Author Topic: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?  (Read 38760 times)

Jeremy E.

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Location: Lewiston, ID
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #100 on: June 15, 2015, 11:12:14 AM »
I still think Moscow, ID is an incredible city, it's not in Washington but it's right on the Washington border. A 10 minute drive to moscow mountain which gives you an endless amount of trails for biking from casual to very intense. Also Hiking, Snowshoeing in the winter, etc. It's also home of the University of Idaho. It's a very bike friendly community. A decent house here can come for as cheap as 140k. One of the bluer cities in Idaho, I'd say it's purple.

Lewiston, ID is another great option, Also in Idaho but right on the border. The rivers here are amazing (Snake River and Clearwater River). It's the entrance to Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge in America. I've taken a Hells Canyon Tour and it has some of the most beautiful nature I've ever seen. There are some good biking trails at Hells Gate State Park, not quite as good as Moscow Mountain, but still great. A decent house here can come for as cheap as 125k. This city is red.

An alternative to Spokane that is kind of similar, Coeur D'Alene, ID, it's not in Washington but right on the border, near Spokane, Home of Coeur D'alene Lake.

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #101 on: June 15, 2015, 11:17:49 AM »
The trails around Seattle and Redmond are so packed that even during weekdays there are hordes of people on them. It really sucks.

OP, based on your criteria, either state would fit you nicely. WA has no income tax, so if you spend very little, you will come out ahead over living in OR.

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1364
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #102 on: June 15, 2015, 02:30:24 PM »
The trails around Seattle and Redmond are so packed that even during weekdays there are hordes of people on them. It really sucks.

OP, based on your criteria, either state would fit you nicely. WA has no income tax, so if you spend very little, you will come out ahead over living in OR.

Agreed about the trails here.  The trails seem so much busier than 8 years ago.  Need to get up early and get parked so you don't have to park 1+ miles from some trailheads.

TheBuddha

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 237
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #103 on: June 15, 2015, 07:38:24 PM »
Lewiston, ID is another great option, Also in Idaho but right on the border. The rivers here are amazing (Snake River and Clearwater River).

That's a beautiful area, I pick up loads regularly from the paper mill. They park the trailers so close to the river I can dip my toes in :)

Fuzz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #104 on: June 15, 2015, 10:33:16 PM »
Fuzz -- Researched the Methow Valley and O.   M.   G.  is it beautiful.  The skiing!!!   [long pathetic whimper] ...

Maybe live in Wenatchee and do day trips up to the Methow Valley . . . ?  My initial researches seem to show Wenatchee at the 'red' end of the blue-red spectrum, but maybe I'm wrong about that.   If it's in the middle that's fine.  We can definitely deal with "purple."  :)  Just don't want pure red. 

Do visit! Compared to most of Eastern Washington, Wenatchee is purple. There is a Unitarian Church. More wineries than you can shake a stick at. Brewpubs. A Costco. An orchestra that they're very proud of. Still, I'd suggest slightly outside of Wenatchee because you can get an amazing view for ~$250K (or less). Basically, anything between Plain and Wenatchee.

Also, the West in general doesn't have much of that Southern conservative thing. People might vote for a Republican. But there isn't a lot of prayer in public spaces or winning arguments with bible verses. The County electeds in Chelan County are on the moderate side. Unless you're pretty political, you won't notice. Gay marriage and marijuana for everyone!

RichMoose

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
  • Location: Alberta
  • RiskManagement
    • The Rich Moose | A Better Canadian Finance Blog
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #105 on: June 16, 2015, 08:41:25 AM »
Regarding the whole left-right, blue-purple-red thing it's all relative to what you are used to. I live on the Canadian prairies, generally considered to be more conservative by Canadian standards. However, Edmonton is so progressive I would put it up there with the blue cities of the Californian coast (of comparable size). Calgary is often viewed as the largest conservative city in Canada, but on social issues its still very progressive. It has an active open gay community, there are no sign waving or rocks thrown at family planning clinics, no bible quotes, etc. The Christian evangelism is very progressive and a passive form, often community orientated activities where everyone is free to come and no one is subject to an onslaught of activism.

