East Coast Living – Is It Really That Bad?

West Coast Mountains, Lake TahoeAny rational person would agree that living on the West Coast is better than living on the East Coast.  Anybody who tells you otherwise probably has never experienced West Coast living long enough to understand the difference.  I’m rational, and I’ve lived on both sides for many years and I don’t believe there’s really much of a debate. Who doesn’t want to live in more moderate temperatures where the sun is always shining? Unless you like super cold winters and uncomfortably muggy summers, the East Coast isn’t for you.

When your family and friends are on the East Coast, it’s hard to leave I understand. We’re afraid of change. I know I am. But, this is not a post to bash the East Coast. This is a post to understand what truly makes the East Coast and other uncomfortable climate zones special.

A friend of mine is thinking about relocating from San Francisco to New York City or Washington DC for a little bit of adventure. I think she’s a little nuts leaving our California sunshine behind and I’m trying to understand why, and maybe even why not.


1) Richer history. Since the Europeans first invaded the East Coast of America, there is a much richer heritage as evidenced by more developed infrastructure and building architecture. Museums are more prevalent, and attractions are more interesting.

2) Closer to Europe. It’s easy to get a direct flight to Europe that’s also cheaper and quicker. Who doesn’t love to visit the bright lights of Paris, and the bustle of London every once in a while?

3) Time Zone Dominance. American TV and major broadcasts still revolves around eastern standard time. The stock market market opening at 9:30am, the French Open finals at 9am, and World Cup matches at 7am are all examples of major events serving the eastern time zone.

4) Food. Certain foods such as hot pastrami sandwiches, pizza, and cheese-steaks always seem tastier on the east coast for some reason. Perhaps there’s no real difference, other than the fact that when you eat a hot pastrami sandwich at Katz’s deli in NYC, it’s just more authentic given the history.

5) Less Earthquakes. Earthquake danger is overrated in California given the infrequency of large shakes. That said, the danger still exists.  I’d much rather have a big earthquake every 30 years than tornadoes and hurricanes every year. Sorry, I lied! Stand strong Virginia and East Coasters, stop making fun of us Californians!

6) There’s Only Upside. Imagine if you were born and raised in Kauai. What a drag to leave! Once you live on the east coast, anywhere else you go will be so much better!


1) The weather is horrible. Too hot and muggy during the summer, too cold and dreary during the winter. If there’s going to be snow, at least have some snowboardable mountains. Only the Fall is beautiful.

2) Damaging storms. Without fail, there always seems to be a blizzard or a violent hurricane every year which wreaks havoc on property and financial well-being.

3) Terrible for allergies. Anybody who is highly sensitive to any allergen should consider leaving the East Coast. I suffered from tremendous allergies while living in the East Coast for 10 years, and as soon as I moved to San Francisco, my allergy attacks all but went away. Perhaps there’s something in the trees or the pollution.


I really am trying to see the positives of living on the East Coast with my six examples. However, I have to admit I’m struggling to find more reasons. The weather is atrocious for half the year, and it would take quite a premium to leave California. Won’t you help share some of your reasons as to why the East Coast is so wonderful?

Follow up: West Coast Living – Yes It Really Is That Much Better!


Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”


Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. says

    I love both coasts, but if I could move anywhere it would be Boston. I hate driving and pretty much anywhere in CA (except maybe SF) you have to be in the car ALL THE TIME. In northeastern cities, public transportation is clearly superior. I think a snowy winter sounds awesome (Jake wants to live in a place with seasons, since we don’t really have them in Phoenix except for summer) and even though I hate humidity I don’t think anything would scare me after 7 years of 110+ degree summers. The culture’s better than the west coast, the food’s better, the nightlife is better…love it!
    .-= Honey´s last blog ..How Likely Are You To Get Divorced? =-.

    • H C says

      You’re picking Boston, because you don’t like Calif. traffic? Are you kidding me? Have you seen Boston traffic?

    • Allerious says

      Hahahaha…ha. Boston. Ha.

      Boston is the single worst city in this entire country. Atrocious weather, atrocious roads, obnoxious people, idiotic culture.

  2. Money Beagle says

    Well, there are people that enjoy four season sporting. While the winters can drag, it’s nice having that change of season. Having the weather the same all the time is boring. I love the re-awakening that comes in the springtime when the world starts turning green again. I’ve heard that on the west coast you sort of measure time by presidential elections, that’s how much the same everything is all the time. No thanks!
    .-= Money Beagle´s last blog ..It’s That Time Of Every Two Years Again =-.

    • says

      Hmmm, never heard of measuring time by presidential elections. However, I have to admit that I often am oblivious to the intense heat, or blizzards CNN broadcasts often about the east coast b/c everything is so moderate here.

      It might be the same old weather (we do have a 2 month rainy season during winter), but it’s quite pleasant. Can save money on clothes this way too!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..An Extra Seven Hours A Week =-.

  3. says

    There are two weeks in autumn when the cool weather, clear blue sky, and a Persian carpet of changing foliage combine to create a landscape so close to heaven, I can handle the winter weather.
    Until about January.
    .-= Matt´s last blog ..Detour on the Road to Ruin =-.

  4. says

    Well, there are entire cities committed to old people, so I’m guessing when I get older I’ll always have a party to go to. But I can’t really think of many reasons because I’ve never been to the west coast.
    Having lived through many a hurricane I have less fear of those than I do of earthquakes, so maybe it’s more of a comfort thing. If I went through an earthquake I would probably crap myself.
    Not necessarily an east coast west coast argument but I’d rather live in Florida, like I do, than California because of the cheaper taxes and no IOU’s.
    .-= Kevin´s last blog ..Should I Buy This Book? Review: Student Entrepreneurs =-.

