Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

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ThankYouJack
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Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:44 pm

My wife and I may consider moving once our children start public schools. When that time comes we hope to be able to work part-time so we want to really enjoy where we're living. Our top priorities would be:

1. Top-notch public K-12 schools (or possibly inexpensive/free charter)
2. Great weather (sunny, warm summers, very mild winters ~60 degrees)
3. Great for outdoor activities/adventures (next to the mountains and ocean or lake)
4. Either a large town or small city (maybe 50,000 to 300,000 people)
5. Family friendly, diverse community
6. Bike friendly area

Any recommendations?

surfstar
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by surfstar » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:02 pm

California.

Beaches and mountains. Can't help narrowing it down much more, though. But we really have an awesome state with some amazingly beautiful places. Don't mind the traffic en route, though.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:22 pm

surfstar wrote:California.

Beaches and mountains. Can't help narrowing it down much more, though. But we really have an awesome state with some amazingly beautiful places. Don't mind the traffic en route, though.


I've lived in Santa Barbara and absolutely loved it. I'm not sure how the schools are though and that could be a deal breaker for my wife if they're not top notch. I also wonder how the schools are in SLO and Santa Cruz

Professor Emeritus
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Professor Emeritus » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:45 pm

Can't help with much else but remember that "good" schools are schools that outperform the parental demographics. Otherwise the schools just take credit for the educating the offspring of high income well educated parents.

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davebarnes
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Think outside the box

Post by davebarnes » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:59 pm

Provence, France.
A nerd living in Denver

ThankYouJack
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:04 pm

Professor Emeritus wrote:Can't help with much else but remember that "good" schools are schools that outperform the parental demographics. Otherwise the schools just take credit for the educating the offspring of high income well educated parents.


I wonder how the websites like greatschools.com evaluate schools. My hometown high school got a 10 out of 10 which I found very surprising.

Certainly some schools do a better job recruiting and retaining great teachers but that's tough to quantify.

ctreada
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by ctreada » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:08 pm

Austin.

jdb
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by jdb » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:13 pm

Not Minot.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:28 pm

I'd take all ratings with a grain of salt and completely ignore graduation rates. Of the few problem kids in my son's graduating class last year, we were quite surprised to see several kids who had dropped out walking across the stage and collecting their diploma. Meanwhile, my son, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and missed several gym classes had to make up those classes and was threatened with not being able to graduate. Oh, and he was on a formal iep for the disease.
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letsgobobby
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by letsgobobby » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:31 pm

Davis, CA, Palo Alto, etc.

You didn't say anything about costs.

Mike Scott
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Mike Scott » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:37 pm

That sounds like an expensive list of wants for part time income.

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HomerJ
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by HomerJ » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:39 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:Great weather (sunny, warm summers, very mild winters ~60 degrees)


But kids LOVE snow! Plus, the changing of the seasons can be really nice.

It's rather like buying your teenager a BMW... They'll never appreciate it. Should always buy your kid a clunker at first, so they appreciate the good things later. Just like a kid should have to stand outside (bundled up) waiting for the bus in the cold weather... then when he's an adult, he'll appreciate warm sunny climates, instead of taking them for granted.

(Yes, I'm old school... thinking hard times builds character) :)

Image
Last edited by HomerJ on Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by chaz » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:40 pm

Glendale, California
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:42 pm

At one point we were considering a move from ND to Anthem, AZ (north Phoenix). The schools had great ratings the school rating sites.

We then talked to a family that moved from that area to ND. The wife had worked in the school districts around Phoenix. Said the schools were not nearly as safe or good as the ratings indicated. They moved here where the ratings are for some reason not as good, but the schools are very safe and effective.

"Good schools" is a tough definition I think. Is that new buildings, low crime area, certain racial demographics, high test scores, small class sizes, no drugs. It is all of those?

We are going to "finish out" our kids in crappy weather ND and then plan a part year move to a warmer climate. Then we don't have to worry about schools.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:43 pm

Claremont, CA
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Think outside the box

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:54 pm

davebarnes wrote:Provence, France.


I've been to Paris and loved it. I love living in the US and not sure if things would feel too different living elsewhere. Even living in Hawaii feels quite different. But after looking at pictures of Provence, I'll put it on my (dream) list :)

ctreada wrote:Austin.


Great city. I'm not sure it checks the close to water/mountains item off the list but it's definitely warm enough.

jdb wrote:Not Minot.


Hahaha. I saw that other thread so that's why I was very specific. I grew in the Northeast and my wife in the midwest. IMO, the winters aren't bad if that's all you're used to, but once you move to a warmer climate it's tough to move back.

letsgobobby wrote:Davis, CA, Palo Alto, etc.

You didn't say anything about costs.


