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Old 01-19-2016, 12:44 PM   #21
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Key West for sure!! We just got back from our first 6 week stay there. We wanted a place that we could walk/bike to anything we needed (restaurants, grocery, beaches, parks). KW totally fits that bill in that regard. I did a bunch of research prior to deciding on KW as this was our first extended vacation that we've taken. We strongly believe we hit a homerun with this very first trip.

For reference, family of 3 (34, 33, 6 months).
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:50 PM   #22
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Downtown Puerto Vallarta. All walkable. Only shortcoming is lack of a good grocery store. That usually requires a bus ride to get there and a taxi ride home. Lots of corner stores for daily food shopping. Restaurants, live theater choices, cheap flights. Driving takes an extra couple of days compared to Florida.

The C$ has stayed competitive with the peso:

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Old 01-19-2016, 03:43 PM   #23
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Key West for sure!! We just got back from our first 6 week stay there. We wanted a place that we could walk/bike to anything we needed (restaurants, grocery, beaches, parks). KW totally fits that bill in that regard. I did a bunch of research prior to deciding on KW as this was our first extended vacation that we've taken. We strongly believe we hit a homerun with this very first trip.

For reference, family of 3 (34, 33, 6 months).
Where did you stay?
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Old 01-22-2016, 12:26 AM   #24
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Condo/Apartment in Woodlands (TX) Waterway. Same in downtown Austin.

But for food shopping in downtown Austin you'd have to walk a ways to Whole Paycheck, oops I mean Foods, and that's pretty spendy. There is no supermarket in the downtown area and it isn't set up for driver-less living in general. Public transportation in Austin is subpar to say the least.

My friend who lives on 2nd and Lavaca drives to South Congress to do her shopping at HEB.


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Old 01-22-2016, 12:31 AM   #25
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Downtown Puerto Vallarta. All walkable. Only shortcoming is lack of a good grocery store. That usually requires a bus ride to get there and a taxi ride home. Lots of corner stores for daily food shopping. Restaurants, live theater choices, cheap flights. Driving takes an extra couple of days compared to Florida.

The C$ has stayed competitive with the peso:



That's where we are now. Walk or bus to anywhere and taxis aren't too expensive. Except the airport taxi fare just went up.

We take the bus for a big weekly food shopping if we want - Walmart, Soriana, or Costco - and a taxi back. Buses are plentiful and cost only 7.5 Mexican pesos. The peso at such a low makes the bus ride ridiculously cheap.


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Old 01-22-2016, 06:21 AM   #26
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We take the bus for a big weekly food shopping if we want - Walmart, Soriana, or Costco - and a taxi back. Buses are plentiful and cost only 7.5 Mexican pesos. The peso at such a low makes the bus ride ridiculously cheap.
And residents can apply for a seniors' card and get half price on many things including the bus. Makes a big difference on the inter-city bus.
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Old 01-22-2016, 08:55 AM   #27
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Key West if you have a few bucks.
+1

We just spent a month there and will probably do so again at some point. A bicycle is all you need until it's time to leave the island.

In general, the U.S. is pretty terrible for walkable cities, north or south. And we were shocked to discover how few places in the U.S. really escape the cold. We've been iced in in New Orleans and in Houston too. You really need to get down as far south as southern Florida before you can count on reliably warm winter weather. Few places in the country go that far down. Southern California near the coast, like San Diego, stays nice as does parts of AZ but I think that's about it.

We're currently exploring Mexico for possible places. The weather is nice but we haven't found anywhere yet where we'd like to spend months at a time. The search continues.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:05 AM   #28
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Where did you stay?
We rented a house on VRBO. The house was at the cross streets of Watson and Catherine (just south of the cemetary). We went back and forth on the location but in the end, we think is was perfect as it was halfway between the beaches (Higgs/Smathers) and the nightlife (Duval). The house came with 2 nice bikes and we ended up buying a toddler trailer off of Amazon while we were there so we could bring our baby with us. Worked perfectly. The first few days we had rented a car, but like everyone has stated, it is truly not needed so we returned it after 2 days.

