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Thread: Best Place to Live in Rural America List

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Best Place to Live in Rural America List

    We are always discussing the latest best city lists, why not a rural list ?

    From an AP Wire article was the link to the Progressive Farmer magazine:
    http://www.progressivefarmer.com/farmer/bestplaces/
    Much more info at their website!!!

    TOP TEN
    There is an article / stat sheet / photo gallery for each.

    1. Fauquier County, Virginia
    "Rural, proud of it and trying to stay that way" could be the unofficial motto of this county lying 45 minutes west of Washington, D.C.

    2. Oconee County, Georgia
    A transitional county that retains its rural flavor, Oconee has been discovered as a great place to live by people just across the river at Athens, home of the University of Georgia.

    3. McPherson County, Kansas
    First things first--pronounce it correctly. It's mac-FUR-son, and any resident will tell you: "There's no FEAR in McPherson."

    4. Callaway County, Missouri
    Located almost in the middle of the U.S., Callaway County is a special place, as any Callawegian (that's what a native calls himself) will tell you.

    5. Grafton County, New Hampshire
    Though geographically large (it's twice the size, for instance, of Callaway County, Mo.), Grafton County is dominated by the White Mountain National Forest.

    6. Gillespie County, Texas
    Scenic granite hills to the north and fertile pastures to the south, all dotted with oak and cedar, give nearly anyone with a rural bent something to love.

    7. Sauk County, Wisconsin
    A surprise waits around every bend in the road and over every crest of the hill in this lovely county.

    8. Wilson County, Tennessee
    The eastern neighbor of sprawling Davidson County (Nashville), Wilson County retains much of its good farmland but with subdivisions and small farms playing a more prominent role now.

    9. Eagle County, Colorado
    Rocky Mountain peaks, ski resorts including Vail and secluded scenic valleys have made Eagle more of a playground for the rich and famous than an ag stronghold.

    10. Rankin County, Mississippi
    Rankin County, which lies just across the Pearl River from state capital Jackson, is growing quickly. Still, it manages to maintain its rural flavor.

    There are listings by regions and by state.
    Oddball
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  2. #2
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Grafton County, NH is great....if you like snow! Probably (outside of Coos County in the far north of the state) the coldest part of NH.

    Great pics though, from the site:





    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    NHPlanner, that looks amazing. Maybe I should apply for that Planner position in Claremnont, NH.

    I would suggest Munising, Michigan area in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, or maybe the Manitisque, MI area. Both are beautiful northwoods locations with easy access to either Lake Michigan or Lake Superior.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    3. McPherson County, Kansas
    First things first--pronounce it correctly. It's mac-FUR-son, and any resident will tell you: "There's no FEAR in McPherson."
    I didn't realize that ag magazine editors were now allowed to smoke CRACK! As a Kanasas, Mc Fear-son County is not exactly even in the top 10 places in Kansas.


  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    NHPlanner, that looks amazing. Maybe I should apply for that Planner position in Claremnont, NH.

    I would suggest Munising, Michigan area in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, or maybe the Manitisque, MI area. Both are beautiful northwoods locations with easy access to either Lake Michigan or Lake Superior.
    Trust me, Claremont is nothing like the pics above!

    Nice town (well, it calls itself a city, but it's a town from my perspective)....but very challenging. Economy there is not reflective of much of the state....
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    3. McPherson County, Kansas
    First things first--pronounce it correctly. It's mac-FUR-son, and any resident will tell you: "There's no FEAR in McPherson."

    Hhhmmm. Can't see that as the third for any particular reason. McPherson ain't all that. Not any more job opportunities than most of Ks. Nothing really special about it as compared to most Ks communities. And the avg temp for Aug 91degrees, I don't know who they think they are fooling. An Avg of 98 would be closer.

    Then I looked into the top 100 list. Ks had a few rankings.
    But folk let me tell you, Don't go to Sumner County. I lived there for about 9 months. They have a really screwed up County Government System adn that is with inside info. But the topper is that they must be looking for an influx of new genes into there gene pool with this push to say it is a great place to live because they hands down have the ugliest people I have ever seen in one community.

    My husband and I used to play, they ain't from around here. When we would see someone down there that was decent looking, if we could get a chance to make small talk, you would find out every time that they had moved in. Even the babies down there aren't cute.

    Ok I will stop already but don't go to Sumner...
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    NHPlanner, that looks amazing. Maybe I should apply for that Planner position in Claremnont, NH.

    I would suggest Munising, Michigan area in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, or maybe the Manitisque, MI area. Both are beautiful northwoods locations with easy access to either Lake Michigan or Lake Superior.
    Mendelman is again on target.

    Manistique is actually not a real pretty place but it is very close to some of the wildest country in this here land of ours.....due northeast of town.....Seney Wildlife area. East and west of Manistique are some great Lake Michigan beaches, including an area that this Bear has been camping at for twenty (20) plus years.....Big Knob.