  5. Larry says

    The sole reason you give for preferring the West Coast is weather. I live 50 miles east of Manhattan, and the weather here in winter is not nearly as bitterly cold as in the Midwest or Great Plains. We may get 1-2 big snowstorms (6-12″) a year but that’s it. Summers are humid but not unbearably so, and hurricanes and tornados are not common in New York. I am within easy driving distance of Washington to the South and Boston to the North, which together with Philadelphia and Baltimore give me immediate access to five of America’s major cities. Otherwise, you give a set of excellent examples for preferring the East Coast.

  6. says

    To be honest, your argument is pretty much spot on. If it wasn’t for our family and friends, and just being comfortable with what we know, we’d probably move out west where the weather is nicer.

    We do have some damn fine pizza and cheesesteaks though. And the tornadoes aren’t much of a threat.

    By the way, I like your use of the word “invaded” rather than the more common “settled” to describe the European migration to the new world (new to them at least).
    .-= Mike @ Saving Money Today´s last blog ..Would You Buy A House Without Seeing It First? =-.

  7. vga says

    If you think east coast weather is atrocious, try the Midwest. Winter lasts something like 6 months. The snow never melts. The temperatures occasionally get so low that your car has problems starting. On the upside, the summers are beautiful.

    From what I’ve seen when I’ve visited the East and West coasts, their cities both have the same problems – prohibitively high costs of living and excessive commute times. Both of which are bad enough to make me consider living elsewhere first. But I’d rather have those problems than any more Midwestern winters.

      • nocali says

        I see more Cali cars in DC area everyday. They are horrible drivers and reading on blogs the most narsassistic winners here.Love the 4 seasons . I have been to social and aboslutly give a prayer of thanks I don’t live there.

    • Tyler says

      ……midwest is shit i live in missouri and the winters get to -20 and thats without wind chill and the spring is muggy 7/8 of the season to where u sweat as soon as u step outside. and summer is nice for maybe 2 weeks then gets to 112 plus heat index and gets very dry which isnt so bad but still hot. fall is amazing for the first part as soon as november hits it all goes down hill haha the leaves die off and the trees are bare you get cold ass rain midwest blows and im moving to california here in a month or 2 and cannot wait

  8. says

    I live in sunny CA. However, some of my immediate family members live in New York and have been there for many years. I love visiting them, but always opt for late spring, early summer visits to avoid the cold winters or super muggy, hot days. That being said however, if weather is the only factor affecting someone’s decision to move some place new (this is the only reason my husband doesn’t want to move out of CA!), they are only looking at one part as opposed to the whole.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Tuesday Tips, Week 13 =-.

  9. says

    I live in the midwest, but have visited both the east and west coasts. For one, I think California is incredibly expensive. Given I have not visited the entire state, but I have been to San Diego, LA, San Francisco and Yosemite. I would not like having such a small yard and not having a basement in my house. Those are my west coast down-sides.

    Regarding midwest or east coast, I love 4 seasons. If I didn’t suffer through Michigan winters, I would probably not appreciate the beauty of spring and fall as much. I love taking off in February for a week to Florida and appreciating that wonderful weather. We have plenty of water and beaches in Michigan and I truly do enjoy it here.

    I also love the history of the east coast and the wonderful food. I actually am more drawn to the east coast that the west coast. I love storms and weather. I actually all that sun would get on my nerves.

    To each his own I suppose!
    .-= Everyday Tips´s last blog ..Exercise: Do You Really Have To Spend Much Money To Stay In Shape? =-.

  10. says

    @Everyday Tips

    “If I didn’t suffer through Michigan winters, I would probably not appreciate the beauty of spring and fall as much.”

    Never thought of it that way…interesting point.
    .-= Mike @ Saving Money Today´s last blog ..Would You Buy A House Without Seeing It First? =-.

  11. Linda says

    Ever location has it’s perks, you just need to know what they are and if they fit your lifestyle in my opinion. It can be cheaper to leave on the east coast sometimes but if you’re going to go batty because of the winter weather… well then it may not be worth the savings.

  12. Powell says

    It depends on which east coast city you’re living in frankly. Living in NYC is one of the greatest places on earth if you can make a decent amount of money (100k+). DC has a lot of character, and the old south is quite intriguing as well.

    The weather really does suck for 6 months of the year, which causes my family and I to just stay inside, and get out of shape. When I moved out west, I lost 6% of my body weight just bc I was outdoors!

    If your friend has some friends and family out east, might help a lot!

  13. Sean Hills says

    I left my hometown Brooklyn, NY 2 years ago to move to Austin, TX and even though its hard to admit it I prob should have left sooner. Most of my family and friends in NY would leave in a heart beat, but they have huge attachments and are afraid to leave what they know. I do miss my Caribbean food though.

    • says

      Same here, Roshawn. Our families came through Ellis Island back in the day, settled here (Northern NJ) and stayed. We have strong family ties here, and have no interest in leaving. Besides NYC, I love the proximity to other major cities, also — Boston, Baltimore, D.C., Philly are all a reasonable car ride away — and they’re historic. I need a place with some history.
      .-= RainyDaySaver´s last blog ..Manicures and Pedicures At Home =-.

