I'm also a huge fan of cruiser style bikes. Most just look old world, motorbike-ish.
There are a ton of Cruisers with 2 brakes and multi-geared. Lots of folks use coaster brakes and love em. I think they are a bit of a hassle in that ya have to have the pedals in the right position for taking off, as you stop for a lite or sign. Just me and a lot of folks really do like em and you can add front brakes.
Gears really do help for hills/take offs, assisting the engine and breakdowns/ran out of gas events. LOL, and all happen to most people but thinking due to your location, ya might be spared the hill thing.
This is an old thread but most of the bikes are still available.
That whole section has some great information and well worth a look before shopping.
Also, some times you can get real lucky at thrift stores and yard sales. I once got an old Schwinn for $8 because it was missing a pedal.