bloom2708 wrote:I do enjoy this thread, but realize the decision can't be made by us posting ideas.
Everyone has their "somewhere else" or at least some ideas to narrow it down.
OP, where have you traveled that you liked for whatever the reason?
Well, of the cities on the initial list:
Amarillo, Texas -- I can't stand the place, but my wife has family there that she wants to be near. Housing is cheap (and there is one very small section of town that has cottage houses that I very much like), but property taxes are high, the wind is horrible, and I'm afraid that the only outdoor activities that I'd ever get to do would involve walking the dog and replacing roof shingles.
Atlanta, Georgia -- The Midtown area seems walkable and there are some minor family considerations to the area. It might serve well as a "home base" to use as a place to keep one's things and return to in between stints of traveling the world, but such a plan is probably more theoretical than realistic.
Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas - Enjoy the college town atmosphere of Fayetteville, although it was a surprisingly hilly town. Bentonville was clean, well-maintained, and vibrant, but it is definitely a one-company town. Both offer lots of biking opportunities and outdoor activities.
Blacksburg, Virginia -- Never been there.
Bozeman, Montana -- We are in absolute love with this place and we compare everywhere we visit to here, but it is far from family, housing prices are high, overall cost of living is high, and I'm worried about shoveling snow for half of the year. We are used to cold and snow, but we were insulated from dealing with it too much because we lived in a condo that took care of the snow cleaning, and I was able to walk to work and the grocery store so we never had to drive in it.
Brookings, South Dakota -- Very charming and clean town, almost like a Pleasantville or Mayberry, but there doesn't seem to be much going on in it other than the University and one or two employers. Plus, it gets windy and cold there. And I'm not sure what we would do other than eat ice cream on campus every day.
Colorado Springs, Colorado -- We like the thrift culture there (lots of Goodwills that always seem to have a great selection of items), its nearness to the mountains, and it is reasonably close to my wife's family. But housing is expensive, the roads are not smooth, and the city strikes me as just a big sprawling suburbia. Plus, we find most of the housing stock to be, well, ugly.
Davis, California -- Never been there, but it has been recommended by a few people here and elsewhere.
Denver, Colorado -- Never been there for an extended period of time, but like certain walkability aspects to it.
Durango, Colorado -- Offers good outdoor opportunities, but its downtown area is really just a tourist trap, housing is expensive, and it is a somewhat isolated city.
Flagstaff, Arizona -- I'm pretty sure that this is off the list. We like the relative cool temperatures of the area, but the city seems to sprawl while still being congested, and the hotel rooms seem to outnumber the residents. Plus, during our last visit, the allergies were terrible and I'm not sure that we would fit in.
Fort Collins, Colorado -- We like the college town atmosphere and the cleanness of the city, combined with its location near the mountains. But the train that goes through town drives me crazy, and housing is pricey.
Grand Junction, Colorado -- Seems like a nice place to age-in-place, as it is warm but still offers reasonably close access to the mountains. But there aren't many roads out of town and I am concerned about overall access issues during the winter.
Minneapolis, Minnesota -- Never been there.
Morgantown, West Virginia -- Never been there, but we think that the college environment might appeal.
Nashville, Tennessee -- Nearness to family is its only real positive at this point.
Ogden, Utah -- Given the comments in this thread, this city is off the list. I respect what stoptothink
writes, and if he nixes it, then that is good enough for me.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania -- Haven't been there in decades, but the town seems to get good press.
Prescott, Arizona -- Never been there.
Provo, Utah -- Never been there, but we think that the college environment might appeal.
Santa Fe, New Mexico -- My wife likes the town for its architecture, art, and food, but I don't like it for anything other than its weather and Trader Joe's. I don't think that we can afford to live there happily.
Washington, D.C. -- Seems like there is always something going on there, so it would be difficult to get bored. Plus, public transportation is decent and there are lots of ways to leave town. But summers can be unpleasant, housing is expensive, crime is high, and probably isn't the kind of place most people want to retire in or near.