Is there any major US city (pop > 1M) that has a charming rural town within 30 minutes of it?

I live in north DE. Wilmington doesn’t have enough tech jobs. EVERY damn job offer I get is in center city Philly, which is absolutely unacceptable. I’ve worked in the Media area, that commute was better but still tiresome 5 days a week.

I currently WFH 3 days a week, with an hour and half commute (both ways) 2 days a week. Not terrible, but I don’t expect that gig to last forever.

Middletown, DE begrudgingly fits the bill “enough” for the rural town part, my parents live there, but it is not close enough to Philly time-wise. It’s also exploding with McMansions on small lots.

What I’m basically looking for is to be able to spend the next 20 years or so not having to worry about getting jobs too much, in a nice small town I can grab necessities from when needed and be proud to live there. I like to be by a large city, but not have to live there, and I’m a country boy at heart.

The only place I can think of that fits the OPs condition of being next to a 1M+ city is the area around Phoenix. Scottsdale or Glendale would fit the bill.

Pretty much every major city between the Eastern Seaboard and the West Coast is close to something like what you want. In addition to St. Louis, Cleveland and the other Ohio cities, you can add Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Memphis, Nashville, etc. Chicago won’t quite make it (although you could probably make it in 60 minutes), and I’m not sure about Minneapolis, but there are certainly plenty of other opportunities.

I would dispute that many of the rural towns in question are “charming” :wink:

Also, RTP per se is not a city.

How about Hicksville?

On the one hand, I don’t consider Saratoga Springs charming in the tourist season due to the crowds. On the other hand, it definitely has horses :wink:

South Orange, Maplewood, and Millburn, NJ all have charming downtowns, but no horses. Maplewood is especially charming. The quickest train would be 29 minutes (or shorter from the first two towns) to Midtown, Manhattan. You’re not going to get multi-acre plots, though, for less than $millions. Not much farmland around anymore, though.

Indianapolis might fit; it has a population of approx. 855,000 and the town of Lebanon (pop. ~16,000) is 28 miles away on I-65. It definitely has a small town feel to it, surrounded by farm country.

Not sure if Scottsdale (population ~250,000) qualifies as “charming”, it’s certainly not rural (very commercial), and you aren’t going to find multiple acre lots.

My town of Fountain Hills (just east of Scottsdale) might qualify, I have about a 35 minute drive to my tech (semiconductor) job just inside Phoenix city limits. Can find some largish parcels of land in the outskirts of town. Population around 20k, a small main street with some shops and restaurants (although a lot of snowbirds, so pretty dead in the summer). Cave Creek (north of Scottsdale) might also qualify. But again, it all depends of where in the Phoenix metro your job is - I know people with hour+ commutes.

Adams Basin, Avon, Brockport, Churchville, Geneseo, Hamlin, Hilton, Honeoye Falls, Lakeville, Lima, Mumford, Ontario, Palmyra, Scottsville, Spencerport, Victor are all nice towns within thirty minutes of central Rochester.

San Jose certainly qualifies as major, and Google shows Woodside as less than a half-hour away. It has a charming little “downtown”, trails for horses, etc.
Here’s a home for sale in Woodside right now if you act fast.

First hand experiences are welcome.

I figured it would probably be in a ‘flyover state’ which I am perfectly happy with. Ohio is kind of piquing my interest for some reason. Distinct seasons and greenery is a plus. Being a swing state is a plus (didn’t think about that). Anybody live(d) there that can give impressions of the larger cities and surrounding areas?

When you talk about urban areas with 1 million plus population you usually have rush hour traffic slowdowns so more than half hour commutes within the urban area are not uncommon.

I suggest you change your criteria to the 200,000 to 500,000 population urban areas. In those areas you don’t have the huge traffic slowdowns and they still have a reasonable number of tech jobs.

You are correct, but I think that the OP’s description of what is desired matches the RTP area pretty closely. Many of the high-tech jobs are not in downtown Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill, but there are quite a few jobs available. As far as “charming” goes, there are still some areas where you can get a bit of land for a reasonable price.

In Ohio, There are places in Geauga County (in the east) and Medina County (in the west) that are charming and rural, and 30 minutes from Cleveland. Geauga County will get you closer to Amish.

Akron and Canton have even more rural communities and Amish nearby, but they’re not big like Cleveland.

My friend lives on a farm like you’re describing, within 30 mins of Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill NC.

Charm is in the eye of the beholder but you can easily be in rural areas within 30 minutes of Trenton or Camden.

Sorry neither of those have a population that big but the rest is true. I also think you could hit rural NJ wishin 30 minutes of Philly.

And given that this is GQ, I would like to see a cite that anything in New Jersey can be described as charming.

Having somebody else pump your gas when you’ve been doing it your whole life? :smiley:

I also nominate St. Louis (despite the fact the city itself is only 350,000) The moment you leave the city limits you start hitting all sorts of farm communities where the population signs state only about 100 or so people are living there.