I Need Advice on Sunny US Cities With Decent Tech Jobs and Urban Centers

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My wife and I are wanting to get more sun. Partly because we're just tired of being cold in the Pacific Northwest and partly because SAD kicking in this year has us convinced that after a decade+ we need a change of pace. We love this area for the people so we'd prefer to find a city with a decent urban center (good food, some culture, etc.) and haven't lived but here and our original hometowns. Any advice on cities to consider that fit this criteria? Any help would be appreciated. Considering starting over and flying blind.

Austin?

And just to be clear we have some ideas. Ideas include Austin (love the city) and Denver (same plus lots of sun) come to mind. Also my wife has the ability to easily transfer to Charlotte. So that's on the list without us knowing much about its weather and culture.

Downside to Austin is my wife travels a ton for work and that isn't an airport hub city.

Might check out the Denver area.

EDIT- Too slow

Renji wrote:

Might check out the Denver area.

EDIT- Too slow :)

That's okay. Keep that coming. Mentioning those cities are votes from people with real experience that we should consider a city.

Lovely urban center here in the Twin Cities, and the sun shines beautifully off the ice and snow in winter.

Raleigh-Durham-Cary?

Edit: probably same issues as Austin, though.

I'd suggest looking into San Antonio. That is the city my wife and I have been looking to relocate to for about two years now. Las Vegas (where we are now) is good IF you move here with a solid job waiting for you, but it's not a place you want to be looking for work right now.

I was in the same boat with the gloomy Pac Northwest weather, after 15 years up there the last 11 months in Vegas have been almost a paradise.

Atlanta for the most part, but the traffic is murder.

Austin is a little more on the table. Apparently they they have frequent flights to hub cities. My wife looked into that.*

* Yes, it's so bad that we're literally googling this right now.

DSGamer wrote:

Austin is a little more on the table. Apparently they they have frequent flights to hub cities. My wife looked into that.*

* Yes, it's so bad that we're literally googling this right now.

You make it sound like sunset at 4:30pm is something abnormal.

Atlanta, though we seem to be missing the "warm and sunny" part at the moment. We do have an airport hub though.

Nashville is a nice Southern town, but I'm not sure how the tech jobs are now. In the early aughts it was a jumping place.

As a plus, you could see most of of the SEC teams come through playing Vandy.

sheared wrote:

Nashville is a nice Southern town, but I'm not sure how the tech jobs are now. In the early aughts it was a jumping place.

As a plus, you could see most of of the SEC teams come through playing Vandy. :-)

That's reason enough. I hear the best football is played there.

Austin the only place that really fits your description. I've heard decent things about Houston, as long as you never venture outside between March and October. But as the old saying goes, the big problem with Texas is all the Texans.

I kinda like St. Louis, though I have no idea about its tech sector. Weather ain't great though. Sun may stay up a longer.

I would avoid Nashville. It's got a weird vibe, doesn't really feel like a cohesive city. Sort of a collection of people and buildings more than a bonafide metropolis.

Other than that? I recommend Melbourne and Brisbane.

Denver. Loads of sun to help out with SAD. Scenery that still makes me catch a breath some days, after living here for more than fourteen years. Great downtown area that continues to get better. Hub airport for Southwest, which means cheap, direct flights all over the place. And nice folks, for the most part, unless you wander over to Aurora where it gets a bit sketchy (guess where I live!).

I'm seriously bummed that the Navy will be making me move out of this awesome state in six months.

Unless you REALLY like country music, avoid Nashville like the plague

*Legion* wrote:

You don't get much more hellish than DFW.

FTFY

DSGamer wrote:

Austin is a little more on the table. Apparently they they have frequent flights to hub cities. My wife looked into that.

Austin-Bergstrom's top 3 flights are to 3 of the world's 6 busiest airports: Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston's George Bush, and Denver International.

You don't get much more hub than DFW. Flights to DFW from Austin-Bergstrom are like every half hour or so.

clover wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

You don't get much more hellish than DFW.

FTFY

Bah, who doesn't love Skylink?

So I guess we're visiting Austin from the 29th of December through the 2nd to just check the city out. Just as fast as I'm willing to sell a game system I'm willing to go check out my options.

It's always sunny in Philadelphia.

Ok, I'm sorry.

Really though LA and San Diego are great for weather. San Diego is pretty much 60-80 F all year round. It rains for the month of November, but that's it. The city is one of the larger ones in the US and has a good number of flights with a much smaller airport than LAX. The city is expensive though, but there are many companies (tech included) headquartered here and it's also so close to LA, that you can make it up there as well.

