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Bellingham can feel like a mini Seattle or Portland, Ore., with active, eco-conscious locals and a downtown farmers market.Unemployment is below the national average, but so are wages because most jobs are in education, government, retail and other low- to moderate-paying sectors.And UVM's Robert Hull Fleming Museum has an extensive collection of fine art and ethnographic material, as well as space for traveling exhibits.
Most of the area, including the 14 local golf courses, enjoys a clear view of Mount Baker (elevation 10,778), a popular ski resort.Great architecture is the hallmark of great cities, and in Athens, 70 miles east of Atlanta, it's all about the antebellum-era buildings and Victorian era homes. UGA's Performing and Visual Arts Complex is among the top fine arts facilities in the South.The city's 16 historic districts complement a vivacious downtown, a 300-acre State Botanical Garden and a pace of life well suited to retirement. It includes the Hodgson School of Music; the Performing Arts Center, which has a 1,100-seat auditorium; the Lamar Dodd School of Art (studios, lecture halls, galleries, a media center and an eco-friendly "green roof"), and the Georgia Museum of Art with 9,000 square feet of exhibition space; and dance, theater and film programs.See also: The 10 most affordable cities The city is home to the University of Georgia and is legend for its music scene, which produced such big-name bands as R. The arts calendar at the university is always packed.UGA's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute caters to adult students and offers a number of noncredit courses.