In general, the South was surprisingly pretty. The pine forests and evergreens are really pretty, and it's sort of gently rolling rather than flat like the Midwest. That all in sandy soil and warm weather was a combination I'd never seen before. I'd also never seen Spanish Moss before, and it is so stunning/creepy. I love it. I also love the fact that it has a little more of the historical charm that I already like about the East Coast.
So - I could live in the South. In fact, if I had to live in the US and I was choosing where I would live purely based on the place rather than the people and jobs, this is where I would pick from:
My family lives in Colorado and I have always said that if they are going to live in the US, I'm glad they live in Colorado. The Rockies are stunning, the mountain towns are charming, there's fresh air and hiking, constant beauty, and the culture is pretty easy-going. It's also an intriguing mix of liberals and conservatives. I like a balance! And, when it comes to mountains, I have to say that Montana and Glacier National Park is the most beautiful place I've seen in all of the US. However, I also have to say that it's always a little weird to come back to Colorado and have it be so dry and have the foothills so brown. It's beautiful in its own way, but I grew in rain-forest covered mountains, and so I love the green.
Say... Boston. Or a number of cities around the area. They have the history, New England charm, gorgeous changes of season, and in general I've really enjoyed every trip I've taken to the East. But... not New York. Because, you know, that would be betraying the city I love...
I love rain, and fog, and a slight chill in the air. People have always told me I should live in Portland or Seattle. I also love coffee and am slightly hippie, so .... it's a match. Cali is also an option. As a kid we used to fly back from Indonesia into Los Angeles, and compared to the tropics, California felt cold and the beaches don't compare. However, after several years in the US I did an internship back in the same area and it was beautiful. I would love to live in San Diego or someplace like that. Temperate, beaches, and a lot going on culturally in the area.
Now that I've been there, I can say I'm impressed. There's the warmth and the green, the Spanish moss, the pine trees, sandy soil, the history of the East Coast but a more relaxed culture. I must say, though. Alabama and northern Louisiana felt pretty much like East Texas, which surprised me.
I complain a lot about Texas, but I was amazed to visit Austin. It's got the hippie vibe of the West Coast, it's got beautiful architecture and the state capitol. Their catch phrase is "Keep Austin Weird". What's not to like?
I love this city. The cultural neighborhoods representing people groups from around the world, the free activities, the many places to explore, the lake, the food.... it's my city. See this old post on the 10 Most Romantic spots in Chicago.
Where would you live?