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

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Moving from state to state represents an exciting leap into a new chapter of your life, whether for work, family, or simply a change of scenery. From the evergreen expanses of the Evergreen State to the sun-soaked beaches of the Golden State, you're transitioning from Washington's lush landscapes to California's dynamic mix of surf, cities, and silicon. Recognizing the magnitude of this long-haul move, it's crucial to entrust your belongings to professional movers who are both trusted and reliable, ensuring your journey is as smooth as the Pacific Coast Highway.

6 Best Movers for Moving from Washington to California

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
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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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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 2023 help u move image
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Lake Coeur d'Alene Movers Logo

based on 1,004+ data points

Post Falls, ID
Local moving, Long-distance moving, Cross-country moving See More
Authorized for Interstate Moves

(last checked 8/25/2022)

USDOT: 3119758 Verify

About Lake Coeur d'Alene Movers

Lake Coeur d’Alene Movers is a premier moving company in North Idaho, offering services throughout the region. Voted Best Moving Company in ...Read More >>

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First Due Movers Logo

based on 572+ data points

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

(last checked 5/25/2024)

USDOT: 1990914 Verify

About First Due Movers

Founded by firefighters in 2009, First Due Movers is a Washington-based moving company with a 4.9/5 Google customer rating. Trust, professio...Read More >>

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Pros and Cons of Moving from Washington to California

Moving from one state to another comes with its unique set of challenges and opportunities. This comparison aims to provide an honest reflection on transitioning from Washington to California , spotlighting both the advantages and drawbacks. By examining the cons and pros through detailed charts, you'll gain comprehensive insight into what to anticipate with this significant move.

Washington iconWashington
  • Higher rainfall
  • Cooler summers
  • Fewer big cities
  • Less diverse cuisine
California iconCalifornia
  • Sunnier days
  • Warmer beaches
  • More urban areas
  • Greater food variety
California iconCalifornia
  • Water scarcity
  • Higher living costs
  • More crowded
  • Earthquake risks
Washington iconWashington
  • Lush green landscapes
  • Outdoor lifestyle
  • Less traffic congestion
  • Rich coffee culture

While contemplating the move from Washington to California, you're trading the serene greenery and vibrant coffee scene found in cities like Seattle for the golden beaches and diverse culinary experiences in places like San Francisco and Los Angeles. California's famous cities offer an expansive variety of restaurants, such as Gjelina in Venice for modern Californian cuisine or the historic Philippe the Original in LA for a taste of the classic French dip sandwich. Beyond cuisine, California is a hub for entertainment and outdoor activities, with must-visit sights like the Griffith Observatory for stellar city views and Yosemite National Park for awe-inspiring natural beauty. However, the beauty and opportunities come with higher living costs and the need to be water-conscious due to the state's ongoing drought concerns.

Food Scene Guide When Moving from Washington to California

Understanding the local food culture is a crucial aspect of relocating. Food reflects the essence and vibrancy of a place's culture, heritage, and lifestyle. This guide aims to give you a glimpse into what your culinary life could look like when moving from one locality to another. Here, we will focus on a comparison of the local cuisine between Washington & California, setting the stage for an informed and tasteful relocation.


Most iconic local food item

SalmonFish Tacos

Most popular meat dish

Applewood Smoked SalmonTri-tip Steak

Most popular street food item

Seattle DogTacos

Most popular vegan food

Mushroom StroganoffAvocado Toast

Top 3 iconic restaurants that summarize the state

  • Canlis
  • Mamnoon
  • The Herbfarm
  • The French Laundry
  • n/naka
  • Chez Panisse

Fitness/Health Conscientiousness


Abundance of Food Trucks


Foodie Scene


Vegan Friendly


In both Washington and California, the local cuisine is shaped by the states' diverse cultures and rich histories. In Washington, the Seattle Dog—a hot dog with cream cheese and sautéed onions—reflects the city's unique and inventive culinary spirit. You might enjoy this delight while exploring Pike Place Market in Seattle. Meanwhile, California's iconic Fish Tacos, synonymous with the coastal vibe of cities like San Diego, highlight the state's fresh, local seafood. Both states offer a flourishing food scene, but California, with landmarks like The French Laundry in the Napa Valley and Chez Panisse in Berkeley, might be slightly more enticing for the ardent foodie looking for an unparalleled gastronomic journey. Both states cater well to health-minded individuals and vegans, though California takes a slight lead with its abundance of vegan eateries and health-conscious menus, reflecting the state’s overall lifestyle.

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Real Estate Facts to Know Before Moving from Washington to California

Real estate is a cornerstone of your relocation process. Knowing how Washington and California stack up against each other in terms of housing will greatly inform your decision. This comparison focuses on cost, architecture, and lifestyle to give you a comprehensive overview.

In terms of housing preferences and lifestyle, both Washington and California offer unique advantages. Washington's natural scenery and its booming tech industry make its real estate listings stand out, especially in areas like Seattle with its renowned Craftsman homes. On the other hand, California's real estate draws potential homeowners with its close proximity to beautiful beaches and the popularity of eco-friendly features like solar panels, particularly in cities such as San Diego, where Spanish Revival architecture predominates. The significant difference in median home prices and rent between the two states reflects their distinct market dynamics and living costs. As you weigh the options, consider what aspects of your lifestyle are most important to you in making your decision.

