denver. Awesome areas like Fort Collins and Boulder. Very bike friendly, bike lanes on almost all roads. Each has at least one university, hospitals, etc. AMAZING biking if you head into the foothills. Fun state so far (only been here about a month, former Wisconsinite)
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Old 09-27-10, 05:15 AM   #20
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Best place to live ? You will likely get 50 different states recommended. What are you looking for in an area should be examined first, then get a recommendation.
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Old 09-27-10, 06:12 AM   #21
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Anywhere where there's a high density of liberals. Most of the best biking cities/places are almost unbelievably liberal.

Austin, TX is just about the only place in that entire piece of crap state I would ever consider living.

Washington D.C. is good and getting better all the time - Minneapolis is great, etc. etc.
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Old 09-27-10, 06:15 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by kjmillig View Post
I'm currently living in Asia, and when we return to the US we don't necessarily want to move back to the Houston area where we left from and where I grew up. My criteria include: good bicycle commuting, job market/schools (I put these together because I'm a 6-12 teacher), sense of community, local history, stuff to do and see on day trips by bike or car, availability of medical services/hospitals. BTW, I will not live in California.
What are your recommendations and why?
Have you considered Australia? You might just have a chance to be a skilled immigrant with the teaching degree (you do have a 4-5 year Bachelor of Education, right?) and experience.
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Old 09-28-10, 06:39 PM   #23
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you did not metion it but I thought I would "Fort Lauderdale Florida"........it is a flat land but you can ride all year long, no recession here, great beaches, all around awesome..
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Old 09-28-10, 06:48 PM   #24
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Not the Midwest... My area on west michigan is good for healthcare (grand rapids) and that's about it... we have good schools but crappy cycling here... it's all flat, and we have 4 months of snow
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Old 09-28-10, 08:15 PM   #25
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I have indeed considered the TX Hill Country, though likely not Austin. Outside of Austin or other areas of the hill country or edges of the Edwards Plateau look nice.
I ain't livin' in DC, CA, CT, MA, MD due to my personal views. NY might be a stretch as well, but I might consider well away from NYC. I'm actually interested in VT, NH, and ME though.
Australia has come to mind and I've looked at the visa requirements. Maybe a little tough to do. I have Aussie and Kiwi friends who keep saying the job market is really tough right now. One was here and went home only to be unemployed for most of a year.
Thanks for the insights so far.
I'll keep notes and keep investigating.
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