The Bekins Blog

What Should I Know About Moving from the East Coast to the West Coast?

February 4, 2015 | Bekins News & Events

Moving from the East Coast to the West Coast is a lot like moving to a whole new country. You’ll have new and different job prospects, living expenses, weather, and recreational options you may have never considered before. Getting used to these differences is the best way to acclimate to your new home.

We want to help with that. You’re probably experiencing some cultural (or weather!) shock right now, but don’t worry! With a little time and research, you’d be surprised how quickly you can adjust to your new circumstances. It’s all about getting the lay of the land. Here are a few big differences you can expect on the West Coast, and how to adjust to them.

1. Job Prospects

If you list the biggest and most successful companies you can think of, your list probably includes companies like:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • eBay
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo
  • YouTube

These companies all have a reputation for innovation and creativity (in addition to vast riches). They also have something else in common: they all come from the West Coast. You can also find thousands of other established or start-up companies.

Since the West Coast houses so many large, successful companies, residents have access to tons of jobs. This allows them (as a whole) to feel more relaxed and secure. Many people still have to deal with unemployment, but they almost always have good occupational prospects.

2. Cost of Living

This doesn’t apply to every area (San Francisco), but in general, West Coast cities are cheaper to live in than East Coast equivalents. This takes a little stress off of West Coast residents, and it gives them a bit more purchasing power.

Your move doesn’t guarantee that you’ll suddenly feel richer, however, so be careful! Compare the cost of living in your old area and your new one. On average, you’ll find West Coasters get a little more bang for their buck.

3. Mild Weather

If you lived in the Northeast, you probably feel anger, annoyance, or fear when you hear the term “polar vortex.” Luckily, now that you’ve moved to the opposite coast, you don’t have to worry about it. Sure, the West Coast has its own unpleasant weather, but you won’t have to worry about polar vortexes or hurricanes.

That being said, you may have to adjust to the climate depending on where you move. If you relocate from Florida to Oregon, you’ll have the opportunity to experience stunning, but frigid, snow storms. If you move from Maine to California, you’ll have to get used to the yearlong heat. No matter where you move on the West Coast, expect a little weather shock at first.

4. Vacation Destinations

Mount Saint Helens National Monument

Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Asia or Hawaii? The West Coast gives you easy access. Hawaii is about a four and a half hour flight from much of the West Coast. Tokyo and Shanghai are much closer flights than they were, too. After all, you only have to fly across an ocean–not a continent and an ocean.

You’ll also have access to a wide variety of domestic vacation destinations if you live on the West Coast. Your new home puts you in close proximity to the following:

  • Death Valley National Park
  • Mount Saint Helens National Monument
  • Mount Saint Helens National Monument
  • Disneyland (which has its own, unique charm that is utterly different from Disneyworld)
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Hollywood
  • Mount Saint Helens National Monument
  • Olympic National Park
  • The Golden Gate Bridge
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Yosemite National Park

5. Extreme Sport Opportunities

The West Coast is basically the home of extreme sports. They’re a much bigger cultural and recreational deal there than anywhere else in the US. Part of the extreme sports love is geographical. After all, the West Coast boasts everything from towering, snow-capped mountains to scorching deserts. Because extreme sports are such a big deal on the West Coast, they’re also more accessible there than elsewhere. If you want to get into an extreme sport activity, all you have to do is look around! You could easily get involved in:

  • Base jumping
  • BMX biking
  • Kite surfing
  • Motocross
  • Paragliding
  • Rock climbing
  • Skiing/snowboarding
  • White water rafting
  • and more!


If you feel like you’ve moved to another country, don’t worry. Use these tips to get started and you’ll feel right at home soon.

If you would like the move from the East Coast to the West Coast, Bekins can help – Find a local agent.

Share This Post

Back to Top