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interesting towns in and around san diego and in california in general

Steve Berman | Nov 19, 200309:38 PM

my wife and i are chowhounds, and now we have a 3 month old chowpuppy. we're moving from connecticut back to california in a few months and researching places to relocate to. it's a tall order, and we know all too well that real estate is ridiculously expensive in california. nevertheless, we like the weather and the people.

any suggestions for interesting, perhaps up and coming smaller towns in california that offer:

1. some chowhound fare, or the possibility it will develop a community of afficionados in the next decade

2. some kind of cultural life

3. reasonably affordable housing (decent house for under 400k)

4. some land -- a few acres would be nice

5. rural setting -- we like trees and mountains

6. reasonable commute to a major city -- preferably one with a research hospital

sound impossible? perhaps, but there are a million small towns in california and we want to rule out the possiblity one might be right for us.

please share your thoughts and any suggestions.

if not in california, then other states in the west.

thanks for any ideas!!!

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