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California to Washington Moving Guide Unlike Any You've Ever Read

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Moving from the sunny beaches of California to Washington's lush greenery marks an exciting chapter in your life, brimming with new adventures and opportunities. As you say goodbye to the Golden State's year-round sunshine and hello to the Evergreen State's breathtaking landscapes, remember the cultural shifts and varied climates that await. To ensure a smooth transition in this considerable journey, it's crucial to rely on trusted and reliable professional movers, like us at Great Guys Moving, where we use an unbiased algorithm to help you find the best movers for your interstate adventure.

6 Best Movers for Moving from California to Washington

OCD Moving Services LLC Logo

based on 3,273+ data points

El Sobrante, CA
Local Moving, Long Distance Moving, Commercial Moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/23/2024)

USDOT: 2597230 Verify

About OCD Moving Services LLC

For over five years, OCD Moving Services LLC has been providing Oakland and the Bay Area with residential and commercial relocation services...Read More >>

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top 10 ranked movers in san francisco 2023 ocd moving services llc image
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Pure Moving Logo

based on 8,688+ data points

Santa Monica, CA
Residential moving, Commercial moving, Long-distance moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/23/2024)

USDOT: 3207734 Verify

About Pure Moving

Pure Moving has six locations across California, including an office in Los Angeles. This locally operated business moves over 10,000 client...Read More >>

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top 3 ranked movers in santa ana 2023 pure movers santa monica image
top 3 ranked movers in santa monica 2022 pure movers santa monica image
Murdock's Moving & Hauling Inc. Logo

based on 1,645+ data points

Chico, CA
Local & Long Distance Moving, Residential Moving, Commercial Moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 1/9/2024)

USDOT: 3421940 Verify

About Murdock's Moving & Hauling Inc.

Murdock's Moving & Hauling Inc. makes it a point to go above and beyond in every moving job. This includes giving back to the community....Read More >>

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top ranked movers in chico 2022 murdocks moving hauling inc image
Best California Movers Logo

based on 3,003+ data points

Glendale, CA
Cheap moving services, Local moving services, Long-distance moving services See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/24/2024)

USDOT: 3489907 Verify

About Best California Movers

Best California Movers is a family-owned moving company based in Southern California, with over six years of experience in the industry. Th...Read More >>

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First Due Movers Logo

based on 1,542+ data points

Preston, WA
Residential Moves, Commercial Moves, Long-Distance Moves See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/23/2024)

USDOT: 1990914 Verify

About First Due Movers

First Due Movers is based in Preston, Washington, but offers nationwide moving services. The company is actually owned by local Washington f...Read More >>

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top 10 ranked movers in tacoma 2023 first due movers image
top 10 ranked movers in tacoma 2022 first due movers image
Help-U-Move Logo

based on 1,091+ data points

Pasco, WA
Local Moving, Statewide Moving, Out of State Moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/23/2024)

USDOT: 482337 Verify

About Help-U-Move

Help-U-Move is a veteran-owned, locally operated small business in Pasco that handles over 4,000 moves yearly. It has provided residential a...Read More >>

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top ranked movers in kennewick 2022 help u move image

Pros and Cons of Moving from California to Washington

Moving from one state to another can be a monumental decision that encompasses a wide range of factors from climate to cost of living. This comparison aims to provide an honest reflection of the good and the bad attributes of moving from California to Washington state . By laying out the cons of California living against the pros of setting down roots in Washington, and vice versa, you'll gain insight into what this relocation journey might mean for you.