    Munising is beautiful. It is located on a sheltered bay (sheltered by Lake Superior's second-largest island, Grand Island). The town actually reminds me of places in West Virginia, with a block or two (2) of flat land adjacent to very steep wooded hillsides. WVA doesn't have the big clean lake, though.

    In downtown Munising you can catch the scenic ferries to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.....a great tourist attraction. Waterfalls are all over the area. A few miles west of town are beautiful sand beaches (Au Train). You will NEVER swim in a better area......if the water is warm enuf.

    Now....what do these two (2) Mendelman suggestions have to do with agriculture? Nothing. But still great places.

    Bear Stepping Out Of Dogpatch Saloon
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  8. #8
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA

    6. Gillespie County, Texas
    Scenic granite hills to the north and fertile pastures to the south, all dotted with oak and cedar, give nearly anyone with a rural bent something to love.
    Sure, if you don't mind the backwards attitudes. Rumor has it that a city in this county refused to consider a firm for a comprehensive plan because the lead partner was a woman. I've also heard some nightmare stories from other consultants that have attempted to work in the area.

    It is a beautiful area though, so I can't argue too much. Oh yeah, and the property owners know it's beautiful, too... You should see the prices!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    14. Livingston County, IL

    hmm, I don't get it. I lived 1 mile from Livingston County for the first 18 years of my life. My grandparents live there. To me, it's the most flat, rural, boring, quiet county in the state.

    The county seat, Pontiact (pop 11,000) is a nice small town that has a beautifully restored courthouse and a surprisingly active downtown. Within the last 20 years, very very low density large format strip retail has popped up towards the interstate and really hurt the community character. Also, the local hospital just abandoned their century old site in the middle of town for a new sprawling complex off the interstate. I feel bad for the residents who now have to make a drive out of town to get to their hospital. Aside from the bad, crime is really low, housing is affordbale and stable, and it's a short 40 minute drive to Bloomington/Normal where the "real shopping" as the local's call it is

    Courthouse

    flat, boring!
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North
    Mendelman is again on target.

    Manistique is actually not a real pretty place but it is very close to some of the wildest country in this here land of ours.....due northeast of town.....Seney Wildlife area. East and west of Manistique are some great Lake Michigan beaches, including an area that this Bear has been camping at for twenty (20) plus years.....Big Knob.

    Munising is beautiful. It is located on a sheltered bay (sheltered by Lake Superior's second-largest island, Grand Island). The town actually reminds me of places in West Virginia, with a block or two (2) of flat land adjacent to very steep wooded hillsides. WVA doesn't have the big clean lake, though.

    In downtown Munising you can catch the scenic ferries to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.....a great tourist attraction. Waterfalls are all over the area. A few miles west of town are beautiful sand beaches (Au Train). You will NEVER swim in a better area......if the water is warm enuf.

    Now....what do these two (2) Mendelman suggestions have to do with agriculture? Nothing. But still great places.

    Bear Stepping Out Of Dogpatch Saloon
    Munising is not a very pretty town, but it is in a spectacular location. If I had the money to invest, I might be tempted to do some development there. I don't recall ever being there when the hotels were not nearly full, and that includes winter. My last trip was just about a year ago. There was a good 3-4 feet of snow on the ground. The waterfalls were giant icicles. It was beautiful.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Huh?

    I'm surprised Fargo and Bismarck didn't make the top ten, looking at what did.... How about Scotsbluff NE or Alamosa, Colorado????
    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  12. #12
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    We are always discussing the latest best city lists, why not a rural list ?
    Um, do they mean suburban?

    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    2. Oconee County, Georgia
    A transitional county that retains its rural flavor, Oconee has been discovered as a great place to live by people just across the river at Athens, home of the University of Georgia.
    Suburb of Athens.

    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    8. Wilson County, Tennessee
    The eastern neighbor of sprawling Davidson County (Nashville), Wilson County retains much of its good farmland but with subdivisions and small farms playing a more prominent role now.
    Suburb of Nashville.

    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    10. Rankin County, Mississippi
    Rankin County, which lies just across the Pearl River from state capital Jackson, is growing quickly. Still, it manages to maintain its rural flavor.
    Suburb of Jackson.

    I am not sure about the others, but I know these three states listed above and these are what I consider high growth rapidly "suburbanizing" counties in those states.

    Is this another list sponsored out by the Realtor assoc.?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    1. Fauquier County, Virginia
    "Rural, proud of it and trying to stay that way" could be the unofficial motto of this county lying 45 minutes west of Washington, D.C.

    Suburb of DC, Im sitting here laughing my tail off at this. Yes there are large areas of rural...with estates on them owned by people in DC. I dont think you can be part of Northern Va and expect to stay "rural" it wont be "urban" but come on.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  14. #14

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    Given all of my travels and work in rural America, this list is just funny. Others have already pointed out that it includes places that are marginally rural (Faquier County does have a pleasant pastoral landscape, at least in places, but rural it is not).

    Grafton County, N.H. is the only one I'd consider living in, although I will say that I rank McPherson higher on the list of places to live in Kansas than others. Perhaps we need to a KS subthread to see where planners would live in the Sunflower State (if they had to live there)? Manhattan has to be number one, I suppose, followed by Chase County. Eagle County, CO is a gorgeous place, but no one who is on this forum could afford to live there.

