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

boogle wrote:

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.

Oops, you forgot to mention how ugly it is. You do realize he would be moving from one of the prettiest areas of the country, right? It may cause heart failure.

This may sound like an odd suggestion, but what about Phoenix, AZ?

If you want warm, sunny weather and tech jobs then Southern California is the place to be. Check out Irvine, CA and Orange County in general. There's a decent amount of software companies and tech jobs in the area. Good food can always be found, but you're going to have to look for it (same with culture). San Diego is also worth a look.

SoCal's weather beats Austin, Denver, and Atlanta hands down. It's considered cold when the temp dips down to 50 degrees at night during the winter and the rest of the year it's pretty much sunshine and blue skies (except when there's a wildfire!).

The best part about the climate, though, is no humidity and few insects. SoCal is basically a semi-arid environment so you'll never have a day when it's 100 degrees with 95% humidity like you would in Atlanta or in Texas and you can hang out in your backyard without getting eaten alive by flying and biting critters.

The downsides are it's expensive (much more than Portland), the traffic, and everything is spread out. There's plenty of things to do, but you just have to accept that you're going to be spending a lot of time of the 405 to get to them. You can avoid the last two by finding a little neighborhood you guys like along the coast that's near where you work (Huntington Beach, Seal Beach, Long Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, etc.) and setting up there.

MisterStatic wrote:

Oops, you forgot to mention how ugly it is. You do realize he would be moving from one of the prettiest areas of the country, right? It may cause heart failure.

Yeah, it would be like moving to the Dalles except without the Columbia. Or the tumbleweeds. Or anything else

Unfortunately, Portland is the cheapest city on the west coast so your cost of living will go way up anywhere in California. Austin seemed cheap to me, and we thought the weather was great even in the summer (but that was compared to Miami so probably not a lot of help).

OG_slinger wrote:

The best part about the climate, though, is no humidity and few insects. SoCal is basically a semi-arid environment so you'll never have a day when it's 100 degrees with 95% humidity like you would in Atlanta or in Texas and you can hang out in your backyard without getting eaten alive by flying and biting critters.

This is a really big deal, if you're not used to bugs. Are you guys originally from Oregon?

I is being discriminated against.

clover wrote:
MisterStatic wrote:

Oops, you forgot to mention how ugly it is. You do realize he would be moving from one of the prettiest areas of the country, right? It may cause heart failure.

Yeah, it would be like moving to the Dalles except without the Columbia. Or the tumbleweeds. Or anything else

The Dalles? That's really giving it too much credit. Try Pasco or Kennwick, with no real hills, and dry riverbeds.

boogle wrote:

I is being discriminated against.

You Okies are certainly a hearty bunch. When I joined the Army in '97, I moved my wife from Portland to Lawton, OK. It was a shock to her system. I think she envisioned something like a quaint farm house on property with big oak trees. That's funny.

I do know Lawton is not wholly representative of OKC, but OKC is still pretty awful. Edmond, maybe. I could even recommend Tulsa if it had to be OK.

Bottom line: terrific people, horrible parcel of land.

You should visit Charlotte, it is a great city to live in. I've been around the area my entire life and likely won't ever leave. Vibrant city with tons going on, gets all four seasons, plenty of tech jobs to be found, 1.5 hours away from the mountains and 4 hours or so from NC/SC beaches. Raleigh is also a good locale to look into for tech.

kazooka wrote:

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.

Renji wrote:

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

Wha? You guys are some straight up haters. Have you ever even been to Nashville?

On a more serious note. This may sound stupid, but I would make sure I went somewhere that was accepting of my political beliefs. Not trying to turn this into P&C but coming from someone who leans very left in politics, the south can be a nightmare.

If I could move somewhere like Austin, I would in a heartbeat.

Gumbie wrote:
kazooka wrote:

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.

Renji wrote:

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

Wha? You guys are some straight up haters. Have you ever even been to Nashville?

On a more serious note. This may sound stupid, but I would make sure I went somewhere that was accepting of my political beliefs. Not trying to turn this into P&C but being coming from someone who leans very left in politics, the south can be a nightmare.

If I could move somewhere like Austin, I would in a heartbeat.

I grew up in Huntsville, FWIW. Nashville seems to be missing a lot of the quirky little areas that give a city personality. A lot of that's been subverted by the music industry. It's also one of these big, sprawling New South cities which dilutes its character even further. That's not to say it's a bad place to live or that it has no redeeming qualities, but if you like Portland, Nashville's probably not your cup of microbrew.

Ok, so Southern Arizona signing in to this thread....you want sun? We got Sun.

