Vacations and “Best Places to Live”

Well, I’m back from a week of vacation in Colorado. I hit the concrete yesterday for a painful five miles and returned to the elliptical trainer this morning. And it was great to catch up on the stories that I expect were dominating the news for the last several days. Sarah Palin is no longer the governor in Alaska. Obama is organizing a kegger at the White House.  Congress is waffling on health care. So it goes.

Wow. Not sure I missed much. But I did see a story in USA Today this morning that I actually spent a few minutes skimming from start to finish. It tooks at an AARP magazine story that lists the best cities for a “simplier life.” Tuscon heads the list.

I can’t argue with the selection of Tuscon — or any other city on the list. But with plenty of people like me — the first wave of the retiring baby boomer generation — at least thinking about the possibility of relocating at some point to “a best city to live” or a city that offers a “simplier life,” I wonder how much credibility these listings really have? And I wonder how important they are to the economic development of a city or region? Something tells me it means a lot these days to be on one of these lists — not unlike the “best colleges,” “best hospitals,” “best pizza joints” and so on.

DSCN0272Breckenridge, Colo.,  didn’t make the AARP list. Breckenridge is a small town about two hours west of Denver. For people who are active and who enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year it presents a pretty ideal situation: Scenic, nestled in the mountains at about 9,600 feet, access to great bike riding and fly fishing in the summer and excellent skiing in the winter. And we happened to be there to take advantage of an afternoon-long beer festival. Woot.

The problem: the price of housing. Don’t even think about it unless you have $500K — and most likely an army of friends and relatives who excel in the skilled trades.

Still it’s a nice thought. But for those of us mired in the housing debacle of Northeast Ohio, not a realistic one.

Maybe next summer I’ll tour the country and compile this list: Best places to live with housing prices lower than Akron/Cleveland.

DSCN0276Or better yet: Best places with beer festivals.

That should be an interesting vacation. Wonder if I can get a magazine to publish the list as the “best places to live”?


One response to “Vacations and “Best Places to Live”

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