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East of the Mississippi?
Old 08-25-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
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East of the Mississippi?

I'm wondering if some day DH and I might consider moving after I FIRE (6 months!). TX is great because of it's cost of living and you can be outdoors year-round. But, I'm originally from PA and I miss the mountains, rivers, streams and fall colors. I don't think I want to live that far north again but would like all of the features I mentioned above.

I love to road bike, mtn. bike, run, camp, hike, backpack, and kayak (no whitewater). I'd like four seasons but nothing extreme either way. I don't like large cities - but something in the neighborhood of pop. 50,000 to 100,000. The cost of living would still need to be reasonable.

I still have family in PA so I don't think I want to go any further west than I already am.

Any suggestions?
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:21 PM   #2
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Missouri or Arkansas? W2R is planning a move to Springfield and we have had a couple of others here (Uncle Mick, JPatrick) talk about retiring to Missouri. Might be a good place as it has the lower cost of living and geographic features that you might like.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:33 PM   #3
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Have you looked into any places along the Blue Ridge Parkway?

Asheville, NC frequently ranks as one of the top places to live. Pisgah National Forest has some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Lance Armstrong trains in the NC mountains so I assume there's some great road biking too.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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Eureka Springs?
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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Eastern Tennessee... It is beautiful there, mild weather, low COL, gorgeous mountain scenery, nice lakes and rivers. Western NC would also be a good place to look at, but NC has pretty high taxes IMO.
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Old 08-25-2009, 12:44 PM   #6
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Check out the I-85 corridor from Raleigh/Durham NC to Atlanta GA. Plenty of 50-100k population towns in that area that offer nature, outdoors, proximity to lakes and rivers. Generally low cost of living, 4 true seasons. If proximity to international airports is key, you are never more than 2 hrs from a major airport between Atlanta and Raleigh. The mountains are within 1-3 hours, and the NC, SC and GA beaches are 3-5 hours.

Supposedly the Atlanta to Raleigh/Durham stretch of I-85 is going to be one of the fastest growing megaregions over the next 20-30 years if forecasts are correct.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:09 PM   #7
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The mountains are beautiful. We really enjoy camping around the smoky mountain area in the fall. Get to know the right/wrong folks and you could probably come up with some really nice "white lightning" or was that "mountain dew" ? I think Tenn. even has a good tax structure for retiree's (not sure).
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:16 PM   #8
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Eastern Tennessee... It is beautiful there, mild weather, low COL, gorgeous mountain scenery, nice lakes and rivers.
That's where I was thinking also! Every so often I daydream about maybe someday moving....and the area right around Chattanooga is where my thoughts linger the most. That area was the homeland of many of my ancestors also. Plus, it's only a short jaunt to either Atlanta or Nashville if one feels the need for big city 'happenings'.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:48 PM   #9
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Eastern Tennessee... It is beautiful there, mild weather, low COL, gorgeous mountain scenery, nice lakes and rivers. Western NC would also be a good place to look at, but NC has pretty high taxes IMO.
Yes, east TN would be nice. You might look into north Alabama. Maybe the Huntsville area.

Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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Yes, east TN would be nice. You might look into north Alabama. Maybe the Huntsville area.

Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Hush up now! Stay over the ridge near Huntsville and away from Weiss Lake - da Crappie Capitol of the World. It's getting discovered too much already.

heh heh heh - me - I have yet to get down to the Ozarks Missouri or Arkansas.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:17 PM   #11
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Last year or the year before cant remember Dw and I strolled Missouri to see if it was a possible retirement spot. We loved it. Particularly southern Missouri near Branson. Still need to check out North Carolina and Eastern Tenn.
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:22 PM   #12
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Yes, east TN would be nice. You might look into north Alabama. Maybe the Huntsville area.

Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau
I think that Chaos might be disappointed with the "mountains" in the Huntsville/Madison area. I might call them hills, and you'll only find them east of Huntsville. But the area has great lakes and rivers, the cost of living is pretty darn low, Huntsville is a great city to live in IMO, lots of greenery, nice people, and mild winters. But it's a bit "isolated" (2.5 hours from Nashville, 3.5 hours from Atlanta, 4 hours from Memphis, smaller airport), and it's pretty darn hot and humid in the summer.
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #13
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We ( Alabama) have what is called the "Foot Hills" of the Appalachia Mountains. Just east of Huntsville around the Gunterville area you can camp in areas that remind me of the Smokies. Come to think of it Huntsville has some good size mountains that you cross coming into it from the south. Look Out Mountain is the highest point in Alabama http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lookout_Mountain. I have to admit Tenn. around the Smokies definitely blows Alabama away though.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:11 PM   #14
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That's where I was thinking also! Every so often I daydream about maybe someday moving....and the area right around Chattanooga is where my thoughts linger the most. That area was the homeland of many of my ancestors also. Plus, it's only a short jaunt to either Atlanta or Nashville if one feels the need for big city 'happenings'.
Ah, Goonie, but your present location has always sounded so peaceful and nice! Nice people, essentially crime free, and inexpensive, as I recall. But then Chattanooga has its own appeal as well.