+ The good weather and lack of hurricane/tornado/earthquake danger in the other warmer states is a big draw for many people.
+ The housing crash hit HARD here. You can pick up some great places really cheap right now. Cost of living has always been generally low.
- It's hot in the Summer. Mostly dry, but when monsoon hits, the humidity can get a little uncomfortable.
? Understand, this is literally a desert. Less than 12" of rain a year, dust storms, cactus, lots of reptiles. I love it & a lot of people find beauty in the desert, but some people find they can't take the lack of green & humidity.
? If you're coming from Portland, AZ politics are just a leetle more to the right. AZ also has more than its fair share of crazies.
? You mention good food...If you don't like chile (the plant, not the meat stew), that limits your options a bit here. There are lots of good restaurants, but the prevailing trend is towards Mexican & Southwest flavors.

If you're after a city, the choices here are Tucson & Phoenix. Phoenix is the much bigger city, Republican, center of government with the bigger range of employers. Tucson is smaller, Democrat, less urban. Culture-wise, both have big universities, but Phoenix is the place for big touring acts, etc.

datawang wrote:

You should visit Charlotte, it is a great city to live in. I've been around the area my entire life and likely won't ever leave. Vibrant city with tons going on, gets all four seasons, plenty of tech jobs to be found, 1.5 hours away from the mountains and 4 hours or so from NC/SC beaches. Raleigh is also a good locale to look into for tech.

The problem with Charlotte is this. We do love Portland. Tired of the weather. One thing we love abut Portland is that it's fairly vibrant. We're childfree. So anything that looks like endless suburbs is going to move down the list for us and I've been reading that's Charlotte. Caters to families and very suburban. I'd love to be proven wrong as that's the place we could actually get moved to.

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. :-)

Still jumping, actually. If you have any experience in the tech side of health care, triply so. Plenty damn sunny, that's for sure.

MisterStatic wrote:
boogle wrote:

I is being discriminated against.

You Okies are certainly a hearty bunch. When I joined the Army in '97, I moved my wife from Portland to Lawton, OK. It was a shock to her system. I think she envisioned something like a quaint farm house on property with big oak trees. That's funny.

I do know Lawton is not wholly representative of OKC, but OKC is still pretty awful. Edmond, maybe. I could even recommend Tulsa if it had to be OK.

Bottom line: terrific people, horrible parcel of land.

The state and specifically OKC has changed a lot in the past 14 years.

@ DS Gamer: In the southeast, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill are the obvious suspects. You might even through Greenville/Columbia, S.C., into the mix. Maybe even Jacksonville or Orlando. I can't speak to the tech sector in any of these places (except RTP -- that's the one obvious place to look). But they're all mid-sized to large Southern cities with warm weather and not much in the way of downtowns or urban life.

A dark horse might be my hometown of Richmond, Va. It's much more urban than any of those cities I mentioned above. The weather is good (it's supposed to be 60 and sunny tomorrow). And it's a pretty easy place to live. I can't speak to the tech sector.

One downside: The airport (a +1 for Charlotte and a +10 for Atlanta) is Richmond is traditionally lousy. National is two hours up 95, and RDU is 2.5 hours south, but that's too far to drive on any regular basis.

DSGamer wrote:

So anything that looks like endless suburbs is going to move down the list for us and I've been reading that's Charlotte. Caters to families and very suburban. I'd love to be proven wrong as that's the place we could actually get moved to.

That's not an unfair characterization at all. But check out South End. I haven't been in a while, but it's about as hoppin' as the QC gets.

I'm gonna second OG's suggestion. Pretty much anywhere in California, San Fran and southwards.

So check the OC, San Diego, Parts of LA (LA is huge). You might want to message Kazar -- I know he's a tech job guy in the LA area. Burbank, Ventura, etc. Just stay out of the the Valley : )

kazooka wrote:

I grew up in Huntsville, FWIW. Nashville seems to be missing a lot of the quirky little areas that give a city personality. A lot of that's been subverted by the music industry. It's also one of these big, sprawling New South cities which dilutes its character even further. That's not to say it's a bad place to live or that it has no redeeming qualities, but if you like Portland, Nashville's probably not your cup of microbrew.

Again have you been there? Sorry for the derail, but while it is sprawling it isnt lacking in personality at all and it's not all about country music either. The tech side of the medical side of things is booming right now.

Minneapolis is great.

I realize what the general perception of Minnesota is but I would encourage you to at least look at the Twin Cities since you're googling things anyway. It consistently ranks very highly in various rankings about quality of living and other stuff (literacy, biking, fitness, Minneapolis is the most gay city in the country, that kind of business).

And, keep in mind that global warming is going to take care of any concerns you may have about the climate here.

ChrisGwinn wrote:

Minneapolis is great.

I don't think good summers when I think of the Twin Cities. I'll google it, though.

DSGamer wrote:
ChrisGwinn wrote:

Minneapolis is great.

I don't think good summers when I think of the Twin Cities. I'll google it, though.

