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We're beginning to plan some vacation trips over the next 5 years or so to start investigating possible relocation sites. I'm compiling a list of places to check out, and I'm hoping to get some suggestions.
Places already on the list include:
  • Tampa to Orlando, FL and north
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Central CA
  • Nashville, TN
The Gotta-Haves:
  • Warm weather (at least most of the year)
  • Close proximity to enjoyable motorcycling roads
  • Access to other outdoorsy activities (fishing, hunting, camping, etc.)
  • Nearby waterways
The Super-Niceta-Haves:
  • Proximity to the coast (ocean or Caribbean)
  • Nothing larger than mid-sized cities (500K pop.)
  • Greenery (little interest in desert living)
We're open to all recommendations.
Very smart to start your search early.
I made my moving choice based on very similar criteria, albeit 35 years ago. It will be interesting to follow your progress, if you let us. It will also be interesting to see your methodology for the "exploration-vacations". The first few cuts should be fairly obvious, weather, topography, infrastructure, etc. Then comes the intangibles.
New friends with the potential of becoming old friends. Support for your current interests and the scope of new interests. It is always amazing to me how different places can be within a hundred mile proximity.

I noticed your inclusion of Central California. That made me smile and wonder which "central" you meant.
As regards the motorcycling, here in coastal northern California it is like sitting on the hoop and shooting the ball at the floor. Great adventure.
 

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I was born in N. Dakota, spent years in Minneapolis, southern Oregon winters are balmy in comparison. I ride every month of the year here. Stay west of the Cascades, our valley is at 1500 feet , some winters will get snow that lasts till noon, or rarely for a day or so. Mt. Ashland is 20 miles away at 8,000 feet if you miss snow or skiing. Summer hits 100 + for a week or two, low humidity, 20 inches of rain most of it falling between Halloween and Easter. Pear , peach orchards, and vineyards, 180,000 people in the surrounding communities, 40 miles from California border, 100 miles on terrific roads to the coast, no end to the great roads, just pick a direction. Blacktop or gravel forest roads, miles and miles and miles. Camping, fishing, rafting , kayaking, hiking everywhere, forests, and rivers here , east of the Cascades, high desert and volcanoes. But, east of the Cascades, they experience real winter, ice, snow, cold for months. Jackson County, Oregon.
 

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So many good places but none are perfect.
Then you'd get bored...talked to a relatively wealthy lady on a plane from Hawaii a couple decades ago and she said while she COULD live in Hawaii ( or anywhere else ) all year...she liked the changes seasons bring so spent 9 months in Ontario :unsure: which at the time had 4 distinct seasons tho lately that is a bit dodgy.

Too nice can get boring. Mountains and sea coasts make it interesting tho I'm conflicted on the rain aspect which seems an inevitable aspect of the shaky coast.
 

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My wife and I are still a good 15 years from retirement, but we're already starting to think about where we may want to end up. It's pretty much a given that we'll be leaving our cold northern state for somewhere warmer.

We're beginning to plan some vacation trips over the next 5 years or so to start investigating possible relocation sites. I'm compiling a list of places to check out, and I'm hoping to get some suggestions.

Places already on the list include:
  • Tampa to Orlando, FL and north
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Central CA
  • Nashville, TN
The Gotta-Haves:
  • Warm weather (at least most of the year)
  • Close proximity to enjoyable motorcycling roads
  • Access to other outdoorsy activities (fishing, hunting, camping, etc.)
  • Nearby waterways
The Super-Niceta-Haves:
  • Proximity to the coast (ocean or Caribbean)
  • Nothing larger than mid-sized cities (500K pop.)
  • Greenery (little interest in desert living)
We're open to all recommendations.

I'm about 10 years out and looking at North Carolina. (i'm from upstate NY). I've ridden thru 43 States on my VStrom so far, and although I loved Southern CA, Utah, NM, Arizona in September, places like Yosemite close down in winter to bikes due to snow. Also the heat in the SW can be brutal in summer, whereas the mountains of NC and Tennessee are fantastic.

Being retired, I can always ride coast to coast if I like, so NC is a nice year round home base. A few hours from the coast, a few hours from the Smoky's.

Now, I am considering the pacific NW, but with the shit coming across the ocean from Japans nuke reactor, China's Covid-19, I think I'll stick with NC.
 

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California is expensive and has the (second?) highest income tax in the country. If you are rich it is a great place.

Put coastal Washington on your list. The ocean moderates the temperature, WA has no income tax, and the roads are decent. But it is a long way from the rest of the country.
 

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While California's income tax is high, our property tax is low. States have to get their revenue from somewhere. There is no hiding from the tax monster. Central to Northern California has some of the best roads and year round riding. There are some very affordable places to live that are a few hours from either the coast or mountains. If you're a coast type person, the mountains are only a few hours away and if you're a mountain type person then the coast is just a few hours away. Regardless of where you choose, there will be great riding roads and a large riding community.
 

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My wife and I are still a good 15 years from retirement, but we're already starting to think about where we may want to end up. It's pretty much a given that we'll be leaving our cold northern state for somewhere warmer.

We're beginning to plan some vacation trips over the next 5 years or so to start investigating possible relocation sites. I'm compiling a list of places to check out, and I'm hoping to get some suggestions.

Places already on the list include:
  • Tampa to Orlando, FL and north
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Central CA
  • Nashville, TN
The Gotta-Haves:
  • Warm weather (at least most of the year)
  • Close proximity to enjoyable motorcycling roads
  • Access to other outdoorsy activities (fishing, hunting, camping, etc.)
  • Nearby waterways
The Super-Niceta-Haves:
  • Proximity to the coast (ocean or Caribbean)
  • Nothing larger than mid-sized cities (500K pop.)
  • Greenery (little interest in desert living)
We're open to all recommendations.
As I write this I am in Estero, FL -- on the gulf coast, south of Tampa/St Pete, mid-way between Fort Myers and Naples. Weather is delightful -- in the winter. Insufferable heat and humidity for 5-6 months of the year. Area has most of what you are looking for. Since people ride year round there is generally a greater awareness of bikes, but this is offset somewhat by the number of tourists who are clueless as to where they are headed. And a certain demographic constituency which has, shall we say, lost a little of their motoring edge over time.

No place is perfect, but you could do worse. One thing to look for: many, many people end up in gated communities which have deed restrictions. Some places have tried to ban motorcycles outright. Where I live now I cannot leave it outside overnight. This is not uncommon. It is a hassle. Be forewarned on that point.
 

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As I write this I am in Estero, FL -- on the gulf coast, south of Tampa/St Pete, mid-way between Fort Myers and Naples. Weather is delightful -- in the winter. Insufferable heat and humidity for 5-6 months of the year. Area has most of what you are looking for. Since people ride year round there is generally a greater awareness of bikes, but this is offset somewhat by the number of tourists who are clueless as to where they are headed. And a certain demographic constituency which has, shall we say, lost a little of their motoring edge over time.

No place is perfect, but you could do worse. One thing to look for: many, many people end up in gated communities which have deed restrictions. Some places have tried to ban motorcycles outright. Where I live now I cannot leave it outside overnight. This is not uncommon. It is a hassle. Be forewarned on that point.
I chose a place in North Las Vegas that had no HOA for just that reason. I wouldn’t leave my bike out overnight anyway. I guess the real perfect thing would be 2 places. 1 for winter, one for summer. One of my friends has a summer place in Utah and winters in Las Vegas. It’s true in winter you can’t ride north but south is very doable, also California is less than 2 hours away.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My wife and I are still a good 15 years from retirement, but we're already starting to think about where we may want to end up. It's pretty much a given that we'll be leaving our cold northern state for somewhere warmer.

We're beginning to plan some vacation trips over the next 5 years or so to start investigating possible relocation sites. I'm compiling a list of places to check out, and I'm hoping to get some suggestions.

Places already on the list include:
  • Tampa to Orlando, FL and north
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Central CA
  • Nashville, TN
The Gotta-Haves:
  • Warm weather (at least most of the year)
  • Close proximity to enjoyable motorcycling roads
  • Access to other outdoorsy activities (fishing, hunting, camping, etc.)
  • Nearby waterways
The Super-Niceta-Haves:
  • Proximity to the coast (ocean or Caribbean)
  • Nothing larger than mid-sized cities (500K pop.)
  • Greenery (little interest in desert living)
We're open to all recommendations.
If you are looking for good motorcycle roads don't go to Florida. Besides the bugs are so big they will knock you off the bike, LOL. I would vote for the Carolinas, much further south brings hot humid summers almost as bad as cold winters in my book.
 

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Love the desert. The quiet, the clean air. Things don't rust or mold. So much open space and public land that is yours to enjoy for free! Usually there are mountains close by to explore/ride. FL? it's flat man! NC? Might be a bit too humid for this desert denizen. KY? Do I hear Banjos? Okay guess it doesn't check all/any of your boxes but it works for some. Or go mobile and explore it all!

edit, the dry climate has worked wonders for some as well.
 

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At least three dedicated riders I know have moved from the bleak frozen wastelands of Chicago to eastern Tennessee.
 