I've been to Davis but it was when I was younger so I wasn't looking at it as a place to live. I don't remember being blown away by it, but I know it's a very bike friendly college town, so that's right up my alley. I'd like to go back and check it out.

Palo Alto is another place I'd like to check out more. I've driven to Stanford and I'm not sure if the area has too much suburban sprawl. I'm sure there are some towns that are amazing though, just not sure I could ever afford them :)

Mike Scott wrote:That sounds like an expensive list of wants for part time income.


Unfortunately it is. It's shocking looking at what you get for $1M in certain California towns. I would be ok renting and depending on where we stand financially, a lot or even most of our part time income may be able to go to rent. If we're both working 20-30 hours a week, we should be able to generate decent income.

HomerJ wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:Great weather (sunny, warm summers, very mild winters ~60 degrees)


But kids LOVE snow! Plus, the changing of the seasons can be really nice.

It's rather like buying your teenager a BMW... They'll never appreciate it. Should always buy your kid a clunker at first, so they appreciate the good things later. Just like a kid should have to stand outside (bundled up) waiting for the bus in the cold weather... then when he's an adult, he'll appreciate warm sunny climates, instead of taking them for granted.

(Yes, I'm old school... thinking hard times builds character) :)

Image


Hahaha. I still like the snow, just not long winters. Growing up (although I hated stacking wood) I loved shoveling, sledding, snow football, snow ball fights, skiing/snowboarding trips, etc.

Depending on where I live, I may be depriving my child of the same experiences. I guess I'm a selfish parent :)

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:03 pm

Sounds like with our last post you are now adding affordability to your list - that changes things a lot....:)
I noticed lots of folks recommending California which would certainly hit point #2 but IMHO fails on points 1 and 5. California may have the best weather for some - but the school systems have the absolute highest student/teacher ratios in the country and many regional systems are not rated well at all. I would not call them "top notch". I think you need to decide which factors weigh more heavily - some states with the best school systems have very cold winters. The states with nice weather on the Ocean (e.g. CA) do not have "top notch" public schools. Texas could be a good middle ground...

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by zanian » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:04 pm

Redondo Beach or Torrance, CA

Naismith
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Naismith » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:07 pm

In what fields are you hoping to find part-time jobs, or are you telecommuters? That may also play a role.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by canderson » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:21 pm

Northern suburbs - Cedar Hill area - of Austin, Texas. Bonus: no state income tax.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by cfs » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:27 pm

Just for you.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by abuss368 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:38 pm

Tampa, Clearwater, or Sarasota Florida.
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cannondale
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by cannondale » Thu Oct 16, 2014 6:43 pm

Claremont, CA is surrounded by Oakland, CA. They do have good schools, but..........It's surrounded by Oakland.

PAlo Alto--most of the kids go to private school. The others go to Foster City/ San Mateo School district...meh.

I like Davis, CA. Nice cute downtown. Houses are well taken care of. Expensive. But you're 1/2 an hour away from Napa/Sonoma/Russian River Valley Wineries. :beer

You can check out Moraga, La Fayette, Walnut Creek in California. Moraga has really good schools.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Gill » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:01 pm

North Tonawanda, New York :happy
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by ThankYouJack » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:04 pm

Thanks for all the replies. Seems like some great recommendations that I'm excited to look into.

DaftInvestor wrote:Sounds like with our last post you are now adding affordability to your list - that changes things a lot....:)
I noticed lots of folks recommending California which would certainly hit point #2 but IMHO fails on points 1 and 5. California may have the best weather for some - but the school systems have the absolute highest student/teacher ratios in the country and many regional systems are not rated well at all. I would not call them "top notch". I think you need to decide which factors weigh more heavily - some states with the best school systems have very cold winters. The states with nice weather on the Ocean (e.g. CA) do not have "top notch" public schools. Texas could be a good middle ground...


Affordability is a factor, but I left it off the list because we hope be able to afford some very HCOL areas. I've seen various rankings, but CA often ranks very well nationally for public schools - http://www.usnews.com/education/best-hi ... s-rankings

The schools of course are going to vary quite a bit across the entire state, but there has been a lot of feedback in the thread about specific towns and here's a list of some of the top schools in CA - http://www.usnews.com/education/best-hi ... int=c0b4c1

Texas could be a good option too although it doesn't seem to check as many things off the list.

Naismith wrote:In what fields are you hoping to find part-time jobs, or are you telecommuters? That may also play a role.


Technology and business. I could telecommute with my current job although my wife may not be allowed to.

We both have some small side businesses too, although we would have to ramp those up quite a bit if we wanted to live in a HCOLA.

bluejello
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by bluejello » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:41 pm

What about living abroad? Singapore has tropical weather (may be too hot!), one of the best education systems in the world, and is extremely safe and family-friendly. Within two hour's flight you can be in Thailand or Bali. People who work in tech should have no problems finding a job here.