California iconCalifornia
  • High cost of living
  • Heavy traffic
  • State income tax
  • Extreme droughts
Washington iconWashington
  • More affordable housing
  • Less congestion
  • No state income tax
  • Plentiful rainfall
Washington iconWashington
  • Smaller job market
  • Less variety
  • More cloudy days
  • Less accessible beaches
California iconCalifornia
  • Vibrant job market
  • Diverse cuisine
  • Year-round sun
  • Beautiful beaches

When considering the move from California to Washington, it's essential to factor in how these differences will affect your daily life. For instance, Washington's more affordable housing market means you might be able to find a spacious home in a pleasant neighborhood like Bellevue or Redmond without breaking the bank. Although you might miss the diverse food scene of California's cities such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, Seattle's culinary landscape is burgeoning with Pike Place Market's fresh seafood and a growing array of international restaurants. Despite seeing fewer sunny days, Washington offers lush, green parks like Green Lake Park for outdoor activities. And while you may have to travel farther to enjoy the coast compared to California, destinations like Olympic National Park's rugged shoreline provide a breathtaking alternative. This move may mean embracing change, but it could be a refreshing start in a state known for its natural beauty and welcoming communities.

Food Scene Guide When Moving from California to Washington

This is a comparison of the local cuisine between California & Washington to give you a taste of the unique flavors and food scene you'll encounter as you make your move. Understanding local cuisine is crucial since food is a vibrant part of local culture and life. Here's what you need to know to whet your appetite and help you transition more smoothly.


Most iconic local food item

Fish TacosSalmon

Most popular meat dish

Tri-tip BBQGeoduck

Most popular street food item


Most popular vegan food

Avocado ToastQuinoa Salad

Top 3 iconic restaurants that summarize the state

  • Nopa
  • The French Laundry
  • Animal
  • Canlis
  • The Herbfarm
  • Mamnoon

Fitness/Health Conscientiousness


Abundance of Food Trucks


Foodie Scene


Vegan Friendly


In California, the local cuisine is shaped by its diverse culture and abundant local produce. Fish tacos and tri-tip BBQ are staples, reflecting the state's coastal location and love for grilling. Over in Washington, the presence of the Pacific Ocean is unmistakable with salmon and geoduck taking center stage. In Seattle, you'll find a vibrant street food scene with a wide array of international flavors, but teriyaki stands out as a local favorite. For those moving to California, the streets of Los Angeles and San Francisco offer an endless culinary adventure, from iconic taco trucks to high-end dining experiences like The French Laundry in the Napa Valley. Washington's food scene, with establishments like Canlis offering breathtaking views alongside meticulously crafted meals, showcases the Pacific Northwest's rich bounty. Both states boast a high health and fitness conscience, making it easy for newcomers to maintain a healthy lifestyle with an abundance of fresh produce and vegan options.

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Real Estate Facts to Know Before Moving from California to Washington

When planning a move, comparing real estate between your current and future home is crucial. This comparison focuses on how housing aspects such as cost, architecture, and livability between California and Washington stack up, providing insight into your new living environment.

While California offers iconic ocean views and a penchant for modern and Spanish Colonial architecture, Washington counters with its lush, natural scenery and a preference for Northwest Craftsman and contemporary homes. The trend toward energy efficiency in Washington reflects its environmental consciousness, a contrast to California's focus on solar panels and sustainable living. Housing costs, notably both median home prices and rents, are generally higher in California, attributing to its sprawling urban centers and desirability among various demographics. The information provided underscores the differences in lifestyle and priorities between these two Pacific states, making it easier for you to envision your life in either location.

Weather Considerations for Moving from California to Washington

Understanding how the weather will compare is crucial when moving from California to Washington. This comparison will shed light on differences you should anticipate in terms of weather patterns, humidity levels, and potential for natural disasters between California and Washington, helping you adjust to your new environment more efficiently.

Summer icon
85°F / 57°F


76°F / 52°F


Average Summer High/Low (°F)

Winter icon
60°F / 44°F


47°F / 37°F


Average Winter High/Low (°F)

Rainfall icon




Annual Rainfall (Inches)

Snowfall icon




Annual Snowfall (Inches)

While California boasts more days of sunshine and milder winters, Washington offers lush, rain-enriched landscapes that can significantly differ from the arid California climate, particularly in areas away from the coast. Notably, Washington's higher humidity and frequent rainfall support a diverse ecosystem that is less common in much of California. Additionally, the air quality in Washington tends to be better, attributed partly to its lesser urban sprawl and industrial activity compared to California. The change in airborne allergens and the adjustment to fewer sunny days are factors you should prepare for, ensuring a smoother transition to Washington's distinct four-season climate.

