US Coastal Towns

aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
edited October 2013 in General Discussions
Now I entirely understand this is a 100% biased question and I completely understand the consequences of such a question... lol So I live in Nebraska. I am bored of Nebraska. Midwest just isn't for me. Everything is so far apart, people just drive everywhere and there's absolutely ZERO chance for random encounters or good street photo opportunities. Theres an art community, but there might as well not be for the amount of events they don't organize. That, and I love water and all we have is the "Muddy Missouri" which is probably the worst river ever. I've been for a long time considering an emigration to be a Canadian, but thats VERY expensive. So I've concluded although regrettably (whole other political conversation we needn't get into) to stay in good ol' US of A. Though I have NO idea where to start looking for a new place. Every website of the "best small towns in america" lists completely different places. So if anyone lives near either the pacific or atlantic, in a small-ish town (sub 50,000) and has good things to say about where they live, I'd certainly love to hear those recommendations. Otherwise if there's a resource I've over looked for a listing of decently liberal minded towns with strong art communities, I'd love to know about that particular list as well lol
Just kinda feel stuck here in lame old Nebraska where the sterotypes of only having cows and corn are not that far off. The only adventure to be found is for those that enjoy a good romp through a corn field. I'd just get in the car and go find a place if only I had more little green rectangles stuffing my pockets to trade for things like food and gas.
D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5


  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 522Member
    There are so many amazing places on the coast(s). Recommendations would probably depend on what you are looking for (example: winter-no winter) and what you want to do for a living.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    OK, I'll play. I've lived in Burlington, VT for the past 15 years, and maybe for the next 15 too. We're consistently ranked as one of the 10 best small cities in the U.S. every time someone does a study. Quality of life here is pretty great.

    Very scenic place. Huge lake (the largest non-Great Lake in the U.S.) and two mountain ranges. A ton of my images are shot right here (including the past 2 days). The proximity of water and mountains is fairly unique. I'm told by those who have spent time there that it reminds them of a small Seattle. Technically we're not on a coast, but it feels a lot like a water town.
    Small and very manageable city (population about 30,000+), including an outdoor walking mall that traverses the city and a 20-mile bike path that travels along Lake Champlain.
    Great restaurants and very good arts scene, including theater, live music, and visual arts.
    If you're looking for "liberal minded" Burlington is a good place to start. For many years, we had a mayor who was a socialist, although he called his party the "progressive party." Our current mayor (a friend of mine) is a pro-business democrat who's a former real estate developer.
    Very young, active population. Pretty much everyone I know does SOMEthing every day.
    Close to some great large cities. 2 hours to Montreal, 3.5 to Boston, and 5 to NYC.
    Good public schools and a great place to raise kids (not sure if you're in that mode).
    Large university (8,000 undergrad) and a large medical center in town.
    Close to the wilderness. I can drive 30 minutes and be in the middle of nowhere. So if you get homesick for "cows and corn" it's easy to get a quick fix.

    It gets chilly in the winter. I've lived in Vermont most of my adult life so I don't mind when it hits -20 in January. What gets me is when we get snow in April. That can take the starch out of you. But it does make you appreciate summer more.
    Finding the right job can be tricky (again, you didn't say whether you were still working), but it's getting better, as a lot of pretty cool companies are starting to come of age here. Having a large university doesn't hurt. My wife and I are lucky in that our income isn't necessarily tied to Vermont. I telecommute to a Boston-based company and she works for a technology company that does business all across the country.
    The ratio of housing prices to local incomes is probably higher than in most places (although compared to places like suburban Boston, our housing is cheap). Again, because of the line of work my wife and I are in, we've been fortunate enough to avoid that trap. But if you're coming from Nebraska, my guess is you might find housing prices high.

    PM me if you're serious.