If you are coming from a southern state, chances are you will be quite comfortable just about anywhere in Washington and Oregon with a decent size population as long as you're not in a town with a very high population of a single church (ie. LDS). I only say this because a good friend of mine worked in Cardston, Alberta for a while and told me repeatedly how its impossible to feel part of the community if you don't attend the LDS church.

magnuminator

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Tacoma, WA
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #106 on: June 16, 2015, 11:14:43 AM »
The trails around Seattle and Redmond are so packed that even during weekdays there are hordes of people on them. It really sucks.

Agreed about the trails here.  The trails seem so much busier than 8 years ago.  Need to get up early and get parked so you don't have to park 1+ miles from some trailheads.

I'll add a third endorsement for this statement.  If you want easy access to trails, look elsewhere.  I started backpacking as a wee fellow back in '81 and while things got a little busier over the course of the '90s, the last ten years have been tough on the trails.  I'd definitely recommend living on the other side of the Cascades, in Oregon, or near the Olympics if easy access is a priority.  Or at least go a bit further south (Enumclaw?) or north (perhaps Arlington).

abiteveryday

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #107 on: June 16, 2015, 11:37:49 AM »
Another regrettable confirmation that the last decade has made any trail within an hour's drive of Seattle all but unusable on a nice weekend.     Used to be the crowds were confined to Mt. Si, then Granite Mountain got the reputation as the place to go to avoid the crowds, and now basically anything West of the summit off I90 you better be parked by 9AM unless you want a mile of road walking as part of your hike.

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #108 on: June 16, 2015, 11:52:21 AM »
Another regrettable confirmation that the last decade has made any trail within an hour's drive of Seattle all but unusable on a nice weekend.     Used to be the crowds were confined to Mt. Si, then Granite Mountain got the reputation as the place to go to avoid the crowds, and now basically anything West of the summit off I90 you better be parked by 9AM unless you want a mile of road walking as part of your hike.

So don't go to the I-90 corridor. There are deserted places all over the cascades, you may have to drive a FS road quite a ways, or go off trail, but solitude is out there, kind of.

abiteveryday

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 130
  • Location: Seattle
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #109 on: June 16, 2015, 11:54:27 AM »
Another regrettable confirmation that the last decade has made any trail within an hour's drive of Seattle all but unusable on a nice weekend.     Used to be the crowds were confined to Mt. Si, then Granite Mountain got the reputation as the place to go to avoid the crowds, and now basically anything West of the summit off I90 you better be parked by 9AM unless you want a mile of road walking as part of your hike.

So don't go to the I-90 corridor. There are deserted places all over the cascades, you may have to drive a FS road quite a ways, or go off trail, but solitude is out there, kind of.

Agreed on that, and it's mostly what I do.   I'd be better off living in Kittitas County really.    But from the perspective of the OP who is looking to minimize travel time to the trails, it may not be as good an option.

magnuminator

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Tacoma, WA
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #110 on: June 16, 2015, 02:06:12 PM »

I grew up in Spokane and have no desire to go back, but all of the Spokahate in this thread is starting to rile my feathers.

Spokane is the second largest city in the state.  That title comes with some associated problems, but those are balanced by better access to outdoor recreation opportunities than any other large city in the region.

I think much of the bad rap the city gets is because people judge based on the parts they can see from the freeway, which are all of the worst parts. 

Oh man...this really sounds a lot like the stick that Tacoma gets.  I didn't grow up there and don't live there anymore, but I tend to get defensive on her behalf when I hear things like that.  You're definitely onto something with the observation about freeway judgment. 

Additionally, there's something in the cultural air these days (perhaps it's not as novel as I think, but it's there) about only the very best being acceptable.  I believe that's how a lot of people decide that they can only live in NY, LA, Berlin, London, etc.  Some of them may be right about that (figuratively) but I suspect many are just absorbing the effects of a marketing environment designed to make them think that compromise is failure.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 04:04:38 PM by magnuminator »

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #111 on: June 16, 2015, 03:41:44 PM »
Take Tacoma away from seattle or other major metropolitan area, but keep everything the same, and it would be a highly desirable place to live. Problem is that it will always be in Seattle's shadow, but it is a very nice place to live. Checks all the boxes for me: close to mountains, water, multiple museums, bikeable, DIY culture, and low COL.  Where else can you bike 50 miles and be in the heart of a place like Mt Rainier NP? Nowhere, because there is nothing like it anywhere else.