  14. says

    I was born and raised in South Jersey and have lived in Philly, Anchorage, Chicago and now Seattle. (Although I’m writing this from Anchorage, where I’m house-sitting.) Some of my family members still live in Jersey, and that’s the reason I keep coming back. Well, that and the cheesesteaks.
    I do miss the sense of history, but I don’t miss the barely contained hysteria in so much of the lifestyle and people. It’s hard to explain, but everyone seems so tightly wound and freaked-out about things that don’t really matter that much. I started noticing that after living in Alaska for a while; I’d come back for a visit and everyone seemed so stressed and so angry.
    That said: I may have a chance to house-sit in the D.C. suburbs in the coming year, and I can’t wait for the chance to do the Smithsonian and other sights, as well as to take the train up to NJ to see family and maybe make day trips to New York and Philadelphia. Things are closer together there — another plus.
    .-= Donna Freedman´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  15. says

    Er, always sunny? I live in Vancouver, BC and we have had the worst weather since I moved here in ’75. Rain, rain, rain, oh! What’s that yellow thing in the sky? Oops, it just vanished, rain, rain… I would enjoy your Boston, and the Eastern Seaboard immensely. Our East Coast is not my idea of fun.
    .-= Rosina´s last blog ..Friday’s Five, June 4, 2010 =-.

  16. says

    I would live in exactly one place in this world and that’s New York City. The only other place I would even remotely consider is Paris.

    As for the west coast, I’ve visited there numerous times and lived in San Francisco for 10 months and couldn’t WAIT to get back to New York. The most important thing NYC has that CA doesn’t have is ENERGY. The city crackles with it. You walk out on the street and every inch of NY vibrates with life. Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by people from all around the world. If I walk ten blocks in either direction I hit a world class museum. Glorious Central Park is around the corner, The variety of everything is unending. Choice is unlimited. Where else could you have a bunch of careers as I’ve had here?

    As for the weather, I happen to love the changing seasons. Santa surrounded by palm trees doesn’t do it for me. I also love snow and feel very alive on crisp cold winter days. I frankly found all that sun in California boring. I also felt uncomfortable with the low horizon and all that empty space. Give me a packed, full of life East coast city any day.

    By the way, many foods don’t taste better here simply because you’re eating them on the east coast. They taste better because they ARE better.
    .-= savvysavingbytes´s last blog ..In Praise of Material Things =-.

    • ctreit says

      True that! Why would anybody not want to live in NYC? You don’t get this kind of diversity and vibrancy anywhere else, not even in Paris or in London where I have also lived for a couple years. Nice, but nothing like NYC.
      .-= ctreit´s last blog ..Setting up a budget is the easy part =-.

  17. LindyMint says

    I am from Phoenix, but I lived in Boston for a bit. Here are my pros and cons for living on the east coast (if you live in the city)
    1. The camaraderie and energy of the people living there
    2. The architecture
    3. The fall colors
    4. The city parks
    5. Being able to walk to the grocery store
    6. Culture at your fingertips
    7. If you aren’t in shape, you can hide your body under a big coat for 3/4 of the year
    8. You can peek into your neighbors’ living rooms as you walk the dog

    1. Shoveling your car from the snow before work (that is, if you can find/afford a parking spot)
    2. Small houses for insane prices
    3. Cold, cold, and more cold
    4. The beaches just aren’t as cool as those on the west coast

  18. Charlie says

    That’s a really good point someone made about the north east having many big cities in one area. That can help with job searching and having lots of cool places to take fairly cheap vacations.

    I’m glad I’m not in the midwest myself. I have a friend that lives in North Dakota and it’s completely normal there to leave your car running when you go to the store in the winter time otherwise it may not restart when you get back! brrr I can totally understand how it’s hard to exercise when it’s freezing outside. I used to think that you could only get a good workout in sports outdoors until I tried playing squash last year for the first time. If you’ve never tried it, I guarantee you will walk away with your heart pumping, legs wobbly, and sweat dripping from every pore and it’s fairly easy to learn.

    I think both coasts have their pros and cons and I think it’s actually really rewarding being able to live in more than one place in a lifetime. There’s so much to see and experience in the US, let alone the world!

  19. Sandy L says

    I can think of 2 major drawbacks of the west coast: Cost of housing + Traffic. I also agree with one of the above posters about proximity to lots of stuff. Where I am, in New England, I’m 2 hours to Boston, 3 hours to NYC, 5 hours to Montrael, 5 hours to Niagra Falls…3 hours to the beach, minutes to the mountains, not to mention all the places in between.

    I can Ski, mountain bike, rock climb or kayak after work because I don’t have to sit in an hour of traffic to get home.

    After all that, if COL was comparable, I’d still move to California in a heartbeat.

    • says

      I agree. I’m in North Jersey — I’m less than an hour away from the beach (about two hours from Wildwood, which is my favorite), and an hour away from skiing/hiking/mountain biking trails. A few hours further north are bigger mountains and trails. I think we have the best of everything if you’re into outdoor activities.
      .-= RainyDaySaver´s last blog ..Stocking Up Your Pantry: Yea or Nay? =-.

    • says

      There is a lot of cheap housing on the West Coast if you don’t live in SF or LA btw. That would be more an apples to apples comparison I think since you are driving to NYC etc.

      COL is nice…. but I will miss the water.

  20. Mike Hunt says

    Having lived on the East Coast for the first 23 years of my life I can offer the following points:

    1. Plenty of cities close to each other. I remember flying from DC to Boston, we took off and went over Baltimore, Wilmington, Philly, NYC before landing in Boston. It was an hour flight- the same hour flight from LA to Phoenix had me looking out over desert for the journey.

    2. Zoning means you can have a big plot of land- my folks live in Suburban NJ and have a one acre lot. It seems like the best you can get in CA is 1/3 of an acre and you pay big bucks for that.

