Home is where...?
February 1, 2012 7:43 PM Subscribe
My husband and I will be leaving our current town in about a year and a half, and we’re starting to think about where we might like to go next. We have several requirements (explained inside), and I’ll probably be posting questions about this more than once! We are thinking about taking a couple of weeks to explore some cities in California this spring or summer, and I’m hoping some of you can suggest some California towns that might be a good fit for us so we can start planning the exploratory trip.
posted by hansbrough to Travel & Transportation around California, CA (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, we are in our 30s and have no kids. We currently live in a small college town in rural Mississippi, where we are both attending art school. Career-wise, my husband has a background in web development. My professional background is in holistic nutrition, culinary arts, and teaching. However, we are not really looking for a professional situation to dictate where we move. We have some freedom to go where we would like to be (within financial limits) and are fine with cobbling together part-time jobs and freelance work, etc., to make our lives happen the way we want. So in general, don’t worry too much about where we will work when making suggestions.
For background: We have previously lived in Washington, D.C., NYC, Austin, and various parts of Maryland. We aren’t really interested in going back to any of those places (maybe NYC, but it’s not ideal for us weather-wise and money-wise). I can explain more about what we didn’t like about our previous homes if needed.
We have a few non-negotiable requirements:
1. We hate the cold. Ideally we would prefer a temperature range (year-round) of around 50-80 degrees. However, we can deal with like 40ish-100ish. No snow or ice, please, and preferably lots of sunshine as I get the SAD.
2. We desperately need availability of excellent, high-quality food, including produce and animal foods. (This is something we have really missed in our current food desert situation.) Our first choice would be a really good well-stocked co-op or independent natural market with a good butchery department.
3. We would really like to be within one hour’s driving distance (preferably less) to a major airport. Bonus if the airport has Southwest Airlines.
4. We do NOT enjoy suburbs (at all); we like more of an urban area or a smaller town with an authentic downtown (not a faux “downtown” created by a huge development company that’s full of chain restaurants), older neighborhoods (as opposed to new developments full of townhouses), etc. However, we don’t want to be in a situation where we can’t park at our own house. Available parking is a must! Walkable stuff would be awesomely awesome.
Other things we really would like to have (not make or break items, but we would like them if possible):
* Friendly artist community
* University/learning center of some kind nearby
* Beach – we aren’t really swimmers but we enjoy walking on/looking at a beach
* Smoke free town/restaurants
* Politically progressive (anywhere will be an improvement on where we are in this department, but we would really like readily available like-minded people as we are both very progressive)
* High-quality alternative healthcare options (integrative doctors, acupuncture, etc.)
* Container Store and/or Ikea
I expect as we branch out into other regions, I may ask this question again for those areas… for now we’re thinking about California and trying to investigate options there, but if you read my list and know of some other place we would love, please post or memail me, by all means!!
PS - I know it's a big state, but please feel free to suggest towns anywhere in Cali and we can figure out what we want to check out.