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Livable small towns

I want to relocate to someplace that is cheap, pretty, and has low crime. I can get my culture from my computer. Cold weather might be a refreshing change, so I would consider Michigan or Wisconsin. Ideas?

by Anonymousreply 12812/15/2013

Ann Arbor or Madison, respectively.

by Anonymousreply 110/16/2013

Bellingham, WA

by Anonymousreply 210/16/2013

Portland, OR

Madison, WI

Boulder, CO

by Anonymousreply 310/16/2013

Pasty, Boulder isn't cheap.

by Anonymousreply 410/16/2013

Doylestown, PA

by Anonymousreply 510/16/2013

Bellingham isn't that cheap, but it's certainly cheaper than Seattle or Vancouver and convenient to both via a dirt-cheap Amtrak commuter train. It also benefits from having its own airport with commuter flights to Sea-Tac and Portland.

Western Washington University contributes to the overall cool college town feel of the place.

by Anonymousreply 610/16/2013

Any small town in upstate NY.

I hope you have money, because places that are cheap, generally don't have a lot of employment opportunities.

by Anonymousreply 710/16/2013

I live in a small town about 50 miles away from a town with a major university.

I highly recommend the combination.

You avoid the skewed housing market which comes with a major university (too expensive) but you can take advantages of many of the benefits.

You may be able to get "culture" on your computer - but you can't get health care. As you get older living near a community with a large hospital will be a plus.

You turn 50 and stuff starts going wrong - that it's nice to see a specialist about.

by Anonymousreply 810/16/2013

Aberdeen Washington

by Anonymousreply 910/16/2013

After the collapse of the US, you'll want to be in Canada, although there are some nice Mexican and Costa Rican towns as well.

by Anonymousreply 1010/16/2013

When is the collapse scheduled for, exactly?

by Anonymousreply 1110/16/2013

If you really don't mind the cold, you'd probably like Grand Marais, MN.

by Anonymousreply 1210/16/2013

Houghton, Michigan

Home of Michigan Tech University Very pretty for the midwest You will be snowed in much of the winter though.

by Anonymousreply 1310/16/2013

Ann Arbor is nice, but it's not cheap by MI standards (houses can run $200/sq ft). WI has crazy high property taxes.

by Anonymousreply 1410/16/2013

You wouldn't last past one winter in the North, and wintertime it would very hard on you moreso in your dotage.

Therefore, stay South.

Recommend Abita Springs, Louisiana or Picayune, Mississippi.

by Anonymousreply 1510/16/2013

Eureka Springs?

by Anonymousreply 1610/16/2013

Vermont. Not exactly cheap unless you go to southern VT, but as perfect as living in the states gets.

by Anonymousreply 1710/16/2013

Is it acceptable for gays to live in Arkansas? I wanted to start a thread asking, but don't want to pay $18.

by Anonymousreply 1810/16/2013

While not exactly fitting the cold condition Bisbee, Arizona and Norman, Oklahoma might have what you are looking for. Ditto for Las Cruces, New Mexico.

by Anonymousreply 1910/16/2013

R18, see my post at R16.

No doubt small pockets, but yes.

by Anonymousreply 2010/16/2013

Marquette, Michigan is even prettier, and yet even more remote.

Home to Northern Michigan U.

Duluth is also pretty, but you have to realize that places that are seriously cold, people don't take as much care with their properties as places that are warm and it's no big deal to paint and mow the grass and plant a garden.

by Anonymousreply 2110/16/2013

Duluth is not exactly a small town, but it is pretty. Also, the micro-climate of the downtown is 10-15 degrees warmer in winter than the immediate hinterland owing to the lake and the bluffs.

by Anonymousreply 2210/16/2013

Bayside, Wisconsin is generally thought the midwest's prettiest town, but heavily dependent on tourism.

by Anonymousreply 2310/16/2013

There's a dl'er who owns property in Harbor Springs, Michigan, but I think he's wealthy and it's a fairly expensive town.

by Anonymousreply 2410/16/2013

Having been a student in Madison, yes, it's okay for a short-term stay, like a year, but it gets BORING. And it's NOT cheap - state legislators and tenured professors make more than you'd think; there's quite a bit of money in Madison, so no, it's not cheap.

by Anonymousreply 2510/16/2013

[quote]you have to realize that places that are seriously cold, people don't take as much care with their properties as places that are warm and it's no big deal to paint and mow the grass and plant a garden.