    3. The East coast has a much bigger concentration of good colleges & Universities than the West.

    4. Many small states means there is more competition with regard to tax structures and local business incentives. Ever wonder why so many companies are incorporated in Delaware? Or why people go to New Hampshire to work and live (no state income taxes and no sales taxes – just high property taxes). When you live in California you don’t have a choice. You are stuck with Prop 13 and when you move there you have to pay higher property taxes than other people. And you have to deal with the NIMBY (not in my backyard) movement that helped cause the electricty crisis under Gov. Davis.

    Don’t like a particular set of policies on the East Coast- just drive a few hours and move there- bam, you are in another state.

    5. I do very much like the West Coast weather however I think (Southern) CA is too sunny for me. Don’t laugh. I don’t like getting skin damage and extra wrinkles, would prefer a fresh overcast day with partial sun.

    6. Speaking of the sun, it does seem like many Californians are sun baked and generally not as alert as their East Coast counterparts. It’s charming at first but then it gets too dozy after a while. I’m referring to Orange county now.


      • Mike Hunt says

        My sister lives in Costa Mesa so I hear enough OC bashing to feel like a residence. I did live in Cupertino for a year and would have to say that NoCal is basically another state from SoCal for all intents and purposes.

        All the companies you mention Sam are from NoCal, particularly the Bay area and I’d say that is out of the sun baked zone… In Socal there is Fluor, Qualcomm, Western Digital, Cardinal Healthcare (I think), Northrop, maybe I’m missing a few others?


  21. Nunzio Bruno says

    Hey Sam,

    Financially Digital is in Mass and I’ve lived on both sides of it, currently in Springfield, MA. One of the coolest things has to be the history – at least for me. I can’t tell you that the winters aren’t terrible sometimes but there’s so much culture packed in a not very big state. I mean In less than a two our drive you can go from a coastal capital city of Boston to the woods and mountains of the Berkshires. That’s got to count for something right? :) I haven’t been out to the west coast so I guess I’m pretty biased and from what I know I think San Fran would be an awesome place to be ( I mean Mythbusters is there). You can’t beat that financial markets wake up with us and go to dinner with us here too ;p
    .-= Nunzio Bruno´s last blog ..Fundamental VS Technical Analysis Part 1 =-.

  22. BostonToDC says

    D.C. just got 3 storms this year all over 12 inches each. Two of them were over 30 inches. D.C. is hit or miss when it comes to weather. You get the cooler northern air, but you can also get the hot/humid southern air. Its part the Mid-Atlantic “charm”.

    I’m a Bostonian by heart. Winters +can+ be tough, but that’s what a nice fire and hot cocoa is for. You get on the slopes or chop some wood and trust me, you’ll be peeling off those layers. The winters in New Hampshire are magical. Hockey is also one hell of a way to meet new people and get back in shape.

    One post on here said that someone lost 6% of their weight by moving out West and that is great. What I would ask that person though, is how hard did they try to enjoy what the “cold” can offer you. I find snow football MUCH more fun than regular backyard football. When you tackle someone it doesn’t hurt as much, you get a much better workout and in the end you have a nice 12 pack sitting next to you on the sidelines, nice and cold for you!

    Its all perspective really. People on the EC tend to be more “driven” and work oriented (so I find) so maybe that translates well into finding fun things to do when the weather isn’t so perfect outside. Like other posters have said, if I didn’t have three other seasons, I wouldn’t appreciate the current one so much.

  23. Anon says

    Lifelong (24 year) Massachusetts near Boston native here. I have to agree with the people stating how refreshing the change of seasons are. I may be a bit over the top, but the first couple really nice days after the winter when I can go out in shorts and a t shirt I go outside and pretty much smile uncontrollably, practically cackling with glee. Do you ever feel that much euphoria over a single day’s weather? It absolutely makes the winter worth it for me, along with the excitement of everything turning green again.

    I seriously am curious Sam, what are benefits of the West Coast other than sunny weather? I’ve only been out to California once, and I was 10 so I don’t remember. I mostly remember all the seagulls in San Francisco.

    Also, I prefer blizzards and not so bad hurricanes to earthquakes, mudslides, and wildfires. Not so many tornadoes around here.

    You don’t bring this up but commenters do; it’s hard to argue about property and cost of living points because there is so much variation along an entire coast or even in part of a state. I’d say COL and property-wise they’re pretty much a wash. We can join together and curse the midwest for low COL and large properties (without actually wanting to move there).

    Last point: NFL at 10am is just plain weird.

    • says

      There’s really too many benefits to name. If you must know, I guess I can write a new post, but it’s not fun rubbing it in how money the West Coast is!

      NFL at 10am is good b/c you can go eat lunch and have a BBQ after the game is over!
      .-= admin´s last blog ..The Emergency Fund Fallacy =-.

  24. says

    Okay…I am from the East Coast (Pennsylvania), and I love it!!! I currently live in Houston, and also lived in Florida for two years. Washington D.C. happens to be my favorite city:).

    Love to the East Coast!
    .-= Amanda L Grossman´s last blog ..Reading the Fine Print—My James Coney Island Experience =-.

  25. says

    NYC skyscrapers as the sun is going down! Being able to get good pizza at 2 in the morning. Did you know that NYC has a magic barrier that repels most major storms? If you get a chance to see the path of a major east coast storm you will see that most storms skip around LI and head up towards Boston. Really.

    And you never hear people kid about buying up PA real estate to get beach-front property when the big quake hits, yet you hear that joke all the time about Nevada.
    .-= FFB´s last blog ..Choices For Your 401(k) When You Leave Your Job =-.

