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

Despite an honest attempt to seek out more great things about the East Coast, several readers actually proceeded to bash the West Coast instead! What’s up with that? Some curiously mentioned that the East Coast is fantastic because the horrendous weather for half the year makes the other six months so wonderful. Ummm, that’s like saying you appreciate your right hand more because you chopped off your left hand! Wouldn’t you rather have both hands?

The only positive takeaway from the comments I agree with is the cluster of historically significant cities within a several hours drive. Other than that, nobody came up with any stand out reasons other than the six I provided as to why East Coast living is great. Given that the West Coast was attacked, I feel it’s important to stand up and defend our honor!


* Beautiful Weather. With blue skies and sunshine, we have wonderful beaches, healthier, and happier people.  There’s a reason why movie stars and other celebrities work and live on the West Coast. Why do you think there are so many songs about “California Dreaming”?

* Entrepreneurial Opportunities. Google, YouTube, Yahoo, eBay, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon and many more innovative, life changing companies are all based on the West Coast. How many self-made 35-year old or younger mega-millionaires or billionaires can you name from the East Coast? Not many.

* Access To Asia. Asia is where the growth is and not Europe. Travel to Asia is quicker, and doing business with Asia is therefore easier. When it’s 8am in China, it’s still only 5pm here on the West Coast. Communicating at 8pm EST is no fun, and therefore doesn’t happen as often.

* Vacation Paradise. Hawaii is just a quick and direct 4.5 hour flight away! Hawaii is seriously one of the top 5 greatest places on Earth to live, and anybody who tells you otherwise has never experienced the island. Besides Hawaii, there is Tahiti, Bora Bora, Samoa, and of course many wonderful vacation spots in Asia.

* World Class Winter Sports. Lake Tahoe and Whistler have 11,000 feet high mountain resorts whereas the East Coast has icy Killington in Vermont and the Catskills in New York. I’ve been to all four places, and I can tell you there really is NO comparison between West Coast and East Coast skiing/snowboarding.

* More Peaceful People. A large reason why many people are on the East Coast is because of a job opportunity or family. As a result, resentment builds for the region because they wouldn’t be there otherwise.  This is a recipe for some very grumpy people.  Meanwhile, a large reason why many people live out West is for a better lifestyle as well as job opportunities and family.  Because people are living a better lifestyle, you have a much more pleasant social environment.

* Less Crooks. Do you think it’s a coincidence that some of the biggest crooks in America such as Bernie Madoff, Elliott Spitzer, Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco), and countless dirty politicians are all based on the East Coast? Of course not. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out why.

* Environmental Movement. People love the Earth out here. California was the first to ban smoking in public places, and the state is a pioneer in recycling and emissions standards.  We are the home of organic cuisine (Chez Panesse Alice Waters), Tesla Motors (electric car company), as well as thousands of tree huggers!  If you love the environment and want to help save the world, you’ll love the West Coast.

* Great Athletics. The Golden State Warriors just won the 2015 NBA Championship! Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants won three world series in the last five years. The LA Lakers won their second straight NBA championship, meanwhile Pebble Beach and the Olympic Club hosted the US Open golf tournament. The amount of events out here are incredible. How about the America’s Cup in SF 2013? During the winter, I can play golf on Saturday in 70 degree weather, and drive 2.5-3 hours on Sunday to go snowboarding in 2 feet of powder!  We’re truly blessed with amazing athletics.

* Lower Power Bills. There’s never a need to use air conditioning to cool or heat yourself in many places on the West Coast given the moderate temperatures. Opening a window is all you need during the summer to get that draft going  Adjusting thermostats is a foreign concept!

* No Silly Blogger Tax. Philadelphia is supposedly voting on taxing their area’s bloggers $300 a year starting in 2011. First a blog tax, then a tax per post, then a total strip down of your liberties! Fuggetaboutit!

* Watching The Sunset. If you live on the East Coast, you’ll never see the beautiful sun set into the ocean.

* Pride. If you live on the West Coast you won’t have to make sensationalist statements such as “Florida will be torn apart in the next Tornado”, “It’s so humid in Washington DC you can go swimming in your own sweat“, “You’ll die early because you’ll never want to go outside,” “Be careful about the next enemy siege,” and other ridiculous statements to make yourself feel better about yourself. You don’t have to disparage like some on the East Coast will do about West Coasters because you’re already living the dream!

Related: Living In An Expensive City Will Make You Richer, Happier, And More Diplomatic


I know I don’t have to give any reasons why the West Coast is a much better place to live because it’s pretty obvious. It’s like wondering whether Bill Gates is rich… duh. I give reasons anyway to highlight to those who bash the West Coast what they’re missing. It’s easy to look down upon those out West if you’ve never experienced living out here. But as someone who has lived on both coasts, the choice is obvious.  Perhaps this post will make things even more obvious!

I’m here to tell you that if you are miserable out East, do more than just make fun of the West Coast. Do something to change your life by moving! The settlers did so hundreds of years ago, and so can you in much quicker a time. Have no fear in seeking a better life. You deserve it!


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Looking to go on a nice West Coast vacation? I’ve got a fantastic five diamond rated two bedroom, two bathroom condominium at The Resort At Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe. There’s ski-in/ski-out, three outdoor hot tubs, three heated pools, a spa, a gym, several gourmet restaurants, fantastic children and family activities, a golf course on site, amazing hiking, kayaking, rafting, fishing, biking, and more! Lake Tahoe is one of the best places to vacation on Earth.

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Updated for 2015 and beyond

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 have a good friend who moved from the East coast to the West coast… and he say’s he’ll never go back. The temperatures are more suitable for his desires, especially in the Winter, and the entrepreneurial spirit is far more robust. I’ve visited both… and tend to agree. I don’t even mind the rainier upper West coast – Seattle.

      • daniel says

        I live in Michigan I moved here in 2012 on the east coast im from northern California and I really miss my cali home but I like it here somewhat its just the weather it sucks here in Michigan.

        • Anthony says

          I grew up in Michigan around the lower east side an hour west of Detroit.. The weather does suck here.. The lifestyle is horrible, people are miserable, unfriendly and pissed all the time.. There is nothing adventurous or outdoorsy. Driving on the freeways is like torture and for the most part people are overweight and lazy..

          • kely says

            Hey stupid freeways are what you drought ridden cali fools refer too all highways.Get with the other 49 states program.

  2. says

    I have never been past the central time zone, so I really have no room to bash the east, but I can brag about my wonderful state! Colorado is absolutely beautiful and quite frankly it is an underrated place to live. The home of the Rocky Mountains provides probably the best skiing and snowboarding in the US. I’ve snowboarded in Idaho, and Utah and they honestly don’t even compare to how good the slopes are in Colorado as well as the scenery. Another thing I love about Colorado is because of the thin and crisp clean air. It makes it tough for people who have never been here to adjust to the altitude, but if you get use to it, you really don’t want to go back. I remember visiting Missouri way back when, and man let me tell you, the state should re-named to Misery because of the humidity just made it miserable!

    If one thing that separates the east from the west, in my opinion it has to be wildlife and outdoor wilderness activities. Colorado alone is one of the best if not the best state for angling and hunting. I could name about 10 different rivers here in Colorado alone that are just great for fishing. I have also hunted for elk, white tail, pheasant, and turkey in different parts of Colorado. Pagosa Springs (south Colorado) is one of most visited tourist destinations in America!! For its beauty and wildlife! I would highly recommend Pagosa Springs to anyone who is thinking about visiting colorful Colorado!

    • says

      I agree that Colorado is great for the great outdoors. The sun is always shining too. The only issue is that it’s hard to make the big bucks there and it’s not the Mecca of innovation as it is here in San Francisco.

      If one can relatively easily make $150,000-$250,0000 in CO, I’m there since it goes a mug longer way there.

      • Dude says

        The cost of living including real estate in the San Fran/SJ bay area is triple the rest of the US. Only NYC and some parts of Alaska and Hawaii are as expensive. If you’re making $150,00-200,000 in the SF/San Jose region you only need to make $50,000-$75,000 in much of the rest of the nation to have a similar standard of living. Most people in the Bay area have long commutes and are living in sh!tty apartments with roommates and no parking.

    • Todd says

      “Pagosa Springs, one of most visited tourist destinations in America!!”?

      Huh? I lived there, and on the other side of Wolf Creek pass in Southfork for 1/2 my adult life. And worked up at Wolf Creek Ski Area for 14 of those years.

      Its one of the least crowded big mountain area in Colorado. It beautiful, it makes the front range of CO look like a cesspool – however I would be suprised if its in the top 500 “most visted” in America.

    • Tom says

      I’m from Rhode Island originally, currently in Queens, NY. If you enjoy CO for the wildlife and nature you should check out Maine. Definitely one of the most underrated states.

  3. LL says

    I grew up in Virginia and a tourist beach town in Maryland. I traveled around to several east coast cities when I lived there. I moved away when I was 23, and have lived in Portland OR, Dallas, and now San Diego. All my west coast comments are going to be based on San Diego, not LA. The east coast is nice but it is very different. The attitudes are much less laid back, more aggressive. People always want to fight about something. San Diego is a fantastic city – it’s very clean, the weather is great, there’s lots of natural beauty and outdoor activities. In the summer there are free concerts every day of the week. There are some spots where traffic is bad during rush hour. Dallas was far worse for traffic! San Diego housing is less expensive than DC or NY. The ghettos are not nearly as bad as other large cities. Crime rates are far lower than most cities.