This is what I meant about the general perception of Minnesota. For some reason there's like this big secret about how great summer is here.

iaintgotnopants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
ChrisGwinn wrote:

Minneapolis is great.

I don't think good summers when I think of the Twin Cities. I'll google it, though.

This is what I meant about the general perception of Minnesota. For some reason there's like this big secret about how great summer is here.

How long is summer there, really?

Warning, I ramble quite a bit here.

Having grown up as a Navy brat, and in the Army myself, I can really say there is something to like about anywhere. It depends on those priorities. I am actually in your shoes right now so I have given this much thought. I love the PNW. My wife is less enthused about retiring up there because of the same thing...sun. Even though she grew up in Issaquah, through our Army moves she has now experienced more than 100 days of sun in a year. Our last assignment in Carmel, CA was very nice, but still too much fog. But we did make a lot of trips up to the SF Bay Area. The Bay Area has much more sun but can be pricey as well. If you (and me), could handle the costs though, it really matches what you are looking for. I think of it as a sunnier Seattle. I went to high school in Fremont, so I do have some experience there.

Anywhere else has too many trade-offs. I dont know where you have lived so far, but once you have lived in the West, it is very hard to accept other places long term. Austin is tempting, but the hot, humid is as forbidding as winter in the NW. I am going to compete for an assignment in Orlando after my Fort Lewis gig; we will see if there is anything to like there. Georgia assignments were nice, at least mountains and beaches were within a morning drive.

Our favorite place in the 35 cities I have lived in? Vilseck, Germany. In the U.S.? San DiAgo.

DSGamer wrote:
iaintgotnopants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
ChrisGwinn wrote:

Minneapolis is great.

I don't think good summers when I think of the Twin Cities. I'll google it, though.

This is what I meant about the general perception of Minnesota. For some reason there's like this big secret about how great summer is here.

How long is summer there, really?

June 21-Sept 21

It depends on what you are looking for but, for me, I would say it's usually pretty nice from around mid-April well into October. Hell, I was wearing shorts until the week before Thanksgiving this year.

I'd definitely look at RDU, I used to live in Chapel Hill, and I miss it a lot.

If I had to leave Portland, Austin and Chapel Hill would be the top 2 on my list.

And the winters here are cold, but sunny. And there's not too much snow. I moved here from NY state, and it's amazing how much better the winters are and how much less depressed I get from seeing the sun.

ChrisGwinn wrote:

And the winters here are cold, but sunny. And there's not too much snow. I moved here from NY state, and it's amazing how much better the winters are and how much less depressed I get from seeing the sun.

The Twin Cities are lovely, lovely, and we get lots of sun. However, and this is a big however, it is quite far north in the U.S., so our days are quite short in the winter, and it gets very cold at times.

That said, the summer here are amazing. I moved here from Alabama 16 years ago, and I thought Minnesota was all snow, all the time. It was shocking to me how green and lush Minnesota gets in the summer. Gorgeous! The summer temps average in the 80s, and the humidity is low enough that even when it gets well into the 90s it's no big deal. Again, I grew up in south Alabama, and you could almost wring water out of the air like a washcloth down there. The lack of humidity here is blissful.

This is a view of our fair city:
IMAGE(http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Minneapolis_and_L._Calhoun_20.jpg)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Minneapolis_and_L._Calhoun_20.jpg

I work from home, and at least half the days of the summer I just open all the windows in the house; it's consistently upper 70s in the summer. Really, really spectacular summers. Yeah, the winters are cold, but they're FUN. People here celebrate winter and go out into it all the time. We're getting a couple inches of snow tonight, and I may have to take the kids sledding tomorrow.

I'll also say that you never really appreciate spring until you go through winter here.

The same thing could be said about summers in the Pacific NW, they are phenomenal. Also, I have yet to find a place like Portland for restaurants. I am sure they are out there, but not in such a beautiful package like Portland.

MisterStatic wrote:

The same thing could be said about summers in the Pacific NW, they are phenomenal. Also, I have yet to find a place like Portland for restaurants. I am sure they are out there, but not in such a beautiful package like Portland.

Yeah. This is what we came to today. We're going to double down on here, hoping that our love for the area plus being in an actual urban area helps.

Stage 1 is we're going to move into downtown Portland from the burbs and just start walking more, start exercising more. See if that helps with the depression. This will start the process of winding down the home, renting it out, selling it, whatever. We'll keep investigating future landing points from there.

If you're moving from the weather, it depends which part of the weather you're trying to get away from. If it's the cold and wet, that gives you one set of choices... if you're mostly trying to get away from the dark, you have more options.

Minneapolis is actually awesome weather-wise compared to the PNW if it's a seasonal affective problem. It may snow a lot, but the sun still comes out in January. Culturally, it and Austin (and maybe Denver) will be the closest non-west-coast alternatives to what you're used to in PDX.