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Best, Kid Friendly Places to Live in the U.S.?

My husband and I have been dreaming and discussing moving once he graduates college. We live in Georgia right now, and the heat, humidity and enviroment are not to our liking. We had been kicking around the idea of moving out of the states, but have decided that will probably be too difficult. We want to live somewhere with a moderate year round temperature - summer that do not get over 85 (does that exist?? lol). I would rather have a mild winter as well, but snow is ok. :) If I have to choose between a hot summer and a cold winter, I will go with the cold winter. My husband has had 4 heat strokes and we just cannot handle the heat anymore. We enjoy outdoorsy type things - hiking, camping, bike riding, horse back riding. But I also want to be near things...ie good shopping, entertainment, good schools, the arts, etc. We used to live outside of Austin, TX and I loved the atmosphere - it was just too hot. I would love to live somewhere that was more family friendly. Where I live now there is not much to do. Go to the beach and get sunburned, go to the pool, or drive an hour or more to a bigger city. I want to move somewhere safe and fun for my babies. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have heard Colorado is amazing, but I've never been there. I have also been looking at Washington and Oregon. I do not think I would like living in California though. Probably couldn't afford it either. ;)

TIA!

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San Diego, CA or Santa Barbara, CA!! Not cheap but awesome places to live!! San Francisco is awesome as well but expensive. I couldn't be anywhere where it is 110 degrees in the summer and also snows in the winter.

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Mmm my neighborhood. ;) Every house has at least one kid. It is awesome in the summer. Kids run wild and you never know how many are going to show up to play. It is fun and my kids love this neighborhood.

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San Diego, CA or Santa Barbara, CA!! Not cheap but awesome places to live!! San Francisco is awesome as well but expensive. I couldn't be anywhere where it is 110 degrees in the summer and also snows in the winter.

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I'd suggest Colorado or Utah (around Park City if you can aford it - further out if it's too expensive). Park City is terrific in the summer and there is lots to do in winter (but not as much as in summer believe it or not). It's hot in summer but dry so it's so different than hazy, hot and humid days. In the shade on a 90 degree day, you're fine. Look it up.

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Mmm my neighborhood. ;) Every house has at least one kid. It is awesome in the summer. Kids run wild and you never know how many are going to show up to play. It is fun and my kids love this neighborhood.

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We live in Utah and it is one of the most family and kid friendly places around. There is a high % of Latter Day Saints here, whose focus is on the family and they tend to have larger families. As a result, there are lots and lots of family-oriented things to do. Lots of parks, childrens museums, water parks, and so much to do outdoors. This summer we have had no shortage of things to do that are cheap or free. We have: gone swimming at the rec center which has fantastic pools with built-in pirate ships and playsets, plus a giant waterslide; gone on a few kid-friendly hikes, explored the wetland center which has easy trails, ponds, lots of different birds to watch, canoeing, fishing; gone to Liberty Park which has playgrounds, running/rollerblading/cycling trails, ponds with geese and ducks, pools and a splash bad, tennis, carnival rides for $1.50 each, and aviary; the aquarium is decent and will be rebuilt in a few years and is supposed to be one of the biggest in the nation. If you are outdoorsy, hiking, boating, rock climbing, all sorts of trails and bike paths etc are a short drive away. Anyway, I don't know where the schools rank in comparison to the rest of the country, but we are in Davis County and the school my kids are in was rated one of the best in state, and I have been really impressed. It seems like the parents are very involved and there are a lot of good programs for the kids. Housing is pretty affordable here, low crime rate, and it is beautiful. Also traffic is not bad either. The drawbacks to Utah, in my opinion, are the winter is long with lots of snow. You can count on it still snowing off and on till the end of April and sometimes we will even get a random snow shower in June! Due to the large mountains, we get a nasty inversion January and February where it is smoggy and gray out a lot. But there are also a lot of beautiful winter days with blue blue sky and lots of skiing and sledding. Summer is 75-95 degrees (right now it is 89) and occasionally gets a little higher. It is a dry heat. But not too overwhelming, and it is generally cloudless and sunny all summer long. The only other drawback is that it is a very conservative state. It seems nice to be able to pick up some wine at the grocery store, but you cannot do that in Utah. The liquor laws are a little strict. If you want any further info, let me know. Good luck in finding the perfect spot for you and your family!

Added: Incidentally, I am looking for stuff to do this week with the kids, here is a great link of activities available in Utah: http://www.thingstodo.com/states/UT/salt_lake/

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Washington and Oregon have mild weather but it does rain a lot there and there are lots of overcast days. Whether it is cold or hot sun is important for our overall well being! Just a thought. I live in Sandy, Utah for the past 10 yrs. It is a very family friendly and safe here.
The winters can be quite cold and snowy we only live 30 mins from some of the best skiing I have ever experienced. But you have lots of sunny days. The summers can be hot typically 80s from mid June, 90s in July with a few days in 100s, August mixed 80s and 90s, Sept back into 70s. It is very dry here so often allergies are less severe. I find because it is dry the heat is bearable. This is an outdoor activity state hiking, biking, camping are the norm on most weekends. We have museums, a Zoo, other kid friendly activites.
the state has grown with people moving in from California as the cost of living is cheaper here. It has a lot of start up companies and is considered the 2nd Silicon Valley because of that.
There are some quirks here but aren't there some everywhere, some shops and restaurants don't open on Sundays more so in Utah County. There is much more religious tolerance and diversity in the 10 yrs I have been here,( if that bothers you). The housing market is still very depressed here so you can get some great deals at the moment.

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The Twin Cities in Minnesota has everything you describe EXCEPT mild winters. We have an amazing arts community, shopping (Mall of America), lakes, bike trails, golf courses, etc. People here are very outdoorsy no matter the season--hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, cross country skiing, etc. We have some of the most bikers and golfers per capita in the entire country. The schools are good although struggling with budget issues like most places. We are always rated by national surveys and magazines as one of the best places to raise a family. The winters do get long and cold though. I have a neighbor who has a brother in Denver and he says it's gotten very crowded there from people from CA moving in. They don't even go to the mountains anymore because the traffic is so bad. Personally, the winters go pretty quickly for my family because both of my boys play hockey. Keeps us busy. Good luck!

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I agree with Cindy L.! Some people don't get it until you're here but it's a great place to live and raise a family. And you get used to the cold and make the best of it! (Skiing, sledding, skating, etc.) I lived in CO and loved it but I do feel it has gotten very crowded and jobs are tough depending on your industry. I also haven't heard great things about their public school systems. MN has a lot of major headquarters and there is tons to do here!

Live in San Diego and so much to do and perfect weather but, of course, expensive. Love Austin, TX and most of CO. I'm currently in Olympia, WA visiting family and shocked at how few things there are for kids. But, huge, but, when the weather is nice, wow, it is a wonderland for (big) kids (like me: )

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