What to Expect When Moving from Florida to California

California is enjoying a bit of a population boom right now, with over 125,000 new residents arriving last year alone. Some come for the beautiful weather, others for the strong economy. Whatever the cause, the California lifestyle is proving to be a popular draw for people across the country.

If you’re planning on moving from Florida to California, you might think that it’s a simple transition. Both states are known for sunshine, beautiful beaches, and a laid-back culture and lifestyle.

But the east coast and west coast are more different than you might think. If you’re planning on making the move from Florida to California, here are some of the important factors for you to keep in mind.

California vs. Florida: Comparing the Environment

One thing that you can say about Florida is that it’s predictable. The entire state sits comfortably within the subtropics. The terrain ranges from sandy beaches to marshy swampland with patches of forest and fertile plains in between.

That’s not to say that Florida isn’t beautiful. The entire state is pocked with gorgeous springs, and its swamps are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the country.

But there isn’t a lot of geographical diversity. From the panhandle to the Keys, the whole state sits at basically the same elevation with comparable weather and similar biomes.

Meanwhile, the stereotype of California is that it’s all sandy beaches and palm trees, like much of Florida. But that only describes the southern coasts of this massive state. California is about three times larger than Florida in terms of landmass and is home to many more diverse environments.

Take San Diego as one example. The southernmost city in California goes right up to the Mexican border, and there are points where you can see right over the border wall into Tijuana.

So while San Diego is known for its breezy weather and beautiful beaches, it’s actually a desert. If you take a short drive east, you can find rolling sand dunes that stretch for miles in every direction.

At the same time, San Diego country reaches into the Laguna Mountains, where towns like Julian experience snowfall throughout much of the winter. So in this county alone, you could hypothetically visit the desert, and a snow-capped mountain all on the same day.

And that’s to say nothing of the northern parts of the state, where you can encounter redwood forests, natural hot springs, and picturesque vineyards that could rival the best in France. California may be the most geographically diverse state in the union.

California Is One of the Most Diverse States in America

California is the most populous state in the union by a wide margin. Much of that population lives in extremely diverse cities like San Jose and Los Angeles.

Throughout the state, you’ll find reminders of California’s rich and diverse history. San Diego started as a small Mexican ranching town, and much of that history is still preserved in the Old Town district.

Immigrants to the state would often form ethnic enclaves where they settled, and many of these still stand to this day. San Diego’s Little Italy and San Francisco’s Chinatown are two historic examples.

And as the state draws new residents from around the world, the population continues to grow and diversify. This makes California a great destination for anyone who loves exploring new cultures, cuisines, and art forms.

The Cost of Moving From Florida to California

Moving from Florida to California is no simple undertaking. And depending on the size of your family and home, the costs can vary wildly.

Moving companies bill their customers based on factors like the number of boxes you’re packing, the total weight of your cargo, the exact mileage from your current residence to your destination, and whether you pack your things or have the movers do it for you. In any event, expect the cost to go up in proportion to how much stuff you’re bringing with you.

For example, suppose you live by yourself in a modest, one-bedroom apartment. It might cost you around $1,200 to pack and move all of your belongings to the other side of the country. If you have a family living in a 4-bedroom, 3-bath home, that cost could go up to the $5,000-$6,000 range.

Bear in mind that you don’t have to go with the first company you find. You should get quotes from at least two or three different movers to get the best price possible.

Moving your vehicles is another expense to consider.

If you only own one car, then you could just as well drive it to California yourself. But it’s a long trip, of course, so you’ll still have to budget for gas, food, and lodging along the way.

If you have multiple vehicles, however, you’ll probably have to arrange shipping for at least one of them. This website for car shipping from Florida is a great place to get a quote for your extra vehicles.

Things to Know Before Moving to California

Like every state, California comes with its share of drawbacks.

The cost of living is among the highest in the nation. Particularly in cities like San Fransico and Los Angeles.

But it’s worth noting that Florida isn’t the cheapest place to live these days, either. And many Californian cities enjoy public amenities like robust public transit systems, public beaches, and world-class education opportunities. So you make the case that the high cost of living is more justifiable in California than it is in Florida.

One thing both states share is a propensity for natural disasters.

Many of the most populous cities in California sit right on top of the San Andreas fault line. This means that earthquakes are a part of life. And in recent years, annual wildfires have proven particularly devastating.

On the other hand, Florida has always been plagued by extreme weather events. And as climate change continues to worsen, major storms will only become more common and more destructive. So living in either state comes with a certain amount of risk.

Living the Good Life in California

Moving from Florida to California is a major life event. But with California’s natural wonders, beautiful weather, and booming economy, it could be one of the best decisions that you ever make.

That said, uprooting your entire life and starting over 3,000 miles away can bring plenty of challenges. For tips and guides on getting settled in your new California home, be sure to check out our other posts.

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