Don't limit your search to the US! :D

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Colorado13 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:44 pm

jdb wrote:Not Minot.


You catch on fast! :D It's very family friendly, schools are likely quite good, but there's that darn weather problem again... And it's far from diverse.
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sevenseas
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by sevenseas » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:47 pm

Another rec for Davis, CA. I went to grad school there and can vouch for it being an extremely family-friendly place, great public school system, within 2 hours (or less) of Tahoe, San Francisco and the Pacific coast, the Trinity Alps, Napa/Sonoma. Can't get any more bike-friendly, of course. I didn't find Davis proper or nearby Sacramento of huge interest myself, as a single person, but the freeway driving in CA is so easy that it was no problem to visit any one of the above places on any given weekend. Easy access to unparalleled skiing, hiking, camping/backpacking, cycling...whatever your fancy. The university is a boon as well: Mondavi Center for Performing Arts, Craft Center, Equestrian Center, classes, lectures, etc. Also, while Davis real estate is not cheap, it is more affordable than in the Bay Area proper.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by GenXer » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:50 pm

cannondale wrote:Claremont, CA is surrounded by Oakland, CA. They do have good schools, but..........It's surrounded by Oakland.

PAlo Alto--most of the kids go to private school. The others go to Foster City/ San Mateo School district...meh.

I like Davis, CA. Nice cute downtown. Houses are well taken care of. Expensive. But you're 1/2 an hour away from Napa/Sonoma/Russian River Valley Wineries. :beer

You can check out Moraga, La Fayette, Walnut Creek in California. Moraga has really good schools.


Perhaps you are thinking of Piedmont, California? Claremont is in Southern California.

The vast majority of kids in Palo Alto attend the city's excellent public schools. That is often why their families moved there.

I lived for some years in Berkeley/Oakland/SF (all three places for a couple of years each), and later lived and worked in the Menlo Park/Palo Alto area.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Sunny Sarkar » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:05 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:My wife and I may consider moving once our children start public schools. When that time comes we hope to be able to work part-time so we want to really enjoy where we're living. Our top priorities would be:

1. Top-notch public K-12 schools (or possibly inexpensive/free charter)
2. Great weather (sunny, warm summers, very mild winters ~60 degrees)
3. Great for outdoor activities/adventures (next to the mountains and ocean or lake)
4. Either a large town or small city (maybe 50,000 to 300,000 people)
5. Family friendly, diverse community
6. Bike friendly area

Any recommendations?

I had a personal goal to drop the anchor before my daughter (with Jack in pic on right) started kindergarten and asked myself the exact same question 6 years ago. I chose Flower Mound, TX in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. If #2 didn't trump #3 (for us), we'd end up in the tech district south of Denver, CO.
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Naismith » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:12 pm

As much as I loved living and working in Austin, our part of town was NOT bicycle-friendly. The middle-school-aged kids had to be driven everywhere. The orthodontist was only half-mile away, but not safe to ride. Once we moved, my fourth grader was very responsible about making her own appointments before school and riding to them herself.

Beach AND Mountains is a tough combination outside the West Coast. I have a friend teaching at a smaller university in Tennessee that would fit the lakes and mountains, but not beaches. St. Augustine FL has LCOL and fewer retirees than other places, but while beaches are right there, you might have to settle for a sinkhole rather than mountains.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Leeraar » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:13 pm

I am leaning to the Carolinas or Virginias?

Blacksburg?

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Gill » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:15 pm

abuss368 wrote:Tampa, Clearwater, or Sarasota Florida.

This is a 600 mile drive from the nearest mountains.
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by drawpoker » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:15 pm

Look into Raleigh-Chapel Hill-Cary (Research Triangle NC area.)
Has all 6 that are on your list plus housing costs & medical lower than national averages.
Wish I had done it fifteen years ago.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:04 pm

cannondale wrote:Claremont, CA is surrounded by Oakland, CA.

Claremont is nowhere near Oakland. It's east of LA.
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Afty » Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:49 pm

Palo Alto fits all of your criteria but is absurdly expensive. Less than $2 million buys you a literal shack. For example: http://m.estately.com/listings/info/2764-randers-ct--1

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by sunspotzsz » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:05 pm

Raleigh-Chapel Hill-Cary

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by AZMax » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:39 pm

Phoenix Arizona area - East Valley in particular.