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Money, Economy, and Job Market Considerations for Moving from California to Washington

When planning a move from one state to another, it's crucial to understand how your financial situation might change. This comparison will help you grasp the differences in cost of living, taxes, and income between California and Washington, allowing you to make an informed decision.

While the average household income in Washington is slightly higher than in California, the significant differences lie in the states' cost of living and tax policies. Washington's lack of state income tax can be particularly appealing, offering a financial incentive over California's steep progressive tax. Additionally, Washington's more moderate cost of living index suggests your dollar might stretch further here, despite a slightly higher average sales tax rate. These factors, combined with the emerging industries and lower homelessness rates, provide a nuanced financial landscape for anyone considering making the move north.

Political & Religious Comparison between California and Washington

As you plan your move from California to Washington, understanding the comparison of the politics between California & Washington will give you a glimpse into the ideological landscape of your new home. This quick overview will also touch upon the religious makeup of both states, offering insights into the community you'll be joining.


Political Make-up

Liberal, with a strong Democratic presenceLiberal, especially in urban areas with a mix in rural locations

Local Politics

Focus on environmental policies, social issuesProgressive with a strong emphasis on tech and environmental sustainability


Diverse; Christianity largest, followed by non-affiliated, other faithsPrimarily Christian, but a significant non-affiliated and other religions presence

The political and religious landscapes of California and Washington share similarities but also have their unique differences. Both states lean liberal, particularly in urban areas, but Washington tends to have a more noticeable mix of ideologies in its rural regions. Local politics in Washington has a notable emphasis on technology and environmental sustainability, reflecting the state's leading role in these sectors. Religiously, both states exhibit diversity with Christianity being predominant, yet they also have a considerable portion of the population identifying with no religion, showcasing the region's acceptance of varied beliefs. This information serves as a starting point in appreciating the social and cultural nuances you will encounter in your new home.

Education Guide When Moving from California to Washington

To make an informed decision when moving, it's crucial to understand how educational options compare between your current and future homes. This guide provides a detailed comparison to help you better understand what the comparisons are between school options in California and Washington . We aim to make your move as smooth as possible by preparing you for the educational differences you might encounter.


Where most Seniors go to college (top 3)

UC Berkeley
University of Washington
Washington State University
Seattle University

Top 3 Elementary Schools

Point Vicente Elementary
Rancho Santa Margarita
Donlon Elementary
Mill Creek Elementary
Medina Elementary
Cascadia Elementary
Bryant Elementary

Top 3 Middle Schools

Carmel Valley Middle
San Diego
Foothills Middle
South Pasadena Middle
South Pasadena
International School
Odle Middle
Washington Middle

Top 3 High Schools

Henry M. Gunn High
Palo Alto
California Academy of Mathematics and Science
Troy High
International School
Newport High
Inglemoor High

Top 3 private high schools

Studio City
The Harker School
San Jose
Webb Schools
Lakeside School
The Overlake School
Charles Wright Academy

Top 3 private K-12 schools

The Athenian School
Crossroads School
Santa Monica
Vistamar School
El Segundo
The Bear Creek School
Eastside Preparatory School
Annie Wright Schools

Top 3 School Districts

Palo Alto Unified School District
San Marino Unified School District
La Cañada Unified School District
Mercer Island School District
Bellevue School District
Lake Washington School District

In comparing the educational landscapes of California and Washington, distinct nuances become apparent. For instance, California's top colleges, like UCLA and UC Berkeley, are renowned worldwide and significantly influence where the state's high school seniors aspire to enroll. Similarly, Washington boasts prestigious institutions such as the University of Washington, making it a prime destination for higher education. On the K-12 front, both states exhibit a strong emphasis on quality education with top-ranked schools like Point Vicente Elementary in California and Medina Elementary in Washington, demonstrating their commitment to early childhood education. Moreover, private education options, such as Harvard-Westlake in California and Lakeside School in Washington, offer rigorous academic programs that cater to diverse student needs. Understanding these differences is paramount for families considering a move, ensuring they align their choices with their educational values and expectations.

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