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Old 04-03-2013, 10:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by FlightlessDuck View Post
How literal are you about being between Philadelphia and Boston? Mostly what is in between there is eastern PA, most of NJ, NYC, and CT.

If you look at it as a triangle, the Albany metro area would be good. I've spent a few summers there, though, and I wouldn't call it small or quaint. Maybe Cooperstown or Altamont, although they are very small (about 1,700 people each).

I've heard of Saratoga Springs, but I've never been there.

I would campaign for somewhere in my area, but it's much closer to Philly than Boston.
Well right now we're 8 hours from Philly and 2 hours from Boston, so ideally we'd like to be a little more like 4 hours from each. If we find the right place though we're not opposed to an 8 hour drive to either because we do it now, but it wouldn't be our first choice.

I actually see on the side there you're from Bethlehem, Pa...I actually grew up around the Doylestown area if you know where that is (about 40 minutes south of you actually). I love my area...we're just trying to find somewhere a little more in between as opposed to one person's hometown over the others.

Here's some answers to the questions you posed...which I hope helps!
Originally Posted by TinkerBelled View Post
Some questions that might help narrow things down a bit:

1. How close to a bigger city would you want the town to be?
I'd say within a 2 hour drive would be ideal, but if we have all the amenities around us (department stores, movie theaters, etc.) it's not as necessary to be super close.
2. How rural would you like the surrounding area to be?
I wouldn't say too rural, just because we live somewhere like that right now and it can be frustrating when we do have to get somewhere. I grew up near some farms and stuff though, so I like land, but would prefer it not to be more than a 15 minute drive to a larger road.
3. Do you prefer mountains or the beach? Do you care about living near either?
We really don't have a preference, but if I had to pick one I think we'd chose mountains cause we actually do enjoy skiing / snowboarding a lot.
4. How close to an interstate do you want to be?
I'd say within a 10-15 minute drive would be ideal.
5. What would you like the area's price range/average income to be?
We're looking in a price range of around $1500/month for a 2 bedroom apartment. So if we can afford than that's the most important thing haha
Thanks again so much for all the suggestions and input, I will definitely be looking into all these places. It really is helping me out a lot in our search!

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Old 04-03-2013, 10:51 PM   #17
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Check out Madison or Guilford CT.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:33 AM   #18
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Waitsfield Vermont!!! The best Norman Rockwell painting type of town! I have lived there for years...not far from NH, near NY...when time, school very decent...shopping is qaint shops, a tad travel to Burlington. Also a ski town, base of Sugarbush and Mad river glenn!
awesome beautiful area!!

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Old 04-04-2013, 07:29 AM   #19
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you are already looking at it, but we lived in Saratoga springs for a couple of years and loved it. lots to do, but still a small town feel. easy drive to boston, nyc, and philly. Albany is an easy in/easy out airport.

we love being back in the boston area now (dh is from here), but there are many times that we reminisce about Saratoga and our time there.

good luck on your search!
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:37 AM   #20
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I can speak best to Madison and Guilford. Both are lovely and a bit posh, Madison more so than Guilford. The town centers are at the very southern end of the boundaries (the borders run about three miles EW and ten miles NS); the southern ends of the town, near the centers, feel a bit beachy while the northern ends feel quite wooded and rural. Cost of living is high, but amenities abound.

In terms of having a real sense of center, I'd go for Guilford over Madison. They both have town greens, but Guilford's stores actually surround the square--it's a bit of a Gilmore Girls feeling--while Madison's are on a strip about a quarter mile away. They're both quite old for America--Guilford was founded in the 1630s and has lots of quite old houses in the downtown, while Madison was actually part of Guilford until the 1820s, so the old houses are more scattered around former homesteads. Each has some very good restaurants.

As for culture, both are quite close to New Haven, which has some of the best regional theater in the country, a symphony, a ballet, two world-class art museums, a renowned jazz club, and all of the cultural energy provided by Yale. The restaurant scene in New Haven is really excellent. There's less centered on the towns themselves, although both have independent bookstores and coffee shops. Madison has an arts house movie theater as well.

They also both have train stations (walkable from downtown) which taken you into New Haven, where you can get a connection to either Amtrak or the MetroNorth to NYC. 95 runs through each town, north of the centers, making quite easy to commute. It's a little over two hours to Boston and, depending on the nightmare that is NY rush hour traffic, a little over three hours to Philly.