That's news to me. I'm from a small town in MI, and people take great pride in their homes/lawns/gardens. It actually feels like a competition sometimes (who can have the nicest lawn).

by Anonymousreply 2610/16/2013

Champaign, IL.

All you are looking for, plus tons of culture and lot of UofI students.

by Anonymousreply 2710/16/2013

Kalamazoo, MI

Half hour from the lakeshore

Two and a half hours to Chicago

Home of Bells Brewery

Only Alamo Drafthouse Theatre in the Midwest

Very affordable

by Anonymousreply 2810/16/2013

Kzoo also has a strong gay community, unlike Battle Creek, with its Seventh-day Adventist loony past.

by Anonymousreply 2910/16/2013

Duchess County, NY. Close enough for Metro North train to NYC and has a regional airport. Mostly exurbia, but still lots of open space and very inexpensive.

by Anonymousreply 3010/16/2013

The further east you go in MI, the less snow you'll have to contend with. There's a major difference in annual snowfall between, say, Grand Rapids and Detroit.

by Anonymousreply 3110/16/2013

For the most part, there are surprisingly many beautiful small towns in this country. New England, Upstate New York, Michigan, and Wisconsin have many of them. Of course, "small" is a relative term and I'm not sure exactly how rural OP is looking to get. My personal favorite small city is Burlington, Vermont; wonderful people, overwhelmingly liberal, and unrivaled beauty. My second-favorite is Madison, Wisconsin, which is somewhat less beautiful but has had more cultural and entertainment options.

I am from Rhode Island originally but now live in Atlanta. Long to get back up north. I don't mind the cold at all, and daydream about a small house on the shores of Lake Champlain.

by Anonymousreply 3210/16/2013

Isn't Las Cruces, NM overrun with...Mexicans?

by Anonymousreply 3310/16/2013

If you like old buildings, Madison, Indiana is for you. Largest historic district in the midwest, scenic bluffs, small elite liberal arts college (Hanover), and just an hour from Cincinnati, Louisville, and Indianapolis. There's even a movie about its decline and proud speedboat racing legacy, starring Jim Caviezel.

by Anonymousreply 3410/16/2013

R18? Why don't you ask Hillary?

by Anonymousreply 3510/16/2013

Yellow Springs, Ohio used to be funky and liberal but its college (Antioch) closed in 2008. It's been reopened as part of the state system, but I don't know if it still has the vibe.

by Anonymousreply 3610/16/2013

Visit for a week in Jan or Feb first if you think a cold climate would be refreshing. Shovel some driveways and look at the town's snow removal schedule. Realize it's 9 months of shitty weather. Spring and Fall are nice but still brutal at times and northern climes have long nights.

by Anonymousreply 3710/16/2013

It's closer to five months of shitty weather. It just seems like nine.

by Anonymousreply 3810/16/2013

Las Cruces is boring.

It's a retirement community, but it's also home to NMSU. It's not too big. Lots of new cookie cutter homes. Not much in the way of culture there.

If you're into the outdoors you can hike in the Organ Mountains. It's less than an hour to White Sands.

The nearest "big" city is EL Paso which is an hour or so away. Albuquerque is about 3 hours away. Santa Fe is about 4 hours, so is Tucson, AZ.

Not much in the way of culture.

It gets really hot for half of the year. Winters aren't bad.