  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 522Member
    edited October 2013
    You should come over to our get-together in ME in late March and talk to the forum members from the coast.
    Post edited by Benji2505 on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,693Member
    Work hard. Save your money. Then take two trips: drive the west coast from Seattle to San Diego and drive the east coast from Portland Maine to Key West Florida. You should find some places you like.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    @Benji2505 Winter is absolutely my favorite season, down south (florida, so cal) are right out. Shoulda mentioned :P and I had been considering the Maine get together, pretty seriously. Just an issue of finding the money of course.
    @Proudgeek That's all very useful info, thanks! Right now I have a POS part time day job, and fill in the gaps with my photography. I tend to like to live a fairly simple lifestyle, so working long days at a farmer's market hauling vegetables isn't something I'm against. (now I feel like I'm filling out an online dating profile) But I have seen your town show up on a few of those 'lists' I mentioned. So I'll certainly keep it in mind.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,693Member
    If you like the snow the entire Pacific Coast may be out for you. You would have to go to the mountains to get into snow. If you want snow in the town where you live you may have to limit yourself to cities on the coast in the northeast. There should be plenty of jobs in Atlantic City New Jersey Casinos and some snow. Boston has a long and cold winter. Portland Maine is a nice place. So you may want to consider visiting those places first.
  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 522Member
    edited October 2013
    In the NE you have the best of many worlds: in the winter you can go to VT or NH and ski, in the summer, you can hit the beach every day. From us it is 1hr to BOS and 2.5hrs to NYC, both large photography markets. If you're into sailboats, Newport, RI is the place to be. Many photographers make a decent buck with the tourists every year (Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Newport). The artist comunity is quite active.
    Post edited by Benji2505 on
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    Had me confused for a minute cause NE is the abbreviation of Nebraska lol then I realized you meant North EAst lol I'm pretty highly preferring the New England Area at the moment.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    What does this thread have to do with photography?
    Msmoto, mod
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    edited October 2013
    Inspiration? Living in a photo friendly city... I live in Socal. Too many photos too little time. You pay for it tho.
    Post edited by kyoshinikon on
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Maybe needs transferring to 'Too Lazy To Start A New Thread'?
    Always learning.
  • BrucePhotographyBrucePhotography Posts: 40Member
    edited October 2013
    I spent 27 years living in San Diego county, 2 town north of LaJolla. While the weather is great the population has grown so much that the traffic was starting to look like LA. I grew up in Minnesota where wilderness was a days drive or less from Minneapolis. Eight years ago my wife retired (I already was and didn't know it) and I found a place in Mendocino County just four hours north of San Francisco. The purpose of moving was to come to a place that photographically could offer me the landscapes and seascapes that I really couldn't do in San Diego without people in every shot unless I went out to the local mountains and deserts to the east. The ocean was FLAT. Well a couple of good storms in the 27 years but minimal compared to what I see now.

    Check out on Google Fort Bragg CA and Mendocino CA if you want to live in the redwoods just five or ten minutes from the coast, sharp rocky coastlines, drop dead secluded sandy beaches, salmon fishing as well as crab in the winter and rock fish much of the year. Fort Bragg is about 7500 people in town and another 7500 out in the woods. We have a steam train going into the redwoods and a very active group of photographers as well as numerous galleries in both Fort Bragg and Mendocino as well as numerous places to show your work if you choose. Moving here has been the best boon to my photography that I have done (other than getting my D800, D800E, and D7100).

    I believe that where you live highly dictates the type of photography you do. If you love cities, this is not a place for you. But if you love nature (my wife two weeks ago took some great humpback whale pictures that were less than 25 feet from their boat while they were out from the harbor looking for sea birds. If you are into sea birds, google Ron LeValley and see his work. He hosts the "Lost Coast" photography group.
    Post edited by BrucePhotography on
  • BrucePhotographyBrucePhotography Posts: 40Member
    By the way - NO SNOW. Max temp in Summer is 75-80, Minimum temp in winter is around 32 at night but always 40 to 50 in the daytime. We can get Fog but the redwoods need it to stay moist (this is true for coastal northern CA - not inland where summer is VERY hot). Where we are sweaters in the winter with wood fires.
  • BrucePhotographyBrucePhotography Posts: 40Member
    Oh I forgot, Tahoe is about a day away and I can be at the Golden Gate in less than four hours.
  • BrucePhotographyBrucePhotography Posts: 40Member
    One more thing. Not many jobs unless you are a fisherman with a boat (big boat paid for) or a logger. Bring money.
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