Make me aware of cities similar to Austin and San Diego so I can move.
January 2, 2016 8:21 PM   Subscribe

I want to move to a warmer (or even hot) city in USA. I tried living in Austin Tx, but it was chilly sometimes in the winter. Help me find a city that suits my snowflake details inside.

I lived in Austin for 6 months, I liked it a lot other than the winter wasn't warm enough for me. I am vegan, liberal, and being able to play sports outdoor year round is a huge plus. I like cities that are between 300,000 and 3 million people, and I don't mind if it's super hot in the summer as long as it's still warm in the winter. I like an easy going lifestyle, without pollution. After researching, San Diego, Phoenix, Austin, San Antonio, and almost any city in Florida seem to fit the bill. I find Florida most attractive because it's the warmest in the winter, but I am not sure that I would enjoy the lifestyle/culture.
posted by crawltopslow to Travel & Transportation (26 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:39 PM on January 2, 2016

New Orleans?
posted by un petit cadeau at 8:45 PM on January 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Phoenix is hit or miss (I personally love it and am happy to expand on why!) but Tucson is a fantastic smaller city that I think is more liveable and fits your criteria. Phoenix is kind of like L.A.-lite, so it's not easy-going, whereas Tucson is more laid-back and it's easier to find your community. It is far away from a lot of things, but it's near some absolutely stunning hikes. Arizona is a hiker's dream (and bonus: contains one of the seven wonders of the world) and it sounds like you'll get used to the summers and possibly even be one of those people who love them!

San Diego will keep you more connected, but IMO, it gets damp and cold in the winter and is so expensive!
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 8:48 PM on January 2, 2016 [7 favorites]

Davis (near Sacramento). Only 65k or so population but with Sacramento nearby as well as UC Davis it may be to your liking.
posted by zippy at 8:49 PM on January 2, 2016

San Diego is awesome and does fit the lifestyle bill, but it hedges on your criteria for warm winters. Current daytime temps are in the upper 50's, 40's at night. But other than the pending El Niño, it's cool but dry.
posted by gryphonlover at 8:49 PM on January 2, 2016

Response by poster: Good points everyone!.. It seemslike anywhere in California won't work, due to it not being averagely hot enough in the winter. This is helpful, I hope ya'll can help me narrow it down some more!
posted by crawltopslow at 8:52 PM on January 2, 2016

posted by Iris Gambol at 8:54 PM on January 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Scottsdale AZ, New Orleans, and Savannah are all lovely and hot!
posted by jenbo1 at 9:00 PM on January 2, 2016

Honolulu seems right up your alley. It's currently 73°F, high today was around 80.
posted by namewithoutwords at 9:42 PM on January 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

People are on the right track with suggestions like Honolulu. Desert climates tend to have cold nights, at least during winter, due to the dry air and clear skies which do not buffer heat as well. Tropical climates are more likely where you'll find consistently high temperatures though it means dealing with high humidity.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:54 PM on January 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Orlando might be a good choice. There are a surprising amount of vegan restaurants, grocery stores, and food trucks, and a lot of interesting art & music things going on. Politically, Florida is always a little nutty, but several neighborhoods in Orlando are liberal/progressive and definitely have an Austin-like feel. There are bike trails and co-working spaces, indie bookstores and coffee roasters, a good alt-weekly newspaper, several colleges & universities, etc. Winters are warm (88 degrees yesterday) and the cost of living is much more favorable than Austin or anywhere in CA.
posted by judith at 11:00 PM on January 2, 2016

I came in to say what thorn bushes said -- you want Tucson, not Phoenix. It's the part of Arizona that'll suit you comfortably, it's beautiful, it's definitely a city but definitely not a megaplex like Phoenix. I, personally, could not play sports year-round there, because of the heat, but you say definitively that you don't mind if it's super-hot in the summer, so as long as you really mean it...!
posted by escabeche at 1:33 AM on January 3, 2016

I find Florida most attractive because it's the warmest in the winter, but I am not sure that I would enjoy the lifestyle/culture.

I grew up in North FL (panhandle region), and just as a heads up, it can definitely get chilly in winter. Like, 30s/40s, sometimes dips even lower, although very rarely. Of course, that alternates with days in the 60s/70s and occasionally even 80s, but it sounds like maybe that's still too cold for you.

