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Moving From New York to California

Moving from New York to California can seem overwhelming. Not only are they two extremely different environments that are across the nation from each other, but getting possessions from coast to coast can be challenging. SMARTBOX has the experience and knowledge to help you through the process and make it as easy and seamless as possible.

New York Versus California: The Differences

New York and California have some similarities, but they also have quite a few differences. Let’s talk about how they typically stack up side by side.


Overall, the weather in California is usually much nicer than in New York. California residents enjoy more days of sunshine per year and much less rain. Every winter, New Yorkers expect snow to appear at some point, especially upstate, while Californians usually only see snow if they go into the mountains. They rarely see it in other parts of the state.

Surprisingly, summer temperatures are about the same in both states. However, that’s not the case in winter, when New Yorkers bundle up for temperatures that can dip into the 20s or lower. Temperatures in California are typically in the 40s in most areas during the coldest part of the year.

Job Opportunities

As great as New York is, it can be incredibly difficult, especially in New York City, to start your career, considering the significant amount of competition in practically every industry. New York’s unemployment rate is also higher than California’s. Overall, the cost of living in New York is higher than in California, but that can vary between cities and towns in each state.

As far as industries, you likely guessed that one of the most popular in the Golden State is film and television, and in the Empire State, it’s finance. Other popular industries in California include agriculture, tourism, and tech, particularly in Silicon Valley. In New York, healthcare and retail are others that top the list.

Outdoor Activities

There's no shortage of outdoor activities throughout New York and California, including taking beautiful drives and going skiing. While both states are extremely similar when it comes to the type of outdoor activities available, options such as surfing and camping tend to be more popular in California. Walking and cycling are popular in New York, including in New York City.

Landscape and Scenery

Both states have plenty of natural beauty; however, one of the biggest differences between New York and California is the beaches. California has more than 400 public beaches, and New York has eight. The Colorado Desert, Mojave Desert, and Great Basin Desert are also part of California’s landscape and scenery, but New York has no deserts. Both states have multiple mountains.


We’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the food culture in both states. Tacos, avocado toast, burritos, and salads are some of the most popular foods in the West Coast state. New York is all about pizza, bagels, pastrami, hot dogs, and cheesecake.

California boasts popular cities from one end to the other, but let’s talk a bit about three of the most well-known.

  • Los Angeles: This city has more than 3.8 million people spread over 502.7 square miles. It’s home to multiple sports teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Chargers, and LA Galaxy. The median home price in the city is approximately $912,000.

  • San Francisco: At 46.9 square miles, San Francisco is much smaller than L.A. and has a population of just over 808,000. Home prices average approximately $1.2 million. The Golden State Warriors and San Francisco Giants are two of the most popular sports teams.

  • San Diego: The San Diego Padres is one sports team calling this city home. San Diego has a population of more than 1.3 million residents spread over 372.4 square miles. With an average sales price of about $834,000, home prices in San Diego are the most affordable of the three cities.

Cost of Moving From New York to California

There’s no set price to transfer belongings from New York to California. Many factors, including those below, can influence the cost.

Moving Distance

Costs vary depending on your starting point and your specific destination. For instance, generally speaking, the distance from New York State to California is approximately 2,916.4 miles. Get more specific, such as by traveling from New York City to Los Angeles, and it’s 2,789.1 miles. One capital to the other — Albany to Sacramento — is 2,842.1 miles.

Choice of Transport

Moving vans are fine, especially if you’re moving locally, but they can be challenging if you’re moving from New York to California. SMARTBOX has portable storage containers for long distances that allow you to take your time packing and give you reliable transport from coast to coast.

You’re limited in size when it comes to a rented moving van, but multiple storage containers can fit on the SMARTBOX transport truck, giving you the ability to potentially bring more items.

Amount of Furniture/Belongings

Bigger rental trucks typically mean higher prices, and the cost can increase even more if you’re planning on renting more than one truck and driving from New York to California. Renting more than one portable storage container can also influence the price, but they likely all go together on one truck.

Additional Services

Some additional services available can increase the cost but provide more convenience. For instance, choosing to use a team of qualified long-distance movers to load and unload your belongings adds extra costs.

Contact SMARTBOX for Information About Moving From New York to California

Request a quote today or call SMARTBOX for details about how we can help with your cross-country move from New York to California. Our expert team can assist you with everything from providing cost information to determining the size of containers you might need. Feel free to ask us any questions you have, and we’ll be happy to help in any way possible.

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