Weather Considerations for Moving from Washington to California

Moving from one state to another can significantly change your daily life, especially when it comes to the weather you'll encounter. Understanding the weather differences between Washington and California can help you prepare for your relocation. By comparing key weather aspects, you can better anticipate what to expect and how to adjust.

Summer icon




Average Summer High/Low (°F)

Winter icon




Average Winter High/Low (°F)

Rainfall icon




Annual Rainfall (Inches)

Snowfall icon


Varies by region


Annual Snowfall (Inches)

While both Washington and California offer beautiful climates, the difference in sunshine days alone — 132 more in California — highlights the significantly drier and sunnier environment you'll find in the Golden State. California's varied topography means you can experience both coastal and desert climates, resulting in a broad range of weather conditions. In contrast, Washington's reputation for rain is well-earned, affecting both its humidity levels and lush green landscapes. Moving to California, you'll notice a decrease in annual rainfall but may also encounter challenges with air quality and seasonal allergies depending on your region.

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

When planning a move from Washington to California, it's crucial to grasp the financial landscape you're entering. Comparing the cost of living, state taxes, and economic conditions between Washington and California can provide valuable insights, ensuring you make an informed decision aligned with your financial well-being.

In comparing Washington and California, it's evident that while average household incomes are broadly similar, the difference in cost of living and state income tax represents a significant financial consideration. California's high cost of living, coupled with its progressive income tax reaching up to 13.3%, contrasts sharply with Washington's 0% state income tax. However, California's allure includes its top-tier industries and higher affluence levels. Understanding these financial nuances is crucial in preparing for the economic realities of your new home, balancing opportunities against costs.

Political & Religious Comparison between Washington and California

In this brief comparison, we're offering a quick snapshot of the differences you'll encounter in the political and religious landscape when moving from Washington to California . This guide aims to provide an at-a-glance overview, highlighting the political views, local political nuances, and religious makeup of each state's residents, helping you understand the social fabric of your new home.


Political Make-up


Local Politics

Progressive policies in urban areasHighly progressive, environmental focus


Less religiously affiliatedMore religious diversity

The political and religious landscapes in both Washington and California share liberal leanings, yet they present nuanced differences worthy of note. In Washington, the urban centers like Seattle champion progressive policies, particularly around workers' rights and social welfare initiatives. California, on the other hand, takes environmental advocacy to heart with stringent policies on conservation and sustainability. While both states exhibit a lower rate of religious affiliation compared to the national average, California boasts a more diverse religious population, reflecting its multicultural tapestry. These subtle distinctions shape the cultural and social environment you're about to embrace in your new Californian community.

Education Guide When Moving from Washington to California

Moving between states can be a monumental task, especially when considering educational opportunities for your family. To aid in this transition, we’ve created a comparison to better understand what the comparisons are between school options in Washington and California. This will help you make informed decisions about your family’s educational future.


Where most Seniors go to college (top 3)

University of Washington
Washington State University
Western Washington University
University of California
Los Angeles
University of Southern California
Stanford University

Top 3 Elementary Schools

Cascade Ridge Elementary (Issaquah)
Sunny Hills Elementary (Sammamish)
Challenger Elementary (Issaquah)
Point Vicente Elementary (Rancho Palos Verdes)
Hawthorne Elementary (Beverly Hills)
El Oro Way Elementary (Granada Hills)

Top 3 Middle Schools

International Community School (Kirkland)
Environmental & Adventure School (Kirkland)
Islander Middle School (Mercer Island)
Henry E. Huntington Middle School (San Marino)
Alice C. Stelle Middle School (Calabasas)
The Prentice School (Santa Ana)

Top 3 High Schools

International School (Bellevue)
Newport High School (Bellevue)
Tesla STEM High School (Redmond)
California Academy of Mathematics and Science (Carson)
Oxford Academy (Cypress)
Whitney High School (Cerritos)

Top 3 Private High Schools

The Overlake School (Redmond)
Lakeside School (Seattle)
The Bush School (Seattle)
Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City)
Phillips Academy (Andover)
Cate School (Carpinteria)

Top 3 Private K-12 Schools

Eastside Preparatory School (Kirkland)
The Bear Creek School (Redmond)
Seattle Academy (Seattle)
The Harker School (San Jose)
The Thacher School (Ojai)
Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences (Santa Monica)

Top 3 School Districts

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

When considering educational opportunities in Washington vs. California, it's evident that both states offer exceptionally high-quality options across all levels of schooling, from elementary to high school. Washington schools, like the International Community School in Kirkland and Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, are well-regarded for their specialized programs and high academic standards. On the other hand, California’s schools, such as the California Academy of Mathematics and Science in Carson and The Harker School in San Jose, are noted for their rigorous academic programs and strong emphasis on science and mathematics. Private schooling options like The Overlake School in Washington and Harvard-Westlake School in California provide prestigious alternatives with comprehensive K-12 education. These comparisons shed light on the wealth of educational opportunities available, helping you to make an informed decision that best fits your family's needs and academic goals.

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