we are shielded from much of the rif raff, costs, and crowds of the big city. We have what we need in terms of restaurants and shopping and parks locally that we don't have to leave, small enough that people can get to know eachother but big enough that you are not in everyones face all the time. But if we crave the big city we can either drive or take the ferry to see a concert or a ballgame or see tall buildings or partake in what big cities have to offer. If we want isolation its not far away to get into the mountains on the other side in to some pretty remote areas. Its been great for our family. Want to go to a baseball game? Any given day its doable in an evening. Want to go on a hike? Several great trailheads to waterfalls and mountains within an hour drive. And pretty dang magestic national park quality stuff within 2 hours. Some months i find myself going into the city a lot. Some months i find myself craving the mountains. Its nice to have both at the fingertips.