I must respectfully disagree with Milocalwinnings (living, as I do, just north of Putnam County).
I think any place where many/most residents commute into a big city loses the true small town feeling. I'd vote for my town, Millerton NY (voted "Coolest Small Town in America" a couple of years ago by Budget Travel Magazine). However, we are not coastal, and there is the issue of weekenders diluting, just a bit, the small town-ness. Also, the schools are awful. So I guess we don't actually fit.
Nah - it doesn't have to be coastal (that's just mainly my little Pipe Dream) but being near a lake would be nice. We can both fly free, so anywhere would be OK, but I hate really cold winters, so I'm thinking Michigan, Maine etc are out.
My husband has been throwing around Burnside Kentucky, as an idea, since he could easily get a job there - he works for Clorox, and they have a plant there. Of course I would LOVE to live in Ky, since I would love to one day get back in to TBs.
Shoreham, Orwell or Vergennes in VT. They're on the west shore of Lake Champlain, and there are miles and miles of dirt roads and conserved land on which to ride (I live in Orwell, just south of Shoreham, and can hack off my land for days - no need for a trailer). Rules of the road here are the horses come first - although you do get the odd idiot. There are 11 houses within a mile of me with horses, and this whole area is like that. Vermont ranks 4th highest in the US for public education, with an average of 15 kids/class. Houses and land are affordable (the 80 acres of meadows next to me with two barns just sold for about 200K), though taxes are high compared to the national average. Skiing, canoeing, boating, camping, biking (the Champlain bike trail runs through Orwell and Shoreham), hiking - all covered. There is definitely the small town atmosphere - friendly, and everyone knows everyone.
GL in your search
Last edited by Tommy's Girl; Oct. 8, 2011 at 06:16 PM.
Reason: clarity, or lack of!
Voted (albeit several years ago) one of the top ten "small towns" in the country.
Stone's throw from Shenandoah National Park (terrific hiking), wonderful restaurants (a couple that beat anything DC has to offer), horses & horse functions up the friggin wazoo, & reasonable taxes. What more would you want?
And yes - there are very few places I walk in to shop where I'm not known. Definitely a nice place to live.
Kansas. We moved to eastern KS in 1994 and have never looked back east. Eastern KS is like central Virginia, rolling hills and trees.
Our "town" has a population of 5,000 but we live 12 miles from town. The county (30 miles square) has 30,000 in it and there are three towns in the county. Our school district has 2,000 students in it K-12. We are 20 miles south of Kansas City so if we need a blacktop, city fix we can be in suburbia in no time flat. If we need more space we drive south or west and hit the beautiful prairie. There are many state parks on this side of the state for boaters and fisherman. On the land by the state lakes are horse trails, hikers and hunters. The taxes in KS are high (IMO) but the public schools in a little po-dunk town like mine are top notch.
As for horse scene, in a 25 mile area we have THE top gun of AQHA roper trainers Brad Lund, another guy who does reining, the dressage stallion "Wake Up", a gal moving up into the national level eventing scene (there may be more in our area but I'm not an eventer) and various regional level hunter show barns. And my favorite, 2 active fox hunting clubs.
I always said I would return to upstate SC or coastal VA (places we lived before coming out here) but I can see us retireing out here.
You can do small town and coastal if you try Oregon or Washington. The big problem is the number of tourists in the summer. I lived in Florence, Oregon and it was wonderful in the winter but trying to drive Hwy 101 in the summer was a nightmare worthy of any big city!
Crayola Posse - Pine Green
RIP Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
Culeper was - a couple of years ago - named the farthest "comfortable" commute to DC by The Washington Post. Which, unfortunately, has enamored us with more housing developments (thank God not around me).
Husband's commute is between 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on when he leaves work & the traffic.
In the current economy - land & very nice farms are up for grabs at very nice prices.
My island . North end is a military base, so not small (~25k, so still not BIG), but everything south of me is TINY. Coupeville has no box stores AT ALL, very organic. Ditto the rest of the cities on the island. Even on the north end, everyone was excited when Applebees moved in.
It's a marine island, and surrounded by mountains. I cannot stress how beautiful it is here. There is fantastic hiking ON the island and within short drives OFF the island. Also scuba diving, boating, kayaking, sailing, dog agility, bicycling (we have Tour De Whidbey every year), various festivals and events that are "small town" feeling, with Dutch heritage,etc.
Horse scene is close to Seattle for h/j and dressage, there is a dressage training facility in Coupeville and the eventing scene is picking up a bit with the influx of some new riders (hollynanne here on COTH, etc). There's a large facility on the north end, I don't know what flavor they are teaching now, the BO is a bit...eccentric... Also a lot of WP, gaming, roping. Once you get here, it seems like everyone has five acres and a horse stashed away.
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
Try it before you buy it. We moved to a small town, outside a larger town, outside of Lexington, KY. It was great, for a while. I grew up in the country too, but in Maryland. This is a whole different country in Kentucky.
When my husband retires, we're going back to the east coast...exburbs of a city, probably. Get me out of here!
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant