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Leaving California? Where to Move From Los Angeles

Posted in City Guides,Planning the Move on April 16, 2022

LA was and still is a dream city to many – a place where talented people can make a name for themselves and fulfill their dreams. But a place booming with show-biz opportunities also proves to be costly. So, where to move from Los Angeles if the advantages of this metropolis just didn’t live up to your expectations?

If you’re set on a career path in the movie industry or be among the stars as a musician or a model, chances are that you have moved to a big city such as LA. It’s a place thrumming with vibrant nightlife, warm beaches full of beach bodies and surfers, and a laid-back atmosphere. Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Malibu – each part of this metropolis offers so much for those walking in with stars in their eyes. But not all is golden in The Golden State, and some residents have started calling LA Lost Angeles. Why is this the case, and where do people go when they leave LA?

Why Are People Packing Up and Leaving LA Behind?

What’s driving people to leave? Beyond the almost perfect weather year-round, sandy beaches, and Hollywood, there are downsides to living here. LA is also known for its extremely high cost of living – in fact, according to Investopedia, it’s among the ten most expensive cities in the US. And when you add the infamous traffic into the mixture, it’s reasonable to be discontent about life here.

The place is spread out, and while it may not sound as ominous to an outsider, residents know what the issue is. Public transportation here is sporadic at best, and there’s no getting around without your own set of wheels. Many newcomers have figured out the benefits of car shipping only after they have moved and realized they should have brought their vehicle with them.

One more thing has been happening to LA, too. Although globally famous as the center of the movie and production industry, lately, it has started to dry out. It may be the case that you have arrived with big dreams just to have them smashed on the sidewalk.

You can hear a word or two about reasons to move out of LA from a former resident in the following video.

But, Where to Move From Los Angeles and What Factors to Consider?

According to the US Census Bureau, almost 176,000 residents left LA during coronavirus, from the middle of 2020 to the middle of 2021. They were in search of a more affordable living, and some even decided that relocating to a small town would be a great idea, especially if they were digital nomads.

And now you’re wondering – Where should I move after LA? Before you invest in cross-country moving services, you should also consider the factors that can affect your decision. Think thoroughly about whether getting a job in a new city in your industry is the most important aspect of your move or if you’re looking for a much more affordable setting.

Which City Should I Consider Calling Home After I Leave Los Angeles?

Newcomers are still pouring into LA from all parts of the US, trying to make it big here. But for each newcomer, there are many who want to leave and move to a new state. So, where are the long-distance movers transferring Angelenos to? These cities seem to be the most popular destinations:

  • Austin, Texas,
  • Denver, Colorado,
  • Atlanta, Georgia,
  • San Diego, California,
  • Boise, Idaho,
  • Phoenix, Arizona,
  • Orlando, Florida.

So, many are relocating to a new city all the way to Florida or staying in close proximity to LA and going just a couple of hours away to San Diego. It all depends on the decision whether you’re ready to leave the laid-back Californian life behind you or not.

Where Is the Best Place to Move From California? From California Dreamin’ to Austin, Texas

Many Americans claim they think about Texas and Austin in terms of going lower when it comes to taxes. In fact, one other thing seems to be among the top factors to consider when you plan to move to a new city alone – Austin is around 18% more affordable than LA.

Located in Travis County, this place is experiencing growth in several industries and is home to an excellent community of writers. While investing in auto transport service is important because of the convenience owning a car brings, you should know that Austin takes pride in the fantastic outdoors. It’s a bike-friendly place, full of parks, and convenient for those relocating with pets.

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The Cost of Living, Apartment Rent, and Job Opportunities in Place Like Austin

While an average monthly salary isn’t that different between the two cities, the cost of living is much more affordable in Austin. While you are expected to pay around $1,750 for a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city’s center, the one in Austin will cost you around $1,425 per month (data provided by Numbeo). A monthly pass will cost you almost 60% less than in LA, while the consumer prices are 14% lower.

The Austin area shows significant growth in the job market, thanks to contributors like Tesla, Amazon, and Dell. According to the Austin Chamber of Commerce, this area has seen a growth rate of 4.11%, landing it in second place on the list of the best-performing markets. This data was taken between February 2020 to November 2021.

The table below shows the most popular destinations in Texas for those leaving LA and moving across the country, and their housing benefits when compared to LA County.