    I’m seeing this through my middle class eyes. I live in a VERY middle class neighborhood. I wouldn’t want to buy at current property values though, I still think it is too much. I’m sure the city would not seem so nice if I was barely making rent.

    The smog is pesky. We have air and water quality problems, especially since we import so much water (80% of it). We have overcrowding problems; I wouldn’t even think of going to a Costco on a Saturday afternoon. We also import a lot of electricity, so that is a risk if a the big earthquake ever comes.

    West Coast isn’t perfect but it is very different. It suits some people far better than others. Same for East Coast. I prefer San Diego, but I wouldn’t live in LA for anything. I WOULD live in NYC, but I don’t know if I’d stay long because of the high prices and brutal winters.

    • says

      Thanks for your perspective! LA does kind of suck.. however, if one can live and work around the Manhattan Beach, Santa Monic area.. it’s not that bad at all.

      IT’s good that you’ve lived on both sides and look at things from a middle class perspective. The poorer you are, the better the West coast is b/c a poor person enjoys the same sunshine as a rich person!

      • Dude says

        Been there done that. Its VERY hard to live and work in the same neighborhood in the 4 county LA region unless you live and work in the distant suburbs. Rent in San Bernadino and Riverside counties is cheap. Commute is 2 hrs to LA. The pay in those places is half the pay in LA. The good paying jobs are near sky high priced housing. In Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach a decent one bedroom apt with an off street parking space costs $2K/month in 2014. Thats a mortgage payment on a nice house in 3/4 of the USA.
        Thus people do hour long or more commutes each way to and from work. Traffic moves at 20 MPH in the 3 hour morning rush hour and 4 hour evening rush hour.

  4. AG_man says

    I’m from the east coast. Born and raised throughout all of FL and even Canada once. I got family all through the east coast. Lived in Chicago at one point. I’m back in the east coast after living in San Antonio Texas for 5 years. I can say this with certainly, the east coast sucks ass. The people are rude as hell, materialistic, weather is HORRIBLY hot and humid, pay is low, too many damn snakes n alligators, mosquitoes, ghetto ass people who love to fight, and I’m just sick of it all. In one year, I’m relocating to the west and I can’t wait. It sucks that I have to deal with one more hot and hellishly humid summer before I leave. In central FL no less. :(

    i’m sick of being too cold and too hot. I cannot handle the extremes anymore. Living in Texas which is basically almost the west coast for me, I loved it loved it loved. The people were nice, the houses were HUGE, the weather was way more tolerable than FL!! No humidity!! That was a joy! Everything was SO different. The clouds were different, the sunlight was different. I liked it way more than FL but it’s not enough for me. I want the REAL west coasts.

    I’ve been fascinated with the west coast lifestyle for YEARS even as a child. I love the whole suburban thing that Southern California has going on. I ABSOLUTELY am in LOVE with the houses. Completely gorgeous. I am going to own one when I have enough money. I love the weather. Better than the east coast. And everything abt CA fits me. Except the air quality.

    When I move, as soon as I get on the I-10 W towards Mobile Alabama, I’m going to give the east coast and FL the finger. Counting down the days.

    • kely says

      Where did you work in a gas station??? Lol if Texas is heaven to you than you must have been used to the lowest level of hell. Im not making fun of you but you seem to based GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, DE, NJ, NY,RI, MA, NH, ME on a s*it hole in FL.

  5. says

    So true! I moved back to NYC after living in California for 5 years and I couldn’t do it. I turned around and ran back to Cali after 18 months. I found NYC to be highly stressful and cold and even though my family lives back east I just couldn’t see myself fitting in there anymore.

  6. b.l says

    I’m thinking about relocating to Houston, Tx. If you live there or have visited there recently can you fill me in on the pros and cons of living there, taxes, weather, jobs, schools etc… Thanks

    • David M. says

      We moved from Wash. State to Austin, Texas…my advice…DO NOT COME TO TEXAS!! The summers are horrendously hot and humid, well over 100 ALL summer. Remember too, the whole state here is in a bad drought expected to last YEARS.
      Also: Texas is NOT a pretty state. It just looks run down. Also, Houston is a very dangerous city.
      Stay where you are OR go to the West Coast!

    • Lance Spencer says

      Colorado, possibly Fort Collins or Boulder, is where I would like to hang my hat, but for now…

      I’m currently living in Dallas, Tx, which to give you some perspective, is not that bad.

      Pros: No state income, cheap real estate (my house is 1500 sq ft dark hard wood floors updated not fancy) with my house only costing 130k on the NW side nice clean very little crime type of town, lots of well paying jobs especially for the middle class, lots of sun (swimming in the lakes and pools), good mountain bike trails and clubs, perfect weather in the spring and fall and cool in the winter, good food, friendly people (but a lot of them are boring lazy and fat).

      Cons: Too hot during June and July unless you are swimming, then it’s perfect. Mostly Flat in Dallas (highest elv 495.1 ft and especially in Houston (which I do not suggest), Austin has beautiful rolling hills. The general culture among the majority of Texans revolves around drinking and eating, this is not a good thing in my opinion. A huge spectator state. Natural beauty is limited compared to the likes of Cali, Washington, Colorado etc. but some of the prairies and rolling hills are beautiful.

      My take: Cali would be my choice if I was raking it in, but struggling to save and pay rent does not sound like fun to me even in Hawaii. Seattle rains too much, I’ve been there 3 times and it is downright dreadful, despite the amazing views and the plush forest, which I love.

      The East Coast just is not even an option.

      • steve says

        Good make sure your fake lawn house does not burn up ….keep freezing in the cold pacific ocean in the summer( while I enjoy warmer water in the Atlantic in the Sumner) keep paying over $ 4:00 a gal. For gas ….oh and watch you desert state dry up due to lack of water( water police lol really?) And get terrorfied at the 1st drop of snow.lol wimps

        • Dude says

          Are you in the ocean in January in New England? Fake lawn house? what? Gas is currently $3 a gallon. I doubt gas in the DC, NYC, Boston, Philly etc areas is much cheaper then CA. In fact it does snow in the mountain on West coast. Highest elevation is 14,500 ft.

        • Calisummer says

          Of all the comments, I need to reply to this one. Say what you’d like to say, however, what is a fake lawn house? Also I’m sure you meant four dollars a gallon and not four o’ clock a gallon. If you’re going to insult, do it correctly, with spell check. ;)

          • kely says

            Ok non news reader FAKE lawns are the new wave in your drought ridden state now ( california)You seem to be one of those who dispite request not to over water their lawns.People are installing more drought resistant plants in their yards or are spraying their dry dormant lawns( good home owners) green or installing FAKE turf ( also good homeowners). Also california has the highest gas prices in the country. Here in MD we consider $2.60 gl for gas high.Do your research better. You wont seem as stupid.

            • JC says

              This kind of attitude is why I’m thrilled to have moved back to California, after having lived on the East Coast for seven years.

              You are right about gas prices being much less in Maryland…but I love my solar panels and electric car. Never have to go to a gas station.

            • kely says

              Why come to this green paradise in the 1st place .Your ” california is superrior” arogance attitude and eveything should be like california take on the rest of the states ( im married to one like that from cali.)are the reasons californians find it harder to adjust outside your bubble. Look at the narrow thinking self centered reply from this artical ” The West Coast its that much better”. You people have the worst attitude, driving, air quality and worsinging ongoing drought yet you think you arebetter than the restof the 49 states…….what blindness. Enjoy your drought.

  7. says

    I have a few more reasons why I love being out on the West Coast, specifically California, although I absolutely adore East Coast and it’s people
    1. Multicultural: if you look at Los Angeles or San Francisco (yes some people tend to forget that Nor Cal is a part of Cali whether they like So Cal or not) you see so many different ethnicities and people who really enjoy sharing their cultures i.e. the Hispanic population down in LA, Chinatown, etc.
    2. Politics: you can be liberal here without getting your head chopped off, that’s what I’m most thankfull for first. We’re much more open to varying political opinions, and we are a powerful force for change. And it doesn’t hurt that we have a HUGE number of people living here, earth to politicians! Look at our number of delegates in the House of Representatives! Seriously, even when we lose delegates we still outrank everyone in the country. Lightbulbs should be going on about now.
    3. Beaches, mountains, deserts, valleys, rain, snow, sun, all in one state?! enough said
    4. Las Vegas, Hawaii, Seattle, need I say more?
    And also, for all of you people insulting us because we’re such hipsters apparently, and we are so casual never dress up, all of that bullshit. THINK AGAIN! These rudes comments harassing us aren’t true at all. Half of you have never even been to the West Coast, and those of you who have didn’t take the time to truly observe and get to know us. Unsophisticated? Ever heard of LACMA? The Getty? The Grove or the Americana? Griffith Park Observatory? Ever been to Downtown LA? San Francisco (love that city)? SFMOMA? The Deyoung? Give us a chance, and we don’t all hate you, I mean I LOVE the East Coast, New York, Boston, it’s to die for.
    Just noticed when people think West Coast and East Coast we automatically think California and New York, or LA and NYC, or SF and Boston.
    Point is, no area is better than the other! Quit the stereotypes! Enjoy everyones cultures and be accepting of those different than your own! That’s what the West Coast is all about!