And R33, the Mexicans were in Las Cruces before we were. Las Cruces used to be right on the border of Mexico until the Gadsden Purchase.

by Anonymousreply 3910/16/2013

[quote]Realize it's 9 months of shitty weather

Comments like this are always so over-the-top. Presumably October must be one of those nine months of shitty weather, yet the weather is gorgeous in almost the entire country today.

A more realistic view for the vast swath of northern climes in the US is that by late December you will need a coat, and that will last till early March or so. A few small number of days will be brutally cold, but most will be fine with a few basic clothing additions.

And P.S. few things are more beautiful in this world than a heavy snowfall.

by Anonymousreply 4010/16/2013

"And P.S. few things are more beautiful in this world than a heavy snowfall."

In your opinion.

by Anonymousreply 4110/16/2013

What about Asheville, NC?

by Anonymousreply 4210/16/2013

Parts of southern Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri have above freezing average highs all winter. Unfortunately, they are also thick with Southern Baptist ignorance.

by Anonymousreply 4310/16/2013

I live on Lawn Guyland and have visited CT quite often and I'm surprised at the nice homes you can buy in CT towns (not CT cities) compared to LI prices. I have relatives in now-notorious Newtown and though it is upscale in places, the house they live in is about $200,000 less than it would be here with lots of land.

by Anonymousreply 4410/16/2013

Burley, Idaho.

by Anonymousreply 4510/16/2013

R3 is an idiot if she thinks Boulder CO and Portland OR are cheap places to live.

by Anonymousreply 4610/16/2013

Las Vegas is cheap. I moved here last year.

by Anonymousreply 4710/16/2013


by Anonymousreply 4810/16/2013

R46, R3 has no cost of living. She lives in our hearts.

by Anonymousreply 4910/16/2013

R47, you mean inexpensive cheap or tacky cheap?

by Anonymousreply 5010/16/2013

R50, Las Vegas in an assault on my sense of taste.

by Anonymousreply 5110/16/2013

Las Vegas is not a small town, nor pretty, nor safe. It is a cesspool.

by Anonymousreply 5210/16/2013

Iowa City. Major university, top hospital, crawling with writers — and we have gay marriage!

by Anonymousreply 5310/16/2013

How is the cost of living in Eugene, OR compared to Portland?

by Anonymousreply 5410/16/2013

Dear 30, where do you come up with the idea that Dutchess County New York is inexpensive? Except maybe for Poughkeepsie, it is filled with big new houses in lower Duchess County and the northern part has some of the most beautiful and expensive horse farms in the North East. I'll give you a hint, if the majority of the residents in a town keep horses and play Polo, it is probably not an inexpensive area.

by Anonymousreply 5510/16/2013

what is Bronxville NY like?

by Anonymousreply 5610/16/2013

Beautiful people, beautifully cultured, beautiful downtown Utica, New York!

by Anonymousreply 5710/16/2013

Second Doylestown, PA.

by Anonymousreply 5810/16/2013

Hudson Valley area is just lovely and still affordable.

by Anonymousreply 5910/16/2013

r50 I mean inexpensive cheap. And if you think its a cesspool then that's coming from all the LA'er's moving here. Yes, the majority of people moving here are from LA.

by Anonymousreply 6010/16/2013

Keene, NH

by Anonymousreply 6110/16/2013

Olympia Washington; Marquette Michigan

by Anonymousreply 6210/16/2013

Another vote for Norman, Oklahoma.

by Anonymousreply 6310/16/2013

Hansville WA, Port Orchard WA, Poulsbo WA, Victorville CA, Perry UT, Anza CA.

by Anonymousreply 6410/16/2013

Maryville (as long as you like a welcome wagon that consists of free booze and date-rape).

by Anonymousreply 6510/16/2013

Skip Picayune but Ocean Springs, Mississippi, is an artsy gay mecca. Well for Mississippi. It's on the beach. I think there's a Buddhist temple there too. Oh and it's cheap.

by Anonymousreply 6610/16/2013

In Wisconsin, Middleton, WI, just west of Madison. Close enough to the university, major hospitals, live theater, but away from the college traffic. Lake Geneva and it's outskirts such as Williams Bay. It's a long-time summer resort town for rich Chicagoans, so there are more sophisticated people than the ordinary small-town WI towns. Close enough to Chicago and Milwaukee for airports and museums. WI has long, cold winters that even the locals complain about. It's not just the cold, it's the lack of sunshine w/ those long, grey northern plains winters.