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My wife and I are still a good 15 years from retirement, but we're already starting to think about where we may want to end up. It's pretty much a given that we'll be leaving our cold northern state for somewhere warmer.

We're beginning to plan some vacation trips over the next 5 years or so to start investigating possible relocation sites. I'm compiling a list of places to check out, and I'm hoping to get some suggestions.

Places already on the list include:
  • Tampa to Orlando, FL and north
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Central CA
  • Nashville, TN
The Gotta-Haves:
  • Warm weather (at least most of the year)
  • Close proximity to enjoyable motorcycling roads
  • Access to other outdoorsy activities (fishing, hunting, camping, etc.)
  • Nearby waterways
The Super-Niceta-Haves:
  • Proximity to the coast (ocean or Caribbean)
  • Nothing larger than mid-sized cities (500K pop.)
  • Greenery (little interest in desert living)
We're open to all recommendations.
Why are you thinking only North America?
I live in Kenya which has amazing riding. The entire East African Community has absolutely amazing riding. We have coastal regions, mountains, Great Lakes, arid areas, and a gazillion miles of empty dirt trails to explore.
Most of our cities are less than 500k people, vibrant, friendly, and just downright fun!
Our temperature goes from equatorial hot, to coastal humid hot, to mountain ice glaciers cold, to rain forest mixed. It’s all here.
East Africa is safe, fun, and cheap.
You can feasibly live here in great luxury for as little as 2 thousand dollars a month. That would be a sweet little beach house, beers every day, restaurant whenever, and plenty of petrol to rip!!
Im never leaving this place. I’ve found paradise.
 

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Why are you thinking only North America?
I live in Kenya which has amazing riding. The entire East African Community has absolutely amazing riding. We have coastal regions, mountains, Great Lakes, arid areas, and a gazillion miles of empty dirt trails to explore.
Most of our cities are less than 500k people, vibrant, friendly, and just downright fun!
Our temperature goes from equatorial hot, to coastal humid hot, to mountain ice glaciers cold, to rain forest mixed. It’s all here.
East Africa is safe, fun, and cheap.
You can feasibly live here in great luxury for as little as 2 thousand dollars a month. That would be a sweet little beach house, beers every day, restaurant whenever, and plenty of petrol to rip!!
Im never leaving this place. I’ve found paradise.
What are the bugs like? sounds great. I'd probably be worried more about camping in Kenya than Ontario. I'd really miss winter too (some days only, not minus 25c). Don't know why, but it is in the blood.
 

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At least three dedicated riders I know have moved from the bleak frozen wastelands of Chicago to eastern Tennessee.
One of my buddies labeled Illinois as "Hellinois". He moved to Eastern Tennessee and found his nirvana.

Info on Asheville, NC.

Here's a vista from the blue Ridge Parkway which runs past Asheville.
269663
 

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Many can handle moving far away from where you have lived all of your life.
My recommendation look hard at how attached you are to the area you live and family.
Try to find an area that is within a days drive, 10 to 12 hours.
I personal moved to far away, it takes three days to dive or all day to fly therefore I don’t go back as often as I would like.
In retirement you’ll have the time to travel further from base camp to great roads.
 

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North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, all have cold weather. Great riding of course. But you are not going to ride all the time. Consider the other things that make life good. Like Hospitals...as you age. Shopping and entertainment. Nothing against Florida, I go there often, but it ain't a motorcycle place to live. West of Texas you either have desert, or if there is green stuff you are far enough north that it is cold again. California could be a wonderful place, but I don't want to live there.
So, what is left? Two things come to mine.

First, and possibly most overlooked, is Georgia! It is a hidden gem as far as motorcycle riding, natural areas, large lakes, and depending on where you would settle it can be quite close to the ocean. Weather has a range of course, not much really cold weather, yes it can be hot in summer, low hurricane threat, etc. Lots of nice communities in Georgia.

Second is Texas. San Antonio/Austin area. Lots of good riding in that area. Centrally located for trips east or west. Good weather, but yes it is hot in summer. Not so far west to be a desert at all. Good health care and shopping. No state income tax, but you will pay high property taxes.

While you thing living 1 mile off the Tail of the Dragon might be Heaven, the fact is that anything gets old. You want something with more than one thing to interest you.
 

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First, and possibly most overlooked, is Georgia! It is a hidden gem as far as motorcycle riding, natural areas, large lakes, and depending on where you would settle it can be quite close to the ocean. Weather has a range of course, not much really cold weather, yes it can be hot in summer, low hurricane threat, etc. Lots of nice communities in Georgia.
There are lots of great areas close to the bottom of Blue Ride Mtns with fabulous riding.
Just don't anywhere near Atlanta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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