Bike down this dirt road (or walk in the deeper sections) for 5 miles into Mt Rainier


Set up camp


Hike or backpack into the park via carbon glacier (no pic, sorry).
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 04:03:55 PM by zoltani »

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2318
  • Location: US
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #112 on: June 17, 2015, 05:17:53 AM »

Do visit! Compared to most of Eastern Washington, Wenatchee is purple. There is a Unitarian Church. More wineries than you can shake a stick at. Brewpubs. A Costco. An orchestra that they're very proud of. Still, I'd suggest slightly outside of Wenatchee because you can get an amazing view for ~$250K (or less). Basically, anything between Plain and Wenatchee.

Also, the West in general doesn't have much of that Southern conservative thing. People might vote for a Republican. But there isn't a lot of prayer in public spaces or winning arguments with bible verses. The County electeds in Chelan County are on the moderate side. Unless you're pretty political, you won't notice. Gay marriage and marijuana for everyone!

@Fuzz -- you got it.  We're not political, and as long as it's purple and there are a few people we can connect with, that's good enough! And Magnuminator, you are right too -- our new place doesn't have to perfect.  Just "good enough."  :) That's why I'm totally keeping Spokane on the list.  The town I grew up in way back in the day is also rough around the edges and has some problems, but I can still see and appreciate the good stuff.  Thanks for the pictures Zoltani!  We will visit Tacoma!

Love the general state politics of both Washington and Oregon. On our recent road trip through Oregon we were laughing because we couldn't pump our own gas, but we could stop and buy some pot if we wanted to.  That's quirky. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 05:37:06 AM by Trifele »

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2318
  • Location: US
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #113 on: June 17, 2015, 08:10:23 AM »
@Spokey -- I checked out some of your "wild card" suggestions -- Astoria, OR and points south, and Joseph -- and Oh Man do they look great.  Have to drive a good way for skiing, but it looks like they check every other box.  I could live with that.  They look great and we will definitely visit.  Thank you!!

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8844
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #114 on: June 17, 2015, 08:21:34 AM »
@Spokey -- I checked out some of your "wild card" suggestions -- Astoria, OR and points south, and Joseph -- and Oh Man do they look great.  Have to drive a good way for skiing, but it looks like they check every other box.  I could live with that.  They look great and we will definitely visit.  Thank you!!

Yeah, it seems like you're running into have to choose between great gardening and driving to XC skiing. It ends up being a "pick your side of the mountains, drive to the other".

Did you have any specific questions about Oregon towns still? I can answer about any of the cities and towns in the Willamette valley basically, and have spent a lot of time recreating in Central Oregon- not as much time far Eastern or Southern though.

spokey doke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Escaped from the ivory tower basement
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #115 on: June 17, 2015, 10:15:38 AM »
@Spokey -- I checked out some of your "wild card" suggestions -- Astoria, OR and points south, and Joseph -- and Oh Man do they look great.  Have to drive a good way for skiing, but it looks like they check every other box.  I could live with that.  They look great and we will definitely visit.  Thank you!!

Yeah, it seems like you're running into have to choose between great gardening and driving to XC skiing. It ends up being a "pick your side of the mountains, drive to the other".

Did you have any specific questions about Oregon towns still? I can answer about any of the cities and towns in the Willamette valley basically, and have spent a lot of time recreating in Central Oregon- not as much time far Eastern or Southern though.

This is where I wonder about places like Sandy and Estacada...still west side moderated temps for gardening (and plenty of precip.), but very close to playing in the Cascades. I just don't know what they are actually like as towns to live in, but I think the location is pretty ideal.

magnuminator

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Tacoma, WA
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #116 on: June 17, 2015, 10:52:24 AM »
Wonderful pictures, Zoltani.  All the more reason to wish that I were retired right now.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8844
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #117 on: June 17, 2015, 10:57:54 AM »
@Spokey -- I checked out some of your "wild card" suggestions -- Astoria, OR and points south, and Joseph -- and Oh Man do they look great.  Have to drive a good way for skiing, but it looks like they check every other box.  I could live with that.  They look great and we will definitely visit.  Thank you!!

