If you’ve never been to California, it’s easy to underestimate its size and scope. This is why a lot of people moving to California end up being surprised by what they see.

Most people know that Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the U.S. But they may not know that San Diego is the second-largest city in the state, and San Jose is the third-largest. These cities are also in the top largest cities in the entire U.S.

What does this mean? It means that moving to California is an incredibly popular thing that people do. The state is known for its vibrant ecosystems, its sprawling cities, its massive deserts, and massive redwood forests. People moving to California can experience all of that, and more, simply by living there.

But there are always some things about moving that people need to know. In this article, we’ll break down what you can expect when moving to California. We’ll also cover some tips that you may need and give some helpful advice about what to look for during your move.

Why are people moving to California?

People move to California for a lot of different reasons. Many times it’s work-related. But many more move just for the opportunity. As California was really put on the map thanks to the gold rush of the 1840s, the state has always had a reputation as a “fortune-making” state. This still holds true today. California is the land of Hollywood, and the state has one of the largest economies in the entire world. For perspective, if California were its own country, the size of its economy would rank it in the top 10.

This, of course, is a massive draw for people looking to relocate. But it’s more than that – it’s also the weather. If you know anything about California you know how it’s sunny there quite often. The state is known for its beautiful beaches, verdant forests, sprawling deserts. This diversity gives everyone something they can enjoy about the state.

These are some of the main reasons that people are moving to California, but most of the time it’s because of a change in their lives. Often that change is a job. But for others, it might be schooling, or retirement, or a military move. There are a lot of reasons to move to California, and only most of them are offered by the state. But there’s still plenty of reasons to move there, so keep reading to learn how we can help you with yours.

Top destinations when moving to California

Naturally, the moving destination in California is Los Angeles. Home to over 3.97 million residents, and at the center of a metro area that is home to over 13 million, it’s not surprising Los Angeles gets top billing in the “where are you moving to” category. But it’s not just the people; the people are there for the same reasons people are moving there, after all. It has a massive job market, it’s easy to get around, it’s minutes from the beach, it has easy access to a whole host of other cities nearby, it has lots of things to see and places to go and things to do there…it’s a great city, all things considered.

Of course, Los Angeles isn’t the only major city in the state. San Diego is a major military destination thanks to its military base and is also the second-largest city by population. Of course, that population isn’t all military members, which means San Diego has to have something attracting people to it, right?

Well, it does. It has a lot of the same things Los Angeles has going for it, really, except for maybe “access to other major cities nearby.” San Diego sits an hour or so south of Los Angeles, so it’s not like it’s far. And, it sits on the coast, which means beaches are easy to access. It’s also the main point of entry into California from Mexico.

San Jose is also a major city in the state, sitting about 45 minutes south of San Francisco, in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Jose is the third-largest city in the state, while San Francisco has slipped to fourth. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, San Jose is a major part of the “Silicon Valley” boom that’s happening in much of northern and Central California. Because of this, it attracts a lot of people for work, and its expansion is making it one of the most popular moving locations in the entire state.

Helpful tips for finding the best place for you

California is a massive state, and there are lots of different cities that you can move to within it. There are, however, other things you should be aware of when moving to California, so read some of these tips to help find the right place for you.

  • Research cost of living. California is one of the most expensive places in the United States to live in. The cost of living in many major cities, especially Los Angeles and San Francisco, are exorbitantly high. This does vary by neighborhood, but regardless, you want to make sure to find a place that you can afford to live in – and not just afford the rent.
  • Look up schools. A typical moving tip is to know a bit about the education system in perspective cities. Are they known as good schools, or are they just okay (or terrible)? Even if you don’t have children, just knowing that you live in an area where the educational needs of future children can be a big draw for some people.
  • Research weather patterns. This may seem a bit odd, but California is so large that it features a few different biomes. If you’re not a dry-heat kind of person, northern California is likely going to be better for you. If you’d prefer hotter, dryer days, southern California may be better. Knowing weather patterns and which cities get which kinds of weather can help you avoid the nasty things you don’t want to deal with. For instance, if you’re looking to avoid snow, moving to an area around Lake Tahoe probably isn’t the best idea.
  • Decide on renting or buying. This decision is probably one of the first you should make, and for one very good reason: cost. Renting is great if you’re not going to be there long-term. But buying can be a better option if you’re looking to settle down for some time. Have a plan for how long you’re going to be there, and then buy (or rent) accordingly.

About education in California

Education in California, like in many other states, depends heavily on how good the district is. Many districts in the state are well-funded, but education in major cities tends to take a hit in that department. That said, you should do some homework on the public education system of the area you’re moving to, and we’ll leave that at that.

Instead, let’s talk about higher education in California, specifically, universities. California has quite a few, and a fair amount of notable ones as well. Perhaps the most famous is UCLA – the University of California – Los Angeles. This is a prestigious university that draws thousands of students each year. Other major universities include the University of California – Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, San Diego State University, San Jose State University, Fresno University, and many, many more.

If you’re a college football fan, you likely know a fair amount of these (and if you’re a Pac-12 fan, maybe you know them too well!). But these schools are known for much more than football and athletics. Many of them, such as Berkeley, Stanford, and UCLA, are major research universities as well. They are the foundation of higher California education and set a standard the rest of the entire region tries to look up to. Education in California – at least, at the university level – is top-notch.

Overall, California is a very popular location for students and people looking for higher education in general.

Shipping a vehicle to California

All things considered, shipping a car to California is downright easy…most of the time. With so many major cities, as well as ways for carriers to get to those cities, California is one of the most popular car transport hubs in the nation. Los Angeles, San Diego,  San Francisco, Sacramento, all are major cities with sprawling metropolitan areas that make it a breeze for most carriers to get around.

Los Angeles is typically the cheapest city to ship to, at least from most parts of the U.S. Shipments out of the northwest may see prices higher to Los Angeles than cities in the north due to distance, but, on the whole, L.A. is the main shipping hub in the state.

That said, low prices can be found when shipping to or from almost every major city. Cities like Ontario and Fresno will often see higher prices as well, due to lower demand.

If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle to California, make sure to talk to different shippers about it. Get different prices and see what services are available. This will help make your shipment better in the long run.

Get help moving to California

If you need help finding someone to ship your vehicle, let us help! We’ve compiled reviews of some of the best auto shippers in the industry specifically for you. We’ve looked at them from top to bottom, analyzing customer reviews and historic data to make sure they’re fit to be featured on our website. You can read those reviews and form your own opinions about those companies, and then contact them yourself. Just give them a call, ask them your questions, get your quotes, and find the right shipping company for your California auto transport needs.