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Small Town Living Small Towns

Small Towns Are No Longer Small

When you think about small towns you may be thinking remote, off the beaten path with very little things to do. There probably are some small towns today that fit that description perfectly, but many that don’t.

Many small towns these days are located on the outskirts of large metro areas or in resort areas. In these towns you still get the feel of a small town, but with many more resources nearby.

Near these small towns there is probably a large regional shopping mall within easy driving distance. Some excellent gourmet type restaurants are located in small towns.

When I moved to a small town a few years ago, I was concerned about how far away I would have to drive for basic things like grocery store, drug store, dry cleaners, restaurants, and retail stores like Kohls or Target. That has not been a concern at all. We now have them nearby.

Honestly, we order so much through Amazon Prime and other on line stores and get it the next day sometimes, that I miss nothing.  I don’t like to shop and with the virus still around, staying out of stores is fine with me.

The 150 bed hospital next door was a major reason we liked this location community. .  Doctors and hospitals are the one thing you better check on before moving. See my blog post Hospital Next Door Is Mandatory

Driving to the largest shopping mall in the state only takes 15 minutes but on the way I pass farm houses, a lamas farm, barns, and traffic is light.

So small towns are not so small after all.

We moved to a Del Webb Active Adult Community in a small town so we get the bonus of feeling like we live in a cosmopolitan areas with people from all over the country moving here. Plus all the socialization opportunities and activities are right outside my door.

We have 9 miles of hiking trails and I can enter the trail about 100 yards from my front door.  I ordered two walking sticks from Amazon and will be out tomorrow to get them a try.

The suburban community we moved from had no activities, busy neighbors, very little socialization except for our good friends who lived next door and no hiking trails.

I think moving to a small town was a good move for us.

Originally posted 2020-09-01 11:32:01.

Categories
Small Town Living

More Advantages of Small Town Living

Previously I wrote about the Advantages of Small Towns and all those points still remain. Those were the basic reasons to consider moving to a small town.

I have come across even more reasons to consider living in a small town in the present environment.

Home prices may have come down even more in some small towns, relative to suburban or city homes. Home prices were already reasonable in many small towns, but now they are really reasonable. Affordability is near the top of the list of many boomers nearing or entering retirement.

If you are waiting for your suburban home to come back in price you may be waiting a long time. The lower price you get by selling your existing home now, will be partly made up by buying a lower price home in a small town.

These days small towns reportedly are a more accepting environment and gay or minorities can feel comfortable calling them home.

With these tense times where the news is non stop negative and the employment situation is not good for so many, escaping to a small town can give your life a refreshing change of pace.

Moving to a small town that is increasingly popular for retirees can put you in touch with a lot of potential new friends and offer social opportunities with people to whom you can relate.

These days many 55 plus retirement communities are located in small towns, which is ideal for you to take advantage of this type community plus enjoy small town living too.

Remember that there is not best small towns or top ten small towns, but only the small town for you. Things have changed but retiring to a small town still offers many advantages.

Originally posted 2011-05-27 12:11:19.

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Small Town Living

Small Town Pride | Best Towns Contests

Small Town Pride | Best Towns Contests

I have noticed people living in small towns have a lot of pride about where they live.  They have pride in their local parades and community events like fairs, art festivals and beauty contests. They have pride in their high school sports teams. They have pride in winning town contests.

Magazines hold contests where you can vote for your small town to win the title of something and people really get involved and promote voting for their town. I did a post about the South’s Tastiest Small Towns contest. Then there are the prettiest towns,  best places to live, most liveable towns, best small towns for food, healthiest small towns and many others.

People like calling their town “the best” in anything. Newspapers and Chamber of Commerces really liked the PR of having the title of being ‘the best” gives their town.

In the news today, I see the headline “Travelers Rest tied for third in ‘coolest small towns’ contest.  This is in the Budget Travel magazine’s annual contest to find the coolest small towns in America.  Other finalists include Berlin, Md.; Buckhannon, W.Va.; Cazenovia, N.Y.; Deadwood, S.D.; Elkin, N.C.; Estes Park, Colo.; Evergaldes City, Fla.; Galena, Ill.; Hunting Woods, Mich,; Kelleys Island, Ohio; Matthews, Va.; Nevada City, Calif.; Pahoa, Hawaii; and Rockport, Texas.  Apparently there were about 1,000 small town entries in the coolest small town contest.

So I went to the Budget Travel website to see what the criteria is for the coolest small towns 2014 but only see “we know a cool small town when we see it”.  I guess coolness is hard to define but you will know it when you see it.

So I go over to view the comments left by people on the contest page to see if I can find any clues as to why a small town may be cool.

Fay says “Travelers Rest SC is the perfect place for people who love the outdoors and want the very best of living with nature and having all the things civilization has to offer in Greenville. Lots of local culture and the ocean is only 4 hours away.”  (Ashevlle is nearby too).

The contest does have a good description for each of the finalists in coolest small town contest. You have until Feb 25th to vote.

Originally posted 2014-01-28 10:04:01.

Categories
Active Adult Small Town Living

Negatives of Active Adult Communities

I have written about the positives of Active Adult Communities and sometimes it looks like it is all positives.  (just scroll down to the bottom of this page for a list of posts about positives) So for the last few months I have been asking people, especially people who live in Active Adult Communities, what are the negatives.