      • HigBloke says

        Well, my wife and I are ready to move to the San Diego “no water desert” ASAP. The frigid, bitter winters in the Ohio Valley coupled with hot, humid and sticky summers have really run their course. Not to mention day-after-day grey skies and (apparently) more rain than Seattle.

        Then, there’s the rude, ignorant and OSU-obsessed people that live in Columbus. We’ve taken three trips to San Diego in the last eighteen months and quickly decided this city is where we belong, droughts or not.

        • kely says

          Ok my wife is from there and yes she misses home ( cali thats her home ) She is a native and berates what she calls other ” transplants” that have runied her state of california. She absoluty LOVES it back here on the east coast for its beauty greenery less polluted air and more tolerable weather ( she like 4 seasonal weather…except summer) She is so glad that she left California….enjoy.your drought.

  8. David M. says

    I lived for years in Bellingham, Washington. When the economy went south my partner lost his job and we had to move…my cousin presented an opportunity in Texas and we went. The WORST decision of my life! I HATE Texas and the South with a passion!! I MISS the West Coast horribly!
    In Wash. State we were near the ocean AND the mountains, a day and a half drive from San Francisco, a 4 + hour flight from Hawai’i (where we went yearly). The weather, while a little drippy and dark at times, was moderate (unlike Texas summers where it’s ALWAYS over 100!). It did snow in winter sometimes but it never lasted and fall and winter were usually fairly temperate…50s and 60s were not uncommon.
    As to the flora here in Texas…it’s great if you like cactus A LOT. I don’t. I do like the palm trees but can’t get out to enjoy them because it’s so DAMNED HOT! In Washington I had a gorgeous backyard planted with bamboo, hardy olive trees, lilac, sycamore, maple. In my front yard I had a hardy palm and magnolia.
    If you saw “Twilight”…yes, the Wash. Coast really does look like that…mystical, ethereal, ancient.
    OK, I’ve said my piece.

    • Kevin says

      Washington is horrible. We have eight months of rain and it is cloudy all but two months of the year. Please, as a California transplant I beg you, do not move here. You will hate it!!! Let us deal with the misery of the PNW so the rest of you can live in harmony.

  9. says

    I love reading other people’s ideas of what California is. I grew up here (San Diego) but left for college and didn’t come back till age 26 (to Los Angeles). I’m posting an article soon about my love/hate relationship with California which I think you’ll enjoy! I’ll link back here when it’s up.

  10. shirley says

    I was born in MA & grew up in CT. I miss the changing of seasons, especially fall when the leaves change. I hated the winters freezing, the summers are hot & humid. My whole family live in MA, CT & VT, NH & I miss being near them. I’ve lived in So Ca for 40+ yrs, traveled & lived overseas & So Ca is hands down the best climate with so many activities to do. The only earthquake that was pretty bad was in Northridge, we’ve had small jolts nothing major. I’d find it difficult to live any where else guess I’ve become a So Caifornian & even lost my New England accent

  11. elizabeth says

    OK – so I moved to the east coast about a year and a half ago – and I am so missing the West Coast like hell right now – I pray I make it back next spring – but let me make a list for you East Coast fans:

    1) weather – no snow to deal with and no humidity to deal with – the “beautiful” weather months on the east coast exist almost every single month on the west coast.
    2) You can go outside and not be dinner for mosquitos – I have never seen so many bugs in my life..never.
    3) Beauty. There is absolutely no comparison to the beautiful vistas, oceans and landscapes of the West to the East. Heck, the light is even better.
    4) People. The people are less high strung and a bit more easygoing. I do love the New York attitude, but day after day it gets old. As the song says, “leave New York before it makes you hard”
    5) So when I tell people I am from California – they always look at me and say “why are you here” – again, take note that I am in New Jersey and not in New York.

    – there is truth to the saying “just another day in paradise” –

  12. Chanice says

    Excuse me but there are TONS of kooky fruit loops that come out of california :O I would say that state is one of the worst actually. They can hide out up in their homes in the forest far from everyone.

    • Dude says

      spoken like a true inbred hick retard. In fact most Californians were NOT born in California. They are transplants from places your awful hell hole state. Please tell them to go home!

  13. Sam Stern says

    Hey everybody, thank you so much for having this conversation (hat tip to the moderator).

    My wife and me are in the middle of a huge decision to move to the East coast or the West coast. We are originally from the East Coast (Im NYC and she is Philly), but I’ve had a job in Israel for the last 3 years, and we really fell in love with the climate in (hot and dry), although not so much the politics. So we are moving back to the US (with a baby girl on the way), and now we have this choice of East or West coast, even though both our families are in the East. But we really do hate the weather, and we would love to live around nature, and I have a chance to have a fresh start with work.

    We are going on a pilot trip in 3 days – to spend a month driving around California and get a feel of the place, so we can make a better decision about moving. Our dream location is to find a house in the woods with 40min drive to a hospital and other civilization. This may not be so realistic – but we are both dreaming of having no neighbors (at least in a 100 meter radius) for a year, and a forest as a backyard. We dont want entertainment, we just want quiet. But because of work, and baby needs, we still want to be in driving distance of a decent city. So ideally we dont want to end up in the suburbs, but rather some cabin in the woods that we can build up into a family home. Just for reference I ran a healthy catering company in Jerusalem, and now I work remotely doing Marketing for a tech start up (based in NJ actually), and I hope I can pursue both things in California.

    Our itinerary is to land in San Jose, and check out things around La Honda and Canta Cruz as well as isolated houses north of Silicon valley, and then drive down to LA and check out Ojai and coastal towns, and then make our way to Phoenix and check out Flagstaff and Payson, finally flying out of Phoenix back to Israel.

    We would love to get some advice about this, as well as more suggestions for communities to check out around that route. We are not looking at PNW because its too cold, or Vegas because it lacks all greens and gets too hot, but we are open to more locations.


    • says

      Sam, if you want paradise, come o the Bay Area. You can find an inexpensive house in the woods that is cheap and quite for under $500,000 no problem, especially if you are willing to commute 40minutes.

      Life is way better out here, and I’ve lived on both coasts for 10+ years!

      • kely says

        I know this is over 2 yrs for a reply. But you did mentioned $500,000 dollars inexpensive and cheap in the same paragraph huh? Please next time say its all relative.

          • kely says

            I see you are refering to a limitied few. Well thats the arrogance of the whole primence of this artical. I too live in a area where mediman househould income in about $110,000 and the average home price is $600,000 or more. Still to refer to a $500,000 doller home as “cheap” shows the blindness in your idea of average income being 6 figures and reality of most average incomes being mid 5 figure range or lower. Enjoy your drought.

            • goodtoknow says

              Why so toxic, friend? To each our own. I’m happy you enjoy your lifestyle, but please be aware that there are many reasons to choose one location over another. How about respecting and celebrating our differences?

  14. Jason says

    Sam, re: this post are we feeling slightly inflammatory? :)

    I lived most of my life on the East Coast, but did do a six year stint out on the West Coast.
    Here are my thoughts:

    – While the West Coast is more accessible to Asia, the East Coast is more accessible to Europe. It is kind of a wash.
    – New York City has the best of everything the world has to offer. Restaurants, beautiful people, spirituality, world-class networking and parties, and world culture.
    – New York City is also incredibly convenient. The public transportation system, although we complain about it, is incredibly efficient and the only time I rent a car is when I want to drive to the mountains upstate. When I was in San Diego, an entire four hour evening would be taken up just by hitting Home Depot and Whole Foods.
    – Camping is so much better on the East Coast, because you don’t have to buy “primitive camping” permits, worry about starting a forest fire, or any of that crap. In the Catskills or Adirondacks, you simply walk up a trail, walk half a mile off-trail, find a flat surface, arrange rocks into a fire ring and eat up the s’mores. No fees to pay, no papers to carry.
    – California is going bankrupt. Its infrastructure is falling apart. Doing business in the state is a nightmare. The tax rate is quite high.
    – People are net average focused more here than on the WC. I really had a difficult time in San Diego, finding people that could hold their attention for long enough to even get a single task done, let alone find an inner circle of people who were truly ambitious enough to put 12-18 hour days into something worth living for.

    That said, there are things I like about the West Coast better. The air is more “open,” the people are definitely more open, and there is less judgement. The scenery is nicer, the winter sports are better, and the culture is more down to earth.

    I have sought to find a west coast openness with an east coast focus. They do exist, in rare people.

  15. rick says

    i lived in camas, wa and then moved to malden, ma…trust me west coast is better..especially the seafood …west coasters seem more laid back east not so much!!! never had a accident until i moved to east coast…everyone just too darn much in a hurry….oh and btw i live in wv now….and plan to move my family back home to wa very soon….