  26. says

    Awesome, Awesome post. I live on the east coast and I am dying to move to Cali. I am actually going there for a week starting next Sunday and I can’t wait. This trip will be a “pre move scope out”.. So I’m pretty darn excited!

    The biggest thing the east coast has is DC. Not saying that because DC is AWESOME to visit, beautiful, or whatever (although DC does have some cool monuments, government buildings, etc), no what I mean is that DC supplies JOBS. Not just JOBS, but high paying GOVERNMENT and GOVERNMENT CONTRATOR jobs. I have not started a job hunt yet for my Cali relocation, but I’m curious to see what there is available out there.

    But yes, I’m with you, West Coast>East Cost
    .-= myfinancialobjectives´s last blog ..Consumer Debt =-.

  27. says

    Speaking as a Londoner (UK) it’s notable that most big music trends, club trends and so on happen these days in miserable wet parts of the world. (Different in the old days, when Italy had an advantage from natural light and patrons, say!)

    Even in the US, the cool places culturally have been Seattle, New York, Portland, Boston etc.

    LA is fine when you get big and have already made it, but if the film industry hadn’t needed the weather then I doubt Hollywood would be there.

    Some food for thought! ;)
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Two new personal finance tools for Monevator readers =-.

  28. says

    I grew up in and currently live in the OC, CA. My heart is still on the East Coast though. Don’t get me wrong. California is beautiful and gorgeous but…..

    I lived for years in Cambridge and had a place in Manhattan for the weekend. Boston is great if you’re living in the right neighborhoods. Otherwise it could be any old suburbs. I loved Boston but I do recognize the issues. The best time I had was when I lived in Harvard Square. The energy and convenience just outside my door was great. There was no traffic in the part that I lived. However, when I went out to the suburbs like Slummerville (Somerville), the neighborhood was not different from California in terms of community indifference.

    NYC is just its own special place. Until you’ve lived there, it’s hard to describe.

    The main attraction for me about the East Coast is weather, entertainment and FOOD. I missed the changing weather for years. Of course, my memories convenient forget the slushies and the axe that I carry in the car to break the ice on my windshield every morning.

    FOOD and glorious food. There is nowhere else that you can get amazing food at pretty much any time of day like New York City. Nick’s in Hells Kitchen is the best Greek food that I’ve ever had. Bagels at 76th st in New York – sublime. Junior’s Cheesecake that I have to ship every year to CA. The list is unending.

    Nightlife also exists on the East Coast whereas it’s pretty dead on the West Coast. 9PM = shut down. Your only option is Hollywood or LA. Even San Francisco is dead for hot nightlife. Orange County – we have no idea what it means to be awake past 10PM on a Saturday night.

    Paris, London, New York and Boston are the only places that you can go from a lecture to dinner to a show to a poetry reading to a night club to a hole in the wall bar to 4AM late supper all in one evening without much effort. I’ve never been able to accomplish the same agenda anywhere else.

    I have only visited DC and not lived there so I can’t comment.
    .-= Money and Risk´s last blog ..Your Home is not an Investment or Retirement Asset Pt 2 =-.

    • Jay says

      This is the best post of the ~40 I’ve read. I’m originally from Connecticut, but have spent time in Chicago and now live in New Orleans. IMO weather should be secondary and culture the primary consideration when picking a place to live. Deciding on a home city/state largely for the sake of comfort is bullsh*t in my eyes. Yes it’s nice, but I live where I live for the experiences I have, not not because it’s nice to wear shorts in November. I imagine many readers of this blog are relatively clean cut 9-5ers with families, so priorities may differ, but I think the weather argument is overstated.

      Sorry If this post sounds all aggro, that’s just the way it came out of my head.

      • The Genius says

        I don’t think you’ve ever lived on the West Coast or stayed for an extended period of time. Chicago and NO are horrible compared to California! Night and day man.

        People who live there are usually STUCK there with no other choice.

  29. says

    I have to say, I like the west coast a lot. A LOT. I particulary enjoy the San Francisco area, but also Portland, and even coastal Oregon as well. I highly recommend driving down the coast of Oregon, many small towns with specatacular, unspoiled Pacific scenery. Plus, much of the west coast has a certain laid back vibe to it. I just like it.

    That said….I think that many other parts of the country have their own charm. For me, I live in the Chicago area, and I think it’s just great. Sure, people can say what they want about the winter weather – and it’s mostly true. But it’s a great city, very cosmopolitan yet friendly; loaded with international business, fortune 500 companies, consulting firms, etc – yet, it retains a friendly and down to earth feel compared to many other places. And for 1/2 year – such as now – it’s got it all.

    Plus, the Bay Area and much of California can be quite pricey.

    I like the West Coast a lot, but for the value, I’ll stay in Chicago for now.
    .-= Squirrelers´s last blog ..Stealthy, Quirky Millionaires are Among Us =-.

  30. says

    I would not live on the west coast if you gave me a free home and paid all my bills. California’s floods fires earthquakes sink holes, etc? No thanks I pass. :)

    not to mention the state of CA is broke… I think many states are, they just won’t admit it yet.

    • says

      You’re right if you live in California, it’s like living in a war zone with all these floods, sink holes, and flying saucers!

      Please do let us know where you live and share with us how great your area is.

  31. says

    I’ve never lived on the East Coast myself, but I think there’s a stronger work ethic (in my perception) than the west coast… and not sure whether people would view this as a plus or a minus.