A recent 15 day cruise gave us a lot of time to talk with wonderful people we met that live in Active Adult Communities in California and Arizona. These were mostly Del Webb Communities. They could talk for hours about the positives. When we finally asked them about the negatives, it took them a long time to come up with anything.  That is a good sign!

1. Number one complain was the Homeowners Association.  The HOA were too restrictive, or too noisy, too petty, too political. I know in any subdivision that has a HOA they came become like little dictatorships and really piss people off. When you add all the additional restrictions an age qualified community must have, then all the more to deal with. Also mentioned was neighbors reporting neighbors for violations. Even some taking to doing their own inspections vigilante style. (Having said this, the HOA board members are hard working residents and usually do a great job!).

2. Several residents of the communities originally built by Del Webb in CA and AZ felt the new homes built in their communities after Del Webb sold out to Pulte were not up the the same standards of quality. I hear that in my active adult community as well. ( A lot of resident upgrade their own homes with improvements).

The following comments were related to us from a third part.

3. One 50ish couple from Atlanta didn’t like the Hilton Head Active Adult Community they bought in, so decided to sell and move back to Atlanta. They felt the residents were too old for them.  Be sure to find out the average age in the community, it does make a difference to some. Older developments tend to have older residents, which, for many youth-seeking boomers, might just be a deal breaker.

4. A couple of people did not like The Villages in Central Florida. It may be been too large for them. Plus they may have heard the rumors of all the sex parties!

There is always the stories of people moving across the country to live in a new community but later deciding they wanted to move back to be close to their long time friends and relatives.  I don’t think that is a negative of the community itself.

Some people that have never lived in an Active Adult Community say they would not live in this type community because all the residents would be older and they like the diversity.  There is a lot of misconceptions about Active Adult Communities.  I don’t take that as a negative of the community, just one person’s view. The next person may think it is wonderful opportunity to meet new friends and socialize during the day with people who don’t have to be at work. Plus I know I value the friendships I have made with amazing people that are 10 and 20 years older than me.  Everyone is not the same age, so there is diversity in ages.

Now living in a Del Webb Community for over 4 years, I would say the gossip turns me off.  That is unique only because there are some many social gatherings which can be fertile grounds for gossip. But the outdoor sports I usually participate in has none of that.

Many of the larger Active Adult Communities are located in small towns on the edges of large metro areas and may not have all the nice restaurants you are used to or the upscale specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods, The Fresh Market or a Trader Joe’s. But usually they are not too far away.

As you may know by now, I think there are way more positives than negatives of Active Adult Community living.  Most people say they wish they wished they had moved in sooner.

Originally posted 2020-09-01 10:49:17.

Categories
Small Town Living

Small Town Living Headlines

Small Town Living Headlines

This blog is about small towns and a lot of headlines about small town living cross my desk every week. This post will highlight some of the more interesting ones about small towns.

Miniature Paintings Pay Homage To Small Town Life – Well this guy, Rod Penner, takes a photo of a ordinary and unassuming scene from small town life and then goes about creating a very detailed painting of the scene.  Not only that, but they are miniature paintings, like post card size.

If you ever lived in a small town you will think you recognize some of these scenes.

The scene to the right is a Penner painting. Source: story

5 Fictional Bollywood Towns That Have Great Tourism Potential – Well this is certainly an interesting story … seems Indian film makers are making up stories and characters in small towns, that is fictional small towns, that have their own interesting and colorful cultures. These towns have their own distinct characters in the films. Some suggest these fictional small towns would have great tourism potential.  So would this be like visiting Hunger Games?   Source: story

25 Signs You Grew Up in a Small Town – Well if you  grow up in a small town as I did, you will recognize at least a few of these.

A few of the signs you grew up in a small town that I like:

  • 2) You could name every person in your graduating class. (I think I had about 52 in my graduating class).
  • 5) You never carried a key for your house because it was always unlocked.
  • 11) An exciting day was driving 20 miles to the nearest Walmart or McDonlad’s. (yes, driving the 15 miles to Milledgeville to the Dairy Queen/Braissaire was a treat!
  • 21) you went to school with kids from eight other tiny towns. (yes, we only had one high school in Wilkinson County in Middle Georgia  and went to school with kids from Gordon, Irwinton, Toomsboro, MyIntyre, Allenton, Ivey – well only 6) Source: story

Originally posted 2013-11-24 13:47:22.

Categories
Small Town Living

Small Town America Parades

Small Town Parades

Nothing shows the great community spirit of small town America more than a parade. Small towns love a parade. People come to town to see floats, bands and drill teams, military flag team, antique cars, trucks and tractors, and clowns, Shriners, politicians in old cars, grand marshals, beauty queens,  flatbeds, boats, maybe a fire truck with Santa Claus aboard at the end of the parade.  The crowd at parades are festive and everyone is having fun. Small towns have parades for Fourth of July, Old Soldiers Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Founders Day and other occasions.

These photos were taken in Richmond Hill Ga by Mathew Rodocker and Robert Fowler in Johns Creek GA.

Small town America Holiday parade
Shriners on motorcycles are in many small town parades
(r) Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts in parade
Santa on Fire Truck comes at the end of the parade
(r) Clown in parade

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Listen to Johns Creek GA band in this small town parade.

Originally posted 2013-12-17 22:00:27.