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New York to California Moving Guide Unlike Any You've Ever Read

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Moving from the buzzing streets of the Empire State to the sun-soaked hills of the Golden State is an adventure brimming with promise and change. You're leaving behind New York's iconic skyline and sleepless nights for California's laid-back vibes and endless beaches. Understanding the importance of this significant journey, we stress the necessity of choosing trusted and reliable professional movers to ensure your move is as smooth and stress-free as the California coast.

6 Best Movers for Moving from New York to California

JP Urban Moving Logo

based on 4,145+ data points

Brooklyn, NY
Local NYC Moving, Long Distance Moving, Office Moving, Business Moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/24/2024)

USDOT: 2096754 Verify

About JP Urban Moving

JP Urban Moving is a small family-owned business in Brooklyn with over 15 years of experience. Its goal is always to give you the best custo...Read More >>

top new york city 2024 jp urban moving image
top 10 ranked movers in new york city 2023 jp urban moving image
top 10 ranked movers in new york city 2022 jp urban moving image
Metropolis Moving Logo

based on 2,535+ data points

Brooklyn, NY
Local moving services, Long-distance moving services, Commercial moving services See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/24/2024)

USDOT: 2781573 Verify

About Metropolis Moving

Metropolis Moving is a top-rated, licensed, and insured Brooklyn mover serving the greater Tri-State area, including all of Long Island and ...Read More >>

top 3 new york city 2024 metropolis moving image
top 10 ranked movers in queens 2023 metropolis moving image
top 10 ranked movers in queens 2022 metropolis moving image
Solidarity Movers Logo

based on 2,319+ data points

Brooklyn, NY
Local moving services, Long-distance moving services, Cross-country moving services See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/24/2024)

USDOT: 3519325 Verify

About Solidarity Movers

New York is a big city, and residents need a reliable company to help them move. That’s where Solidarity Movers’ five-star rated service com...Read More >>

top 3 new york city 2024 solidarity movers image
top 10 ranked movers in clifton 2023 solidarity movers image
top 10 ranked movers in clifton 2022 solidarity movers image

based on 1,380+ data points

Brooklyn, NY
Local moves, Commercial moves, Long distance moves See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 5/24/2024)

USDOT: 3610638 Verify

About Flex Moving and Storage

With its domicile in Astoria, New York, Flex Moving and Storage carries a decade long European establishment. The company's range of service...Read More >>

top 10 new york city 2024 flex moving and storage image
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 >>

top 3 san francisco 2024 ocd moving services llc image
top 10 ranked movers in san francisco 2023 ocd moving services llc image
top 10 ranked movers in oakland 2022 ocd moving services llc image
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

Pros and Cons of Moving from New York to California

Moving across the country is a significant life event that requires careful consideration. This comparison aims to reflect an honest appraisal of moving from New York to California , outlining both the good and the bad. By juxtaposing the cons with the pros and vice versa, we provide you with a balanced perspective to aid your decision-making process.

New York iconNew York
  • High living costs
  • Cold winters
  • Dense population
  • Less green space
California iconCalifornia
  • More job opportunities
  • Mild winters
  • Spacious outdoor spaces
  • Vibrant natural landscapes
California iconCalifornia
  • Higher taxes
  • Reliance on cars
  • Expensive housing
  • Water scarcity
New York iconNew York
  • Cultural diversity
  • Public transportation
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • World-class museums

When considering a move from New York to California, you're not just trading a fast-paced city life for sunnier skies; you're stepping into a rich tapestry of culture, nature, and opportunities. California's outdoor lifestyle is unparalleled, with places like Yosemite National Park and Venice Beach offering stunning landscapes and a variety of outdoor activities. On the flip side, you might find yourself missing New York's unmatched public transportation system and vibrant urban life, where establishments like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and eclectic neighborhoods such as Williamsburg shape daily life. Yet, California responds with its own unique offerings, such as the tech boom in Silicon Valley, the cinematic allure of Los Angeles, and the innovative culinary scene in San Francisco. Although California's high costs and water issues present real challenges, the state's diverse cities and beautiful natural resources make it a compelling destination for those seeking a change.