In Michigan, there are nice, small towns on the western shores of Lake Michigan. Like WI, long winters, and humid, mosquito-infested short summers.

Visit in the winter to get a feel for the lifestyle.

by Anonymousreply 6710/16/2013

r61 I was going to suggest Keene as well, grew up near there but I'm a Californian now, and there are no cheap places in this state except maybe Twenty-nine Palms, but it's a furnace down there

by Anonymousreply 6810/16/2013

r40, try driving in a blizzard because you must get to work, or to an appointment. Try doing that in a not-so-great car.

I agree, the change of seasons is beautiful, but who needs the high home-heating bill. OP, you ARE prepared for THAT, aren't you? That huge heating bil really and truly sucks.

by Anonymousreply 6910/16/2013

It's odd, when I do some very detailed searching on the Internet I do indeed find places in California that are within reach, and quite affordable. The problem is that they are often very far from any type of employment, or they are in places that must be overrun with gangs. Usually they are just very, very rural. But, they exist, they are just not in places where I think I'd be happy, or at least employed.

by Anonymousreply 7010/16/2013

The Poconos. Just be a good 2 hours + away from NYC. Lots of Meth and unsavory sorts.

by Anonymousreply 7110/16/2013

Corvallis, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Ashland, Oregon

by Anonymousreply 7210/16/2013

R60, Las Vegas is like one huge Sunset Strip on meth, and except that instead of pandering towards celebrities, it panders towards the worst of flyover trash. With smoking and casinos. And decidedly less attractive people.

by Anonymousreply 7310/16/2013

Just be close to a big city. I was gay and on the wrestling team in high school in a town of about 2,000 people. Five years later I'm out, but it would have been apoplectic had I been open at the time.

Small towns aren't always livable even if they aren't openly awful.

by Anonymousreply 7410/16/2013

R73, doesn't Las Vagas is facing a water shortage? I wouldn't move there.

Someone mentioned burlington,VT. Oh my, i spend thanksgiving with a friend who lives there and my gawd, it's like 45 min drive to the anywhere. and it was cold too. I suppose it's nice but all of New England is similar like that.

I'm also looking into places to retire to in future. Everything is going up in prices and the govt claims there is no inflation!

by Anonymousreply 7510/16/2013

Edinburg NY. Has the lowest property tax rate in the entire state, small town, very accepting of the community and a 29 mile clean adirondack lake. The 4 seasons are typical but really lovely. We have been here for 23 years and love it. Houses are not fancy but we created a lovely adirondack style camp/house.

by Anonymousreply 7610/17/2013

Llanview or Pine Valley. They are not exactly Hollywood n Vine but they are home.

by Anonymousreply 7710/17/2013

Hi 76!

by Anonymousreply 7810/17/2013

Hello, Edinburg. Hello, Blue Mountain Lake.

by Anonymousreply 7910/17/2013

Hello back atcha (R78, R79). I have always been told the Adirondacks has a lot of gays. Nice to hear from you.

by Anonymousreply 8010/17/2013

I had a friend who moved to Yreka, California a few years back in order to retire. It had most everything you were looking and was very cheap by California prices.

by Anonymousreply 8110/17/2013

R18 R63 Is this the reason you're recommending Norman, OK?

by Anonymousreply 8210/17/2013


I recommended Abita Springs and Picayune only because these towns can better stand a hurricane, and because of proximity to university towns.