DSGamer wrote:

So I guess we're visiting Austin from the 29th of December through the 2nd to just check the city out. Just as fast as I'm willing to sell a game system I'm willing to go check out my options.

Well, sure. It's not like finding a new city and uprooting is hard, like replacing Gmail.

My vote is also for Austin unless you want to try southern California. If you into aerospace or defense contracting, Orlando and Tampa could work but I don't think you are in those industries.

You don't want Atlanta, and you may not want Austin. Atlanta is sort of sunny, but the humidity is so terrible that you can almost never enjoy it. And because of the humidity, the skies are rarely deep blue -- you just don't get the beautiful sunny days like you do in less humid climes. Rather, it's always kinda whitish, because of all the suspended water in the air.

I've only been to Austin once, but I remember it as being roughly comparable to an oven, even at night. It's hard for me to imagine wanting to go outside in those temperatures, humidity or not.

Have you considered the Bay Area? It's a very expensive place to live, but the salaries are quite good for tech professionals. San Francisco proper tends to be cold and foggy all year 'round, but you can head up north into Marin (or even Sonoma), or out east to San Ramon/Burlingame (tons of shopping in a very small area) or down south to Monterey. So if you want to stay cool, you stay home, but if you want to warm up, there's TONS of stuff in all directions... Muir Woods, Mount Tamalpais, many many beaches... the sheer number of outdoorsy things available within an hour or two of San Francisco is amazing. And most of them will be beautifully warm and dry for most of the year. California gets a bunch of rain in the wintertime, but starting late April or May, a high pressure system moves in off the coast, and most of the state stays sunny until about November.

You'd probably want to avoid San Jose; it's an extraordinarily expensive place, and it's ugly as sin. You can make a lot of money, but it's fairly dreadful. I think of San Ramon as a monument to money, with tons of hugely expensive housing and shopping, but no soul. Berkeley is a fun place, full of interesting people. Weird street layouts, unusual stores, rather odd events. It's a great place if you're a nonconformist.

All these places are sprinkled around the edges of the San Francisco Bay -- that's why it's the Bay Area. It's really surprising how different they all are, even though they're all in such relatively close proximity -- the various bridges make it quite easy to get around.

Just remember that the cost of living is extreme, so you need a very high salary to live there comfortably. And the traffic is terrible, so you'll want to use BART whenever you can.

I'll add in my vote for Austin. I moved here about 4 years ago, it is quite nice. The fairly brutal summers (and by summer I mean late April to mid October) can take some getting used to, but I love the city. It definitely meets your requirements. But I'll admit I don't have experience with many other cities, so I don't know how it stacks up in comparisons. Seems awesome enough to me though.

Malor might not like the SJC, but Morgan Hill, just south is a pretty place 10-15 minutes from the airport. Plenty of sun there. The airport is also one of the best to fly in and out of as they recently renovated it. Great backpacking at Henry M. Coe SP and the Santa Cruz mountains. Mountain biking too. It also puts you about an hour from Monterey-Carmel. No ridiculous humidity of the south. 101 traffic is not bad...one thousand times better than what you are used to at PDX.

The MD-DC-NoVa area has the most consistently good tech economy in the nation, and it's got weather. We get all four seasons, occasionally in the space of one day. Great food and every type of terrain you can want within a few hours drive at most. And we get a lot of sun.

Robear wrote:

The MD-DC-NoVa area has the most consistently good tech economy in the nation, and it's got weather. We get all four seasons, occasionally in the space of one day. Great food and every type of terrain you can want within a few hours drive at most. And we get a lot of sun. :-)

Of course, considering the traffic in NoVA, that great food can also be a few hours drive at most, even if it's just a mile down the road.

Raleigh/Durham area. I don't know how RDU rates these days as a "hub" for airport travel. But I do know the weather is pretty mild and usually sunny.

http://www.wral.com/weather/

Austin is good for general tech, but if you have any interest in the energy industry you could definitely get a job at either of the major firms in OKC. OKC isn't perfect but bonuses include:
1.) It is CHEAP
2.) Pretty good weather (minus the earthquakes and tornadoes but don't worry about that)
3.) Did I mention how cheap it is?
4.) I live here

Flight situation from here will be about the same as austin. We have lots of flights to DFW and Houston and 4 or 5 a day to Atlanta/Twin Cities.

Oh and no freaking traffic and low house prices. Its extremely easy to live 1-2 miles to work in a nice house.

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