    (I’m comparing Toronto and Vancouver, two very obvious examples of East Coast and West Coast)

    The housing is much cheaper on the eastcoast- that’s one plus (well in Canada anyway).

    You can get a huge 1200sqft condo for $400,000 in Toronto, but in Vancouver, that can get you 600 sq ft for the same amount of cash.
    .-= younandthrifty´s last blog ..Weekend Ramblings & Link Love: good bye $100 yearly fee edition =-.

  32. says

    I’m from Boston and after leaving 12 years ago, I’ve been unable to return for more than a short visit to family and friends once a year. And I’m actually in Boston on one of those visits right now, where it is 52 degrees and raining for the third straight day and I’m forced to where three layers of clothing in the middle of June. This situation alone is what keeps the East Coast off of my list of potential places to live.
    .-= Earl´s last blog ..Spending Some Time in a Place Called Old Lyme =-.

  33. Aury (Thunderdrake) says

    Doesn’t seem to be TOO too much of a financial difference in that regard. HAH!

    Personally, I live on the northeast coast. Ontario, to be exact! The weather’s mad volatile, things do get muggy, the communities are awesome though! I never lived on the west, however. But I can’t really say one is better than the other! Of course, I’ve yet to experience living on the west coast before I judge on such a matter!

  34. says

    i’m a maine girl born and bred, and i can’t imagine living anywhere else but new england. i love my 4 distinct seasons (including super snowy winters), and the fact that i can snag a cheap last minute bus/plane/train ticket and be in boston, ny, or dc in just a couple of hours. it sort of feels like europe the way all the small states (all with distinct personalities and features) are smushed together. i love red hot dogs and white christmases, moxie and mardens and ll bean. though entertaining, i don’t know how fair it is to pit east vs. west (sorry middle, we all agree that you suck). i think it’s about temperament. california is beautiful, and temperate, and has way better mexican food than we do out here… but it just isn’t home.

  35. m says

    What’s so great about sunshine? Seriously. On the east coast we don’t just have weather, we have weather phenomena. How can you not love a good blizzard (or 3) and thunderstorms? Snowball fights, cozing under a warm blanket, hot chocolate…or leaves lilting onto their backs and that smell of ozone and hot, wet pavement.

    But aside from weather…am I the only person who feels like east coast folks have the market cornered on sarcasm and irony? Those west coasters always strike me as being painfully sincere. Really makes it hard to crack good jokes.

    Also, mountains. While the west coast has very beautiful, stark moutains, the east coast has mountains that you actually live in. In the west, mountains are these giant things off in the distance that rise out of the ground. But in the east, the mountains are all around you like great big circling arms giving you a bear hug. You don’t see them as looming but as comforting.

    The east coast is the only coast for me.

  36. Jslugger says

    The East Coast(specifically NYC metropolitan area all the way down to Miami) has

    -cities that never sleep
    -more culture, more arts
    -better museums
    -a more sophisticated and informed populace
    -better public transportation system
    -more ethnic/cultural/socioeconomic diversity
    -more hustle and bustle
    -more competitive drive
    -more ambition
    -more willingness to sacrifice for the bigger picture
    -more to do on a daily basis
    -more tolerance to live with others particularly in crowded cities
    -more fun!!!!

    I lived on the west coast for years and way too much of your life is spent traveling in a car and the rest is invested in isolating yourself in your home with entertainment rooms, outdoor decks and swimming pools in gated communities

    • says

      Thanks for your thoughts. Stuff like “More ambition”, “more competitive drive”, “more willingness” unfortunately doesn’t count as real tangible reasons.

      But, it’s great to see you love the East Coast so much! Where do you live on the East Coast?

  37. Jslugger says

    I live in NYC. Those intangibles u speak of are very tangible. Years ago I left a position in financial services in NYC for one in L.A. The mentalities and cultures were completely different in terms of within the LA culture there was no sense of urgency and corresponding work ethic. When i needed something yesterday, I would get it next week; people would leave their desks to have hour long lunches(you can’t produce if ur not at your desk); five minutes after the mkts closed the office would literally be empty, even the junior staff would vacate the premises 2min after senior people left! People would hit the freeway to beat the traffic and get home to their isolated lives. After work networking(which is huge and an imperative) such as grabbing a beer eating a meal, was basically non-existent. Those intangibles u discount most certainly translate into revenue and productivity, which in my industry is time=money.

    I will give u one of the best reasons why I love NYC over a West coast metropolis such as L.A.
    At any point of a 24hr day, I have the option of choosing amongst hundreds of activities that I can engage in within 10min of a walk, taxi, subway or bus!

    Also I can randomly meet people from all walks of life at any moment. You can rarely do that on the West coast, life is too segregated out there but some people actually enjoy that segregation.

  38. Jslugger says

    I have lived in Norther cali, down to southern cali and went to Seattle often for biz. In my opinion the West coast feels like one big suburb connected by a few large towns that people term as cities.
    The area is simply too slow,generic,segregated and mundane for me

  39. lise says

    I’m a native Ca that has lived all up and down the CA coast
    Northern california and Southern California are like two different states but what they do have in common is this if your into the outdoor living this is the state to be in summertime beaches or the moutains to hike, ski, bike and cool off.
    Wintertime some excellent sking Every city has it own vibe and something for every type of person. Norhtern CA is much like here in nova. Southern CA everything is slow going and more layed back. There is plenty of museums and culture it is a different kind compared to the east coast…
    I have now lived on the east coast for 10 years in the DC metro area of NOVA it is so beautiful not like california where most areas are very nice but CA it is a concrete jungle..Virginia the neighborhoods have trees and forests areas, water everywhere ,deer wildlife and we are 25 minutes away from DC by metro with museums galore.
    The seasons are so amazing winters are mild here not much snow.
    Fall is the most amazing season out here and I can only imagine that is probably one thing that most peoplefrom the east coast. miss .
    I don’t like the food back here no good mexican food or asian food in fact they don’t even know what that is out this way. Pizza boring ca has some awsome pizzia places ca food selection and fresh seletion is far superior to the East coast. You have very expensive produce on the east coast it is just as expensive to live in some areas back east as it is in CA it just depends wher your at…

    The beach water on the east coast are warm and fun and do not stink of seaweed.. I say both coasts have their good and bad.