Ocean Springs, MS, being right on the Gulf and with global warming proceeding apace, would be at risk if the predictions about rising sea levels are correct.

by Anonymousreply 8310/17/2013

Poughkeepsie, R31?

by Anonymousreply 8410/17/2013

back to Doylestown,PA. It is small, but relatively sophisticated, easy access to NY and Phila via public transportation, reasonable and diverse housing options, art house movie theater, book store, great hospital in town, but also access to NY and Phila medical care, winters are not New England cold & snowy, and the three other seasons are lovely. Everything there is easy compared to larger cities where everything is an effort. Also pension income is not taxable in PA if that matters.

by Anonymousreply 8510/17/2013

There are some very nice suburbs and small towns outside of Cleveland. The winters aren't as bad as you might expect. Gay friendly is hit or miss. Lakewood, Ohio has the largest percentage of gays outside of San Francisco and West Hollywood. It can be expensive though.

by Anonymousreply 8610/17/2013

Sounds weird, but Claremont, CA is lovely. It's like living in AndyHardyville yet it's right off I-10. I've been there a couple of times, and it's a bit disorienting because you're in the middle of LA ugly urban sprawl. And all of a sudden you're in small town america.

by Anonymousreply 8710/17/2013

Lots of places in Maine and EXTREMELY affordable. Especially if you love nature and want to withdraw a little but have a lot of places to go when you feel like interacting. Try looking into Freeport.

Here's a great video.

by Anonymousreply 8810/17/2013

R87 For its location (easternmost LA County), Claremont is quite expensive. It's a nice, cute college town (The Claremont Colleges) but it's also right next to Pomona, which is a pit, and San Bernardino County.

by Anonymousreply 8910/17/2013

Julian, CA is pretty and close to SD.

by Anonymousreply 9010/17/2013

I would recommend some of the small seaside towns in western Washington state. Like the town that Hallmark Channel's "Cedar Cove" is filmed in. WA has no state income tax, but they do have a high sales tax.

by Anonymousreply 9110/17/2013

R91 The goal is to live in Washington and shop in Oregon, so you need to live in a border town. (Oregon has no sales tax.)

by Anonymousreply 9210/17/2013

Middleborough, New York is DESPERATE for gay homeowners.

by Anonymousreply 9310/17/2013

R92, what border towns would you suggest?

by Anonymousreply 9410/17/2013

"The Poconos. Just be a good 2 hours + away from NYC. Lots of Meth and unsavory sorts."

Milford, PA is very pretty.

by Anonymousreply 9510/17/2013

Brattleboro, VT. A hippy, artsy vibe, beautiful setting, Rock River about 20 mins north.

by Anonymousreply 9610/17/2013

Not on the border with Washington but Sisters, Or was a pretty place when I was in it years back.

by Anonymousreply 9710/17/2013

Lenox, MA

Stockbride, MA

Saratoga Springs, NY

The Finger Lakes area of NY is very pretty

by Anonymousreply 9810/17/2013

Lake Geneva is really wonderful in the summer. My parents built a home on the lake (thanks for building when I was nearly 50 and my knees couldn't take watersking).

But it's really expensive. Their property taxes were about 60k a year. Lots of huge old estates from old Chicago money. Was never there in the fall or winter. I imagine it's pretty brutal.

But you need a boat.

by Anonymousreply 9910/17/2013

Athens, GA, home of UGA, big college town with music to rival Austin. Atlanta 40 minutes away, clean industry, mountains and rivers of N.Ga just minutes away.

by Anonymousreply 10010/17/2013

My plan was to live somewhere in the Cascades in the summer, Palm Springs the rest of the year. Unfortunately my finances did not agree with my plan and I settled in the desert. I need sunlight.

by Anonymousreply 10110/17/2013

Oberlin, Ohio

by Anonymousreply 10210/17/2013

Lawrence, KS is another pretty cool university town.

by Anonymousreply 10310/17/2013

Three Oaks, Michigan. Town of only 1600 people, but an amazing arts community fitting a town thirty times that size. Very gay. A wonderful live performance theater and an art movie theater. Galleries and antique shops. A foodie culture throughout the area and a microdistillery in town. Main street dripping with Americana, and music on the town square on Saturdays. Ten minute drive from Lake Michigan. And you can buy a cute little house to fix up for $60K or $80K.

