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Old 08-30-2011, 02:56 PM   #21
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When the OP says "walkable", I'm not sure if that means you won't own or drive a car, or if you just want a temperate, outdoor atmosphere to enjoy, say a nice downtown. Livning in a larger city's downtown area is going to cost money.

Another option is Boulder, Fort Collns or Denver. Nicer climate than Chicago (but definately 4 seasons), way more sunshine than the Northwest, very nice walkable downtown areas, and (for Denver) good mass transit. Boulder is a big college town, which means more young people, more activities, and higher cost.
How about Colorado Springs?
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:03 PM   #22
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Bellevue?

I'm guessing it will be less of an environmental shock moving here to the PNW from England than it would have been coming from Austin.

DD
Bellevue - thanks for the correct spelling.

The weather is definitely less of a shock moving there from England, rather than from Austin
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:14 PM   #23
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I visited Portland
I've heard that 9 months of the year it can be sort of gray and rainy, so I'd want to check that out before paying any serious consideration.

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Old 08-30-2011, 03:27 PM   #24
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Colorado Springs is built around the automobile and quite conservative. Harsh winds and cold winters too.

Portland, Bellevue, etc. (I lived in the NW for a decade) are great from mid-July all the way through Labor Day; after that, bring on the sun lamps.

You could add Ashland, Oregon to the short list of candidates as well but it isn't cheap. Otherwise, walkability, good weather, cosmopolitan atmosphere and affordability are a combo I'd say you're far more likely to find outside the U.S., starting with a zillion small towns in France and Italy and, closer and more realistic, San Miguel de Allende and San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico, Antigua, Guatemala and so on. San Miguel de Allende in particular is like Santa Fe but with far better weather, deeper arts and culture and about a 75% lower cost of living.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #25
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We lived the Dallas area and wasn't too bad for the 8 months you referred to. They've also got some rail lines going through town that are convenient to go to the "city". You may look at McKinney or Allen or Plano...rent is very reasonable and you can get around easily via DART rail / bus. NO income tax there...

Here in LA, lots of walkers and quite nice on the weather. The cost of living, well, you know... income tax unfriendly state.
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:38 PM   #26
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Bellevue - thanks for the correct spelling.

The weather is definitely less of a shock moving there from England, rather than from Austin
If they like sushi, I Love Sushi in Bellevue was a great sushi restaurant. I miss being a regular there, but I guess my wallet is happier for it, heh.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:26 PM   #27
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How about Colorado Springs?
Only if you love traffic, fundamentalism, and all things military.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:54 PM   #28
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I cringed when I saw RTP and walkable together. Midpack hit it right.

Charlottesville might be one to consider, not sure if it's urban enough for you, and I don't really know what apartments are like near downtown. In this area I might actually look at Staunton ahead of Cville. It's even smaller, but I have a couple favorite restaurants near a Shakespeare replica theater downtown so I wind up there more often. I'll bet there are a lot of <100K towns like that, that aren't as urban and don't have as many options, but might work well. Given the reality that you may not find anything that matches all criteria, it's a matter of what you are willing to compromise on.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:21 PM   #29
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Cities in Florida, Arizona do not seem like they would fit the bill - maybe I am wrong.
Any recommendations, thoughts, suggestions?
RA

You should take a look a Sarasota ,Fl. They redid the downtown and it's loaded with sidewalk cafes , jazz clubs & art galleries . There is a very active arts community . Prices in downturn depend on what you want but they are more affordable than other areas . It also has beaches ,boating and all things outdoor . The bad part is it is really hot June to October .
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:56 AM   #30
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Only if you love traffic, fundamentalism, and all things military.
You mean Coors drinkers? Just don't tell them you brew your own.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:07 AM   #31
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We lived the Dallas area and wasn't too bad for the 8 months you referred to. They've also got some rail lines going through town that are convenient to go to the "city". You may look at McKinney or Allen or Plano...rent is very reasonable and you can get around easily via DART rail / bus. NO income tax there...
Well, this will be day 65 over 100 degrees, after 40 in a row, ending a couple of weeks ago...