  16. Ras says

    As a California native I absolutely love California, and I am well aware of the many cultural , geographic, and intellectual advantages of living on the West Coast versus many other places in this country. That being said, I have to admit that California does fall short in many regards. While people do tend to be more laid back, I would disagree with the statement that they “work to live” while people on the East Coast “live to work”. With the rising cost of living and the poor economy it is certainly not a walk in the park to live there. Most people I know, myself included, have to work very hard just to make ends meet, and then they don’t have enough left over to take advantage of the many wonderful things available to them. Long story short, California is a beautiful place to live but when it comes to some very important aspects of lifestyle it simply doesn’t compare.

    • says

      Doe Texas pay folks to live there? B/c I’ve been, and I’ve got to say Texas can’t even come close to California or Hawaii. Sweltering heat, not very diverse, hard to get to Europe or Asia, and flat lands. BBQ is good though!

  17. Joe says

    ??????Tell me which major city is the best on the West to go wild!
    Party hard to trance and electronic music-
    Is it San Francisco Los Angeles Seattle San Diego or Portland for a great town to party and feel like you’re having fun and will never grow old?????????

  18. Travis says

    I live in Austin and love it. The heat is dry, not humid. 110 degrees feels better than 90 degrees in the south. The diversity is great, and there is a lot to do here – ever heard of SXSW or ACL? I get emails all the time for events happening around here. The night life is great here. The city is also very biker friendly and health conscious. Tons of live bands and literally hundreds of bars within walking distance of each other. I come from South Carolina, so Austin is definitely a huge step up. However, I haven’t lived in CA, so I can’t compare the two yet.

    As a successful internet entrepreneur, I couldn’t justify moving to CA because of the insane taxes. It’s not worth an extra 40-50k a year for me to live in CA. I’d rather have my home base here, and have a larger budget for traveling. Let me ask you this, if you’d make the same no matter where you lived, would you still choose CA? So far this year, I’ve paid for me + my closest friends to go to the Florida Keys for two weeks, been to Hawaii for two weeks, a week in Panama City Beach for spring break, traveled back to see my family 4 separate times in SC, and have plans to go to Austrailia for a month in the winter. The total expenses of doing all of those trips + my rent in Austin for the year + my budget for Australia combined is less than just the state taxes I’d pay to live in CA. That’s not even including any other increases in cost of living. For those of us that operate location independent businesses, having a home base in CA doesn’t make much sense in my opinion.

    I’ve also met a ton of entrepreneurs here! It seems like everyone here is trying to start up a business. Also, being “weird” is accepted here. No one cares what you wear, how you look, if you have tattoos, if you go downtown in a tank top, what car you drive, or where you come from.

    Another perspective is my experience meeting people. It sort of reminds me of how it was when I backpacked Europe. No one cares about what I do for a living, they just want to have a good time. People value experiences more here.

    Traffic also isn’t that bad, you just have to avoid I-35 during peak hours (you can go on toll roads and hit virtually no traffic during peak hours). I also love the flat roads here! I’ll just say it’s fun when the speed limit is 85, there’s no traffic and the road is flat enough to see for a mile :).

    • says

      I’ve heard a lot of good things about Austin and I definitely do like the no state income taxes and cheap real estate prices. I’d like to give it a go, but my roots are in California and Hawaii already.

      • Ace says

        January & February are rough, but the rest of the year isn’t bad. Four seasons
        like the east coast. Beaches & volley ball nets in the summer. Urban energetic
        environment like NYC with a more laid back, relaxed (west coast like) culture.

        And a biggie: You can drive to work without getting stuck on the Bay Bridge!

        Besides ORD is only a few hours flying time from anywhere in the country.

  19. east coasterrr says

    This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read.

    First off, thanks for your opinion, but no. You can’t sum up people based on which coast they’re living at. Because the east coast is made up if many states which consist of states from different regions… new england, southern and so on.

    Also, since when does the west coast mean just California? What about Washington and Oregon? They are wonderful and beautiful states with completely different lifestyles, yet you just go on about Cali?

    No person in their right mind can take any of this article seriously.

  20. Hogan says

    I wish people would realize that the West isn’t just the west coast. I’ve lived in San Diego and loved it, don’t get me wrong, but I would include the mountain west as well regarding lifestyle. I live in Albuquerque and must say this is the best climate with four seasons. Nothing too extreme, with most snow in the mountains a short 15 minute drive away. Great views, little traffic, cheap cost of living, unique food, and a lifetime to explore the outdoors. I’d compare it to California but with less people and no beach.

  21. Ace says

    Consider this: The stereotype is that the East Coast and West Coast are happening, and the rest is, flyover country. I think that is narrow-minded and very short-cited! You are so fortunate as an American; you live in a huge diverse country. Consider: The Great Lakes. 21% of the worlds fresh water (and fresh water is wealth! A smart person would think about this).

    We can go into the beauty of Michigan in autumn (it’s stunning!). Or the one thousand-plus lakes in Minnesota.

    And then again, there is Chicago. A liberal bastion on America’s third coast:


    There is much good about four seasons. Midwesterners live well.

  22. Ace says

    Actually….. Given the option, the best city in California is San Diego. San Francisco is fun to visit, but it is too cold and frequently foggy! If you are going to live the California life style; you want 70 degree+ days and beaches which are useable.

    If I was going live in the Bay Area, I would chose more inland areas such as Walnut Creek or Concord, or such. Steady sunshine and more warmth.

  23. Peter Richards says

    Dumbest thread ever and the rationales used to support your decision to live on the West coast are mind numbing. There is no overall “best place to live” there is only the “best place for you”.

  24. Melissa says

    Hello all – I live in Pittsburgh and have lived here my whole life. There are many things to be said for Pittsburgh (extremely friendly city – yes, people do talk to each other here and are very nice to new people and strangers) and it’s not as snotty and mean as NYC, DC and Philly can tend to be.
    We are in Western, PA – perhaps that is why, we are not exactly on the coast.
    But I’ve tired of the just ridiculous cold winters and also, the drug problem that has seemed to grip my fair city. Heroin is so on the rise it is ridiculous. I was having a job interview and I could see out the window behind my interviewers head, and watched 2 drug deals go down as I was trying to tell him why he should hire me. Hire me?! Ha! He should pay amazing bucks to anyone who’d dare work there! Anyway, I am getting off track.
    I need to find a place to raise my son, who is 7 months old and being a late in life unexpected baby (I am 42) – he is the light of my life and reason for being. I am a single mom and happy to be, but find that lately, the suburban moms just aren’t talking to me. I guess being in unhappy marriages will turn people into wicked witches but I am looking to move to a place where i will be easily accepted and even embraced. I’ve always had sort of a free-spirited vibe that drove my parents nuts.
    I’ve actually been looking at Oregon and think it might be the place for us but this is a huge jump so I want to make darned sure. If I am going to move my son and me across the country to a place where I don’t know a soul, I want to make sure I am making at least an educated and informed move. I am excited, and dreamed of Cali, but honestly – I’m not so sure I could afford it. As a single mom, I have to be very practical and realize that my son and I will want to have a life outside our humble house, so Cali may be just too expensive. That is why I have been checking out Oregon and thus far my research shows that it would be a choice move.
    I’d love to hear some opinions and thoughts about that state, and Washington state. I am a total lover of nature and wouldn’t mind a place that had gorgeous mountains and also views of the ocean as I am definitely at home on the beach too. My hobbies are less granola though as my business is jewelry and sort of the glam side and not the friendship bracelet type ;) though there is something to be said for “hemp”. I’m an artistic type and really do love to be around a place where there is some culture and unique types. I’d need a larger city at least within an hour so I could take advantage of good health care, which is important and of course I want my son to have a great education because I realize that is my most important responsibility, to raise a person who can actually take care of himself one day. Education is huge in assisting with that task.
    I could care less about sports but my boy seems to be very “boy” in his likes as his head already turns at the sight of large trucks and it amazes me how much at 7 months old he’s already shown in his tastes to be male oriented. I’d love for him to be able to surf and take sailing lessons rather than golf or soccer but do realize that choice will be up to him. I’m not a sporty person but I do enjoy hiking and yoga and can (and do) do both of those without a class. I’m hoping I have a little artist on my hands, but I may have the next Steeler quarterback instead, so I want him to have options for his hobbies and pursuits.

    I’ve enjoyed this article so much and am glad to see a lot of states represented! I’ve considered Colorado as a choice as well, and loved reading about the state. I want the ocean though, I want to be within an hour or so of one so Colorado doesn’t fit the bill. I’ve been to Texas and enjoyed Dallas a lot – the people were so nice and teased me constantly about being a Steeler fan (even though as I said, I could care less about professional sports). I spent time in Chicago as well, and while there is a lot to do and I loved the big lake, I found the people of that city quite rude and self absorbed. Texas is not exactly pretty as someone else already said, I found most of it flat and boring and run down looking too. I missed the green and hills of Pennsylvania while I was there. My friend lives in Arizona and no thank you 115 degrees. “Dry heat” or not, she can’t even let her dog out without worrying about burnt paw pads and dehydration in the summer.
    So please, someone fill this soon to be moving new mom in on the other states of the West Coast! Oh and I already know Seattle is rainy and cloudy – and I’ve already been there as Pittsburgh has very similar rain and clouds and I’ve had it with those!
    Best regards,
    Melissa :)

    • says

      Hi Melissa,

      I know this is an old post, but wanted to respond. I am a Pittsburgh native that spent 11 years in Denver, CO. I can say any move to anywhere on the West coast is worth it even for the new experience. You say you want the ocean but the ocean is very cold up in Oregon and Washington. You can enjoy looking at it, but probably wouldnt enjoy getting in it and its not a place to go tanning either.

