If you're that close to British Columbia, you might as well move there.
Let me see if I can make a case for the Portland area.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregonhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portland,_Oregon
Now, I want to have my permanent home close to the sea, no more than say an hour or so drive, as I find the sea very spiritually renewing.
+1 Portland. Some of the most beautiful and enjoyable beaches.
One concern about the northern western coast is the cold water procluding swimming, at least enjoying it.
What? Can't enjoy a little hypothermia? Dislike wetsuits? -1 Portland.
1. People - Intelligent yet open minded, creative, outdoors oriented, and courteous.
+1 Portland. It doesn't get any more open minded, creative, or outdoors oriented. Courteousness is not as good as the south or midwest, but better than NYC and LA, IMHO.
2. Air quality – NO pollution in the area due to my allergies to hydrocarbons, etc.
3. Healthcare – good doctors in the region – cardiologist, holistic practitioners.
4. Weather - temperate
can take some rain but not months of it.
Avoid the 107 degree days we were having in N. GA
Average year round temperate: 54 F.
Average Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar: 45 F.
Average Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep: 62 F.
Average High/Low in Jan: 45/34.
Average High/Low in Jul: 80/57. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather...89627&refer
5. Reasonable cost of living?
+1 greater Portland area. If you live just across the river in Washington, you'll have no state income tax, but you can shop in Oregon and enjoy no sales tax (best of both worlds). Of course, technically, one is obligated to track, report, and send in sales tax payments to Washington state every month on all purchases made out of state, but no one does it. (99% of people aren't even aware they are obligated to do the same in any state with salestax.)
Flood insurance is required in some areas. Housing is about twice as much as you pay in the midwest (not 10 times as much, like California), depending on the area of course.
Photographic scenes, hiking/camping, jogging trails, ocean kayaking, College with open lectures and ability to take classes that continue my studies –econimics, philosophy, RC flying field, assortment of restaurants to choose from.
I think those are all +1 for Portland.
For photographic scenes, it's hard to find many areas with as much diversity. Mountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, oceans, abandonded Frontier buildings, farmland, hills, city, country, you name it. Rural Oregon has some of the darkest and most accessible night skies in the country. Everyone knows we have rain forests, but are often surprised to find that SE Oregon is covered with vast and beautiful high desert, such as the Alvord Desert which gets just 8 inches of rain a year:
9. Water resources for community; good city planning/zoning.
+1 +1 Portland.
There are so many areas around Portland that I don't know which to recommend. Perhaps near Hillsboro? Good luck in your search.