Yeah, it seems like you're running into have to choose between great gardening and driving to XC skiing. It ends up being a "pick your side of the mountains, drive to the other".

Did you have any specific questions about Oregon towns still? I can answer about any of the cities and towns in the Willamette valley basically, and have spent a lot of time recreating in Central Oregon- not as much time far Eastern or Southern though.

This is where I wonder about places like Sandy and Estacada...still west side moderated temps for gardening (and plenty of precip.), but very close to playing in the Cascades. I just don't know what they are actually like as towns to live in, but I think the location is pretty ideal.

I know a couple people who live in Sandy and LOVE it, but I also know them because they're in PDX a lot... it seems like people tend to treat it like a suburb of Portland. So I would be worried the culture would suffer there- it may not feel so much like a small town as a really outlying suburb.

As for gardening, both are pretty pine tree dominated. I know people can garden in areas like that, but I grew up truly in the valley where it's more grass than pine forest. I think as far as gardening climate it would be much more akin to Washington or properly the cascades than it is to the valley. I bet Erica could speak to that a lot more though!

I will say that being in either place would be great access to the wilderness areas around hood. I will say, though, that there's no way you could ride a bike up 26 in the winter. Way too many trucks, no shoulders with the snow. So you would totally have to drive to XC locations still, it just wouldn't be as far a drive. (Actually, come to think of it, there's an employee shuttle that goes from just outside Sandy near Calamity Jane's up to the top of hood, so it's possible there are shuttle options in the winter... dunno, worth investigating).
I don't know about the road out of estacada, I haven't taken it out before.

bella

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #118 on: June 17, 2015, 01:40:27 PM »
A plug for Vancouver WA.  And not so fond of Spokane.  I grew up in Spokane, had my career in Seattle, moved back to Spokane after retirement and left there three years ago for Vancouver WA.   Spokane is just not my place.  Spokane has hot summers, cold long winters and is isolated -- it is the largest city between Seattle and Minneapolis.   I happen to be a water person so it is too desert-like for me.  I prefer deciduous over pine trees and more progressive politics.  I was involved in political work and activism and there is a strong small progressive group that is wonderful.  Outside that group it is a conservative town.  The Riverfront park downtown is a great walking spot (former Expo 74 site) and there are lots of lakes outside down.  People love the outdoor stuff there.  I left Seattle when I retired because it was too big and too expensive.  Tried Spokane and decided it was not for me (again).  Was headed for Portland and stopped in Vancouver and fell in love.  I've been here 1.5 years and live downtown. The city has urban sprawl but the downtown is wonderful...a beautiful downtown park with a farmers market that goes from March to Oct and is one of the best I've seen.  Summer concerts in the park.  Wonderful downtown library - my favorite of any town I've lived in.  Downtown is walking distance to Fort Vancouver -- a national park.  Walking distance to a trail along the Colombia River.  I get on the Express bus here and am in downtown Portland in 20 minutes.  Vancouver is like a suburb of Portland but has an openness (buildings aren't as tall) and a quieter pace which I enjoy.  Lots of small business downtown, many restaurants.   An hour and a half from the ocean, near Mt St Helens and Mt Hood, near a major airport (PDX).   I think the town has a lot going for it.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2318
  • Location: US
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #119 on: June 17, 2015, 03:30:23 PM »
Thanks Bella!  A couple other people had mentioned Vancouver but had not gone into such great detail. After your description we will definitely check it out further.  I am guessing the property values will be on the higher end of our desired range, but maybe we could work with that.  I was thinking Vancouver was so close to Portland it would feel like a big city, but it sounds not.  Great and thanks again!

kindviking

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
    • KindViking.com - Slay debt, build wealth & feast on life!
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #120 on: June 17, 2015, 10:02:23 PM »
(Didn't read all the responses, so apologies if this is a repeat.) I'd suggest Winthrop, WA. You get massive mountains, some of the best cross-country skiing in the country, cowboy life, city transplants and lots of open space.

Regarding the trail congestion around Seattle, there are plenty of low-traffic (and no-traffic) trails within an hour or two if you avoid the obvious / highly documented trails.

