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deepseas72's avatar

Best west coast cities?

Asked by deepseas72 (1068points) October 3rd, 2008

I want to move to the west coast. I want access to a large city, beautiful coastline, hiking trails, culture, and gay friendly. San Francisco is too expensive, and Seattle would be perfect if it weren’t so often overcast and wet. Any other suggestions?

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20 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

Portland. The weather isn’t actually that bad and I think it meets all your other criteria. But getting to the coast is a few hours in a car.

SoapChef's avatar

Portland is less overcast and wet, just over one hour from some of the most beautiful coastline in the world and has the most amazing park in the middle of the city. Forest Park is around 5,000 acres and has an incredible 30 mile trail running through it. Portland is full of culture and is most definitely gay friendly. It is still less expensive than Seattle or San Francisco.

cooksalot's avatar

Portland, Oregon was the first thing that came to my mind. We just loved it there. I so miss great bike friendly trails, eclectic foods, and fashions. Best of all the books stores that you could spend hours in looking at books and getting coffee to sit down and enjoy while perusing the books.

Allie's avatar

Maybe Santa Cruz. It’s on the coast, SF is close by, very liberal community, and there are hiking trails in the redwoods and along the Pacific.
Also, Berkeley. Definitely gay friendly, very close to SF, and there are hiking trails around UCB and also along the bay shoreline.

JackAdams's avatar

I had a buddy who told me he once lived in Baja, California, wherever in the Heck that is.

I think it is south of Oxnard, somewhere.

PupnTaco's avatar

Check the Hillcrest area of San Diego.

AstroChuck's avatar

If you can handle some dry heat during summer months you might want to consider Sacramento. It is inland but you are less than an hour and a half away from the Pacific. Sacto is a hub city. You have easy access to the things you describe. You are about two hours away from Tahoe and Reno, 90 minutes from San Francisco, and a little over two hours to Santa Cruz. And home prices are quite a bit cheaper.
The city itself is quite nice with a diverse population of well over one million people in the metro area. There is a good night life and many theatres and great restaurants.

judochop's avatar

Well I live in Portland and I can tell you the pluses and minuses of the city.
PLUS-Easy to live here, close to the beach and mountains, everything is green!, roses almost all year round, quirky little neighborhoods, awesome public transit, very liberal, ton’s of local produce!
MINUS-The weather does suck and IT WILL EFFECT your mood, when you want to go to the coast so does the rest of Portland and Vancouver and Salem, it’s become touristy, OLCC, very egotistical city, uberhipster, almost all of California now lives in Portland thus raising the cost of living here by the thousands.

tWrex's avatar

Portland is always cold. I was just there in August and I was like wtf is up with the weather here? It’s summer. I shouldn’t be wearing jeans!

You could always look at the San Diego area. Oceanside, CA (Oceanslime) is a decent area to live in. It’s right next to Camp Pendleton. Plus there’s a mexican restaurant there called Eribertos that has the best burrito’s and horchata!

Allie's avatar

Oh Jack, Baja California is a part of Mexico. “Baja” means something along the lines of “below” in Spanish. Baja California (or B.C.) is that little sliver of Mexico that isn’t quite attached to the rest of it. [Were you kidding when you asked this? I answered anyway.]

Patrick_Bateman's avatar

Hillcrest = Castro District

San Diego is a great town!

JackAdams's avatar

@Allie: Looks like I need a course in Remedial Geography.

Thanks for the information. It’s appreciated!

popo7676's avatar

I lived in portland and it reminds me of seattle just not as wet. Almost anywhere on the other side of the golden gate is like you describe, but Oakland. example: Walnut Creek, Berkley, Sacramento, Vallejo/ Benicia(old state capitol, lots of historic culture), and Pleasanton. Also Monterey is great, but you have to drive a little over an hour to get to San Fran.

SuperMouse's avatar

Although they are all pretty pricey, these are great places to live: Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village/Newbury Park, California, Santa Barbara, Carpenteria, San Luis Obispo.

Emilyy's avatar

I agree that if you think Seattle is too wet, Portland won’t be all that different. I am a huge fan of both cities, and I think if you can make it through the winter, the summer is a HUGE pay off because it’s gorgeous in ways that are just unexplainable.

Cardinal's avatar

KSEA first and KPDX second on and on and on with Lemmon, SD dead last.

thegodfather's avatar

My favorites in order (and I’ve been fortunate to get around the west coast):
1. La Jolla, CA
2. Berkeley, CA
3. Portland, OR

Judi's avatar

Do you have to be on the beach or just close to it? How about Eugene (a bit wet though) or Ashland? Maybe a bit more affordable. I went back home to Eugene after living in a very conservative town for 25 years. I saw a parade. 2 things I saw that you would never see in a Bakersfield parade. 1. a democratic party float, and 2.Dykes on Bikes in a proud procession.

Noon's avatar

As someone who lives in the Castro of San Francisco (like, I can see the rainbow flag at Harvey Milk plaza from my window) I can assure you. Hilcrest != Castro. First of all, the culture of northern california and southern california are completely different. And Castro is blocks and blocks of 99% GLBT stores/banks/restaurants, Hilcrest is a couple blocks of a few kitschy shops and some gay run stores. Also the diversity of the gay scene in most cities is usually minimal. (ie. mostly white, upper/middle class, party/drug boys). Although I will have to admit the majority of our gay community is also white, middle/upper class, drug/party boys, we also have a large ‘alternative’ gay community. Many places that cater to GLBT of color (ie. Latin, Black, Asian bars/clubs/organizations) As well as more diverse body types and ways of expressing sexuality. (ie. big boy, leather, hipster, bear) Also the diversity of events for members of our community to attend, not just bars and clubs (although many are mentioned above) but also social events that happen in the daylight ;-). Parks, cafe’s, concerts, fairs, sports teams.

So yeah, I’m totally biased, and love my city. But if you want to live in a community where you can forget there are straight people in the world, or at least ones that want you to rot in hell, this is the place to do it.

(PS: Sorry, I just REALLY love San Francisco)

Nkynigos's avatar

Depends on what you are seeking.

I think for mild weather. And a nice environment. The North Bay Area is a choice spot.

If you enjoy the warmth all year round Southern California.

Oregon is a place not to be overlooked as well The further north you go the more rain and also the more greenery. Washington is literally covered in Pine Tree’s. So the Mountains there are amazing and the air is always crisp.

Major Cities North to South.

Seattle Olympia. Portland Salem. Sacramento. San Francisco. Los Angeles.

Take your pick research what weather suits you keeping in mind the Green Industry is huge in all of these places. Hybrid’s are the norm and solar panels are everywhere.

Northern California is home to the rocky coast great hiking literally covered in National Forest.

If you feel adventurous explore Vancouver all the way up the coast in British Colubmia. One of the last gems around.

Be respectful throw away your trash. And pay the tolls.

Bless.

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