For example, compare average temps in Tallahassee (north FL) vs Miami. Just looking at January, in Tallahassee, average high is 63 and average low is 39. In Miami, it's 76 for high and 60 for the low in January. I'm not familiar with Austin, but it looks like the average temps there are comparable to Tallahassee, so you'll probably want to cross this part of Florida off your list.

I also think you're more likely to find a city that matches your either criteria in those cities compared to the panhandle, but even then, I don't know if any of those cities will have the atmosphere you're looking for.
posted by litera scripta manet at 2:47 AM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

St Petersburg, fl is generally moderate (our mayor trolled Donald Trump and barred him from coming a few weeks back!!) has a thriving tech culture, arts scene, outdoor activities out the wazoo, a dropping average age, lots of housing options across the $$ spectrum, and I swam in my unheated pool which is still in the 80s on new years eve because the air temp has yet to really stick in the 70s.
posted by chasles at 3:29 AM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

I was going to say St Petersburg. I keep having friends move there from places like Seattle and DC, so you will definitely find young-ish liberal people.

I also have some friends who live in Gainesville and love it, though it is smaller.
posted by lunasol at 4:45 AM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Are you tied to the U.S.? I have a relative with similar climate preferences who moved to Costa Rica. Not sure about the social details but there is a significant expat community.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:56 AM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

New Orleans
posted by seesom at 6:51 AM on January 3, 2016

Puerto Rico is kind of the US, in that you can just move there as a US citizen without a visa or even a passport. Might only be practical though if you have a job you can do remotely. It definitely hits your weather sweet spot though - beach weather 12 months a year.
posted by COD at 7:42 AM on January 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

A note on New Orleans: I've been there in winter a couple of times and I think may be too cold for you. One night it dipped to around freezing - I understand this isn't totally normal, but I think they get a few frosts per year. Generally, daytime temps were in the 50s/60s, with lows in the 40s. Sometimes, it was chilly and rainy.

I personally found New Orleans in winter delightful, but I've always lived in colder climates and find anything above about 75F to be uncomfortably hot.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:47 AM on January 3, 2016

NOLA regularly dips below freezing on winter nights. I grew up there and we had to go out and wrap a few exposed pipes every fall to keep them insulated enough to not freeze. It's pretty liberal for a town in the South. Dunno about vegan, you can probably find options there?

If you consider Florida, I sure hope you like being a speed bump for hurricanes.

Personally I grew up in NOLA and don't miss it; I do however miss Los Angeles, which I spent a decade in. I am also pretty happy up on Seattle now that I have a super warm floofy coat, so who knows.
posted by egypturnash at 10:40 AM on January 3, 2016

St Petersburg or Sarasota!
posted by heathrowga at 12:47 PM on January 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

Tucson, AZ
posted by mulkey at 1:29 PM on January 3, 2016

> I am vegan, liberal, and being able to play sports outdoor year round is a huge plus.

I am vegan, radical, an indoor person, and grew up in San Diego. Veganism is pretty good in SD, though not great. The politics are awful and depressing; the city is conservative and awful, the police are awful, the military mindset is awful. If you're interested in cross-border political work, then that part is probably pretty interesting (though also depressing). Doing stuff outdoors is definitely possible year-round, you might not want to be in the ocean in January, but cycling works pretty much all the time.
posted by beerbajay at 2:48 PM on January 3, 2016

Tucson is a fantastic smaller city

Agreed! I live in Tucson myself. However, it can be quite chilly in winter, and appears to be about as cold as Austin in December, January, and February. Austin weather, Tucson weather.
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:16 PM on January 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Nope, Tucson is no way as cold as Austin. I've lived both places and now regularly spend time in Tucson each winter. However, once you live in Tucson for awhile your blood thins and you wind up thinking anything under 60 ° F is FREEZING. I swear it happens! When I visit Tucson from Austin it'll be 65° I'll be in shorts and everyone else will be running for jackets and telling me I'm crazy because it's so cold.

I used to be like you, I hated the cold. But where ever you go, there you are, so my unasked for advice is just to go outside no matter what the weather is where you are. Taunt Mother Nature at every opportunity with a "Is that all you got?!!!" kind of attitude. It may not keep you warm, but it keeps you moving.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 6:02 PM on January 3, 2016

You definitely want a tropical climate, not a desert or Mediterranean climate.
posted by town of cats at 6:39 PM on January 3, 2016

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