Trifele

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2318
  • Location: US
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #121 on: June 18, 2015, 05:12:28 AM »
Thanks, Kindviking!  Yes -- someone had mentioned the Methow Valley and I had checked that out.  Man is it beautiful!  Someone else said though that it is remote -- like living at the end of a giant dead end road.  We'll be visiting.  :)

RetireAbroadAt35

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 222
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #122 on: June 18, 2015, 10:16:07 AM »
I've always been interested in SW Washington.  No income tax, short hop over the border for no sales tax, easy access to Portland, and cheap cheap cheap RE.  I haven't lived there but I have visited.  I can't speak to bikeability.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #123 on: June 19, 2015, 11:45:47 AM »
Despite not posting in this thread, I've been following with interest.  I'm definitely on the move post-FIRE and the PNW seems like the best place to me.

A plug for Vancouver WA.  [snip]  I've been here 1.5 years and live downtown. The city has urban sprawl but the downtown is wonderful...a beautiful downtown park with a farmers market that goes from March to Oct and is one of the best I've seen.  Summer concerts in the park.  Wonderful downtown library - my favorite of any town I've lived in.  Downtown is walking distance to Fort Vancouver -- a national park.  Walking distance to a trail along the Colombia River.  I get on the Express bus here and am in downtown Portland in 20 minutes.  Vancouver is like a suburb of Portland but has an openness (buildings aren't as tall) and a quieter pace which I enjoy.  Lots of small business downtown, many restaurants.   An hour and a half from the ocean, near Mt St Helens and Mt Hood, near a major airport (PDX).   I think the town has a lot going for it.

I think this is the first positive review of Vancouver WA that I've seen.  I'll have to give it another look.  I've been briefly before, and wasn't that impressed, but I definitely didn't make it downtown.  What would you consider the downtown?  West of I-5 near the river?

bella

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #124 on: June 24, 2015, 01:32:50 AM »


I think this is the first positive review of Vancouver WA that I've seen.  I'll have to give it another look.  I've been briefly before, and wasn't that impressed, but I definitely didn't make it downtown.  What would you consider the downtown?  West of I-5 near the river?
[/quote]

Yes, downtown is west of I-5.  A couple blocks north of the Columbia River.  Esther Short Park downtown and is home of the market and other happenings almost continuously on weekends.  It reminds me of Latin American towns that have the park/square in the center of town. This weekend it held the start/end of the Vancouver Marathon accompanied by a brewfest and music for three days.  Fort Vancouver is on the east side of I-5, a short walk.  The outlying areas and suburbs look like any town with strip malls and all that.  I live downtown and I like the quick access to Portland.

Dusty Dog Ranch

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 213
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #125 on: June 24, 2015, 10:49:59 PM »
The Methow Valley is indeed beautiful, but there are no cities...just small and smaller towns. It has a somewhat split personality, between the more traditional, agriculture focus and the tourism focus. Lots of development in the upper valley (Twisp to Mazama), and pretty high land prices due to the influx of wealthy Seattle area folks building fancypants second homes. In the winter it is a dead-end, because highway 20 closes over the winter. Takes about 5 hours to get to Seattle and 3 to Spokane.  You need to have a job or bring one with you for the best chance of success.

Okanogan County is quite red as far as politics. Our county commissioners are absolute right wing idealogues...who also just voted to hand over a public road to the county's largest private landowner, even though it is the only escape route for a particular community in case of fire or flood. As we tell our friends, we didn't move here for the politics! We did move here for the wonderful landscape and low population density, and the fact that we could afford to buy 85 acres without a loan...but we are in the Okanogan Valley, not the Methow.

headlocker

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #126 on: June 24, 2015, 11:24:08 PM »
DH, 2 kids and I are looking to move in the near future for better quality of life, and we are thinking about the northwest.  I've been exhaustively researching places to live in the US based on our wants, and Washington and Oregon keep popping up on top.   We have only ever been to Oregon once (Ashland/Medford area -- loved it) and haven't been to Washington in person yet.  If possible, can you help point us to a few cities based on our wish list?  Then we will visit and check them out in person.

Our wish list --

- Nature nearby.  We are trail runners and x-country skiers.  We love to hike, backpack and canoe.

- Reasonable housing costs.  Would like to be able to get a 3BR/1Ba house for $250k or less if possible.