      Did you end up making the move at all? I would google search something like, “best place to raise a family in the west” or even “best towns for single moms”. Usually someone has put together something to that effect.

      It also depends on your intended career. Lots of factors come into play with where you want to go. Even though you wrote a lot Im still not clear on exactly what you are looking for besides getting away from Pittsburgh. And if thats the case, I say just figure out a way to go anywhere and experience a little renewal in your life.


  25. igotadose says

    Just moved from Seattle area to NYC. Can’t wait to move back to Washington. Why?

    1. Corruption. NYC is absurd. Place is filthy, hot and crowded. Well, hot except during the brutal winter where they couldn’t remove the snow. Civil “servants” here set the tone for the town – surly, lazy and too damn many of them with too little to do. Try the DMV – primitive software sites, gotta do everything in person, get an appointment, wait, wait, spell things 3 times, have them get it wrong, … Read the papers any day, latest fun is the head of the pathetic library system in Queens, has been ‘moonlighting’ for another $110k job atop his $379k job, which included perks like the library system remodeling his office and adding a smoking deck. This while several libraries in Queens remain shuttered due to hurricane Sandy damage (from 2 years ago…)
    2. You get nothing for something. Tiny apartment in Manhattan, smaller than the deck I left behind in my suburban house, costs as much as my old mortgage and then some. For which I get, well… no A/C. Con Ed utility rates. If I had a car, ridiculous car insurance. City and State income tax (Washington state has neither) amounting to about 10% of income. Did I mention my salary’s about the same here as it was in WA state? So its not like they’re paying you well to live here. We’ve got to be super-frugal to avoid cutting into savings too much.
    3. Entertainment and culture. To go to the top of the Empire State building now costs over $50. Museums are $25/person. You can’t live in this town and enjoy it, unless you run a hedge fund. Yes, I’ll admit there are more cultural opportunities here than Seattle, Seattle’s a bit of a backwater, which is why we regularly vacationed in San Francisco and Portland, OR (Portland has better food than NYC on average.) Better, I think to make day trips here to see one or two things than live here.
    4. Filth and the mentally ill everywhere. On a good day, I’m not panhandled. Every time we take a trip on the subway, esp. on the weekends, we see rats running around the tracks. Every. Time. That is, like, daily. The media are all over the rats in the restaurants, just recently some wannabe inventor of some overrated pastry called the Cronut had someone capture images of rats wandering his shelves, too. Paris is cleaner. I wonder if Mumbai’s cleaner than NYC. Hong Kong is. I won’t even go into the cockroaches, it’s still cold enough they’re not everywhere. Just a matter of time I’m sure. Heck, walking around *Central Park in the dead of winter* we regularly saw rats running across the path. Central park! It’s supposed to be the nice part of town!

    5. Decay. Subways regularly have problems. It’s an adventure on the weekends as there’s constant maintenance – escalators, lights, you name it, let alone tracks. So, you’re guaranteed some surprise which may delay you. 100% of the time. This is decay. Why? See above about corruption. This place is so in the clutches of union thugs that it’s doomed to stay this way. For contrast, in the last couple of years, the state of NY gave $2bn tax credit to build a high-tech industrial park around Albany/Rochester area, simply because those areas had long since lost their businesses (Kodak, light mfg.) NYC, not so much, just lose jobs. NJ used to be a bastion of high tech, too, I worked various jobs there for over 20 years. Now? All gone with the dot-com crash and no commitment from the state to support high-tech. It’s not really landing in NYC, either. It’s moving west, where the weather’s better, life is safer and less expensive.

    Another example of corruption and decay: In suburban Seattle area, we had a public library paid for with our property taxes (much lower than they would be here.) We could check out books and dvd’s using a machine, and use the same machine to check them in. No muss, no fuss. Library was a very nice building, good places to sit and read, lots of magazines on the rack. Reasonable hours, open late Thursdays, open 7 days a week.

    Here? “Fugheddaboutit.” Our local branch has a new machine. Can only use it to check things out – why? Because someone’d lose their job if you could check books back this way. Plus, the library is yet another dingy run down building common to this town. No magazines in the racks. Sleeping homeless and mentally ill in front of the computer terminals. Oh, they use the same software as Seattle on their computer terminals. But of course, out in Seattle, I could use a computer for 2 hours a day. Here? 45 minutes. Also, in Seattle, I could print up to 30 pages B&W a week on the library printer. Here? 30 cents per page. Same software, same printers. Just the corruption here drives up the prices. Also, in the borough of Manhattan, with 2 million residents, none of the libraries are open late and only *1* branch is open at all on weekends. Don’t kids need them to do homework? Corruption – can’t afford it, even though Seattle could at a much lower tax rate (and again, no income tax.)

    We’re already planning on moving back in a few years, at least to see if the job’s not progressed enough to keep us here. We will *not* live in NJ or Conn. Commuting is hideous; coworkers regularly spend *4 hours a day* commuting by the overcrowded, hot, broken rail and bus lines. 4 hours a day! Are you freaking kidding me?

    My advice to coworkers unhappy in NYC – get out! There’s way better worlds out there, the PNW’s awesome (yeah it rains – so what? It has the best weather in the country in July->early September, and most days in the PNW would be ‘top 10 days’ in this NYC s**thole). Plus that area is way less racial than this one, the west is way ahead of the east and south in that regard.

    • alejandro says

      That was hilarious. Ive visited SEA, PTL and NYC, never lived in them. Plenty of homeless crazies in WA and OR too. It was a stupid move to go to NYC for the same salary. I did not know that culture was that expensive. I imagine that monthly/yearly passes on some stuff and getting last minute or special deal tickets are the way to go. $50 just to look at the view from a mid sized building?!
      Missy, PTL and SEA are nice if you can stand clouds and rain 9 months a year. Take a visit during winter. Both more very outdoors oriented. I’d say they are a poor persons San Francisco. Not sure about living in them without a car though. Portland has 2 Santacons. Not even NYC has that! Although NYC has a 30,000 person Santacon.

      • igotadose says

        You’re agreeing with me. Museum passes don’t help; hey, Seattle’s got 1 day a month free museums. NYC? Nahh. Some do it one day a year.

        We still run our A/C in NYC even though it’s nearly December, because the weather’s such crap and this overpriced s*hole gets so hot. Started it up in April, so working on nearly 8 months of it.

        Seattle and Portland – yep, it rains. Lived near Seattle for 10+ years. You get used to it. Beats the crap out of snow, sleet and especially the 100+ hot/humid stuff for weeks at a time. Did I mention what the unCivil Servants do about the snow? Very little – it sticks around and the sidewalks glaze over anywhere where NYC is responsible for its removal. Wait till March till it thaws. Makes for fun walking. And on and on, such high taxes, such lousy rotten services. 3d world attitude, 3d world government, high-end 1st world prices.

        Other towns that get more snow – Denver, Chicago, Boston – way WAY better at snow removal. Not NYC, as 3d world s*holes goes, its a particularly bad one. Try living there, Alejandro, I grew up here prior to moving to NJ then Seattle. It’s way worse than when we moved away. Stay away from this place and tell your friends it ain’t worth it, unless you enjoy the cockroaches and shocking prices. This town’s got 1 thing: a good publicist

  26. Debbie says

    Here is why I am leaving ca. The liberals have destroyed everything wonderful. You can’t live on the beach as the properties are gone and there are many private beaches. No one can afford to live near the beach because they are leaving it to their own kids. Apartments are outrageous due to too many illegal and legal immigrants. The people here can’t talk about anything more than the Kardashian family. The schools are horrible. The cost of business is outrageous and more and more companies can’t survive. There are no jobs. Traffic is horrible and getting worse. It is hard to go to all those great spots. Taxes are huge compared to most states. Yes, the weather is the best. No one can ruin it…yet.

  27. mark says

    East coast ppl complain to much about LA the traffic the schools the way of living mannn… back in the 90s traffic was cool but when east coast ppl started coming to LA like roaches, traffic got worst. If u dont like LA leave or y come here on the first place LA ppl dont want east coast ppl hogging LA. LA AND CALI is they place to be period.

      • says

        Out of curiosity Kely, are you a farmer? You’ve mentioned drought a lot of times, but it’s not like there’s no drinking water, showering water, bathroom water, pools, fountains, and all that. Is that what you think Californian’s are going through? If so, the media has an amazing way of manipulating the masses.

        Have you ever traveled internationally? If not, I highly encourage you to do so. It’ll help broaden your perspectives. Learning another language also helps too.