Food Scene Guide When Moving from New York to California

This is a comparison of the local cuisine between New York & California, highlighting the importance of food in understanding a place's culture. As you plan your move, getting to know the local food scene can make the transition smoother and more delightful.

New YorkCalifornia

Most iconic local food item

BagelAvocado Toast

Most popular meat dish

Pastrami on RyeTri-tip Barbecue

Most popular street food item

Hot DogFish Tacos

Most popular vegan food

Seitan SandwichAcai Bowl

Top 3 iconic restaurants that summarize the state

  • Katz's Delicatessen
  • Per Se
  • Di Fara Pizza
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Chez Panisse
  • The French Laundry

Fitness/Health Conscientiousness (out of 10)


Abundance of Food Trucks (out of 10)


Foodie Scene (out of 10)


Vegan Friendly (out of 10)


In New York, the bagel is more than a breakfast item; it's an institution, especially in places like Manhattan's Lower East Side. California, on the other hand, is the home of the health-conscious, with avocado toast becoming a symbol of the state's cuisine. For meat lovers, pastrami on rye in New York draws crowds to iconic spots like Katz's Delicatessen, while California's tri-tip barbecue has roots in the Central Coast and Santa Maria Valley. Street food tells a similar story of diversity: from the all-American hot dog stands scattered throughout New York City to the fresh fish tacos found along California's coastlines. Whether you're moving for the vibrant food truck scenes or the abundance of vegan options, each state offers a unique taste that caters to every palate.

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Real Estate Facts to Know Before Moving from New York to California

Real estate is crucial when considering a move. Knowing how New York and California stack up in terms of housing costs, architecture, and lifestyle can significantly impact your decision. This comparison is designed to elucidate these differences and help ease your transition.

When considering a move from New York to California, it’s important to look beyond just the numbers. For instance, while the median home prices and monthly rents are somewhat comparable, the lifestyle and environment you are looking for could heavily influence your decision. New York offers a highly walkable environment with easy access to public transit and a dense urban environment, making it ideal for those who thrive in the hustle and bustle. In contrast, California provides a more relaxed ambiance with its emphasis on outdoor living spaces and eco-friendly features. It's also worth noting the unique architectural styles in each state that cater to different tastes, with New York known for its pre-war and modern edifices, whereas California offers a blend of Spanish influence and modern designs. Understanding these nuances will help you find a home that not only fits your budget but also your lifestyle.

Weather Considerations for Moving from New York to California

When relocating, grasping the new climate is crucial for a seamless transition. This comparison sheds light on key weather differences to anticipate when moving from New York to California. Understanding these variations will help you prepare for the lifestyle changes ahead.

Summer icon

New York



Average Summer High/Low (°F)

Winter icon

New York



Average Winter High/Low (°F)

Rainfall icon

New York

22 (varies widely)


Annual Rainfall (Inches)

Snowfall icon

New York

<1 to 400+


Annual Snowfall (Inches)

While both states boast ample sunshine, moving from New York to California, you'll notice more sunny days and milder winters. However, California's vast landscape means weather can vary significantly—coastal areas experience cool, foggy summers whereas inland areas can reach scorching summer temperatures. Another key difference is the natural disaster risk; New York faces hurricanes and blizzards, while California contends with earthquakes and wildfires. Preparing for these risks and understanding local weather patterns is essential for anyone making this cross-country move.

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

Moving from one location to another demands a thoughtful consideration of your finances. It's critical to compare how your expenses might shift, especially when moving between significant economic landscapes. This chart aims to highlight the financial implications of relocating from New York to California, covering income, taxes, and the cost of living.

When comparing the financial landscapes of New York and California, it becomes apparent that while both states offer prosperous opportunities, they also come with their unique financial burdens. For instance, although the average household income is higher in California, the cost of living index significantly surpasses that of New York, primarily due to housing costs. Moreover, the higher range of state income tax in California can impact your take-home pay, depending on your income bracket. Nonetheless, the golden state's vibrant technology, agriculture, and entertainment sectors present unique career opportunities not as prevalent in New York. These factors are crucial to consider as you plan your move.

