18 States To Check Out If You’re Thinking of Moving From California


If you’re considering leaving California, you’re not the only one.

The Golden State has seen a stark population decline over the last several years. Due to the high cost of living, state politics, crime, and pollution, residents are flocking away from the state, looking for greener pastures.

In 2022, the median asking price for a home in California was nearly $800,000. Traffic has become a huge problem, especially in southern California. In addition, the rise of remote work has made it easier for Californians to leave the state and keep their jobs.

If you’re looking to bail from California, here are 18 states to consider.

Texas: The Lone Star State

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Texas has become a beacon for Californians seeking more affordable living costs and a diverse cultural landscape.

Cities like Austin, with its lively music scene and tech-friendly environment, have drawn many to the heart of Texas. Houston’s thriving job market and Dallas’s cosmopolitan appeal make the Lone Star State an attractive destination for those seeking a change without sacrificing career opportunities.

2. Arizona: Embracing the Desert Lifestyle

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Arizona might be the answer if you’re looking to escape California’s high taxes and cost of living.

The Grand Canyon State offers a warm climate, diverse outdoor activities, and cities like Phoenix, known for their affordable housing and strong job market. Arizona’s scenic beauty, with its picturesque deserts and mountains, provides a stark contrast to California’s coastal scenery.

3. Nevada: Beyond the Neon Lights of Las Vegas


While Las Vegas may come to mind when thinking about Nevada, the state has more to offer beyond the dazzling lights of the Strip.

Reno, often called the “Biggest Little City in the World,” is a burgeoning tech hub, attracting those seeking career opportunities in a more relaxed setting. Nevada’s tax-friendly policies make it an appealing choice for those looking to save on income taxes.

4. Colorado: Embracing Nature and Innovation

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Known for its stunning Rocky Mountain landscapes, Colorado has been a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Denver, the state’s capital, boasts a thriving job market, a burgeoning cultural scene, and proximity to world-class skiing and hiking destinations. The combination of outdoor adventure and a booming tech industry has enticed many Californians to move to the Centennial State.

5. Oregon: Pacific Northwest Charm

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Oregon offers a compelling alternative for those seeking a change in climate without sacrificing the beauty of the Pacific coastline.

Portland’s quirky charm, deep arts scene, and commitment to sustainability have made it a hotspot for those looking for a unique lifestyle. Additionally, Oregon’s natural wonders, including Crater Lake and Mount Hood, provide ample opportunities for outdoor exploration.

6. Washington: The Evergreen State’s Tech Hub

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Washington has become synonymous with the tech industry, thanks to the presence of giants like Microsoft and Amazon.

Seattle, surrounded by the stunning Puget Sound and Cascade Mountains, combines a thriving job market with a laid-back lifestyle. For Californians accustomed to the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, Washington provides a refreshing change with its innovative spirit and natural beauty.

7. Utah: The Land of Outdoor Adventures


Utah’s breathtaking landscapes, from the red rock formations of Zion National Park to the world-class ski resorts, make it an appealing destination for those who love the outdoors.

Salt Lake City, the state’s capital, offers a growing tech scene and a relatively low cost of living. Utah’s emphasis on work-life balance and recreational opportunities has attracted Californians seeking a more balanced lifestyle.

8. Idaho: Gem State’s Tranquil Appeal


Idaho’s nickname, the Gem State, reflects its natural beauty and tranquility.

Cities like Boise have experienced significant growth thanks to a burgeoning tech sector and a welcoming community. For those seeking a slower pace of life, Idaho offers a peaceful escape with its scenic landscapes, outdoor recreation, and affordable living costs.

9. Florida: Sunshine State’s Allure


Florida’s warm climate, diverse cities, and absence of state income tax have made it a perennial favorite for those considering a move.

Miami’s dynamic cultural scene, Orlando’s theme parks, and the Gulf Coast’s laid-back lifestyle provide various options. Florida’s housing market also offers affordability compared to California, making it an enticing choice for those looking to stretch their dollars.

10. North Carolina: Innovation and Southern Charm

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North Carolina combines the charm of the South with a thriving technology sector.

Cities like Raleigh and Charlotte have become hubs for innovation, drawing professionals from various industries. The state’s diverse landscapes, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Coast, cater to outdoor enthusiasts. At the same time, southern hospitality adds a welcoming touch to those looking to establish roots in a new community.

11. Georgia: Atlanta’s Southern Sophistication

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Georgia’s capital, Atlanta, is a bustling metropolis that seamlessly blends Southern hospitality with urban sophistication.

The city is a major business hub, offering a strong job market and a diverse cultural scene. With a lower living cost than California, Georgia has become an attractive option for those seeking a dynamic lifestyle without the hefty price tag.

12. Tennessee: Music, Mountains, and More

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Tennessee, known for its rich musical heritage, has seen an influx of Californians drawn to the spirited cities of Nashville and Memphis.

Tennessee’s cost of living is significantly lower than California’s, making it an appealing choice for those looking to stretch their budgets. From the Great Smoky Mountains to the iconic Graceland, Tennessee offers residents diverse experiences.

13. Montana: Big Sky Country’s Serenity

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Montana’s vast landscapes, often called Big Sky Country, offer a sense of serenity that contrasts with the hustle of California life.

Cities like Bozeman and Missoula have experienced growth, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and professionals seeking a more laid-back lifestyle. Montana’s low population density, stunning national parks, and welcoming communities make it an ideal destination for those craving space and natural beauty.

14. New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment


New Mexico’s unique blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures contributes to its enchanting allure.

The state’s capital, Santa Fe, is renowned for its artistic community and adobe architecture. With its growing tech sector, Albuquerque provides job opportunities in a diverse cultural setting. New Mexico’s relatively low cost of living and striking desert landscapes make it an intriguing option for Californians looking for a change of scenery.

15. South Carolina: Palmetto State’s Southern Charm


South Carolina’s historic charm, picturesque coastal towns, and mild climate make it an appealing destination.

With its cobblestone streets and antebellum architecture, Charleston has become a hotspot for those seeking a blend of history and modern living. The Palmetto State’s growing economy and lower living costs offer a compelling alternative for Californians ready to embrace Southern hospitality.

16. Wisconsin: Midwest’s Hidden Gem

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Wisconsin’s welcoming communities, scenic landscapes, and affordable living costs have started to attract Californians seeking a change.

Cities like Madison and Milwaukee offer a mix of cultural amenities and outdoor recreation. Wisconsin’s strong emphasis on education and healthcare and its friendly atmosphere make it an underrated gem for those looking to relocate without compromising on quality of life.

17. Virginia: A Tapestry of History and Innovation


Virginia’s rich history blends seamlessly with its modern innovation hubs, such as Northern Virginia’s tech corridor.

Cities like Richmond (pictured) and Charlottesville offer a mix of cultural experiences, from historical sites to burgeoning art scenes. With a lower cost of living than California, Virginia’s diverse landscapes and proximity to the nation’s capital make it an attractive option for those seeking a balanced lifestyle.

18. New Hampshire: Tranquil Living in the Granite State


New Hampshire’s small-town charm, natural beauty, and lack of state income tax make it a compelling choice for those seeking tranquility.

Cities like Concord and Portsmouth offer community and access to outdoor activities in the White Mountains and along the Atlantic coast. New Hampshire’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and quality of life provides a peaceful escape for Californians looking to leave the hustle and bustle behind.