We plan to relocate to southern Missouri. But I think Chaos Abounds wanted to be nearer to Pennsylvania. Often I wonder about western Virginia, which is a beautiful area and as I recall there are lovely wooded hills and mountains in Virginia near the border of West Virginia. It has been many years but looking at a map, the area I am thinking of must be between Roanoke or Blacksburg and the state line.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:28 PM   #15
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I think that Chaos might be disappointed with the "mountains" in the Huntsville/Madison area. I might call them hills, and you'll only find them east of Huntsville. But the area has great lakes and rivers, the cost of living is pretty darn low, Huntsville is a great city to live in IMO, lots of greenery, nice people, and mild winters. But it's a bit "isolated" (2.5 hours from Nashville, 3.5 hours from Atlanta, 4 hours from Memphis, smaller airport), and it's pretty darn hot and humid in the summer.
Huntsville was #2 on our list, and we visited several times. The tax situation there seems quite advantageous for retired people, Huntsville's size was what we wanted, and in general it seemed pretty perfect to us on paper. But I think we wanted a town with more of a "Mayberry" atmosphere (where's Aunt Bea? ) and Huntsville is Rocket City, and not like that. Still, it seems like a wonderful place to live. Might be a little hot in the summers for someone from Pennsylvania.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:35 PM   #16
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Supposedly the Atlanta to Raleigh/Durham stretch of I-85 is going to be one of the fastest growing megaregions over the next 20-30 years if forecasts are correct.
I hope so! It will keep some of the pressure off here.

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Old 08-25-2009, 08:45 PM   #17
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We ( Alabama) have what is called the "Foot Hills" of the Appalachia Mountains. Just east of Huntsville around the Gunterville area you can camp in areas that remind me of the Smokies. Come to think of it Huntsville has some good size mountains that you cross coming into it from the south. Look Out Mountain is the highest point in Alabama Lookout Mountain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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I live myself on one of those mountains in Northern Alabama. I agree, there are some good size mountains around, especially going towards Chattanooga. I was just pointing out that, in the immediate vicinity of Huntsville, you won't find many mountains peaking above 1500-1700 ft. With a base elevation around 700-800 feet, many of those mountains can be climbed in less than one hour. But the fact that I grew up surrounded by 10,000 foot mountains might alter my perception...
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:01 PM   #18
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We ( Alabama) have what is called the "Foot Hills" of the Appalachia Mountains. Just east of Huntsville around the Gunterville area you can camp in areas that remind me of the Smokies. Come to think of it Huntsville has some good size mountains that you cross coming into it from the south. Look Out Mountain is the highest point in Alabama Lookout Mountain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I have to admit Tenn. around the Smokies definitely blows Alabama away though.
Steve
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The highest point in AL is actually Mt. Cheaha at a little over 2400'. There are some nice trails, waterfalls, wilderness areas in the Talladega NF which surrounds Cheaha. I think Lookout Mountain is in TN.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:40 AM   #19
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The highest point in AL is actually Mt. Cheaha at a little over 2400'. There are some nice trails, waterfalls, wilderness areas in the Talladega NF which surrounds Cheaha. I think Lookout Mountain is in TN.
Cheaha Mountain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You are absolutely correct. I got my mountains mixed up it seems. My bad, sorry about that.
Maybe I should stop trying to post after medicating with the new "High Gravity Beer's" that Alabama just recently made legal .
Just now getting around to trying them. They obviously do what they are designed to do? Guess I'm getting my money's worth .
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:49 AM   #20
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Huntsville was #2 on our list, and we visited several times. The tax situation there seems quite advantageous for retired people, Huntsville's size was what we wanted, and in general it seemed pretty perfect to us on paper. But I think we wanted a town with more of a "Mayberry" atmosphere (where's Aunt Bea? ) and Huntsville is Rocket City, and not like that. Still, it seems like a wonderful place to live. Might be a little hot in the summers for someone from Pennsylvania.
If you want Mayberry? All you have to do is travel a few miles south of Huntsville and you got it. I'm more familiar toward the south of Huntsville but you could probably head any direction and find the kind of small towns you are looking for.
The summers are definitely Hot and humid in Alabama. The AC's work over time from spring until fall.
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