  15. #15

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    Back again, after checking out the top 100. The folks who read Progressive Farmer are in a world of hurt. The first place besides Grafton County, NH I would seriously consider living is #43, and Garfield Co is far from a first choice in Colorado. Santa Fe County, N.M. comes in at 51, but it is in no way rural. Gallatin County, MT, which is barely rural pops up at 82. I have and could live there. Talbot County, MD, also barely rural, is 85. I could live in St. Michaels - if was rich. Some of the Wisconsin counties would be tolerable, if you really really had to, but this is a strange list!

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    Perhaps we need to a KS subthread to see where planners would live in the Sunflower State (if they had to live there)? Manhattan has to be number one, I suppose, followed by Chase County..
    Off-topic:
    Chase County is gorgeous; rolling hills, no visual pollution, and extremely rural yet still convenient to urban services. Read PrairieEarth by William Least Heat Moon to get a feel for the place.

    If I was exiled back to Kansas, though, it would be either Lawrence or far northeastern Johnson County; Fairway, Mission, Prairie Village, Mission Woods, Westwood, or Mission Hills
    .

    96: Effingham County, Illinois. Yuk! It's called "Effingham" because the "Eff" really means something else, Truck stops, truck stops, truck stops, truck stops, and truck stops. I'll pass.

    69: Geauga County, Ohio. WTF? It's part upper middle class exurbia, part Amish, with some charming but rapidly growing villages like Chardon. Nice place. Not rural. I'd go with Holmes County, which is very rural and very Amish, yet close to Cleveland and Akron.

    86: Napa County, California. Just in case you're looking for someplace even more unaffordable than Eagle County.

    62: Forsyth County, Georgia. OH COME ON. It's north friggin' suburban Atlanta. When it was rural, maybe 15 or 20 years ago, they were proud to claim it was the only county in Georgia with no black residents.intended.)

    A few that should be on the list:

    Wyoming County, New York
    Gunnison County, Colorado
    Bonner County, Idaho
    Holmes County, Ohio
    Gillespie County, Texas
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Lee Nellis
    Back again, after checking out the top 100. The folks who read Progressive Farmer are in a world of hurt. The first place besides Grafton County, NH I would seriously consider living is #43, and Garfield Co is far from a first choice in Colorado. Santa Fe County, N.M. comes in at 51, but it is in no way rural. Gallatin County, MT, which is barely rural pops up at 82. I have and could live there. Talbot County, MD, also barely rural, is 85. I could live in St. Michaels - if was rich. Some of the Wisconsin counties would be tolerable, if you really really had to, but this is a strange list!
    Lee, you really should not take a pass on Sauk County, Wisconsin. It is a scenic beauty (Baraboo Range, Wisconsin River, Devil's Lake, etc.) and has a strong rural economy. It is less than an hour from Madison.



    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  18. #18

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    Gunnison County, CO is a great place, but you have to like cold winters. It is also a bit remote for many people.

    It has been a long time since I was in Sauk County, WI, but the Wisconsin Dells seemed too touristy to me back then. All in all one of the more tolerable places in the Midwest, though.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Kansas Sub Thread

    You knew I would have to jump on that one.

    Why in the world would you want to live in Chase County. Cool Courthouse but that is about as far as that goes... Backward government.
    Highway 50 is a trucker death trap I avoid at all costs. Services suck. Beautiful Rolling Flint Hills but you can catch those either in Morris County or Lyon County.

    I always enjoyed living in Emporia, in Lyon County, not a really large city but you can get to Topeka, Lawrence, KC, Wichita in a reasonable amount of time and get whatever you needed. As far as a good place to raise kids the public schools are
    horrible. The college is great for a small college that places more emphasis on education than sports...But it is small enough that good paying jobs are limited and offered on who you know.

    Actually, I lived for a while south and west of Olpe Ks just south of Emporia. Just three miles from the cattle guard crossing that open out into the flinthills. That is really pretty country, sitting out on the hill in gods country. Great people! That would do just anything for you. As far as a great place to live that would have to rank high for rural living. But once again you hit the job issue in Emporia.

    The Lawrence area has a real draw but with that comes the cost of living.

    I really think my heart is not into living in Kansas any more. We tried to find jobs out of state a couple of years ago. We have decided to hang here for about 5 more years then get the heck out of here. I want to be somewhere with trees, real trees. My husband wants to drive on roads with curves.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  20. #20

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    I agree that Emporia has to rate pretty high as places in Kansas go (higher than McPherson, for example). I just like some folks I know in Chase County, and the apartness, which is rare in that part of the world. Access to cities doesn't matter much to me, especially those cities, none of which have any appeal that I can identify.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    I agree good people in that part of the state. All my really good friends are there.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Only 2 counties in FL; well, no big surprise there. I don't know much about either one.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    I'm surprised there are only 2 from California. But not surprised there are none from Idaho (*giggling*)....guess I did the right thing.

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