    The only really bad thing I can think of out here on the east coast that I hate is constantly fixing house damage from weather, bug and fungus. In ca termites and fire is your biggest worry but here every year we have to seal our driveways from the weather and treat for termites wood rot repairs ect that gets expensive especially if you are excited and buy that huge house like I did without thinking or knowing of the extra expenses involved in weather related upkeep.

    Both Coast have good and bad points and they are both amazing places to live imo

    • says

      Pizza is bad for you, so that doesn’t count in your agument :)

      The housing damage and stuff is bad. Things fall apart on the EC!

      Also, you can’t compare NOVA to Northern Virginia! That’s like comparing a 7 layer cake to die for (Northern CA) to a biscuit (NOVA).

      • Liz says

        Sounds like you’ve never lived in NOVA either. Its a bit insulting and fairly closed minded to call a whole area like NOVA a biscuit. Its beautiful and safe and cultured. It honestly seems like you’re more concerned with saying the west coast is better than considering how wonderful some areas of the East are.

  40. Nog says

    The East Coast is awful. Foul and rancid with grotesque and obese human beings mulling around looking for something to do and finding nothing but a television show and something to eat. The weather is terrible 9 months out of the year, “richer history” boils down to fake English people and the American Revolution and the Civil War. How much of this can you take in a lifetime? Are you goimg to spend every weekend driving to some place where there was a war event? And then getting something to eat and then going home?

    60+ hour work weeks and forget outdoor activities. Running around The Mall? Ocean City? The mid-Atlantic is the worst. Heinous suburban communities that are car dependent with no access to culture or nature and 70 minute commutes. And if you do get into nature it’s 100 degrees with blood sucking mosquitoes that carry you off to their suburban den and force you to watch reruns of Barney Miller before they suck you dry.

    Collegiate sports are the dominating anything and people walk around with the same Izod shirt tucked in to their LL Bean shorts or Banana Republic slacks, deck shoes, and a baseball cap with their collegiate team they like to root for. They like to discuss sporting moments with a beer in their hand and then take photos of themselves standing in a circle with a beer in their hand. All their photos are the same– them in a different circle with a beer in their hand discussing sporting events, typically in places like TGIF, Atlantic City, some guys backyard bbq, large malls that have fake rock climbing walls.

    But they don’t do anything active like skii or hike or surf, because they can’t because the place is too hideous for outdoor activities. So the get involved in stuff like 4-H, scouts, knitting a sweater, and ultimately drown in pill addiction and fatness.

    Oh exciting, white trash.

    It’s an awful, awful place, don’t let anyone kid you.

  41. Adi says

    I have lived in MN, CO, IL, CA, WA, AZ, DE and have visited many more states. My car has run maximum while living here in DE for pleasure (at present living) because everything is soooo close and in driving distance of couple of hours..I hate driving more than that. Although I can’t forget Long Beach, Sacramento, Pleasant Hills of CA but the sun really burnt me there..beaches were nice and windy..liked them and those nice winding roads..nice! but city traffic..NO WAY!! I can’t take that..

    On the east coast, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlantic City, Ocean City and so many Jersey shore cities all are nice for visiting and to go out from the country direct flights from JFK to the rest of world. I don’t like roads of NY/NJ though..one word as compared to rest of the country..terrible!

    I prefer Atlantic City vs Las Vegas as AC has got the casino fun + BEACH fun!

    As far as weather is concern..I can’t take heat..and practially ran away from CA heat or Phoenix, AZ heat. Will always prefer a place with weather of all seasons (but less of heat) I want clothes of ALL seasons in my wardrobe! I liked the Green Seattle but too much of same weather there. Greenery and Falls are amazing at East coast.

    As far as living cost is concerned..it’s basically where exactly one is pointing to..NYC is insanely pricey and so is LA! It’s all about affordability and where one works for living. I prefer places with low cost of living with high quality of life and to me still Denver, CO tops!

    If I would get a chance to live for rest of my life..it would neither be EC or WC it would be Denver, CO! but till that time I will prefer EC.

    • says

      Dude, Sacramento sucks.. no arguments from me here!

      NYC is 2X LA… trust me on this one! LA is like a 3rd world village in terms of price compared to NYC!

      Denver ain’t bad… but, I can’t live without water.

  42. Josh B. says

    I have lived on the East Coast my whole life so my opinion is exceptionally biased. Although, I have spent a month on the West Coast for a month between San Diego and LA.

    East Coast is where it’s at. Period. First of all, I live in a prime location. 1st highest income county in PA, 24th in the nation. 40 minute drive to Philly. 2 hour drive to Washington, 2.5 to NYC, and a quick trip on Amtrak to Boston. Have a few houses in the Poconos in which it is only a 2 hour drive. Get to go up for a weekend on the lake, ski some great places, and enjoy the winter. Have another house in Ocean City, NJ where a 2 hour drive means a great family weekend down the shore, enjoying a slice of Mack & Manco’s, living the life.