1. Mesa, Chandler & Gilbert schools are generally excellent. Also one of the best Charter school areas in the country. Like anywhere, individual schools can vary considerably based on administration and students - do detailed research once you decide on the area
2. Great weather (sunny, warm summers, very mild winters ~60 degrees) - Check
Rarely gets as low as freezing in winter
3. Lakes for boating/fishing <1 hour away and mountains with pines & lakes 2 hours away
You could easily go water skiing and snow skiing the same day if you wanted
4. Mesa population is: 450K; Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale,Tempe all <300K
5. In WalletHub's 2014 ranking of best cities for families: Gilbert (9), Scottsdale (28), Chandler (29), Peoria (32), Mesa (76).
6. Excellent mountain biking trails within 20 minutes. I ride in town, but the traffic is scary.

CA is a lovely state, but there must be a reason so many Californians have migrated to Arizona. Cold ocean, high taxes, expensive housing???
The cost of living in AZ is still very reasonable despite all the migrants from the West who have helped drive up housing costs.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by virgingorda » Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:49 am

Woodside, California or Mill Valley, California. Will not be cheap, though.
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Will be less expensive but a little cooler in winter.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by German Expat » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:00 am

Boulder county Colorado, won't fit the criteria for temperatures in winter. Winters are not too bad, it is sunny almost every day. Excellent schools, great outdoor activities and your children will love to learn skiing. We just moved away and still miss it a lot.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by tarheel » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:27 am

Of course, I agree with a number of earlier posters - Research Triangle, NC! (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh). It has everything, and a very reasonable cost of living.

I always tell people the only other place I'd rather be is San Diego, but I'd have to make x 3 $$$.

And in the really long term I think about the Seattle area (no state tax!).

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by Bacchus01 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:33 am

Charlotte area. Wish we still lived there .

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:13 am

Some more great recommendations to consider. I've visited some of places listed and I think it's a lot different living someplace because you can really get a feel for what it has to offer.

Glad to see The Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) come up a few times. That's where I've lived for the last 8 years and love it here.

My ideal would be to have water and mountains at my doorstep, in a warm/mild climate and I think Santa Barbara is tough to beat in that sense. Of course there's a massive price to pay in terms of housing for living there and it would take many more years of full-time work to be able to turn that into a reality.


bluejello wrote:What about living abroad? Singapore has tropical weather (may be too hot!), one of the best education systems in the world, and is extremely safe and family-friendly. Within two hour's flight you can be in Thailand or Bali. People who work in tech should have no problems finding a job here.

Don't limit your search to the US! :D


I have some friends who are living in Southeast Asia and are home schooling their children. I would love to travel to Southeast Asia but I wouldn't want to live on an island with a high population density.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by abuss368 » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:33 am

Gill wrote:
abuss368 wrote:Tampa, Clearwater, or Sarasota Florida.

This is a 600 mile drive from the nearest mountains.
Gill


Sure but the original message referenced ocean, lake, mountains.

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EvelynM
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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by EvelynM » Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:58 am

Davis, CA is an amazing place, especially if you have kids. I wrote a review about it in another Bogle discussion (the 6th entry):

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=148656

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by surfstar » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:21 am

It sounds as if money/COL isn't too big an issue, so I imagine you can always send the kids to Montessori/private schools if needed. If this is true, you really do have a huge amount of options.

I prefer CA, because I can surf after work when there's waves and take weekend trips to the mountains for climbing, camping, snowboarding, etc. Other states may have nice beaches or mountains, but having both accessible is quite nice (only if you're into that sort of thing though - some people prefer shopping malls!).

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by drawpoker » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:00 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:......Glad to see The Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) come up a few times. That's where I've lived for the last 8 years and love it here.


Well then - Why didn't you say so to start with, and quit wasting our time?
Frankly, I think the padlock should come out on this thread. Not actionable.

I would like to live in the castle at San Simeon (mountains and ocean at doorstep) too. Is that going to be actionable for me.....my family members.....others......

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by ThankYouJack » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:17 pm

drawpoker wrote:
ThankYouJack wrote:......Glad to see The Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) come up a few times. That's where I've lived for the last 8 years and love it here.


Well then - Why didn't you say so to start with, and quit wasting our time?
Frankly, I think the padlock should come out on this thread. Not actionable.

I would like to live in the castle at San Simeon (mountains and ocean at doorstep) too. Is that going to be actionable for me.....my family members.....others......


Moving is actionable. I have done it quite a few times, including Santa Barbara and Hawaii (small apartments and not a castle).

I do appreciate the feedback thus far.

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Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by obgraham » Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:29 pm

Eastern Washington. Hidden gem, and you avoid all those nutters in California.

Okay, it's not 60 all winter, but it seldom snows, and today it's 81. Not bad for October.

montanagirl
Posts: 819
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 4:55 pm
Location: Montana

Re: Best place (with warm weather) to raise children

Post by montanagirl » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:30 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
cannondale wrote:Claremont, CA is surrounded by Oakland, CA.

Claremont is nowhere near Oakland. It's east of LA.


Lots of gangs out that way now too.

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