        • kely says

          No I am not a farmer even though some of the most beautiful farmland I have seen ( in the 37 states I have traveled to in which I have live more thsn 30 days in 7 of them) is in the eastern VA, PA , MO, OH and WA. In your state I have been to Bakersfield , Sacramento, Orange Co. LA ,PCH , Bay Area (love SF) Napa , Chino and Barstow. Your state is beautiful but not the arrogance typical close minded paradise you embellished it to be .At the same time bashing other states. As far as overseas travel im only limited to 6 countries in europe and our 2 Border countries to the north ( from Quebec prov to Vancover BC to as far north as the Northwest Terr.) Mexico mostly border towns to release licked up US.service.members. France Belgium, Germany , Swiss and Italy are beautiful with gracious people as . Saudi Arabia is surprisingly cold at certian times of the yr. Love the carribean.but they.are also going thru a.painful drought now. You should have been with me for 3 days in Oct 2001 at ground zero in lower Manhatten digging what was left of WTC as well as at the Pentagon on the 11 and 12th a month earlier. Maybe that would have humbled.some of your writing. Enjoy your drought.

          • says

            What do you think is the root cause for your frustration and anger? It feels like there’s something going on with your job, family, or finances or something. Where are you from originally.

            • kely says

              No anger here. Im not the one living in a disaster area and in denial of it. You are the one living in the so called paradise bubble and are just just plain stupid to realise it. Its a beautiful rainy day here today and tomarrow I will go with my family fishing in upper 70 degree weather and basking in a place unlike yours that has articals on how dry it is , wildfires , and how much disaster relief funds your drought ridden state is seeking. Enjoy your drought.

        • kely says

          I had responded to your questions that you so arrogantly placed on me .Who knows its floating somewhere out there. Ok again a shortened version is farmer? No. But rates beautiful farm lands I have seen in Va, Pa, Oh, Wi, Wa Or. And eastern Canada. US states traveled to ( actually traveled to not the airports ) 37. Lived in over 30 days….9.Countries been to 7 europe, 3 carribean. 3 Asian. Manipulated by the media…helll no I look at all news media including South African news along wit korean , french , malasyian to cnn to msnbc to even a sneak or 2 to fox and al jazeria. Places traveled to in your state? Bakersfield , Barstow, Merced, LA , Sacramento, Bay Area ( yes love SF on 4th of July) Chino and Napa….San Bernadino??? Enough said of that place oh.and San Lewis Opisco ( hope I spelled it right). I did mentioned to you that my experience in Manhatten NYC in Oct 2001 for 2 daysat a place in lower Manhatten digging thru what use to be WTC after a certian FDNY captains funeral and me being at another place on 11th day a month earlier at the Pentagon has givin me a newer more insite at life. Maybe if you had reflected your whole writings in this artical of yours ,though seemlywimsical in nature would cause you to appericate the othe 49 states more.

          • says

            Kely must be a very miserable person because every post is extremely negative. If you find California so appalling, then just be thankful that you live in Maryland and let those who have positive thoughts about Cali enjoy it. I’m actually quite fond of Maryland as it’s one of the states I cover in my job in Biotech sales (I much prefer it to PA which I find to be really depressing), but for us, living in the Ohio Valley has run its course. Boiling hot, humid summers and frigid winters with more snow than you can shake a stick at, has taken its toll on us. We took four trips to San Diego and realized this was where we needed to be. Having just endured four weeks of grey skies and a bucket load of rain in Ohio – leading to our back garden being flooded and three rose bushes destroyed – we put our house on the market and we’re now in contract. We’ve been waiting for the right moment and our window of opportunity is now here. We’re also tired of the arrogant people in this region too. There’s no need to go into all the aspects of SoCal that appeals to us, but we’ve done plenty of homework and we’re ready and excited and can’t wait to leave the dreary mid-west. And by the way, we’re from London and have lived in various parts of the world – That said, my wife pointed out that we REALLY belong in San Diego. Each to his own, wouldn’t you agree?

            • kely says

              All I have to say to you my non friend is I have to say negitive reply to a atrical so negitive as ” The West Coast ..its really that much better” especially when the artical is based on demeaning other places not like ” California”. As farnas being a miserable person only a narrow minded moron would lable a person who does not agree with them as living a terriable life. No non friend My life and where I and my wife ( native califorinan from central valley, not a transplant like you) thanks the stars above she has moved out of that state and the arid region you love. If some people like seeing flames comming their way on a parched land ..hey enjoy.Enjoy your drought.

  28. Matthew says

    I realize that you think that the west coast is a great place, but you don’t need to get cocky about it. I also understand that Hawaii is amazing, but it’s evident that you don’t have much knowledge of the place; first of all, it takes about 5-6 hours from LA to any Hawaiian Island, second, Hawaii is made up of not one but 4 main islands along with many other smaller islands, and 3rd, Hawaii and the other islands that you meantioned are not in Asia, but they’re in the Pacific Ocean. Come on. I’m 15 years old and I even kniw that. Get your facts together before you write ANYTHING!!!

  29. Sam Volkall says

    lol. we have a saying in NYC (brooklyn here) the people who bash the east, on anything silly, really just can’t make it out here. It’s fine have your weather, your celebrities, surfer dudes(brahhhhh) or your business minded people. We are the big bucks out here. We mean business. ive lived in California for 5 years, and NYC 3 years. NYC. pardon my french, destroys california. Embarrasses it. We have the most wonderful place in the world. Everyone on this globe knows about NYC, who knows about SF? Europeans, asians, and Aussies. We have culture, class, no class, trash, beauty, all in one. You want a break from the city life? We have non stop bus access to upstate. To the people that cant take the “weather” lol. It’s fine. it takes a real strong minded, focused man, to not make any excuses, and do what you want. We are the place for oppurtunity. If you let “weather” bother you, you’re making an excuse, and just aren’t nyc tough. It’s fine. We don’t mind, less people, but dont bash us like that.

    P:s i am going back to sf in Jan, can’t wait, loved it there.

  30. Dude says

    I agree with much of what you write. But utility bills are HIGHLY dependent on where exactly you live. California tends to have the highest power costs in the country. It also varies within the state by the local power company. Much of Cali gets very hot (deserts) or very cold (mountains and deserts), necessitating lots of electricity use and high bills. The only places you never need AC are within at most 3 miles of the coast, and it the far north of the state near the Oregon border. Even that is pushing it. Most people don’t live in those zones. Oregon and Washington are cold are wet in the West (ocean side of the Cascade mountains). They are dry and hot in the East. Its a myth that all of Cali is one climate. Its a myth the whole Pacific Northwest is one climate. Much of the West- Idaho, Montana, CO, UT, WY etc are very cold in winter. Much of the West, AZ, NV, NM, UT, Texas etc is very hot in the summer. You’re writing from the perception of San Francisco. Thats a tiny area.

      • igotadose says

        Silicon valley might have been an innovation hub – but it’s mostly in software. They’ve not cured cancer, found a way to feed the overpopulated world, heck, come up with a decent computer model to help mitigate Cali’s awful drought.

        Sam – don’t get confused with “A few white guys making enormous, inconceivably large amounts of money” with “This is a great place.” It is for a very very few. The rest of us, well, we get by on wages that don’t really grow, have to compete more and more and more for jobs because of the out-of-control breeding and hideous H1B program manipulations, and generally see a gradual decline in QOL as time goes on.

        I mean, Sam, you’re blithely talking about ‘only a 2 hour commute.’ Are you NUTS? My father never had that commute. My father in law didn’t. Each of them raised families with 3 kids in suburbia and put all 3 kids through college.

        So, tell me, how do the numbers work now?

        Let me tell you another anecdote. My wife, from SD, has a good friend, older retired lady, who was one of 6 children in the SD area. Grew up in a 3 bedroom house, her mom never worked, and dad was an alcoholic construction worker. Some kids went on to college, some to stay-at-home-momming, and so forth.

        That house sold a few years back (2d or 3rd owners since my wife’s friend and her family were the original owners.) Something like $800,000 to a family with no kids, 2 full time jobs and hopes for a kid someday.

        See what I mean? It’s out of control expensive everywhere, it’s entirely due to overpopulation, and we’re all the fabled ‘frog in the pot.’ Throw the frog into boiling water, it jumps out. Raise the temp slowly, and it’s frog stew!

        We’re frogs in the pot. 2 hour commute – REALLY? Insane.

        I am living in that epic sh*thole NYC. Last week, I had to take the bus to NJ to see some folks. What do I overhear (since you can’t have anything like a private conversation anywhere outside in NYC, too damn crowded too many people yinno). I heard some guy talking to his wife, the bus was running a bit late and he would NOT BE HOME for another 2.5 hours. 2.5 fricking hours, most of which are spent on A BUS.

        And he was cajoling his wife to move to NYC, since his 4 hour a day daily commute was killing him. Youngish looking guy (I figure 30’s, wife in the ‘burbs probably some kids…)

        Everyone we know that commutes from NJ spends 4 *hours* on mass transit. IN-FREAKING-SANE. There’s too many people. Don’t make it worse for them by passing this off as the new norm.

        And I ask all the parents I know, yourself included, Sam, “What kind of commute will your children have?”

        • Ace says

          Funny….. I lived in the Bay Area back in the early eighties. Not much has changed. Long commutes 50, 70 miles one way was the norm back then.