    It is so great to be able to make vacations to exciting places. One month you can be in our Nation’s capital…visiting the White House, meeting Senators on Capital Hill, visiting the memorial where Martian Luther King Jr. gave his historic speech and just THRIVING in history. Then a couple months later, you can visit New York City, see the world famous Rockettes, see the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center, and ice skate surrounded by 10’s of thousands of people.

    The weather in the West is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. But the redundancy has to get annoying. I love the excitement of a paralyzing blizzard. Back in high school, got to get out of school for a few days, while building a snowfort with the siblings, come inside, cozy up by the fire place with a glass of hot chocolate. Spring comes, things are coming back to life, the birds chirping once again, and everyone is getting excited for beautiful weather. Thunderstorms make for an exciting evening, sitting on the front porch as lighting and thunder come in from a distance before it becomes to crazy to stay outside. Hot summer days make for a wonderful trip down the shore where sunburn and sweat give way to a dip in the pool and a chilly evening breeze. Muggy days at the end of summer turn into highly anticipated flooding rains from a tropical storm with a great story to talk about the next day at work. Summer heat cools down for the fall, when the rolling hillsides turn into trees on fire with color, a trip to the corn maze in Amish country, apple cider, and carving pumpkins. It must be great to live in a seemingly thermostatically controlled climate, but the excitement of thunderstorms, blizzards, droughts, floods, heat, and chill make for something to look forward to year round.

    And of course the night life/social life out here is amazing. The claims I’ve seen, here and elsewhere, seem to be that we live such a fast-paced life style on the East Coast, because during the business day, we get stuff done. But at night, nothing beats a night out in the City whether it’s from Philly-to-New York or West Chester to Lehigh Valley. There is always always ALWAYS something going on….. celebrations for our crazy-awesome sports teams or St. Patty’s day in State College, we drink to it all.

    You mentioned that you can’t find other things that make the East Coast so great… I can’t find something that makes us anything but the best.

      • says

        Sam, I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. I absolutely love the East Coast! You can’t beat Thanksgiving and Christmas on the East Coast. Snow just makes the holidays so much better. There is no snow out west. I love the fast pace of the east as well because there is always something to do. California is nice but everyone is so laid back and the cost of living is just so high. My college friends that live out there work 6 days a week just to afford a nice house. It’s cheaper to live on the East Coast. While I would love to vacation there in the summers, the east coast will always be home. Don’t forget the saying that “The East is a Beast”.

  43. says

    Sam, interesting that you chose this topic, I was thinking to get to the States for a while, and honestly, I didn’t even know that there is so huge difference between East Coast and West Coast – thanks! I prefer the sunshine of California, if I manage to get there somehow.

    Btw, an off-topic subcomment: your CommentLuv plugin does not work properly – there is a problem with the jQuery (“jQuery is undefined”) loading order or you are probably loading some compressed script that it makes it confused – however most of the people on your blog have problems using CommentLuv. The strange thing is that sometimes, but rarely, it works. Maybe you should check it with your dev guru.

  44. says

    I don’t get it either.

    Especially since all the 30 something single educated women I know won’t leave the East cost, whereas most of the 30 something single educated men I know are on the West. I wonder if that gender split is also true on average.

    • says

      Maybe cause the women are really connected to their family on the EC? I donno.

      For men, there is MASSIVE amounts of entrepreneurial, swashbuckling opportunities here on the West Coast. Perhaps that’s why.

  45. d says

    Californians can’t travel to a different state every day and still make it home for dinner. The New England states each have a different flavor and feel, and you can go fly fishing Monday, to half a dozen historic museums,towns, and villages Tuesday, to the beach on Wednesday, mountain climbing Thursday and still make it to a Broadway show on the weekend. You can’t look at it as living in a state, you have to define yourself as a resident of New England. Do that, and youre a resident for a lifetime. :)

  46. Janna says

    Pros of living in New York:
    1. Four seasons – as you are getting tired of one, another comes along, and you enjoy the beauty of that season for 3 months…. love the variety!
    2. Culture
    3. Walking
    4. Beautiful beaches – especially in fall, winter and spring!
    Pros of living in California:
    Being able to bring your dog to the beach. I admit, that is a big one!!! In summary, however…..

    As John Updike, said, ““The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.”

  47. says

    Sorry West Coast is the best coast!

    I’ve lived in San Diego almost all my life and traveled up and down California extensively.
    – I live 5 minutes away from a beach. Mind you I have a selection of beaches to choose from.
    – If I want some snow, there’s Big Bear Lake/Mountain where I can go rent a cabin for the weekend between November-January. Then when I’m over it I drive back home down the mountain to sun!
    – Feeling the need to visit the desert? Head towards Palm Springs and hike beautiful Joshua Tree.
    – Need some nightlife? Go downtown. Not feeling downtown San Diego? Drive to LA or Hollywood and go clubbing there.
    – Foodie in California? Have you ever tried CARNE ASADA FRIES? Google it!
    – Feel like visiting Disneyland? Let’s go!
    – Want to go on a cruise? There’s a cruise port here. Beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico or go ziplining in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico baby!


  1. […] I have been everywhere, and it is clear to me that San Francisco is one of the cheapest cities in the world based on its wealth creating potential. So many of my friends who live in New York City or around the country like to say that the median rent and home price in San Francisco are our country’s highest. It’s simply not true. Rent and property prices in Manhattan are the highest AND they only get to enjoy the outside for six months a year! Related: East Coast Living: Is It Really That Horrendous? […]

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