In other words, worth checking out. There are downsides to the places, of course: the size of the town limits and the proximity to New Haven means that things aren't as concentrated on the center as in other small towns; you absolutely have to have a car in order to deal with the town properly; they're quite wealthy and quite white, which can lead to a little bit of homogeneity; they can feel quite family-focused, which is less compelling if you don't have kids. That said, I think they manage a smaller-town feel while still giving you access to a lot of the things you're looking for.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:50 AM   #21
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Wow! Thanks so much for all the information TinkerBelled! I've starting looking at a lot of the places that have been mentioned and most of them are exactly what we're looking for. I will definitely be adding these onto my list of places to check out, and start looking into what apartment options might be around these places.

Thanks so much!

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Old 04-04-2013, 03:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by TinkerBelled View Post
they're quite wealthy and quite white, which can lead to a little bit of homogeneity; they can feel quite family-focused, which is less compelling if you don't have kids. That said, I think they manage a smaller-town feel while still giving you access to a lot of the things you're looking for.
I had to laugh at this, because when we lived in Madison, we called it "Lilly-white" Madison, because there weren't ANY black families. If I could afford it, I'd still move back, as I loved the small-town atmosphere and always felt safe there, and I loved being so close to the shoreline. IMO Guilford isn't as kept up as Madison and seemed a little grubby compared. But that being said, this was SEVERAL years ago, so I'm sure even places like Guilford and Madison have changed.

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Old 04-04-2013, 04:57 PM   #23
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Check out Westerly, RI or Mystic/Stonington CT.

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Old 04-04-2013, 05:05 PM   #24
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:56 PM   #25
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Thank you! Thank you! I will definitely look more into all these places!

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #26
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Brunswick, Maine.

We lived there for 5 years and absolutely loved it.

Farmers market during the summer on the town mall (common). Flooding the mall in the winter for skating. Bowdoin college. Wonderful restaurants. Close to Freeport (LL Bean and outlets), Bath and Boothbay Harbor. Fat Boys Drive In (So, so yummy). Broadway stage productions come to Bowdoin every summer. Quick 30 min. drive to Portland and all that neat little city has to offer.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:09 PM   #27
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Another CT area is the Danbury area. Ridgefield was once voted America's Best Town. The area is convenient to both NY and Boston, by train and highway. Danbury is a college town and has a huge upscale mall. Lots of celebrities live in he surrounding towns. Newtown/ Sandy Hook is part of the area.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:33 AM   #28
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Well I grew up in a small town in CT, so I thought. I grew up in Trumbull which is about 1/2 hour from the NY line. The town, small, lol, has around 30,000 people. There are a ton of restaurants in town/close by as well as stores, there is no downtown area that you can just window shop. I would move back there in a minute but my husband has been at his job since he was 16 and he will be 45 soon..he isn't going to leave or commute, since his work commute is about 5 minutes!

Now I actually live in a small town. My town in CT which borders the CT river has about 5000 people in it. We share a middle and high school with 2 other small towns. One town has a little less then us population wise and the other is just under 10k.

Each of the 3 towns has an actual town center where leaf peepers and those summer vacationers flock to so they can shop or window shop. It isn't overly crowded like mystic can get. My town just has a 24 hour period every July that the population increases due to the muster we have but we avoid town and most shops vp lose because they don't want people stealing.

The down side is that the nearest mall is about 25 min away (and target too!). A larger grocery store is about 10-15 min from me but we have in in town that I often shop at. I do not live in town but about 8 minutes outside of town.

There are not chain restaurants, just local ones in our 3 towns. Actually there are very few chain restaurants in my area. There is a mcds and bk but they are both 2 towns away.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:00 AM   #29
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Keene, NH. We moved here from Saratoga County (western side, more rural). When we were first moving out, DH said Keene was "like Saratoga, without the snootiness".

We don't have a regular mall, but plenty of standard stores. For malls, we head to Nashua or down to Amherst, MA. Winters are milder than Saratoga's. And there's no state sales or income tax. The only thing is, I don't know that you could get away without owning a car. We know several families that just have one, though.

I think NH would be much cheaper to live in than CT or NY. The housing costs aren't different, really, but the taxes are much lower.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:17 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by CMA21

Well when I say small town, we're looking for a town where there'd most likely be a main street with shops and restaurants, etc. We lived in center city Philadelphia for a little while, and although there were plenty of things to walk around and do we definitely don't want to live in a big city again. We now live in a town of about 1000, which is proving to be a little too small. So we're trying to find something in between the two now...but as far as specific population is concerned, I'm not too sure, but I'd guess something between a town of 15,000 to a borough of 3000 maybe?
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