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Returning to the United States from Italy

I have always lived in California and know very few other places.
I am liberal, single, and looking to move in a city in another State. that is close to the ocean (or bay) or at least in driving distance. I don't like the extreme cold so I discarded a few I love. Now I was thinking Portland and Seattle. I would love San Francisco but cannot afford it.
I need a lively city, mostly good for singles. Any idea what other cities to consider on the East Side of the U.S. that are liberal, open minded, and affordable? Lots to ask, I know. I enjoy cultural activities, but especially lots of music. Thank you a lot.