County in Texas Median square feet difference Median home difference in prices
Harris County +577 $482,010
Dallas County +221 $488,000
Travis County +482 $322,350
Collin County +1,002 $348,100
Tarrant County +441 $496,000
Bexar County +262 $542,000
Denton County +859 $387,055

Move to Denver, Colorado, for the Great Outdoors

Considered one of the best cities for millennials, Denver is a great place for those looking for the great outdoors. In fact, the outdoors is among the most beautiful in the country, and you can enjoy different activities here, like kayaking, biking, hiking, and skiing. Each activity is only a short drive away from the metropolis.

While the economy of this area is already stable, the growing tech industry is contributing to many of the appeals of Denver. According to Expatistan, after relocating to a new home, living in Colorado’s capital will cost you around 12% less than in LA. You can expect to pay around $1,480 for a one-bedroom apartment outside of the center, which is around 15% less than in LA.

Movie Production Is Flourishing in Atlanta, Georgia

If you are looking for an opportunity in the movie industry outside of LA, Atlanta is going through a growth in production work. The city’s temperate climate has made it a perfect spot for filming all year round, but that’s not the only reason. The cities, towns, and the mountains around it offer various aesthetics and, combined with the climate, make for a great choice for producers in the movie industry and everyone who’s into creative work. So it’s not a bad idea to get all your props out of the storage facility and take a leap of faith toward Atlanta.

It’s no secret that this growth emerged with the filming of the Walking Dead. Later on, it took a full-blown turn as Marvel production showed up, shooting parts of Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, and Ant-Man and the Wasp in Atlanta. But even outside this particular industry, the economy of the area is booming, making moving out for the first time free of any anxiety about moving out. Great job opportunities make any stress about relocating seem insignificant.

A view of the city after moving cross country
The Walking Dead is the main culprit for the expansion of the movie industry in Atlanta

San Diego, California, Is a Popular Destination for Those Who Want to Remain Californians

In truth, there are many different things to consider when relocating to a new state and relocating so far away from a metropolis you’ve grown to love and cherish may seem a bit overwhelming. In that case, the question is – what city is most like Los Angeles? The place that is just a few hours away from LA is bathed in sunlight in a similar way, yet more affordable and smaller – San Diego. It makes organizing your packing to move so much easier, as you will be sporting the same outfits you wore in LA.

As for the work opportunities, healthcare and pharmacy offer plenty of possibilities to grow your career because many insurance and pharmaceutical companies have their headquarters here. If you’re worried you would have to tone down on fun, you should know that the dining scene here is spectacular, and the overall vibe here is even more laid back than in LA. Each part of this place is unique on its own accord, and the globally recognized Gaslamp Quarter is located right here, too.

Here Are Some Honorable Mentions if You Don’t Really Like Any Place From This List

If you don’t find any of these cities appealing, there are plenty of other suitable choices throughout the US that you can write down on your moving out list. If you’re looking for plenty of work opportunities, you should know that Forbes has ranked Boise, Idaho, as No.1 for high income and outstanding employment rates. Some studies even claim that around 23% of newcomers in Boise in 2016 were former residents of California.

Offering chances for work in tech but also in the gas and oil extraction industries, Phoenix, Arizona, may be considered among the best destinations for Angelenos. Especially those looking for work combined with warm weather and sunny days throughout the year.

If you are considering how to move out for the first time and you are among young professionals looking for career advancements, you should check out Orlando, Florida. This place is known for the median age of its residents being somewhat above 34 years, e.g., millennials. There are many benefits of relocating here. Universal Studios and Walt Disney World are among the city’s best selling points, along with low-cost housing and low taxes.

Cross country movers moving boxes
Statistics say that around 7.5 million people have moved from California to other states since 2010

Moving to a Larger Metro Area or the Core of a City – It’s Entirely up to You

Although LA still has so much to offer – from landmarks and beach lifestyle to outgoing people, some things can drive you away nonetheless. And once you have figured out where to move from LA and decided where to live, pack your bags, choose a cross-country moving company, and transition into a new life. Although the Californian Exodus doesn’t mean that the majority of residents did, in fact, leave the Golden State, there is still some truth to the fact that many are paying for packing services and seeking happiness elsewhere.

Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

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