- Interesting/cultured/nice people. Not sure how to phrase this one, but here goes.  Over the years due to various jobs we have lived in some rural/extremely religious areas where we felt like aliens.  Would like to instead live somewhere more secular, where people are smart, laid back, and nice.  Am guessing this will likely take care of itself in WA/OR, but wanted to say it out loud, as it is important to us.

- At least some sun.  :)  I understand that some places in the northwest are extremely overcast and rainy.  How dark is it, really?  We do need some sun, so that DH doesn't get down, and our vegetable garden will grow. 

- Bikeability.  We like to do grocery store runs, etc., by bike.

- Preferably a small town or mid sized city, rather than a big city.

- School districts are not an issue -- we home school.  However, proximity to a college or community college would be a bonus as DH (a college teacher) may want to keep working.

So what do you think?  Does our ideal place exist?   Thanks!!
My favorite towns in Oregon that fit your description:
-Bend/Redmond/Sisters (westside and northern part of Bend are just nice and while not as close to Phil's Trail and Mt. Bachelor, not that far away, Redmond would be a good choice depending on what you want to do). Sisters is really nice with good schools but is expensive like the westside of Bend. With the addition of the OSU Cascades Campus, Bend/Redmond is projected to be the 2nd largest city in the state in 20 years.
-La Grande is a really nice town equidistant between Boise and Portland and not far from Tri-Cities. EOU is in town which gives it some diversity and a college town feel. Great mtn biking and lots of access to the Wallowa Mountains, Anthony Lakes, etc.  The biggest problem here is other than farming, I don't know what folks do for a living. Like much of rural Oregon, the town has lost population with the end of major timber/mill work.
-Grants Pass-Just a few minutes from Medford and much more affordable than Ashland, Grants Pass is on the wild an scenic Rogue River. The schools here are the centers of the community and there is a nice downtown area and great access to the Redwoods, the coast, Crater Lake, etc.
-Forest Grove-Butted up against the coast range, FG is in the middle of farmland, wine country and the edge of the "Silicon Forest." Pacific University gives is a nice college feel and the Oregon Coast is very close as is Beaverton and Portland.  This has to be the most underrated city on my list but I think it has a lot of offer.
-La Grande-College
-Hood River-Easy access to the Columbia River Gorge, close to Portland and Mt. Hood and in the middle of fantastic orchards, wineries and breweries.

spokey doke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Escaped from the ivory tower basement
Re: Looking to move to Washington or Oregon. Help us choose a city?
« Reply #127 on: June 25, 2015, 07:46:32 AM »
My favorite towns in Oregon that fit your description:
-Bend/Redmond/Sisters (westside and northern part of Bend are just nice and while not as close to Phil's Trail and Mt. Bachelor, not that far away, Redmond would be a good choice depending on what you want to do). Sisters is really nice with good schools but is expensive like the westside of Bend. With the addition of the OSU Cascades Campus, Bend/Redmond is projected to be the 2nd largest city in the state in 20 years.
-La Grande is a really nice town equidistant between Boise and Portland and not far from Tri-Cities. EOU is in town which gives it some diversity and a college town feel. Great mtn biking and lots of access to the Wallowa Mountains, Anthony Lakes, etc.  The biggest problem here is other than farming, I don't know what folks do for a living. Like much of rural Oregon, the town has lost population with the end of major timber/mill work.
-Grants Pass-Just a few minutes from Medford and much more affordable than Ashland, Grants Pass is on the wild an scenic Rogue River. The schools here are the centers of the community and there is a nice downtown area and great access to the Redwoods, the coast, Crater Lake, etc.
-Forest Grove-Butted up against the coast range, FG is in the middle of farmland, wine country and the edge of the "Silicon Forest." Pacific University gives is a nice college feel and the Oregon Coast is very close as is Beaverton and Portland.  This has to be the most underrated city on my list but I think it has a lot of offer.
-La Grande-College
-Hood River-Easy access to the Columbia River Gorge, close to Portland and Mt. Hood and in the middle of fantastic orchards, wineries and breweries.

Wow, that is the first plug for Grants Pass that I have ever run into.  My limited experience and that of the people I know suggest it is has a pretty crazy red-neck side (something I easily recognize from growing up in a run-down timber town).