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Hey,

My wife and I are considering a move to Napa from Santa Cruz CA.

It's a tough decision because we love Santa Cruz.

We're big time Roadies, middle time MTB, runners, generally lots of outdoor stuff.

We'd like to know any pros & cons you may have...where to live in Napa, where not to live, what's the riding (road & mtb) like, anything.

Look forward to your feedback.

Thanks

Philburt
 

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Hugh. .

Philburt said:
Hey,

My wife and I are considering a move to Napa from Santa Cruz CA.
We'd like to know any pros & cons you may have...where to live in Napa, where not to live,
Look forward to your feedback.

Thanks
Philburt
Seriously, quit the whining. You're lucky to be able to live (and work?) in Napa Valley. Is work driving this move? Napa is beautiful.
 

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Philburt said:
Hey,

My wife and I are considering a move to Napa from Santa Cruz CA.

It's a tough decision because we love Santa Cruz.

We're big time Roadies, middle time MTB, runners, generally lots of outdoor stuff.

We'd like to know any pros & cons you may have...where to live in Napa, where not to live, what's the riding (road & mtb) like, anything.

Look forward to your feedback.

Thanks

Philburt
Philburt,

Are you talking about Napa County in general or Napa the city? I can tell you that there are a plethora of good/great roads for riding. At least 5 or 6 great places to MTB and plenty of places for hiking and trail runs, etc. The "wine country" is truly one of the most beautiful places to live-Sonoma and Napa counties. This area is an outdoor lovers dream. The coast is only 30 min. to an hour away. Skiing is only 4 or so hrs. away. San Francisco is an hour away. Water skiing/boating at Lake Berryessa or Lake Sonoma. Great food and wine of course.

However, we do have our problems. Traffic congestion, sky high housing prices, many layoffs in recent years of high tech jobs, etc, etc.

Count on the average decent 3 bedroom house in an acceptable neighborhood being $500,000 plus. There are signs that things are improving. Major traffic improvements are in the works. The housing prices are softening.

Local companies are concerned about finding enough qualified workers because many can't afford to live here. White collar professionals seem to have a little less difficulty.

Anyway, there's a little info for ya'.

2wheelsport
 

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Discussion Starter #4
2wheelsport said:
Philburt,

Are you talking about Napa County in general or Napa the city? I can tell you that there are a plethora of good/great roads for riding. At least 5 or 6 great places to MTB and plenty of places for hiking and trail runs, etc. The "wine country" is truly one of the most beautiful places to live-Sonoma and Napa counties. This area is an outdoor lovers dream. The coast is only 30 min. to an hour away. Skiing is only 4 or so hrs. away. San Francisco is an hour away. Water skiing/boating at Lake Berryessa or Lake Sonoma. Great food and wine of course.

However, we do have our problems. Traffic congestion, sky high housing prices, many layoffs in recent years of high tech jobs, etc, etc.

Count on the average decent 3 bedroom house in an acceptable neighborhood being $500,000 plus. There are signs that things are improving. Major traffic improvements are in the works. The housing prices are softening.

Local companies are concerned about finding enough qualified workers because many can't afford to live here. White collar professionals seem to have a little less difficulty.

Anyway, there's a little info for ya'.

2wheelsport

Hmmm, thanks for the reply. Santa Cruz County has outrageous housing prices. A 3 bedroom house here is close to $1mm, so the prices there sound quite reasonable to us.

Yeah, it's a job opportunity that may lure me there; with a wine company, but it may be a lot more hours and commute time, without that much more of a payoff. Our quality of life is the most important thing. These days, in this world, it's nice to have that choice as our only problem.

We stayed in downtown Napa once, at the Daughter's Inn, nice place, nice neighborhood. I could live there.

Choices, choices. Are there places to MTB, close to town, at 5:30 on a Tuesday afternoon?

Cheers.
 

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You're what, 80 miles away? Go up and look

I've ridden a lot in both places (my son lives in SC), and I think I prefer Napa. I love Santa Cruz and like being close to the ocean, but Napa isn't THAT far from the coast, and the weather is generally better, if you can overlook those 105-degree days in July. There's a ton of good riding in the area, I think maybe even more than around Santa Cruz. Horrible traffic on weekends, some of it drunk from winetasting, but you get a lot of that in Santa Cruz, too.
I like the laid-back atmosphere in SC, but not everyone does--I was around the first time the '60s went by, so I fit right in on Pacific Avenue. You already know about housing prices. As far as tourists go, my impression is that Santa Cruz tourists rate lower in a$$hole qualities than Napa wine-snob tourists do, but that may just a few bad experiences. Better restaurants in Napa, better surfing in Santa Cruz. But you're so close, you really need to go up there and stay for a few days and look around.
 

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For cycling, you might want to look at the local club's website:

http://www.eaglecyclingclub.org/

I've ridden some in Napa, none in Santa Cruz, and the riding in Napa is great for road (I don't ride offroad).

This website has some good examples. (North Bay Valley, Valley Fever)

http://home.att.net/~rfzipf/BikeRides.htm

As for housing, I'm a real estate appraiser who covers Napa Valley. I really like the western portion of Napa (Brown's Valley). My brother in law lives there and is pretty happy. Yountville and Calistoga might work for me, too, if I had some cash. St. Helena is nice, but I don't like the way Highway 29 cuts the town in two-traffic sucks. This is off the top; if you have any specific questions, send me a private message. But if you own in Santa Cruz and have good equity, you might be able to get something decent in the valley.
 

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I live in Santa Rosa and ride over in Napa sometimes...

Napa County has some great roads. Generally the road surfaces are excellent and there are some great climbs on both sides of the valley. The one downside imo, is that compared to Sonoma County, you won't find as many miles of country roads to explore (the downside to Sonoma County is that our many miles of country roads are poorly maintained). Of course, you can load up your bike and head over to Sonoma, or up to Lake, or down to Marin and get more variety if that's what you're after.

Also, I would think that the culture of Napa would be quite a bit different than Santa Cruz. If you crave the wine country lifestyle, then there's no better place to be, but if wine - and food - ain't your thing, then do some additional research before taking the plunge.
 

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Cory said:
.....but Napa isn't THAT far from the coast, and the weather is generally better, if you can overlook those 105-degree days in July. There's a ton of good riding in the area, I think maybe even more than around Santa Cruz. Horrible traffic on weekends, some of it drunk from winetasting, but you get a lot of that in Santa Cruz, too.
As far as tourists go, my impression is that Santa Cruz tourists rate lower in a$$hole qualities than Napa wine-snob tourists do, but that may just a few bad experiences. Better restaurants in Napa, better surfing in Santa Cruz.
105 temps, drunk week-end drivers, wine-snob tourists, and don't forget the country club mega-SUV golf crowd. Oh yeah, no mountains either.

Beach, cooler temps, less week-end traffic (at least on the mountain roads), better off-road riding, more varied terrain (road and off-road). Call me biased but from an overall cycling perspective Santa Cruz is the hands down winner.

Both areas can be great. I'd let the job trade-offs dominate the decision, not the cycling.
 

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Philburt said:
Hmmm, thanks for the reply. Santa Cruz County has outrageous housing prices. A 3 bedroom house here is close to $1mm, so the prices there sound quite reasonable to us.

Yeah, it's a job opportunity that may lure me there; with a wine company, but it may be a lot more hours and commute time, without that much more of a payoff. Our quality of life is the most important thing. These days, in this world, it's nice to have that choice as our only problem.

We stayed in downtown Napa once, at the Daughter's Inn, nice place, nice neighborhood. I could live there.

Choices, choices. Are there places to MTB, close to town, at 5:30 on a Tuesday afternoon?

Cheers.
You could ride at Skyline park in Napa. Also, Rockville is probably a half hour away from Napa the city, southeast towards hwy 80 right near suisun city. On long summer nights, come on up over calistoga road and ride at Annadel state park. Also, a couple of rebuttals to what's already been said...

As long as you stay off the main hwy, there are roads less traveled(pun intended). I live in Sonoma County and I think we do have a lot more roads to ride but there are still plenty in Napa County. I've ridden some great roads with some great climbs. I can show you a couple of gnarly climbs nearby. They're not Mount Ventoux but it will tax you.

The decision to move here I think will have to include your long term job prospects. If you bought a house here in the near future, I wouldn't count on the double digit growth rates of the last few years. More like 4-8% per year, so you would probably break even if you decide in a couple of years it's not for you and sell. Another option is renting a really nice house for a year. You could rent a nice house and wait out the real estate shake out and buy when houses are priced closer to their actual value. Also, some people live in Sonoma or Solano County and commute.

The 100+ degree temps are rare. Again if you stay off the main hwy corrider you probably aren't going to get run over by drunk wine-tasting tourists.

The variety of experiences, people, geography and travel options within a few hours drive is, I think, the biggest reason why people like it here.

2wheelsport
 

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"More bicyclists are killed per capita in Napa and Sonoma counties than anywhere else in the Bay Area, according to CHP statistics..." in an April 2004 article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Alan Liu and Jill Mason. Alan was killed and Jill was paralyzed by a drunk driver.
 

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Wow-

Art853 said:
"More bicyclists are killed per capita in Napa and Sonoma counties than anywhere else in the Bay Area, according to CHP statistics..." in an April 2004 article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Alan Liu and Jill Mason. Alan was killed and Jill was paralyzed by a drunk driver.
That's a pretty scary statistic.

Thanks to everyone for the input. Many great points - most of which seem to point us right back where we're starting from.

Great house, good jobs, superb lifestyle...why the hell look anywhere else??

Thanks again-

Cheers!
 
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