Key West is heaven when you come from a colder state (Minnesota for us). Warm weather and nice slow bike rides around all of the funky streets is the greatest. Add in the amazing eclectic/comfy restaurants and bars and you have one heck of a place.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:51 AM   #29
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We rented a house on VRBO. The house was at the cross streets of Watson and Catherine (just south of the cemetary).
I know this is open ended, but what range do decent rentals run? When we toured thru there a few years ago, everything looked very expensive. But I agree, you could do Key West car free no problem.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:55 AM   #30
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Downtown Puerto Vallarta. All walkable. Only shortcoming is lack of a good grocery store. That usually requires a bus ride to get there and a taxi ride home. Lots of corner stores for daily food shopping. Restaurants, live theater choices, cheap flights. Driving takes an extra couple of days compared to Florida.

The C$ has stayed competitive with the peso:

I would do PV no problem, my wife is very much in the mexico is unsafe mindset. We have done two Cancun trips, shuttled around the town in the incredibly inexpensive busses, and never felt unsafe. How would you say PV compares to Cancun?

We were also on Isle Majures when we were down, and noticed plenty of long term snowbird type residents....
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:57 AM   #31
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We rented a house on VRBO. The house was at the cross streets of Watson and Catherine (just south of the cemetary). We went back and forth on the location but in the end, we think is was perfect as it was halfway between the beaches (Higgs/Smathers) and the nightlife (Duval).

Key West is heaven when you come from a colder state (Minnesota for us). Warm weather and nice slow bike rides around all of the funky streets is the greatest. Add in the amazing eclectic/comfy restaurants and bars and you have one heck of a place.
I love that area. We have stayed several times a block south of there. How expensive was it?
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:04 PM   #32
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How would you say PV compares to Cancun?

We were also on Isle Majures when we were down, and noticed plenty of long term snowbird type residents....
PV has a history as a remote fishing village. It is an old Mexican town in the area called Old Town south of the river. Much of the new construction is aimed at gringos. The Marina district is also nice. Nuevo Vallarta across the Ameca River in the state of Nayarit, is very similar to Cancun, all constructed since the 80s. Probably more middle class Mexican owners though. We see them at Christmas and Easter when visiting friends there.

But if you cannot win over the wife with an extended trip to one of those areas, don't bother! Cartel exposure is limited to money laundering tourist businesses where they do not want to screw it up. So it is safer than places closer to Guadalajara, Durango et al.
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:25 PM   #33
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I know this is open ended, but what range do decent rentals run? When we toured thru there a few years ago, everything looked very expensive. But I agree, you could do Key West car free no problem.
Totally depends on time of year which is why it's great to be flexible! During the low/shoulder seasons you can find a decent amount of options in the $5-6k/month range. High season is more around $10k/month+.
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Old 01-26-2016, 06:30 AM   #34
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Haven't tried to live car-free on Oahu, but have met Canadian snowbirds who have no problem living here 3 to 6 months that way (of course, they do use THEBUS). Oahu is 600 square miles and is mostly covered by bus routes. Honolulu proper is very walkable for the most part (if you avoid the valleys and ridges which can be too steep for casual walkers.) Virtually all the beaches and scenic "stuff" can be readily accessed by bus.

Oahu virtually guarantees pleasant weather (always "warm" and rarely having endless rains). Some areas of the mainland (FL, AZ, SoCal, etc.) provide "generally nice winter weather" but you could still hit a chilly spell for a week or more. (Personal opinion is that SoCal beaches are never warm enough to swim - even in summer.)

The downside for Oahu is that housing can be pricey - especially if you like your amenities. Last time we were tourists here (2005) I think we were paying $150/night for 6 weeks (1br/lr/kitchenette). I'm sure it's more now but we weren't staying in a "pit" (we had pool, 2 blocks to Waikiki, etc.)
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