          And the pay really wasn’t much better than the rest of the country. Heck…. Once you include the additional taxes, cost of commuting, and the physical stress on your health; you’d be dollars ahead, living somewhere in the middle of the country!

          Oh well….. Too each his own!

    • igotadose says

      Dude – you’re absolutely right! Oregon and WA are cold and wet – please don’t EVER consider moving there. Tell all your friends, too. Uhuh. Please! And their friends – stay away!

      Place is getting too crowded as it is. Might as well humor the dummies like Dude.

  31. Julia says

    I have wanted to live on the West Coast my entire life but grew up in WI and have lived in MN since I was 17 (when I ran away from WI). I’ve always been afraid, or listened to all the naysayers and horror stories about going broke, not finding anywhere to live, how awful traffic is. I’ve never had a desire to go east (nothing against it, I just don’t have the personality for it). I am not a youngster but I’m far from retirement. I do ok, income wise. The past 2 winters here in MN have finally “broken” me. I’ve never experienced anything as horrible as last winter. I don’t want to spend the rest of my days struggling through minimally 4 months of brutal cold. Not freezing temperatures (please, I would love 32 degrees right now), but double digits below zero not including the wind chill (then we are talking surface of Mars cold. It’s -8 outside but with the wind it’s -29 right now). I have never loved winter but have always tolerated it (or drank my way through it). I am done. We have friends in LA, I know people hate LA, I actually like it but probably can’t afford rent in Studio City or North Hollywood. I am thinking of looking at Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, etc. At any rate, my goal is to get out of here by October 1st. I really love Austin TX but the husband doesn’t want to go there. I haven’t told any friends here yet because I know they will tell me I’m nuts, that I’ll go broke, that I’m too old, that I’ll fail, and it will be hard for me to hear all of that. But if I can get rid of my SAD lamp and actually take my dogs outside without worrying that they will freeze to death, then I think I’ll be ok. Thanks for this post!

  32. jokomoal says

    East Coast has NYC… and there is really no match for that, so if you want that (and I have lived there) you just can’t duplicate it on the west coast (or anywhere else in North America). Everything else, from cities (SF stacks up well with any other East Coast city) to weather, to outdoors, to the ocean, is all better on the West Coast. I think the downsides of NYC are still worth it, it is one of the top few cities on earth, west coast just doesn’t have that. Outside of NYC, give me SF or LA. Boston and Philly are also great (no city can touch the history in those places), but to me the weather, lack of nature just isn’t worth it, and I think SF and LA are both more premiere international cities at this point than those two. I’m not a fan of DC at all, do not see what people see in that place…really sterile and boring. I love NYC so much I’ve even rationalized Philly for being close to it, but really you live your day in / day out life in the city you are in, not where you visit 4-5 times a year.

    • igotadose says

      Oh, Jokomoal, puhleeze. NYC is an epic hole, more similar to holes like Delhi and Mumbai than nice places like LA or SF. NY’s museums – there are too many, and they are poorly curated. The Met and the AMNH can’t hold a candle to the BM, the Getty has the art thing hands down over the art-parts of the Met. The Whitney’s a joke of an art museum.

      The cost (as Sam gently points out) of living IN NYC – not NJ, but the 5 boros, is insane! And you pay state income tax (unlike in, say, Seattle), and sales tax (unlike in, say, Portland). The weather is ABYSMAL compared to the cities on the west coast. It’s not just bad – it limits what you can do for 4 months (at least) a year. The rotting infrastructure is a JOKE except they seriously think it’s ‘not too bad here?!’ Are you kidding me? Every town has RFID cards for mass transit, even podunk Seattle buses have it. NYC? Not a chance. Crappy wear-out-in-a-month-or-two Metrocards. And the subways are ALWAYS delayed and ALWAYS under construction and some such. You know why? Because the infrastructure’s falling apart because of its age, corruption in the public sector, and HUGE AMOUNTS OF PEOPLE IN TOO LITTLE SPACE.

      Sam’s right about it being impossible to live comfortably in NYC, unless you are pulling in MILLIONS OF DOLLARS A YEAR. Everyone else is compromising badly on quality of life, and are in huge denial.

      What NYC has, is a huge captive audience, and good publicists and dummies repeating what other people tell them about how great this town is. Piffle. There’s nothing here, and what is here, is overpriced, low quality and generally horrible. Having lived in one of the so-called better parts of NYC, the Upper West Side, and Seattle, and the Bay Area, and prolonged stays in Philadelphia and various parts of Florida, there’s no contest: EVERYWHERE, LIFE IS BETTER THAN IN NYC.

      Don’t move here. Don’t be a fool, let this 3d world dump rot away.

  33. Jason says

    Love this article!

    I’m actually a born and raised North Carolina resident and I’m making the BIG move to California in August, 2015 so any and all tips would be great.

    I’m moving to the Bay Area around Vallejo. I love California and very excited about living there full-time. This has been a dream of mine for a long time and I’m happy to see it through.


  34. Future hours says

    I have been living in Maryland most of my life and I am absolutely miserable. Besides some of the stupid strict laws and other political b.s here, my biggest gripe are the PEOPLE!! I can’t wait to move out west and get away from these sick, backstabbing, one dimensional, cliquesh braindead, bitter, ugly, narcissistic, conformist, losers. I don’t understand how people can like this hellhole. California here I come !!!

    • kely says

      Good riddeance. Take plenty of water , ahell of a lot of extra money ,paticence and a air filter with you…oh yeah and a drought tolerant plant with you.

      • HigBloke says

        Oh, I love that posting from Future Hours on Feb 16th regarding living in Maryland. I was trying to work out what kind of loser Keli is before Future Hours summed it up nicely.

        I was in Maryland three weeks ago and all it did was bloody rain all week – I couldn’t wait to escape…not that Ohio was any better. Intense humidity and rain for weeks in the Ohio Valley.

        Interesting about Keli’s comment regarding us being English “transplants”, because having lived in various parts of the globe helps us see things in a much more objective manner, rather than say we shouldn’t move to San Diego because of the “drought”. We did our homework and weighed everything up before deciding to move to SD.

        Regarding Keli’s “moron” comment about me, all I can say is only a complete and utter moron and total twat would fill each post with so many spelling mistakes that even a three-year old would be embarrassed. Our cat can spell better.

        When we fly into SD and see the beautiful Pacific Ocean and blue skies with a light breeze in the air, our spirits soar.

        Rather that, than being some old miserable tosser out in Maryland running down everything in Cali. And yes, we will be enjoying the drought.

        • kely says

          Hey” Gaspar smelling Brit”keep your “tosser” Queen and Country statments over to your non rain drying up fighting over water. Hydrant water stealing drought shaming bubble fire prone side of the country you chose to live in. Im very very happily retired from serving my community and country. Maybe if your” moronic ” selfs have a cat that can spell better than me you ought to capitalize on that….on 2nd thought you seem to be too much of a ” moron” to do so. Well as you say on your side the pond ,cheers mate. Enjoy your drought prolonged fire season.

  35. Patrice says

    Planning on relocating to Beverly Hills California.. Currently living in West Palm Beach, Florida.. Lived in NYC, for nearly 3 years.. Born in the Bahamas… With that said, presently the only two places in North America that interest me to live is California and Hawaii… Love how my spirit felt when I visited these two places several times! There’s happiness in the air and you can feel it. The people are pleasant. The environment is clean and beautiful. The climate is wonderful. The beauty of living in the USA, is you have options to explore and live in different states simply by driving, flying, train, boat, etc.. The opportunities are limitless and available 365 days to everyone and you can freely decide on which state(s) suit your personality and lifestyle best.

  36. Ethan says

    I’m 33, have a partner who is 34, and we have 3 boston terriers. I grew up in rural KY, moved to Ann Arbor, MI 13 years ago to get a taste of a more urban living and culture. My partner spent 8 years of his childhood in FL and the rest of his life has been in or around Ann Arbor. We’re a one car family, I commute to work by bicycle or public transit (bus) and don’t miss the extra vehicle. I love the hipster, arts, music, foodie/culinary experience of Ann Arbor. The spring/summer/fall are generally beautiful with lots of outdoor activities to find. Unfortunately winter starts settling in around Halloween and doesn’t break until at least mid-April. That makes for a long, dark, cold, depressing 5 or 6 months of the year. The past two years harsh winters have brought upon me the itch to be somewhere with more warmth and hopefully more sun.

    Our only experience on the West coast was Seattle (which we loved) but it is fairly rainy/cloudy for a significant portion of the year, so we’re not sure it’d be much better option except they don’t get the deep freeze and snow we get here. Next we are looking to California. We know no one there and have never been. We’ve read up a lot on San Francisco/Palo Alto/San Jose and the job opportunities match up to our needs but we’re not sure about the weather, rent, and livability with 3 dogs (we currently own a home with a nice size back yard they can run and play in). By comparison we also looked at San Diego which sounds perfect as far as sun and weather that we’re looking for, rent is somewhat more affordable, but being a one car family it sounds like it may be difficult to walk/bike/public transit around the city and to work. Also the food culture depending on what we read sounds like it is potentially limited in San Diego, again, we don’t know. San Diego does however sound like it could potentially be a much more “multi-pet” friendly environment.