by Anonymousreply 10410/17/2013

I don't think I'll be happy in any of these places. What am I to do?

by Anonymousreply 10510/17/2013

[R105] Keep looking.

by Anonymousreply 10610/17/2013

Marfa, TX

by Anonymousreply 10710/17/2013

Alpine, Texas

by Anonymousreply 10810/17/2013

Is anyone here experienced with the western hills of Maine--Oxford, the Norways, the Parises? The area appears to be more affordable than my beloved Camden and perhaps a safer bet in this age of extreme weather.

I laugh at winter and if the laughter should stop I can spend the worst of it in Las Cruces (q.v.)

by Anonymousreply 10910/18/2013

Is anyone else not seeing any recent posts besides the ones on their thread watcher?

by Anonymousreply 11010/18/2013

R110 I am having the same problem.

by Anonymousreply 11110/18/2013

R111...glad to know. I was worried I was banned or something.

by Anonymousreply 11210/18/2013

same problem here

by Anonymousreply 11310/18/2013

It's fixed for me. Maybe for you too.

by Anonymousreply 11410/19/2013

Spearfish, South Dakota

by Anonymousreply 11510/20/2013

Hoquium Washington

by Anonymousreply 11610/20/2013

Williamstown, MA in the Berkshires. Lovely town very liberal.

by Anonymousreply 11712/15/2013

Poultney VT. has everything. mountains, lakes, a beautiful but lesser known ski are, a beautiful liberal arts college. Good proximity to bigger areas.

by Anonymousreply 11812/15/2013

I was in Tucson last month and really enjoyed it. Perhaps more of a small city than a town but still fun.

by Anonymousreply 11912/15/2013

Provincetown would fit the bill, but the local politics are brutal.

by Anonymousreply 12012/15/2013

Eureka Springs is sorta isolated in the Ozarks. Insular for entertaining. Very gay friendly. in fact the state legislature has a few gay reps. My only complaint is that a good hospital is at least one hour away.

by Anonymousreply 12112/15/2013

Arkansas...really? Who knew!

by Anonymousreply 12212/15/2013

Scranton, PA - cheap housing some nice suburbs beautifully restored downtown has tons going on every weekend including a decent arts n cultural scene and lots of hot Polish, Irish, and Italian guys, working class town, only 2 hours to NYC or Philly,

by Anonymousreply 12312/15/2013

Morgantown West Virginia (I am not joking) Home to WVU (it is West Virginia University, not University of West Virginia). Ruby Memorial Hospital is a very good institution; if Ruby Memorial cannot handle the problem, cases are referred to one of the medical centers in Pittsburgh 90 miles away.

Repeat, Pittsburgh is only 90 miles away with the symphony, the ballet, the opera and live theater. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a concert series at WVU.

You might to check out also Shepherdstown WV, which is part of the Washington, D.C., media market; Crawfordsville, Ind., an hour from Indianapolis; Farmville, Va; Carlisle, Pa.; and Frostburg, Md.

I might recommend State College PA, it is kind of isolated. Washington D.C., and Philadelphia are four hours away; Pittsburgh is three hours away

by Anonymousreply 12412/15/2013

Morgan Hill or Gilroy, CA

by Anonymousreply 12512/15/2013

Raleigh or Charlotte, NC

by Anonymousreply 12612/15/2013

Raleigh and Charlotte are hardly "small towns."

by Anonymousreply 12712/15/2013

My car is in the shop. At times like these, I think it must be nice to live in that little town on that little island on the Great Lakes - the one that prohibits automobiles so everyone rides a horse, or horsepowered sleigh or buggy, or bicycles. Or they walk or ski. It seems charming. If you get the itch to go on a road trip, you can just take the ferry to a major town.

It's technically in Canada I think.

by Anonymousreply 12812/15/2013
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