If you live in just the right place, there are "walkable" neighborhoods in Dallas and the burbs, but overall it's car/freeway/tollroad hell...
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:37 AM   #32
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Only if you love traffic, fundamentalism, and all things military.
And Pike's Peak. It's always cool on Pike's Peak. Unfortunately, I get a terrible headache because of the altitude and I can't stay up there very long.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:09 AM   #33
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We moved to the eastern mountain of Albuquerque. Albuquerque gets a little snow in the winter, and a hot day in the summer is 90+. But it's a dry heat! There are plenty of microclimates where the weather is 10 degrees cooler (like the east mountains). Lots of galleries, friendly people, lots of biking and hiking trails. Santa Fe is about an hour north. Easy access to the Four Corners, Arizona and Colorado.
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:24 AM   #34
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We moved to the eastern mountain of Albuquerque. ..Easy access to the Four Corners, Arizona and Colorado.
Also the Carlsbad Caverns. And Mesa Verde at the Four Corners!
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Old 08-31-2011, 10:34 AM   #35
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I've heard that Albuquerque is a wonderful place to retire. Lots to do and a reasonable cost of living.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:04 AM   #36
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As for Charleston, SC and most of the south for that matter, there isn't much focus on walkability. And as noted, if you wanted to walk around, it would be downtown in the historic district, and that is mobbed with tourists.
Weather is nice, hurricanes are not too often, and you can always go to the mountains if you get tired of the beach.
If I was moving south from some cold climate, I'd probably look at Greenville SC the hardest. It is relatively cheap compared to other retirement destinations, has a decent downtown area, and a surprisingly frisky arts community.
But we'd still love to have you in Chucktown, just be aware of the need to mosey on up the highway every now and again during hurricane season.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:10 AM   #37
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As for Charleston, SC and most of the south for that matter, there isn't much focus on walkability. And as noted, if you wanted to walk around, it would be downtown in the historic district, and that is mobbed with tourists.
Weather is nice, hurricanes are not too often, and you can always go to the mountains if you get tired of the beach.
If I was moving south from some cold climate, I'd probably look at Greenville SC the hardest. It is relatively cheap compared to other retirement destinations, has a decent downtown area, and a surprisingly frisky arts community.
But we'd still love to have you in Chucktown, just be aware of the need to mosey on up the highway every now and again during hurricane season.
If DW would go with the idea, I would have no problem uprooting in the next couple years and move to the Greenville area. I think it would be relatively easy (she has 25 years in cost accounting, mainly in manufacturing, and my uncle and aunt live there. My business would be a little dicier, I would no doubt lose some clients that want me to be available and local, but I can run my business from anywhere. We'll see. An added bonus would be that my sons who love baseball and football could play almost year round.........
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:09 PM   #38
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I've heard that Albuquerque is a wonderful place to retire. Lots to do and a reasonable cost of living.
FWIW, I've been to Albuquerque many times on business trips, and it was always very windy, and therefore dusty. Based on that alone, I don't think my wife and I would like living there.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:48 PM   #39
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FWIW, I've been to Albuquerque many times on business trips, and it was always very windy, and therefore dusty. Based on that alone, I don't think my wife and I would like living there.
Visiting a place often really opens one's eyes to things like this. I have only driven through Albuquerque once, in 1977 (coping with a u-haul trailer that got a flat tire about 20 miles before Albuquerque, and then continuing on as soon as possible). So, I can't really say that I've seen the town at all.

When we were looking for another retirement location, Albuquerque didn't make our "top three" list, for some reason. I've forgotten why it didn't. We did consider it but didn't visit any but the top three.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:27 PM   #40
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Yeah, I agree. One really needs to visit areas mutiple times and during different seasons. FYI, based on my multiple visits, I've found that San Diego has only two seasons; warm and pleasant, and warmer and pleasant.
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