Political & Religious Comparison between New York and California

As you consider moving from New York to California, it's helpful to have a quick snapshot of what to expect regarding the communities you'll be joining. This brief comparison will provide you an at-a-glance view of the political makeup between New York & California, as well as insights into the local politics and religious landscape. Understanding these aspects can help you integrate more smoothly into your new environment.

New YorkCalifornia

Political Make-up

Liberal, Democratic leaningLiberal, Democratic stronghold

Local Politics

Democratic dominance in urban areas, mixed in ruralDemocratic dominance across most urban and many suburban areas


Diverse, with a strong Christian presenceDiverse, significant non-religious community

While both New York and California are known for their liberal, Democratic-leaning populations, nuances in local politics and religious diversity are noteworthy. In New York, while urban centers like New York City heavily lean Democratic, some rural areas present a more mixed political landscape. California, on the other hand, shows a stronger Democratic presence across not just urban but many suburban regions as well. Religion in both states is diverse, with New York home to a robust Christian community, visible in institutions like The Brick Church. California's religious landscape is similarly diverse but also boasts a significant non-religious community, reflected in spaces like San Francisco's Grace Cathedral. Understanding these differences will help you appreciate the rich cultural tapestry that defines both states.

Education Guide When Moving from New York to California

Moving from New York to California involves numerous considerations, one of the most crucial being education. Through comparing schools and educational options, our goal is to help you better understand what the comparisons are between school options in these two influential states.

New YorkCalifornia

Where most Seniors go to college (top 3)

New York University
Columbia University
Cornell University
University of California (Berkeley)
Stanford University
University of California (Los Angeles)

Top 3 Elementary Schools

PS 77 Lower Lab School (New York City)
PS 334 The Anderson School (New York City)
Success Academy Charter School (Bronx)
Point Vicente Elementary School (Rancho Palos Verdes)
Pacific Elementary School (Manhattan Beach)
Old Adobe Elementary Charter School (Petaluma)

Top 3 Middle Schools

The Anderson School (New York City)
NYC Lab Middle School (New York City)
The Spence School (New York City)
William Faria Elementary School (Cupertino)
Harker School (San Jose)
The Nueva School (Hillsborough)

Top 3 High Schools

Stuyvesant High School (New York City)
Bronx High School of Science (Bronx)
Brooklyn Technical High School (Brooklyn)
Henry M. Gunn High School (Palo Alto)
Torrey Pines High School (San Diego)
Palo Alto High School (Palo Alto)

Top 3 private high schools

Horace Mann School (Bronx)
The Chapin School (New York City)
Collegiate School (New York City)
Harvard-Westlake School (Los Angeles)
The Thacher School (Ojai)
Polytechnic School (Pasadena)

Top 3 private K-12 schools

Trinity School (New York City)
Horace Mann School (Bronx)
The Collegiate School (New York City)
The Harker School (San Jose)
Harvard-Westlake School (Los Angeles)
Marlborough School (Los Angeles)

Top 3 School Districts

Great Neck School District
Jericho Union Free School District
Syosset Central School District
Palo Alto Unified School District
Arcadia Unified School District
San Marino Unified School District

While the table provides a quick glance at educational options in New York and California, a deeper dive reveals interesting nuances. For instance, New York City is renowned for its specialized public high schools like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science, which require a specialized high school admissions test. Meanwhile, California boasts prestigious private institutions such as The Harker School and Harvard-Westlake, offering rigorous academic programs from kindergarten through 12th grade. School districts in both states are highly rated, but the specific strengths vary, with New York districts often emphasizing a broad liberal arts education, while districts in California, like Palo Alto, pride themselves on STEM education likely influenced by the proximity to Silicon Valley. Choosing between these educational landscapes depends on your child's needs and your family's priorities, making this comparison a valuable tool in your relocation decision-making process.

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