    Do you have any insights on either of these cities/areas that might help us make a decision on where to relocate to (while taking in our history and “likes” about where we currently live)? Thank you in advance!

    • lester says

      Ethan, a house in high crime ghetto Logan Heights San Diego rents for $2000/month and sells for $500,000. The only affordable housing near San Diego is in Tijuana Mexico or 50 miles north or East. It is just as expensive as san fran bay area and LA.

  37. kely says

    I see the person deleates whats said in defence of the east coast but whats said negitive about the east coast he keeps. Face it california I have been out to LA, Central Cali, and the Bay area…..its not paradise. Its fun but I found LA in particular to be filthy ….brown smog lol. And lack of water. Enjoy your drought California.

  38. Alyssa says

    Everyone mentions how great the weather is in CA, and they are right. But that’s about all it has going for it. The cost of living is ridiculous. The drought is about to get very real. Going through a wildfire is a terrifying experience. And don’t even get me started on the real housewives of La Jolla/Del Mar/Rancho Santa Fe…

    • kely says

      I still find it hard that people are saying how ” great” Californias weather is. People that so called “great” weather that you out west are boasting on is the major cause of your currant problem….the drought! My prayers to you all out there and my wishes for an end to this devastating.drought.

  39. Ken says

    As an east coaster who lives in San Jose (which I don’t like but that’s another story…), I do have call BS a little on the less crooks angle. Um… Have you ever been to east side SJ or Oakland? Lol you’re across the bay from one of the most dangerous cities in America!

  40. Dynx says

    Lived in Cali for the first 33 years of my life then a brief stay in DC followed by florida. I’ve got to say if you have the money then there is no place better than Cali. I loved DC (lots to do, great transportation, lots of politics if you’re into that) and I like the city in Florida I’m in, but….
    The weather sucks, the humidity is crap, there’s bugs EVERYWHERE, there tends to be a lot more white trash than is comfortable. The only reason I’ll deal with FL for any longer is lower taxes and cost of living. The prices in good areas of Cali are out of control. I’d be living in a 6 million dollar house if I moved back to the Bay Area and bought what I have now…and taking home 13% less due to taxes. So while Cali wins hands down in terms of quality of life, it’s like saying a Ferrari is better than a Camry. Of course it is, but is it worth the extra money? Not to me. maybe when I’m retired and my taxable income goes down I’ll move back.
    Oh and my opinion of Cali excludes Los angeles which is a horrible shit stain which should be wiped from the face of the earth.

    • kely says

      Calirornia its getting worse and worse and worse. Meanwhile ill head to the beach this weekend and enjoy good Maryland Steamed Crabs passing by a lush rain and sun kissed GREEN lush easy drive to the beach. Passing over.the beautiful Cheasapeake Bay Bridge. Stop and get fresh delicious mellons and strawberries from local farms ,sweet creamy local ice cream and keep California in my prayers.

  41. says

    While I imagine NYC does suck big time, the eastern US on a whole is a lot more affordable than the West and NYC and Boston aren’t typical of the eastern half of the country or even just the Northeast in terms of cost of living.

    Wages pay crap on the West Coast unless you are in tech or med. Try paying $2000 for a one bedroom apartment when your job only pays you $11 an hour. It’s utterly impossible, but typical of the West Coast, so most people either live with their parents until they’re 30 here or shack up with roommates, often ruining their relationships with their parents and friends. Even family, I’ve found, have limits and expectations when it comes to support.

    And even though the West Coast has this reputation for being liberal and easy-going, I’ve found most employers and landlords here are very scummy and Westerners being non-confrontational and spineless tolerate and apologize for it, even going so far as judging people for complaining about being treated poorly. There’s a huge class problem here in general – I always hear about how class-conscious the East Coast is, but people on the West Coast deny that poverty even exists here.

    I haven’t met a whole lot of East Coast people so I can’t really judge them, but I can judge West Coast people. I find people on the West Coast are snobby, unmotivated (not necessarily lazy, just hard to get to commit to anything), passive-aggressive, and self-righteous. Not to mention narrow-minded and very snobby about their region’s weather, nature, “laid-back ness”, and the fact you can drive 2 HOURS in one direction and ski, and drive 2 hours in the other and hang out on a frigid beach.

  42. Jess says

    Beautiful weather? Uh, hasn’t California been in a drought for over 5 years? I wouldn’t consider that good weather.

    • igotadose says

      Puhleeze. Are you a farmer? if not, then the warm, dry, sunny days that encourage nearly-year-round outdoor living are hard to beat. You can tell that the rest of the world agrees -which state’s the most populus, and has some of the highest real estate prices? Probably not the one Jess lives in.

      But, Cali has too many people. Please don’t move there.

      • kely says

        I agree with Jess on weather. Yes dry sunny days of 70 + degree weather is good along with nice cooling cloudy days along with some wet rainy days along with cool sunny and cloudly fall days and some cold beautiful sunny days. And finally cold snowy and mildly humid warm days. To have only dry sunny days dulls a persons perspective of the world and lends to limited knowledge of the various weather of this great nation of ours. I feel sorry for you so called ” perfect only” bubble weather living people. Enjoy your drought.

  43. Robin says

    I was born in Massachusetts. Lived in Virginia,Maryland and DC. Moved to Colorado for 10 years and now live in Florida.I have been all over the country, but never lived in the West. I will never move west of the Mississippi again! I cant compare to where I have lived to the West coast but Colorado was west enough for me. The people from the West are far more arrogant and obnoxious and feel entitled to everything. I have been to California,Nevada,Arizona and other western states and yes they are beautiful but I can leave the people. Plus the west is extremely more expensive to live than the East. You are always going to pay more in a City than a town but Colorado was wayyyyyyy more expensive to live than the other states I have resided including DC.

    • igotadose says

      Colorado more expensive than DC? Where in Colorado did you live?

      I’ve lived in the Northeast, in Cali, in Seattle and NJ. Currently not in the US, if I had to move back to the US, the Seattle area would be it, with Cali #2. I’d never live in the Northeast again, insanely expensive, crowded, corrupt, underpaying (unless you have a cushy union job) and polluted.

      For the record, I disagree with Sam about the virtues of living the in Bay Area. It’s also crazy expensive, housing might be more than in NYC, and way too crowded. But overall I find the west coast is much better for quality of life, there’s still some of the natural world left to visit and clear the sinuses as it were.

      • kely says

        I agree lol maybe Coldarado ave NW in DC near Rock Creek Park. DC is a yuppie/hipster zombie looking , acting overpriced transplant expensive city as is the area. Highly diverse culturly and tons of new hipster resturants here.But even Denver area is not as expensive as this place.

  44. Suzanne says

    I found this thread fascinating. Interesting how the States are being tossed around little kids fighting over toys in a toy box with a “my toy is better than your toy” attitude.

    Let’s face it, each State has its pluses and minuses. I was born in California and lived there until my early 40s. Yes, CA has great weather and you can’t beat the diversity which I think is wonderful for teaching folks to appreciate the differences between cultures and religions. However, I’m not sure the weather and the high cost of renting/owning is worth it in the long run. I moved to the Southeast a while ago and yes, there isn’t as much diversity, and yes, the weather is crazy but I can say that for the first time in YEARS, I have much more of a work/life balance. I can work part-time if I want and still be able to do live in a nice home, enjoy meals out, and travel a bit. I would NOT be able to do that back in California (I’m referring to the SF Bay Area where I was born, raised and lived exclusively). There’s also a huge amount of pressure to live beyond your means there and also to work non-stop. I remember coworkers bragging about the fact that they had worked until 3am on calls with India and then had to be on a U.S. conf call at 7am — and this was a constant occurrence!. People also made themselves available for calls while on vacation. One coworker even worked the day after her wedding and while on her honeymoon. I wish I could say this was a one-off but it was very common in the corporate structure. Pure craziness.

    Do I wish I lived back in CA? Sometimes. Do I miss the lack of work/life balance? No way. If I were to move back, I’d probably move to a smaller town where prices are less expensive and for a job that I could do from home. No weather is worth a 2+ hour commute and the constant pressure to own the nicest car and live in a big house. What is truly going to matter to you at the end of your life? Time to be and explore or the fact that you had lots of cool toys (and some nice weather most of the time)?


    • kely says

      You sound like my wife at times. She misses her family and some friends thats why we go out there.( Central Valley) to visit. I prefer SF ( city more than just Bay area where.she also has family) seem like more and more her family members are telling her about the water restrictions there which saddens her due to her late father working on one of the many canals there. More of them are comming here ( mid atlantic ) to visit.

  45. kely says

    Its raining now. Lawn and flowers are beautiful. Eveything is green. Did see 2 sharks this July 4th weekend. Oh well cant be perfect.


  1. […] I’ve got several friends who live in Middle America who want to make more money. When I ask them why not just move to parts of the country where the economy is booming, they tell me they can’t leave their families behind. They also tell me they find housing prices to be outrageous in booming cities, not thinking that it’s because incomes are “outrageous” and quality of life is “outrageously better” that leads to higher costs. It’s weird how in a day of buses, trains, and planes, folks aren’t willing to buy a ticket to a better life. […]

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